Exposure, travel and perhaps, reading has helped me unlearn propaganda, deep held myth. I find myself in a conflict when it comes to the Middle East conflict because I have friends from the Arab countries and equally good comrades from Israel. I don’t take sides before exploring the point at hand, but I am cognizant and alive to the false narratives and propaganda, today morning I sent a voicenote saying salaam alaikum and she gleefully replied, “w’ Alaikum salaam not bad, next time we’ll have a short conversation” this is basically saying, peace be unto you. When it comes to friends, I am a keeper, I love cultivating friendships. I met Amina in 2013, she’s from the Republic of Kuwait and I loved her viewpoints on gender mainstream, but most importantly the western narrative on the Arab nationals. She was laughing at how the Americans pronounce Iran and Iraq as eye rac and said the right way is aleraiq.Whereas that’s not about to change soon, here’s some perspective.
Discrimination against minority communities and on the basis of religious identity violate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Following 9/11, the American public and greater Western world came to associate Islam and Muslim populations with terrorism. The introduction of bans on the burqa in France, oppression of Uyghur Muslim populations in China legitimized by a supposed threat of extremism, the Christchurch mosque shooting in New Zealand, and the U.S. Muslim ban display the degree to which the stereotype between Muslim populations and terrorism has permeated society, even to the level of domestic policy.
This post is due to the Ben Carson interview in 2015. As an arm chair commentator on global issues, I found his answer, wanting. Many Democrats called for him to step down. One can understand the prejudice of Americans to Muslims. When it comes to the US, Democrats and Republicans, they’re the same with the phobia for Islam.
One of the most illuminating books I have read is, Denise A Spellberg’s book ,”Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an: Islam and the Founders” It reveals a little-known but crucial dimension of the story of American religious freedom. In fact many believe that that Jefferson read the Quran while he was serving his term a third president in an effort to understand how to deal with the Barbary Pirates. Also, of course, Thomas Jefferson’s Quran was used by the first Muslim congressman, Keith Ellison, in his private swearing in ceremony. The first nation that actually recognized American Independence was Morrocco, (yes you read that right). So when a question was put to Ben, he answered it, I think political correctness is two ways, he might have said what his voters wanted to hear or his personal views. He claimed he is a strong christian and we all know strong Christians and intolerance.I know some Africans who would loathe an idea of a Black Pope, this is their explanation, that they cant see a Black Pope in Vatican. Maybe with exposure and time they will accept the idea, and maybe with time Carson might loosen up. Might he? That’s for another year.
One of the nastiest aspects of modern culture wars is the controversy raging over the place of Islam and Muslims in Western society. Too many Americans say things about Islam and Muslims that would horrify and offend them if they heard such things said about Christianity or Judaism, Christians or Jews. Were Muslims to be excluded from America? Was Islam antithetical to American ideas of religious freedom and openness of citizenship? For example, the French jurist and philosopher Charles Louis, baron de Montesquieu, made Muslim diplomats the viewpoint characters of his path-breaking satirical novel,”The Persian Letters”, which presented European laws, institutions, manners, and morals from an “outsider” Muslim perspective. Yet many Europeans and Americans, seeing Muslims as perennial adversaries of Christianity from the Crusades, insisted that Muslims had no claim to religious liberty because of their supposed hostility to the idea of liberty. There is nothing as liberating as reading.
The western media will always demonize extremism as an all Islam affair forgetting that extremists are everywhere. A while ago, I wrote about the misdirection of extremism
What am I saying? The continued demonization of Islam is fundamentally wrong. No one should be descriminated against because of race and more so, religious affiliation.
Muslims are peace loving human beings. Their religion teaches peace and non violence. Extremist groups use religion as a tactic to summon followers for their political causes. People to this day have a hard time wrapping their heads around that idea and look for who they should place the blame on. And they place it on the teachings of the Quran and their followers. Religion is not bad. Muslims are not bad. The extremists are the problem and not religion.