thelittlekneesofbees:

There’s a new petition taking off on Change.org, and we think you might be interested in signing it:

Investigate alleged discrimination against Muslim family at this Shreveport, LA franchise

Sign Kutibh’s Petition

Subway: Investigate the hate-crime that occurred against a Muslim family at your franchise owned by Rep. John Fleming

Started by: Kutibh, Burlington, Vermont

For a family to be denied service and be forcibly locked out of a restaurant in the 21st century because of their faith is not only unacceptable, but harmful to the fabric of our society and a flagrant hate-crime.

“Mohammad Husain and his wife were looking for a bite to eat and a nice place to relax when they stopped in last month at a Shreveport, La. Subway owned by Rep. John Fleming (R-LA). But that visit soon turned turbulent, Husain told TPM recently, when he found himself locked out of the Subway franchise and his wife locked inside with an employee telling them they were not welcome there because they were Muslim.” - TPM

It is unacceptable to see this type of discrimination committed against two innocent Americans trying to have a typical family meal at a Subway. Even more inexcusable is Subway’s unwillingness to investigate the hate-crime. The Shreveport Police Department also has yet to return calls to investigate the situation even after Mohammad Husain had called 911 after his wife was locked inside the restaurant. Instead, he was patted down and searched by the officer as if he was a suspected terrorist. We demand that both Subway and the Shreveport Police Department as well as Rep. John Fleming who own’s this Subway franchise investigate the incident and issue respective reprimands to the employees involved.

See: 

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Muslim-says-restaurant-discriminated-against-him-4083401.php

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/12/john_fleming_muslim_subway.php

http://www.ktbs.com/news/Muslim-man-claims-discrimination-from-local-Subway/-/144844/17616930/-/15balp8/-/index.html

http://thinkprogress.org/security/2012/12/04/1283251/gop-congressmans-restaurant-accused-of-turning-away-muslim-couple/?mobile=nc

1. Please sign the petition to send a message that this is unacceptable behavior from their employees, and to demand that an investigation be started

2. File a Complaint with Subway by calling 800-888-4848

3. Demand the Shreveport Police Department begin an investigation by calling (318) 673-7300

Click here to sign Kutibh’s petition, “Subway: Investigate the hate-crime that occurred against a Muslim family at your franchise owned by Rep. John Fleming”.

You can also check out other popular petitions on Change.org by clicking here.

(Source: dadgenes)

"To speak of Islamophobia as sentiment is a euphemism. Islamophobia is first and foremost state racism."

“Islamophobia: when the Whites lose their Triple A rating” by “Houria Bouteldja (via kawrage)

Bouteldja is pretty insightful here (emphasis is mine):

Such racism has no purpose other than to maintain a population in a subaltern state. The term “Muslim” is itself problematic. I am a Muslim, although 25 years ago – when I was already a Muslim – I wasn’t considered one. At that time I was considered a “beurette” or a second-generation immigrant. Self-identifying as a Muslim is not a problem; it’s even a source of pride. However, the fact that I am automatically considered a Muslim bothers me. After all, non-Muslims are not identified above all by their religion. It is a way of defining citizens according to categories and classifications put in place by public policy and debate. A whole population is automatically classified as Muslim without differentiating the practicing, agnostic or atheists among them. We are placed in the Muslim category regardless of our subjectivity.

Make sure you also read her piece on Western feminism

(via globalwarmist)

YESSSSS

(via post-colonial)

(via youngbadmangone)

"Islam is a cancer, period."

Sam Bacile, an Israeli filmaker who produced and directed an anti-Muslim film attacking the Prophet Muhammad, which sparked angry assaults by ultra-conservative Muslims on US missions in Egypt and Libya, claiming the life of one American

Bacile, a California property developer who identifies himself as an Israeli Jew, said he believed the movie would help his native land by exposing Islam’s flaws to the world.

The two-hour movie, Innocence of Muslims, had cost $5m (£3.1m) to make and was financed with the help of more than 100 Jewish donors, said Bacile, who wrote and directed it.

The film claims Muhammad was a fraud. An English-language 13-minute trailer on YouTube shows an amateur cast performing a wooden dialogue of insults disguised as revelations about Muhammad, whose obedient followers are presented as a cadre of goons.

Muslims find it offensive to depict Muhammad in any manner, let alone insultingly. It not only portrays the Prophet, which Islam prohibits, but ridicules him as a homosexual and advocate of paedophilia, and shows him having sex.

Terry Jones, the fundamentalist Christian pastor whose burning of Qu’rans sparked international outrage, promoted the film and said Tuesday that he planned to show a 13-minute trailer that night at his church in Gainesville, Florida.

(via israelfacts)

This is disgusting but the way some muslims have reacted is not Islamic nor how Muhammad (PBUH) would have behaved. We need to be the better people.

(via faineemae)

(via somniferumkore-deactivated20121)

Whiteness Is a Fucking Trip

sonofbaldwin:



(The real hero in this scenario: Satwant Singh Kaleka, 62, was the president of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, who was shot to death as he tried to tackle the gun-slinging killer.)


When James Holmes went up in that movie theater, shot almost 100 people, and killed 12, the mainstream media narrative was about how intelligent Holmes was and about his acceptance into some prestigious Ph.D. program. The media was looking for some way to excuse his behavior or at least present a justifiable reason for what he did in defense of Whiteness. “What set him off?” was the central question, as though there could be a legitimate, exculpatory reason for his terrorist acts or that, somehow, the victims might have been asking for it (if the victims fit a certain description, that is). The other major narrative that came out of the story were the Heroic Boyfriends of White Women, who jumped in front of bullets to save white womanhood. Another major narrative was about the victims who died, all of whom were white. A lesser narrative, and one the media tried their best to spin another way, was the white dude who jetted on his girlfriend and children, hopped in his vehicle, and fled the scene—leaving them to be saved by Jarell Brooks, a young African-American man.

In the case of the second massacre, Wade Michael Page went into a Sikh temple, likely unable to discern the difference between Sikhs and Muslims (after all, they all weer beards and turbans and that makes them all the same in the Whiteness imagination), a shot the place up. Seven people were killed before he was finally shot down himself. He was an avowed white supremacist (and the media uses the descriptor “white supremacist” as though tit only applies to a small number of backward people rather than the entire American ethos) who played in a white supremacist band, whose lyrics advocated the genocide of black people, gay people, and Jewish people (and there’s STILL no discussion about this racist, homophobic, Antisemitic music in the the media; if it was hip-hop though, the media wouldn’t be able to contain itself). He was tatted UP with White Supremacist symbols and, as of today, the media is still “trying to figure out the motive.” *Rolls eyes mad hard* The Little Rascals could have figured out the motive with just a Sherlock Holmes hat and a magnifying glass. It’s not fucking rocket science, but when it comes to Whiteness, everyone has agreed to play dumb and precious.

Very little has been said about the seven victims; they are, after all, only brown. Instead, the focus now is on the law enforcement officers who swooped in and saved the day. And that’s because in a society infected with Whiteness, even when Whiteness is the cause of wanton death and destruction (which is often the case), it has to remain central and superior and righteous and heroic and pure.

*sound of disgust*

As Toni Morrison once said: Whiteness is “like a profound neurosis that no one examines for what it is.”

Well, shit, I wish they would so that we can save ourselves from it.



(via praxis-makesperfect-deactivated)

Saudi Judo athlete to withdraw if hijab banned

alexeikaramazov:

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) - A Saudi Arabian judo competitor, one of the first two female athletes sent to the Olympics by the conservative kingdom, will withdraw if she is not allowed to wear her hijab or headscarf, during bouts, her father was quoted as saying.

Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shaherkani is due to compete in the +78 kg judo category on Friday. A Saudi official said earlier this month its female athletes would have to obey Islamic dress codes.

But last week, International Judo Federation (IJF) president Marius Vizer said Shaherkani would have to fight without a headscarf to comply with “the principle and spirit of judo”.

Sunday’s edition of Saudi Arabia’s al-Watan newspaper quoted the father, Ali Shaherkani, as saying over the telephone from Britain that his daughter “will not compete in the Judo Games on August 3 if the committee insists that she removes her hijab”.

He was quoted as telling al-Watan he had not heard back from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on the matter.

The IJF, whose regulations for the Olympic Games state no headgear can be worn, was in regular discussions with Olympic and Saudi officials to find a solution, IJF spokesman Nicolas Messner said.

He said the hijab was banned for safety reasons, as judo fighters can try to strangle each other using their judogi or kit. While using a hijab to do this would be illegal it could happen by mistake during a move.

“It can be dangerous,” Messner said. “It could happen during a move, something wrong could happen.”

Constructive talks had taken place between the federation and the athlete, as well as the IOC and other organizers to see if a solution could be found, a spokesman for the IOC told reporters on Sunday.

“I read that somewhere that there was a threat to withdraw - as far as I know that is not true at all,” he added.

“And we are still very confident of a positive outcome. And at this stage to be honest the best thing to do is to allow them to work that out, and try to get the athlete to compete. And we remain very positive on that.”

Female participation in sports has long been a controversial issue in Saudi Arabia, where conservative Muslim clerics have said it is immodest and goes against women’s nature.

Until this year, Saudi Arabia was one of three countries, alongside Brunei and Qatar, never to have sent female athletes to the Olympics. Human rights groups urged the IOC to ban the countries from the Games unless they agreed to send women.

Saudi Arabia reached an agreement on the participation of Shaherkhani and Sarah Attar, an 800-m runner, just two weeks ago after talks with the IOC.

(Reporting by Asma Alsharif; additional reporting by Avril Ormsby in London; Editing by Michael Roddy and Ralph Boulton)

(Source: basednkrumah, via wretchedoftheearth)

why does the world remain silent on the mass massacre of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar?

deafmuslimpunx:

OOPS… I guess “Never Again” only applies to white Judeo-Christian Westerners, right, guys?

(Source: badass-bharat-deafmuslim-artista)

"Brampton Sikh elementary school vandalized by racist graffiti"

knowledgeequalsblackpower:

Ripsodhak Grewal doesn’t know why teenage vandals would scrawl swastikas and the letters “KKK” onto the walls of a Sikh elementary school.

He does know something must change in Brampton, which has seen two high-profile racist incidents in recent months.

“It’s hard to imagine this happening in the 21st century,” he said. “I’m beginning to wonder what we are missing when we are educating these young children.”

Brampton is home to the largest concentration of South Asians in Canada, at 31.7 per cent of the population. The graffiti incident comes just months after a racist YouTube video in which a 16-year-old Brampton girl equated “turbans” with “terrorists” and complained her entire school was “brown.”

"I didn’t want to make any fuss. All I wanted was to find out the information to help my son go to university. “I offered to sit at the back or at the front, anywhere where I wouldn’t be seen, if they thought I was going to offend anyone."

Mum Maroon Rafique banned from Manchester College parents’ evening… for wearing a veil | Manchester Evening News

From the article:

A mum was turned away from a college parents’ evening – because she was wearing a veil. Maroon Rafique was refused entry to Manchester College by senior staff who told her there was a ban on face coverings.

It is heartbreaking that the victim of racism would be willing to accomodate the offender’s “feelings” so as not to “inconvenience” them, sitting where she would not be seen, even to the point of invisibility.

(via redlightpolitics)

(via green-street-politics)

(Source: fuckyeahmarxismleninism)

communism-kills:

jarl-ulfric:

What ‘shit’ is still going on, Islam? We don’t need feminism as a remedy. A good strong backbone which doesn’t buckle under allegations of ‘Islamophobia’ might be of some help though. Good luck trying to salvage yours.

What “strong backbone” would that be…racist white man?
The kind of “backbone” that took FIVE seconds to locate an article about a pregnant, white Christian woman who was blinded by her husband in Belfast?
You are pathetic.
-

Kelly Winter, who was blinded by her boyfriend, has urged other women to seek help and escape domestic violence
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/breaking-news/ukandireland/seek-help-battered-women-urged-14881614.html#ixzz1e6l10LFN

communism-kills:

jarl-ulfric:

What ‘shit’ is still going on, Islam? We don’t need feminism as a remedy. A good strong backbone which doesn’t buckle under allegations of ‘Islamophobia’ might be of some help though. Good luck trying to salvage yours.

What “strong backbone” would that be…racist white man?

The kind of “backbone” that took FIVE seconds to locate an article about a pregnant, white Christian woman who was blinded by her husband in Belfast?

You are pathetic.

-

Kelly Winter, who was blinded by her boyfriend, has urged other women to seek help and escape domestic violence

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/breaking-news/ukandireland/seek-help-battered-women-urged-14881614.html#ixzz1e6l10LFN

faineemae:

(Please click on each photo to read what it says, this is very important)


I was walking down Michigan Avenue with Ali and a couple of other people and this middle aged African American man was passing out this little books, which I thought were maps of the city or something. Then we walked down half a block until I realized what I was reading. He was passing out a book on each pillar of Islam, I just so happened to grab the Pilgrimage one. Basically, a man named Abdul dies in a plane crash on the way back from the Pilgrimage and when he dies, he meets Jesus. As most people know, Jesus is just as an important part of Islam as he is in Christianity, he is a very praised Prophet of ours. This man Abdul is taken up to the gates of Heaven where he meets Jesus who tells him that he’s going to Hell for practicing a false religion. That Allah is a false God and his good deeds, charity, prayers do not count because it’s from a false religion. In the comic book, Jesus says the Prophet Muhammad “rejected him therefore he is not in Heaven” and it goes on like that.

Ali’s friend got upset, we walked back down the block to the old man and handed him back one of the books. Ali’s friend then said to him, “It hurts me that you of all people, someone who has faced so much discrimination in this country as an african-american would wish this kind of prejudice and hate upon Muslims. I will pray for your ignorance because you’re doing nothing but spreading hate among our peers, this is useless and sad.” and the man simply smiled and said “yeah, sure okay.”

I couldn’t really stop thinking about this because I live in Chicago. It has such a huge diverse muslim community and it makes me wonder how many people have read these comic books and have actually believed that this is Islam. It makes me sad that people use the name of Jesus to spew this bullshit.

This is not Islam.
This is not Christianity.
This is pure bigotry.

This is a Jack Chick Tract. He’s infamous for these little things, all about how everything and anything will send you straight to hell. The guy’s still on how The Beatles’ are the harbingers of Satan.

Amnesty International finds anti-Muslim bias in Europe

tooyoungforthelivingdead:

farhaaan:

Human rights group Amnesty International says Muslims who openly show their faith suffer widespread discrimination in Europe.

In a new report, the group urges Europe’s governments to do more to challenge negative stereotypes and prejudices against Muslims.

In particular, it says Muslims face exclusion from jobs and education for wearing traditional forms of dress.

It also criticises the bans on Muslim women’s veils passed in some states.

“Muslim women are being denied jobs and girls prevented from attending regular classes just because they wear traditional forms of dress, such as the headscarf. Men can be dismissed for wearing beards associated with Islam,” the group’s discrimination specialist Marco Perolini said.

“Rather than countering these prejudices, political parties and public officials are all too often pandering to them in their quest for votes.”

‘Freedom of expression’

The report highlights moves in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Spain to ban the full-face veils worn by some Muslim women, as well as the ban on minarets enacted in Switzerland in 2009.

It also criticises rules in many countries that forbid students from wearing the headscarf or other religious and traditional dress at school.

“Wearing religious and cultural symbols and dress is part of the right of freedom of expression. It is part of the right to freedom of religion or belief - and these rights must be enjoyed by all faiths equally,” Mr Perolini said.

According to the rights group, bans on full-face veils cannot be justified by security concerns, except in certain circumstances such as security checks or high-risk areas.

While applauding the desire to stop women from being coerced into wearing traditional or religious dress, it says this should not be achieved by banning individual women from wearing certain items of clothing.

Amnesty International also accuses Belgium, France and the Netherlands of failing to implement properly laws banning discrimination in employment.

Its report says employers are being allowed to discriminate on the grounds that religious or cultural symbols will conflict with colleagues, customers or the company’s image.

Citing statistics showing lower rates of employment among female immigrants from Muslim countries, the report says surveys of Muslim women suggest this is in part to blame on discrimination.

The report’s recommendations include the creation of national anti-discrimination bodies and greater efforts to monitor discrimination on religious grounds.

shock and/or horror

THIS IS NEWS TO ME

(Source: BBC)

androphilia:

The Horrific Death of Shaima Alawadi and the Many Lessons of Hate | COLORLINES
By Mónica Novoa
Friday, March 30, 2012
Police in Southern California have insisted that the brutal beating death of Shaima Alawadi is an isolated incident, and not a crime motivated by hate. Alawadi was killed after a brutal beating last week in El Cajon, Calif. and the attack has sent shockwaves across the country.
At a memorial service this week for the 32-year-old wife and mother of five, Salam Al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, said it would be irresponsible to jump to conclusions cautioning, “We don’t know if it was a hate crime. We don’t know if it wasn’t a hate crime.” What we do know is that Alawadi 17-year-old daughter Fatima, found a note next to her slain mother’s body that read, “This is my country. Go back to yours, terrorist.” 
Those words and the animosity and bigotry experienced by Muslim communities of diverse racial backgrounds is rooted in years of ignorant stereotypes. According to the FBI’s latest report released last November, hate crimes in the United States against Muslim people increased nearly 50 percent in 2010. And while hate crimes have risen, Muslim communities have been shamelessly spied on by NYPD as Seth Wessler has written about. 
The chilling murder of Shaima Alawadi has sparked nationwide reflection about anti-Muslim and anti-Arab bias, profiling and hate. There have been “hoodie and hijab” solidarity rallies with communities that are speaking out about the role of racial profiling in the murders of Trayvon Martin. Whether or not the investigation points to an official hate crime, the language on the note Fatima found is hate language. Sadly, hate language often ends in destruction. It’s the language of death. 
And we are bombarded with it. According to a report from 2005 about the perceptions of Arab Muslims for which 2,420 people were interviewed in the U.S. and western Europe, “The terms Islamic or Muslim are linked to extremism, militant, jihads, as if they belonged together inextricably and naturally (Muslim extremist, Islamic terror, Islamic war, Muslim time bomb).” The recommendation at the time was that “Western media organizations must see normal Muslims in everyday life, as professionals, educators, parents, community leaders and participants.”
While communities mourn and seek justice for both Alawadi and Martin, many of us are at the same time, feeling the need to denounce hate at the very root. As we approach the year 2050 when people of color are projected to become the majority, our multi-tasking for the future is largely about challenging dangerous stereotypes, language, images and fears. Even the very near future has to be imaginable so we have to call out the deep-seated biases that impacts how many people of color can move and thrive in the world.
Changing the conversation on hate
After researching and writing the first half of this piece, I went home to think through what else needed to be said. I shared a cab to Brooklyn with my friend Jaime-Jin Lewis, executive director of Border Crossers. She talked to me about a chart she was compiling that included the different stages of development for kids K-5, corresponding with age-appropriate conversations on race and difference. I pulled out of my backpack a study I had discovered minutes earlier about the bullying of Muslim children, and I read her the following shocking quote: “Indeed, growing up Muslim in the U.S. in the 21st century is probably one of the most challenging tasks in human development.” 
It was then that the man driving our cab, a father of three, piped up to ask if we were Muslim. He shared that he was Muslim from Pakistan and that almost everyone that gets into his cab wants to know where he’s from, but that when he wants to be left alone, he does not share he is Muslim, but rather tells people he is from Afghanistan. He said that Americans really believe immigrants are “aliens,” like on his green card. 
We talked the whole ride home. He studied business administration in England, but has through his own interest become well versed on religions of the world and is always baffled at how other religious people can forget that holy books are always up for interpretation and that every religion has a minority of extremists. We laughed about and lamented society’s unwritten rule that discussing religion, race and politics is not polite conversation. He said that for him, the most beautiful gift from God is a good partner and children, and that he was the luckiest man in the world because he had those things. And he also reminded me of something quite basic: That in addition to whatever racial, ethnic, religious and other identities we have, we are all human and that everyone wants for that humanity to be recognized and remembered. 
I asked the driver if he was concerned for his three small kids and the hostility they might encounter in school. He said that he wasn’t because he was going to prepare them to be sure of themselves and that he’d send them to public school so they could learn how to interact with kids of all ethnic and religious backgrounds and that as adults, they would be good listeners and accepting of people who are not just like them, because that’s the way of the world.
The price of terror
The policy brief I was quoting from to Jaime-Jin in the taxi is Global Battleground or School Playground:The Bullying of America’s Muslim Children by Dr. Pia Rebello Britto at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. The report concludes there needs to be extensive effort put into educating the American public about the lives of Muslims — both in popular culture and in schools.
The stakes are high. Evelyn Alsultany, a professor at NYU and author of a forthcoming book on Arabs and Muslims in the media wrote in January about how Lowe’s and other companies pulled their advertising from the reality show American Muslim, based on the possible discomfort people may feel when seeing Muslims and Arabs in non-stereotyped roles outside of the “terrorist” trope. 
So the concern here was that showing real-life everyday families (albeit in highly dramatized for reality TV situations) might humanize Muslims too much and make “real Americans” drop their guard.
The stereotype of Islam condoning violence is prevalent. Even now, it’s coming up in the reader comments of articles about Alawadi murder. Knowing absolutely no facts beyond the same things that you and I know, some readers are speculating about how this could be the case of an “honor killing.” 
But make no mistake: The note left by Alwadi’s body was about terrorism. Terror and terrorism are among the most controversial terms in our society. Even the United Nations cannot agree on whether or how to define them. It’s been made quite simple for people of color in the US, though. We are not allowed the t-word for the crusades, killing of indigenous people in the Americas, the terror lived by Black people under Jim Crow, the terror communities of color feel at the hands of rogue police. However, Fatima al-Himidi, Alawadi’s daughter, was not afraid to say in a recent interview, “We’re not the terrorist, you are, whoever did it.” 
For more resources on fighting anti-Arab and Muslim stereotypes and hate please check out:
The National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) 
Gain Peace
The Arab American National Museum
Copyright © 2012 Colorlines.com
[Image: Kassim Alhimidi (R) and his sister Fatima speak during a candlelight vigil to remember their mother Shaima Alawadi outside her home in El Cajon, California. (© REUTERS/Mike Blake)]

androphilia:

The Horrific Death of Shaima Alawadi and the Many Lessons of Hate | COLORLINES

By Mónica Novoa

Friday, March 30, 2012

Police in Southern California have insisted that the brutal beating death of Shaima Alawadi is an isolated incident, and not a crime motivated by hate. Alawadi was killed after a brutal beating last week in El Cajon, Calif. and the attack has sent shockwaves across the country.

At a memorial service this week for the 32-year-old wife and mother of five, Salam Al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, said it would be irresponsible to jump to conclusions cautioning, “We don’t know if it was a hate crime. We don’t know if it wasn’t a hate crime.” What we do know is that Alawadi 17-year-old daughter Fatima, found a note next to her slain mother’s body that read, “This is my country. Go back to yours, terrorist.” 

Those words and the animosity and bigotry experienced by Muslim communities of diverse racial backgrounds is rooted in years of ignorant stereotypes. According to the FBI’s latest report released last November, hate crimes in the United States against Muslim people increased nearly 50 percent in 2010. And while hate crimes have risen, Muslim communities have been shamelessly spied on by NYPD as Seth Wessler has written about.

The chilling murder of Shaima Alawadi has sparked nationwide reflection about anti-Muslim and anti-Arab bias, profiling and hate. There have been “hoodie and hijab” solidarity rallies with communities that are speaking out about the role of racial profiling in the murders of Trayvon Martin. Whether or not the investigation points to an official hate crime, the language on the note Fatima found is hate language. Sadly, hate language often ends in destruction. It’s the language of death. 

And we are bombarded with it. According to a report from 2005 about the perceptions of Arab Muslims for which 2,420 people were interviewed in the U.S. and western Europe, “The terms Islamic or Muslim are linked to extremism, militant, jihads, as if they belonged together inextricably and naturally (Muslim extremist, Islamic terror, Islamic war, Muslim time bomb).” The recommendation at the time was that “Western media organizations must see normal Muslims in everyday life, as professionals, educators, parents, community leaders and participants.”

While communities mourn and seek justice for both Alawadi and Martin, many of us are at the same time, feeling the need to denounce hate at the very root. As we approach the year 2050 when people of color are projected to become the majority, our multi-tasking for the future is largely about challenging dangerous stereotypes, language, images and fears. Even the very near future has to be imaginable so we have to call out the deep-seated biases that impacts how many people of color can move and thrive in the world.

Changing the conversation on hate

After researching and writing the first half of this piece, I went home to think through what else needed to be said. I shared a cab to Brooklyn with my friend Jaime-Jin Lewis, executive director of Border Crossers. She talked to me about a chart she was compiling that included the different stages of development for kids K-5, corresponding with age-appropriate conversations on race and difference. I pulled out of my backpack a study I had discovered minutes earlier about the bullying of Muslim children, and I read her the following shocking quote: “Indeed, growing up Muslim in the U.S. in the 21st century is probably one of the most challenging tasks in human development.” 

It was then that the man driving our cab, a father of three, piped up to ask if we were Muslim. He shared that he was Muslim from Pakistan and that almost everyone that gets into his cab wants to know where he’s from, but that when he wants to be left alone, he does not share he is Muslim, but rather tells people he is from Afghanistan. He said that Americans really believe immigrants are “aliens,” like on his green card. 

We talked the whole ride home. He studied business administration in England, but has through his own interest become well versed on religions of the world and is always baffled at how other religious people can forget that holy books are always up for interpretation and that every religion has a minority of extremists. We laughed about and lamented society’s unwritten rule that discussing religion, race and politics is not polite conversation. He said that for him, the most beautiful gift from God is a good partner and children, and that he was the luckiest man in the world because he had those things. And he also reminded me of something quite basic: That in addition to whatever racial, ethnic, religious and other identities we have, we are all human and that everyone wants for that humanity to be recognized and remembered. 

I asked the driver if he was concerned for his three small kids and the hostility they might encounter in school. He said that he wasn’t because he was going to prepare them to be sure of themselves and that he’d send them to public school so they could learn how to interact with kids of all ethnic and religious backgrounds and that as adults, they would be good listeners and accepting of people who are not just like them, because that’s the way of the world.

The price of terror

The policy brief I was quoting from to Jaime-Jin in the taxi is Global Battleground or School Playground:The Bullying of America’s Muslim Children by Dr. Pia Rebello Britto at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. The report concludes there needs to be extensive effort put into educating the American public about the lives of Muslims — both in popular culture and in schools.

The stakes are high. Evelyn Alsultany, a professor at NYU and author of a forthcoming book on Arabs and Muslims in the media wrote in January about how Lowe’s and other companies pulled their advertising from the reality show American Muslim, based on the possible discomfort people may feel when seeing Muslims and Arabs in non-stereotyped roles outside of the “terrorist” trope. 

So the concern here was that showing real-life everyday families (albeit in highly dramatized for reality TV situations) might humanize Muslims too much and make “real Americans” drop their guard.

The stereotype of Islam condoning violence is prevalent. Even now, it’s coming up in the reader comments of articles about Alawadi murder. Knowing absolutely no facts beyond the same things that you and I know, some readers are speculating about how this could be the case of an “honor killing.” 

But make no mistake: The note left by Alwadi’s body was about terrorism. Terror and terrorism are among the most controversial terms in our society. Even the United Nations cannot agree on whether or how to define them. It’s been made quite simple for people of color in the US, though. We are not allowed the t-word for the crusades, killing of indigenous people in the Americas, the terror lived by Black people under Jim Crow, the terror communities of color feel at the hands of rogue police. However, Fatima al-Himidi, Alawadi’s daughter, was not afraid to say in a recent interview, “We’re not the terrorist, you are, whoever did it.” 

For more resources on fighting anti-Arab and Muslim stereotypes and hate please check out:

The National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) 

Gain Peace

The Arab American National Museum

Copyright © 2012 Colorlines.com

[Image: Kassim Alhimidi (R) and his sister Fatima speak during a candlelight vigil to remember their mother Shaima Alawadi outside her home in El Cajon, California. (© REUTERS/Mike Blake)]

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danceswithfaeriesunderthemoon:

Ladies and gentlemen, the British.

Accurate.

danceswithfaeriesunderthemoon:

Ladies and gentlemen, the British.

Accurate.

(Source: maghrabiyya)

thepoliticalnotebook:

Shaima Alawadi, a 32-year-old Iraqi woman living in Southern California, was taken off life support today, succumbing to injuries sustained in a brutal tire iron beating on Wednesday. Shaima was found in her living room, and according to her daughter Fatima and the police investigating, a note was found near her saying “Go back to your country, you terrorist.”

Shaima was a mother of five who has been in the US with her family since the mid-1990s. She was described by her friend Sura Alzaidy as “respectful modest muhajiba.” Her daughter tearfully addressed her mother’s attackers during a media interview, saying “You took my mother away from me. You took my best friend away from me. Why? Why did you do it?”

[Daily MailAFP]

[H/T: thatsassyarab]

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