My 2-Part of a series of confronting Islamophobia in America
By Edward E. Curtis
Rick Lazio, the gubernatorial candidate from Suffolk County, doesn’t like it. Sarah Palin, though not exactly a New Yorker, has resoundingly “refudiated” it. More importantly, plenty of ordinary citizens vocally oppose the establishment of a Muslim community center and mosque near the World Trade Center site.
But no matter how offensive their presence may be to some people, Muslims have always been a part of lower Manhattan‘s past. In fact, Islam in New York began near Ground Zero. From an historical perspective, there could hardly be a better place for a mosque.
One of the first Arab-American enclaves in New York City was located on Washington St. in lower Manhattan – the very area in which the World Trade Center was later built. Founded by Arabic-speaking Christians and Muslims from Ottoman Syria in the 1880s, it was called Little Syria.
The heart of Little Syria was full of outdoor cafes where non-Arab visitors sometimes gawked at men smoking hookahs and trading gossip about the Ottoman Empire. In a 1903 article, the New York Times called the Continue reading
*A Must Read Article by John Esposito
By John Esposito
In recent weeks, Republican politics and attempts across America to block the building of mosques have underscored the impact of Islamophobia in American society.
Republican candidates have jumped on a bandwagon, appealing to racist attitudes towards Islam and Muslims as a political wedge to gain electoral votes in the coming November elections. Bogus charges in 2008 that Barack Obama was a Muslim, as if that should discredit him, is an example of an Islamophobia which is still being used as a political strategy today. This form of political hate speech was addressed by Colin Powell in his endorsement of Obama when he asked:
“Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? … I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, ”He’s a Muslim and he might be associated [with] terrorists.” This is not the way we should be doing it in America.”
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, desperately seeking to recapture his national Republican leader role, tried this past week to create a bizarre national threat about the implementation of Islamic law, shariah, that doesn’t even exist:
“One of the things that I am going to suggest today is a federal law which says no court anywhere in the United States under any circumstance is allowed to consider sharia as a replacement for American law. Period.”
Republican Rex Duncan of Oklahoma followed suit, warning there is a “war for the survival of America,” to keep the sharia from creeping into the American court system. In California, a Tea Party Rally in protest of an Islamic Center Continue reading
OMAR SACIRBEY- April 6, 2010 from NewsOK
(RNS) When 19 Muslim men crashed two planes into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, it was widely labeled “Islamic terrorism,” even as many Muslims cringed at the term.
So when nine members of a Michigan-based Christian militia, fueled by visions of the apocalypse, laid plans to gun down police officers, is it “Christian terrorism?”
Many Muslims, and others, think it should be.
”In cases of violence committed by Muslims, when it’s politically motivated, yes, call it Muslim terrorism. But when other faiths or ideologies commit violence, it has to be the same,” said Alejandro Buetel, the government liaison officer for the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Washington.
”We’re calling for consistency.”
Recent charges filed against the Michigan-based Hutaree militia are just the latest indication that terrorism is not unique to Islam, they say, and that other religious and ideological groups can commit violence for their cause.