The most important thing for Muslims is that we have individual Muslims occupying spaces of power now. We have the agency and the empathy to develop stories about our religion and our people that can help erode demonization of our faith. We have a mounting generation of leaders in various sectors who can do that more successfully than ever. I see that as a big step.
The letters declared April 3 to be "Punish a Muslim" Day, advocating for acts of violence against Muslims, including throwing acid in the face of a Muslim and bombing a mosque.
Speaking to members of Parliament on Wednesday, Spielman reiterated her concerns about religious extremism in English schools and said her inspectors had found in some private Islamic schools that children had been shown films of people being beheaded and that they had been taught that it is acceptable for men to beat their wives.
“Look, if you want to be a racist old grandpa, you can be a racist old grandpa,” Johnson said. “But you cannot serve in public office. It’s wrong. I mean, everyone has the right to free speech, but you don’t have the freedom of the consequences of your free speech, right?”
“They’re amazed how little these people realize that satire can be a form of violence that hurts them, their spirituality, their view of God and the way they pray,” he said.
A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY relies on the contributions of its citizens in everything from launching technology companies to managing the PTA. Discrimination against an identity group in a democratic society is not just a violation of its dignity, it is a barrier to its contribution.
The contributions of Muslims to American civilization are impressive and wide-ranging, captured well in the speech President Barack Obama gave in Cairo on June 4, 2009. “American Muslims have enriched the United States. They have fought in our wars, served in government, stood for civil rights, started businesses, taught at our universities, excelled in our sports arenas, won Nobel Prizes, built our tallest building, and lit the Olympic Torch.”
But the atmosphere of Islamophobia in the Trump era has created special hardships for Muslims, a dynamic that hurts both the Muslim community and the nation to which they seek to contribute.
Muslim-American women are more afraid, less assimilated, and dislike President Donald Trump’s policies more than Muslim-American men, in large part because they are more easily identified as Muslim, according to a recent Pew Research Center study.
There are so many loud and shrill voices in various religions today, ones filled with fear and self-righteousness and arrogance and judgement and hatred — the very things that faith tells us to avoid. Those voices try to divide us and diminish us. They twist religion into the opposite of what it’s meant to be, hoping to advance their personal agendas.
In a political environment in which the anti-Muslim rhetoric in the U.S. is particularly strong, and Europe is facing backlash against refugees and minority populations, a timely new anthology, Mirror on the Veil, offers a refreshing and important look at the very visible practice of veiling among Muslim women.
"This tragic case appears to be the result of a road rage incident involving the suspect," a police statement said. "Our investigation at this point does not indicate the victim was targeted because of her race or religion."
In a nation founded on violence, how are we to respond when young indigenous people are beaten to death by police or young black men are shot in the front seat of their cars? What do we do when young Muslim women are assaulted on the way to say prayers with their community? In an attempt to protect ourselves from violence, we actually bring violence to our schools and neighborhoods, because we live a gospel of violence perpetuated over time by our attitudes of hate and racism toward one another.
There are times when just being appalled by bigotry isn’t enough, when just opposing racist words is no longer adequate, or only being a critic of hateful and violent rhetoric is morally insufficient. There are times when must find the courage to speak and to act — and to intervene in situations of violence and hate on behalf of those who are being attacked.
This is one of those times.
Federal appeals court judges on Monday peppered a U.S. Justice Department lawyer with tough questions about President Donald Trump's temporary ban on travelers from six Muslim-majority nations, with several voicing skepticism that protecting national security was the aim of the policy, not religious bias. Six Democratic appointees on a court dominated by judges named by Democratic presidents showed concerns about reviving the Republican president's March executive order that prohibited new visas to enter the United States for citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for three months.
Anti-Semitic incidents have been rising in the U.S. in the past few years, and many Jews and others fault the Trump administration for only belatedly calling out anti-Semitism, and for failing to explicitly denounce those who have heralded his election as a victory for white people.
And Jewish and Muslim groups have banded together in unprecedented ways, in recent months, as mosques and Jewish institutions have been targeted.
Judge Watson’s ruling came from a lawsuit filed by Hawaii, according to the Guardian. In the case, the state of Hawaii claimed that the ban hurt Hawaii’s tourism industry and negatively affected businesses and universities’ ability to recruit talented individuals from the banned countries. They continued to point out that the ban hurts families bringing up the example of Ismail Elshikh — an imam of the Muslim Association of Hawaii — whose Syrian mother-in-law’s visa is still on hold and might not denied with the new restrictions of the ban.
“Language matters. The use of the term ‘honour’ to describe a violent criminal act … can be explained only as a means of self-justification for the perpetrator. It diminishes the victim and provides a convenient excuse for what in our society we should accurately and simply call murder, rape, abuse, or enslavement,” Ghani said when introducing her crime-against-women bill Jan. 31.
“It is a thinly-veiled reference to stereotypes about Islam and Muslims,” said Daniel Mach, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief. “This reference to honor killings is part of a broader effort to smear an entire faith by the extreme acts of a few and its inclusion in this order bolsters the argument that this is simply another attempt at a Muslim ban.”
The Rev. Leah Daughtry stood in front of fellow black Christian leaders and told them they will need to work harder for social justice.
“If you’ve been feeding them, now clothe them,” said the Pentecostal pastor and 2016 CEO of the Democratic National Convention Committee at a conference last week. “If you’ve been clothing them, now console them. If you’ve been at a march, now lead the march. If you’ve been at a rally, now organize the rally.”
Seeing the parallels between Micah’s time of unease and ours, it would behoove us to lean in for a listen when Micah writes, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. What does God require of you? That you act justly and love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
Popular films like American Sniper reduce places like Iraq to dusty war zones, devoid of any culture or history. Fears and anxiety manifest themselves in Islamophobic actions such as burning mosques or even attacking people physically.
At the heart of such fear is ignorance. A December 2015 poll found that a majority of Americans (52 percent) do not understand Islam. In this same poll, 36 percent also said that they wanted to know more about the religion. Interestingly, those under 30 years were 46 percent more likely to have a favorable view of Islam.