When I leaned over and asked a woman in a movie theatre to please put her cellphone away, she started yelling at me. She AND her husband called me an F'ing TERRORIST repeatedly. Does the colour of my skin or the fact that I wear a piece of cloth on my head make it alright to lambaste me in public in front of my child and her friends?
If the goal is mid-east hegemony, for example, manufactured hatred for Muslims (Islamophobia) becomes a necessary first step. The 9/11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon created a huge shock on the mental landscapes of the U.S and the world. This shock created a collective numbness, and a window first for Islamophobia and then for military action.
In his April 11 show, "The Arab Underground," conservative political activist Ezra Levant interviewed a former Israeli army officer to highlight the imparting of homophobia in the government funded Edmonton Islamic Academy. Conservative Muslim parents need to be concerned whether their children are being taught values of tolerance or exclusion.
The UN's Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs indicated that of the 158 Palestinians killed in the November Israeli assault on Gaza, 103 were civilians. Israel's deputy defence minister indicated that Palestinians would bring upon themselves a bigger "shoah" -- holocaust. Unitarian Chaplain Reverend Audrey Brooks questioned how Israel could inflict the horror of the Holocaust on the Palestinians. Time and again, Jews and Muslims, notwithstanding the narrative of bigots in their respective faiths, have reached out to each other.
Some conservative Muslim leaders, like their Christian counterparts, are disseminating a letter expressing the right of parents to withdraw their children from course content that conflicts with their understanding of faith. The letter expresses concerns about introducing children to sex-education and the realities of queer families.
I initially vacillated between addressing Westerners in this blog, to alleviate their fears that Muslims were all crazy, and addressing the destructive Muslims that were affirming by their actions the discourse of the very people they hate. Amid my vacillation I realized that either article would be written for me alone. Those enraged Muslims that believe the U.S. government approved the video are not online seeking out measured arguments. Nor are those who simply can't understand "Muslim irrationality." So to my fellow Muslims caught in the middle I would say that we can't spend all our energy, time and writing reacting, defending, and explaining.
Many queer activists rise above their circumstances and assert their voice for justice that is not limited to LGBT issues. Belonging to a vulnerable minority, they understand prejudice and can empathize with "others." Queer Muslim activists, despite facing immense prejudice, continue their work quietly and with dignity. Their work ends up helping the very Muslim communities that so strongly shun them. They truly know the meaning of spiritual chivalry, to practice good without expecting the same in return.
During Ramadan, a time for focus and introspection, Michelle Bachmann and her posse are testing me. Big time. She believes that members of the Muslim Brotherhood have infiltrated the U.S. government -- and she's calling them out in public. In today's ballooning and increasingly influential social media landscape, sure sticks and stones can break bones, but a correctly phrased Google search can be even more devastating.