A policy of Islamophobia or old fashioned xenophobia?

The violence breaking out in South Africa reminded me of the Islamophobia that Jodha posted on.

The man certainly looked dead, lying motionless in the dust of the squatter camp. His body seemed almost like a bottle that had been turned on its side, spilling blood. His pants were red with the moisture… Then, as people stepped closer, there was the faintest of breath pushing against his chest. “This guy may be alive,” someone surmised. As if to confirm it, the man moved the fingers of his right hand. The jaded crowd neither rejoiced nor lamented. After all, the horrific attacks against immigrants around Johannesburg had already been going on for a week, and in their eyes the victim was just some Malawian or Zimbabwean, another casualty in the continuing purge.

The xenophobia that is partially (though heavily exacerbated by economic reasons) behind the current attacks on foreigners in Johannesburg seems to me to be a better explanation for the attack on the Sikh student in New Jersey and the soldier’s horrific act of using the Quran for target practice. Though I’m not usually one to defend the current administration, I do think it is a stretch to say that there is a domestic policy promoting Islamophobia, that is greater than the normal xenophobia created in most wars of the past. I am in NO way apologizing for excusing this xenophobia, but just wanting to put it into historical perspective. The soldier’s act, using the Quran for target practice is horrific and despicable. But it was the act of a single individual. Similarly, Green‘s act, and also his teacher’s reaction were acts of individuals.

Yes, the Muslim population is being disproportionately targeted and disrespected. But the justifications for today’s policies such as Guantanamo stem from earlier, partially xenophobic activities such as the internment of the Japanese during World War II. It’s nothing new, it’s broader than Islamophobia, and to say that there is a policy promoting this fear beyond the xenophobia that is created in any war seems a stretch.

It comes from the same fear as the South Africans’ fear of foreigners competing with South Africans for jobs, especially at a time when they feel the fruits of liberation from apartheid have been denied to them.

John Stewart discussed what the role of the government is in informing the public during his interview with Douglas Feith. Stewart demanded that Feith answer to an idealized view of democracy where the government is required to keep the public informed. Meanwhile, Feith seemed to think that the government was only required to not flat out lie to the public and as long as the government didn’t intentionally manipulate, they had fulfilled their duty. Though Stewart’s view is more desirable, Feith’s perspective is the realistic description of status quo.

Do you think there is a difference between the xenophobias of past American history and today’s or is it the same?

Just what do you think the government’s responsibility is in shaping public opinion- do they only have a responsibility to not manipulate and lie, or do they have a responsibility to promote truth?

I suspect that if we expect or rely on governments to promote truth, we’ll be waiting a long time. Governments, after all, promote their own interests, which aren’t always aligned with the interests of all members of the public. But to not demand what Stewart demanded- truth, would also be selling out. So maybe we should keep demanding, and expect to do our own research at the end of the day. :)


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59 Responses to “A policy of Islamophobia or old fashioned xenophobia?”

  1. sizzle says:

    oh – hilarious – well, perhaps i should have read this before i wrote up a similar, lengthy reply to Jodha's preceding post.

    bravisimo.

  2. sizzle says:

    oh – hilarious – well, perhaps i should have read this before i wrote up a similar, lengthy reply to Jodha’s preceding post.

    bravisimo.

  3. Jodha says:

    Sizzle, we have sort of been through this before and as I don’t have the time at this point to go through your thoughtful criticisms as well as Reema’s. However, I will make a few succinct points.

    Xenophobia vs. Islamaphobia – Why are you looking to make a problematic binary? One need not choose one or the other. However further reflection leads me to change my terminology from Islamophobia to Muslimophobia. You are right xenophobia has existed in many different forms in many different cultures in many different parts of the world. However, WITHIN the broad category of xenophobia there exists a particular form at this juncture in time in this particular space (the US) called Muslimophobia. It is a subcategory not an EITHER/OR. Talking about ‘xenophobia’ emphasizes certain continuities (I am all for that). However, to sweep everything under the brush of ‘xenophobia’ also masks certain differences which I believe a category such as Muslimophobia raises. If one should believe it was all xenophobia then we would expect Russian kids to be attacked with the same frequency as Sikh children. I don’t have statistics, but I doubt this is the case. Thus, xenophobia by itself does not work. It is not specific enough and can easily become so broad to be meaningless.

    I do believe there are many state policies that promote Muslimophobia. I discussed one such incident last week. At a later point, I can list some more. But what is the critical number before certain remarks and government actions then seem to indicate a pattern of promoting Muslimophobia? 10? 20? 100? I would like to know, so I know what to shoot for. Are you naively expecting I will produce a government document titled “Policies Promoting Muslimophobia: More Crap We Can Do to Sandn–g-r- this Month”? Also when are ‘individual acts’ no longer just individual acts?

  4. Jodha says:

    Sizzle, we have sort of been through this before and as I dont have the time at this point to go through your thoughtful criticisms as well as Reemas. However, I will make a few succinct points.

    Xenophobia vs. Islamaphobia Why are you looking to make a problematic binary? One need not choose one or the other. However further reflection leads me to change my terminology from Islamophobia to Muslimophobia. You are right xenophobia has existed in many different forms in many different cultures in many different parts of the world. However, WITHIN the broad category of xenophobia there exists a particular form at this juncture in time in this particular space (the US) called Muslimophobia. It is a subcategory not an EITHER/OR. Talking about xenophobia emphasizes certain continuities (I am all for that). However, to sweep everything under the brush of xenophobia also masks certain differences which I believe a category such as Muslimophobia raises. If one should believe it was all xenophobia then we would expect Russian kids to be attacked with the same frequency as Sikh children. I dont have statistics, but I doubt this is the case. Thus, xenophobia by itself does not work. It is not specific enough and can easily become so broad to be meaningless.

    I do believe there are many state policies that promote Muslimophobia. I discussed one such incident last week. At a later point, I can list some more. But what is the critical number before certain remarks and government actions then seem to indicate a pattern of promoting Muslimophobia? 10? 20? 100? I would like to know, so I know what to shoot for. Are you naively expecting I will produce a government document titled Policies Promoting Muslimophobia: More Crap We Can Do to Sandn–g-r- this Month? Also when are individual acts no longer just individual acts?

  5. Reema says:

    Jodha,

    I think we can all agree that today's most popular form of xenophobia in the US IS Muslimphobia, that one is a category of the other and not that they are binaries (the title of this post is misleading- I didn't mean to insinuate that they were either/or, but to just point out their relationship/context; I tried to change the title to cross out the ‘or’ but haven’t figured out how to do this yet).

    Muslimphobia shouldn't be swept under the rug. My intent was to point out the framework/context which I think is really important, and I don't think it necessarily has to water down the Muslimphobia.

    The Bush administration has become so villainized that now when I hear criticisms, the substance of the criticisms often gets lost in contempt for the administration. This is problematic for obvious reasons, people get caught up in anger instead of the substance of their complaints while those that are being accused can pass this off as just ranting. If we accuse the people and not the problem, then we don't solve the problem. This is not to say that people should not be held accountable.

    The problem with just stating that there is a policy of promoting Muslimphobia – a serious accusation- without either drawing out why the individual acts are evidence of it, or using other references that are more obvious, is that it leads to more villainization.

    I think our difference of opinion revolves around what we think the intent of policymakers is. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to think their active intent is to create fear and hatred, whereas I think that for most, this has just been a result of negligence and ignorance. There may be a few individuals who do intend to create fear/hatred, but I think they're the minority. The difference is subtle, but I think it's important. I think the vast majority of policymakers who propose policies that end up heightening Muslimphobia are ignorant and US-centric, but not necessarily malevolent.

    The use of the mosque in the mock drill is a perfect example. Do you think the intent of the designers of that drill was that soldiers learn to hate Muslims or to provide what they believed (problematically) to be a realistic module of a possible future scenario- IGNORANT of the subtle, subconscious effects of the exercise, and the desecration they were unleashing. Would some commanders take this further and say you have to hate your enemy to be able to fight them? No doubt. Was this the intent of the policy-makers? Not necessarily. Militaries consistently teach their soldiers to hate the 'enemy.' The problem with today's 'war' is that no one can define the enemy, and broad over-generalizations create Muslimphobia.

    How many incidents are evidence of a broad policy? One could be enough if it showed an intent to create fear and hatred, but a high schooler's act and a lone soldier's act are unconvincing.

    When are individual acts not just individual acts? When the individual is responsible for more than just himself or herself -it depends on who the individual is. The high schooler and soldier aren't in positions that create policy. Policymakers should be held to different and higher standards. Should policymakers be held accountable for their negligence and ignorance? Yes, but I think the distinction from intent to create Muslimphobia is a real one.

    This is again why I thought the Feith and Stewart interview was really interesting. Feith, in the uncomfortable situation of defending the egregious errors of the administration, does it by disagreeing with Stewart on what the responsibility of the administration is. It looks like this will be the administration’s line of defense- that they didn’t intentionally lie or manipulate.

    A very few individuals may have intended to create Muslimphobia, to create the public support necessary for certain executive acts, but to say that this was administration-wide is, I think, too broad.

    Ignorance and neglect in positions of power should be held accountable, but I do think it should be distinguished from an intent to create hatred.

  6. Reema says:

    Jodha,

    I think we can all agree that today’s most popular form of xenophobia in the US IS Muslimphobia, that one is a category of the other and not that they are binaries (the title of this post is misleading- I didn’t mean to insinuate that they were either/or, but to just point out their relationship/context; I tried to change the title to cross out the or but havent figured out how to do this yet).

    Muslimphobia shouldn’t be swept under the rug. My intent was to point out the framework/context which I think is really important, and I don’t think it necessarily has to water down the Muslimphobia.

    The Bush administration has become so villainized that now when I hear criticisms, the substance of the criticisms often gets lost in contempt for the administration. This is problematic for obvious reasons, people get caught up in anger instead of the substance of their complaints while those that are being accused can pass this off as just ranting. If we accuse the people and not the problem, then we don’t solve the problem. This is not to say that people should not be held accountable.

    The problem with just stating that there is a policy of promoting Muslimphobia – a serious accusation- without either drawing out why the individual acts are evidence of it, or using other references that are more obvious, is that it leads to more villainization.

    I think our difference of opinion revolves around what we think the intent of policymakers is. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you seem to think their active intent is to create fear and hatred, whereas I think that for most, this has just been a result of negligence and ignorance. There may be a few individuals who do intend to create fear/hatred, but I think they’re the minority. The difference is subtle, but I think it’s important. I think the vast majority of policymakers who propose policies that end up heightening Muslimphobia are ignorant and US-centric, but not necessarily malevolent.

    The use of the mosque in the mock drill is a perfect example. Do you think the intent of the designers of that drill was that soldiers learn to hate Muslims or to provide what they believed (problematically) to be a realistic module of a possible future scenario- IGNORANT of the subtle, subconscious effects of the exercise, and the desecration they were unleashing. Would some commanders take this further and say you have to hate your enemy to be able to fight them? No doubt. Was this the intent of the policy-makers? Not necessarily. Militaries consistently teach their soldiers to hate the ‘enemy.’ The problem with today’s ‘war’ is that no one can define the enemy, and broad over-generalizations create Muslimphobia.

    How many incidents are evidence of a broad policy? One could be enough if it showed an intent to create fear and hatred, but a high schooler’s act and a lone soldier’s act are unconvincing.

    When are individual acts not just individual acts? When the individual is responsible for more than just himself or herself -it depends on who the individual is. The high schooler and soldier aren’t in positions that create policy. Policymakers should be held to different and higher standards. Should policymakers be held accountable for their negligence and ignorance? Yes, but I think the distinction from intent to create Muslimphobia is a real one.

    This is again why I thought the Feith and Stewart interview was really interesting. Feith, in the uncomfortable situation of defending the egregious errors of the administration, does it by disagreeing with Stewart on what the responsibility of the administration is. It looks like this will be the administrations line of defense- that they didnt intentionally lie or manipulate.

    A very few individuals may have intended to create Muslimphobia, to create the public support necessary for certain executive acts, but to say that this was administration-wide is, I think, too broad.

    Ignorance and neglect in positions of power should be held accountable, but I do think it should be distinguished from an intent to create hatred.

  7. sizzle says:

    Jodha,

    I recall that previous thread and your citing of the "Bush Doctrine" previously. I am simply curious as to what the "Bush Doctrine" entails, especially since you attribute attacks and a change in Americans' attitudes to it. I understand there the sentiment that Bush's foreign policies may have side effects – the effect of labeling entire groups within the US as terrorists or enemies (muslimophobia). But, as I stated above, in broadly attributing these attacks on such foreign policy without parsing exactly how it happens, indeed, why it happens or what other factors are in play, you then absolve other causes of responsibility and your argument descends into a blind assignment of blame – which somehow lands on Bush. You've spent time and energy separating xenophobia, islamophobia and now muslimophobia…do the same with this Bush Doctrine, and as Reema and I have pointed out before, whether it is actively or passively causing these side effects.

    And just to make an extra point – during the whole Iran Hostage situation, there was some serious backlash on muslims and those perceived as muslims (sikhs) – many of our parents can attest to this. Was that the Carter Doctrine?

  8. sizzle says:

    Jodha,

    I recall that previous thread and your citing of the “Bush Doctrine” previously. I am simply curious as to what the “Bush Doctrine” entails, especially since you attribute attacks and a change in Americans’ attitudes to it. I understand there the sentiment that Bush’s foreign policies may have side effects – the effect of labeling entire groups within the US as terrorists or enemies (muslimophobia). But, as I stated above, in broadly attributing these attacks on such foreign policy without parsing exactly how it happens, indeed, why it happens or what other factors are in play, you then absolve other causes of responsibility and your argument descends into a blind assignment of blame – which somehow lands on Bush. You’ve spent time and energy separating xenophobia, islamophobia and now muslimophobia…do the same with this Bush Doctrine, and as Reema and I have pointed out before, whether it is actively or passively causing these side effects.

    And just to make an extra point – during the whole Iran Hostage situation, there was some serious backlash on muslims and those perceived as muslims (sikhs) – many of our parents can attest to this. Was that the Carter Doctrine?

  9. Jodha says:

    Although I will comment again with more depth later, Reema, you seem to answer your own question as to our differences:

    I think the vast majority of policymakers who propose policies that end up heightening Muslimphobia are ignorant and US-centric, but not necessarily malevolent.

    For me: WILLFUL ignorance + US-Centric (meaning I don't give an care about the consequences on others, because I deny their humanity) = MALEVOLENCE.

    If you drink and drive, you may not INTEND to kill anyone. You may not DESIRE harm upon others. However, for me, I do believe that you are an arrogant, pompous, self-centered SOB that didn't care about the consequences upon others (i.e. Project for the New American Century).

    Neither you nor I can ever really argue intent and I think this is barking up the wrong tree. I think in some ways it is analogous to when Kanye West made his famous "George Bush doesn't care about Black people" comment in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. While I know you will say that Kanye was merely 'villainizing' George Bush, Kanye's comments had deep resonance amongst a large section in the African-American community. Sure it was employing a certain rhetorical technique, that is both its strength and its weakness. Yes, you will argue that George Bush's Secretary of State is a black woman (Condoleeza Rice). So how can George Bush not care about black people? He did not 'intend' for black people to suffer disproportionately after the tragedy at New Orleans.

    However, I think Professor Dyson best is able to explain Kanye's words and the reason for its resonance:

    And so for me, it means telling that truth. I ain’t saying he’s a gold digger; but George Bush don’t fool with no broke people. That’s what Kanye West was trying to say. Kanye said that George Bush doesn’t care about Black people. He wasn’t talking about George Bush, the individual; he wasn’t talking about George Bush, the private citizen; he was talking about George Bush, the face of the government. George Bush, the face of democracy. He was speaking about George Bush as the symbolic head of a nation that refuses to acknowledge the humanity of Black people.

    So yes, your policy makers may not INTEND to promote Muslimophobia. I am sure many of them may even have "Muslim friends," but their aggregate policies, commentaries, and use of state machinery indicates a policy of promoting Muslimophobia.

    As far as the evidence goes, give me until later in the week and you will receive oodles and oodles. Will you ever get the 'smoking gun' document? Probably not, it takes some intuition to connect the dots.

  10. Jodha says:

    Although I will comment again with more depth later, Reema, you seem to answer your own question as to our differences:

    I think the vast majority of policymakers who propose policies that end up heightening Muslimphobia are ignorant and US-centric, but not necessarily malevolent.

    For me: WILLFUL ignorance + US-Centric (meaning I don’t give an care about the consequences on others, because I deny their humanity) = MALEVOLENCE.

    If you drink and drive, you may not INTEND to kill anyone. You may not DESIRE harm upon others. However, for me, I do believe that you are an arrogant, pompous, self-centered SOB that didn’t care about the consequences upon others (i.e. Project for the New American Century).

    Neither you nor I can ever really argue intent and I think this is barking up the wrong tree. I think in some ways it is analogous to when Kanye West made his famous “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people” comment in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. While I know you will say that Kanye was merely ‘villainizing’ George Bush, Kanye’s comments had deep resonance amongst a large section in the African-American community. Sure it was employing a certain rhetorical technique, that is both its strength and its weakness. Yes, you will argue that George Bush’s Secretary of State is a black woman (Condoleeza Rice). So how can George Bush not care about black people? He did not ‘intend’ for black people to suffer disproportionately after the tragedy at New Orleans.

    However, I think Professor Dyson best is able to explain Kanye’s words and the reason for its resonance:

    And so for me, it means telling that truth. I aint saying hes a gold digger; but George Bush dont fool with no broke people. Thats what Kanye West was trying to say. Kanye said that George Bush doesnt care about Black people. He wasnt talking about George Bush, the individual; he wasnt talking about George Bush, the private citizen; he was talking about George Bush, the face of the government. George Bush, the face of democracy. He was speaking about George Bush as the symbolic head of a nation that refuses to acknowledge the humanity of Black people.

    So yes, your policy makers may not INTEND to promote Muslimophobia. I am sure many of them may even have “Muslim friends,” but their aggregate policies, commentaries, and use of state machinery indicates a policy of promoting Muslimophobia.

    As far as the evidence goes, give me until later in the week and you will receive oodles and oodles. Will you ever get the ‘smoking gun’ document? Probably not, it takes some intuition to connect the dots.

  11. sizzle says:

    It's the intuition where we differ – the very premise, assumptions and foundations for our beliefs. I can't speak for Reema, but I find myself often disagreeing with the political connections you make, the connections reliant on "intuition," because my intuition is wholly different. For instance, I'd never think to cite Michael Eric Dyson because I disagree with about 95% of his views. Nor would I attribute the mission statement of the Project for the New American Century to arrogant, pompous, self-centered SOB's because there are a few elements or principles contained within it with which I agree. You obviously don't have time to flesh it out, but there are any number of statements in your last post which I think are very heavily reliant on mere "intuition" and suspicion which shapes how you perceive.

    Indeed, given my experience of growing up in a small midwestern town as a sardar surrounded by only white people, I was forced to deal with overt, covert, passive, and active racism, xenophobia, muslimophobia, etc. in social and political settings and in several major instances, the legal setting. I had to figure out how to navigate in order to attain any success. The experience of dealing with that hostility without having to rely on only intuition or connect dots – it was in my face and dictated my life – has shaped not only how I deal with such issues, but my assumptions of what causes people to hold such beliefs, what shapes their beliefs, the sort of malevolence they may have in their hearts, and how to win them over or beat them on their home field. There's also an awareness of political and social capital, and when it's worth crying wolf. You may have a very different experience with different views, and I think it's a major contributing factor in our frequent disagreement.

    We have a very, very different world views, which in turn affects how we address the problems we share as Sikhs. I guess that diversity in thought is only helpful, but, I'll continue to critique your political views if they warrant.

  12. Jodha says:

    Ready and appreciated Sizzle!

  13. sizzle says:

    It’s the intuition where we differ – the very premise, assumptions and foundations for our beliefs. I can’t speak for Reema, but I find myself often disagreeing with the political connections you make, the connections reliant on “intuition,” because my intuition is wholly different. For instance, I’d never think to cite Michael Eric Dyson because I disagree with about 95% of his views. Nor would I attribute the mission statement of the Project for the New American Century to arrogant, pompous, self-centered SOB’s because there are a few elements or principles contained within it with which I agree. You obviously don’t have time to flesh it out, but there are any number of statements in your last post which I think are very heavily reliant on mere “intuition” and suspicion which shapes how you perceive.

    Indeed, given my experience of growing up in a small midwestern town as a sardar surrounded by only white people, I was forced to deal with overt, covert, passive, and active racism, xenophobia, muslimophobia, etc. in social and political settings and in several major instances, the legal setting. I had to figure out how to navigate in order to attain any success. The experience of dealing with that hostility without having to rely on only intuition or connect dots – it was in my face and dictated my life – has shaped not only how I deal with such issues, but my assumptions of what causes people to hold such beliefs, what shapes their beliefs, the sort of malevolence they may have in their hearts, and how to win them over or beat them on their home field. There’s also an awareness of political and social capital, and when it’s worth crying wolf. You may have a very different experience with different views, and I think it’s a major contributing factor in our frequent disagreement.

    We have a very, very different world views, which in turn affects how we address the problems we share as Sikhs. I guess that diversity in thought is only helpful, but, I’ll continue to critique your political views if they warrant.

  14. Jodha says:

    Ready and appreciated Sizzle!

  15. sizzle says:

    Camille,

    Great political rant that covered all sorts of tangential points. As usual, we'll never agree. But, more to the point, I can't help but point out, again, the assumptions of the sheer humanity of the people involved that you seem to rest your entire argument on – especially those in the current administration. And, as I've asked you before about another issue, I'd love to hear a solution of how an administration, short of sending all Americans to "lets hug and be friends" camp, can actively shape the perceptions and beliefs of Americans to the level of success you seem to demand given the current foreign policy.

    So yes, foreign policies have an effect. But, you seem to completely discount the fact the greater influence rests with the people the entire Western World is combating – fundamentalist Muslims who are hell bent on destroying western way of life. I don't want to get into a discussion of past grievances and justifications since we're dealing with the here and now. But, you assign almost all blame on the administration for everything that goes wrong, and don't seem to take into account the reality of how people form their beliefs – their perception that many vocal Muslims are pretty, uh, full of hatred. Yes, the American government engages in propaganda. Show me a government that doesn't. That doesn't mean you can assign all blame on action or inaction. As I asked before – was Carter to blame for the backlash during the Iranian Hostage situation?

    …to support an attitude and culture of fear and hatred.

    Finally – where do you live? In which reality do you exist? Not even to discuss the latent racism aganst blacks 50 years after the civil rights movement and specifically to Islamophobia which erupted after the greatest emotional shock this country has ever experienced, do you think that the fear and hatred in this nation is so exceptionally bad and unique? Are Americans the only ones battling fundamentalists? Have you recently visited the left-wing bastion that is France? How bout Germany? How about London and Manchester? Ask muslims and sikhs how they're perceived and the battles they fight. More relevantly, ask them WHY THEY THINK they're perceived in such a manner. I was recently in Brazil and felt more anti-Muslim flak there than in bumf*ckville, ohio where my parents reside. I'm born and raised and live in the Midwest, and while it's not always great, I am not constantly aware "fear and hatred" that can't be overcome by one on one interaction, the anathema of what you are calling for.

    Anyways, I do not like the policies or stances of Mike Gravel – he's a little too hardcore left for me. But you my sympathize with him. So, here's one of his gems which seems to touch on your idealized perspective on the world:

    “Here comes a politician running a campaign for president saying he is going to heal the country — we’re going to have blue skies and everyone is going to hold hands. That is unadulterated bullsh*t.”

    -Mike Gravel

  16. Camille says:

    I strongly disagree, Reema, over the argument around government agency. We don't necessarily need to assign animus in order to say that there is a tacit policy and promotion of Islamophobia specifically, and xenophobia generally.

    What is the establishment of torture camps in Guantanamo and abroad, other than an official act promoting Islamophobia? Keep in mind that NO ONE in Guantanamo is non-Muslim; i.e., it is specifically a holding place for Muslims. Were internment (a.k.a. concentration) camps anything more than a government act legitimizing fear of the other, in this case, the Japanese? And while internment was horrific and, as has been acknowledged, a mistake, what does it say when we arrest and hold Muslims and Muslim-Americans, without cause or justification? Is the U.S. waging a war against Islam?

    The government does not have to create an authorized propaganda video to support an attitude and culture of fear and hatred. There is responsibility and agency in INACTION as well as in action. Indeed, by allowing numerous policies to flourish in the name of national security, the current administration has promoted Islamophobia.

    I think it's convenient to relegate the conversation to "acts of individuals." A more appropriate question, I think, is WHY are these individuals able to act in these ways? This is the only information we have that is documented — that doesn't mean that the incidence of hateful things, like using the Qu'ran for target practice, is not widespread. Wasn't that line of argumentation — these are individual, non-mainstream acts — the same position the government took when it claimed it did not promote or use torture in its prisons? We now know that that assertion was patently false.

    I understand the skepticism around assigning animus. I'm sure some people in the current administration hate Muslims, and I'm sure others just think they're strange, or are ignorant, or don't really know much at all outside of their understanding of the current national security conversation. But I don't think the reality is as simple as "Is the government actively promoting Islamophobia, or is it not?" By not promoting inclusion, and by failing to act in cases of exclusion (or to even deal with people responsibly and humanely), it has tacitly approved of a culture that devalues and vilifies Muslims and Islam.

  17. Mewa Singh says:

    In some ways the methodologies being employed by the various commenters is more fascinating than the actual commentary.

  18. Camille says:

    I strongly disagree, Reema, over the argument around government agency. We don’t necessarily need to assign animus in order to say that there is a tacit policy and promotion of Islamophobia specifically, and xenophobia generally.

    What is the establishment of torture camps in Guantanamo and abroad, other than an official act promoting Islamophobia? Keep in mind that NO ONE in Guantanamo is non-Muslim; i.e., it is specifically a holding place for Muslims. Were internment (a.k.a. concentration) camps anything more than a government act legitimizing fear of the other, in this case, the Japanese? And while internment was horrific and, as has been acknowledged, a mistake, what does it say when we arrest and hold Muslims and Muslim-Americans, without cause or justification? Is the U.S. waging a war against Islam?

    The government does not have to create an authorized propaganda video to support an attitude and culture of fear and hatred. There is responsibility and agency in INACTION as well as in action. Indeed, by allowing numerous policies to flourish in the name of national security, the current administration has promoted Islamophobia.

    I think it’s convenient to relegate the conversation to “acts of individuals.” A more appropriate question, I think, is WHY are these individuals able to act in these ways? This is the only information we have that is documented — that doesn’t mean that the incidence of hateful things, like using the Qu’ran for target practice, is not widespread. Wasn’t that line of argumentation — these are individual, non-mainstream acts — the same position the government took when it claimed it did not promote or use torture in its prisons? We now know that that assertion was patently false.

    I understand the skepticism around assigning animus. I’m sure some people in the current administration hate Muslims, and I’m sure others just think they’re strange, or are ignorant, or don’t really know much at all outside of their understanding of the current national security conversation. But I don’t think the reality is as simple as “Is the government actively promoting Islamophobia, or is it not?” By not promoting inclusion, and by failing to act in cases of exclusion (or to even deal with people responsibly and humanely), it has tacitly approved of a culture that devalues and vilifies Muslims and Islam.

  19. Mewa Singh says:

    In some ways the methodologies being employed by the various commenters is more fascinating than the actual commentary.

  20. sizzle says:

    Camille,

    Great political rant that covered all sorts of tangential points. As usual, we’ll never agree. But, more to the point, I can’t help but point out, again, the assumptions of the sheer humanity of the people involved that you seem to rest your entire argument on – especially those in the current administration. And, as I’ve asked you before about another issue, I’d love to hear a solution of how an administration, short of sending all Americans to “lets hug and be friends” camp, can actively shape the perceptions and beliefs of Americans to the level of success you seem to demand given the current foreign policy.

    So yes, foreign policies have an effect. But, you seem to completely discount the fact the greater influence rests with the people the entire Western World is combating – fundamentalist Muslims who are hell bent on destroying western way of life. I don’t want to get into a discussion of past grievances and justifications since we’re dealing with the here and now. But, you assign almost all blame on the administration for everything that goes wrong, and don’t seem to take into account the reality of how people form their beliefs – their perception that many vocal Muslims are pretty, uh, full of hatred. Yes, the American government engages in propaganda. Show me a government that doesn’t. That doesn’t mean you can assign all blame on action or inaction. As I asked before – was Carter to blame for the backlash during the Iranian Hostage situation?

    …to support an attitude and culture of fear and hatred.

    Finally – where do you live? In which reality do you exist? Not even to discuss the latent racism aganst blacks 50 years after the civil rights movement and specifically to Islamophobia which erupted after the greatest emotional shock this country has ever experienced, do you think that the fear and hatred in this nation is so exceptionally bad and unique? Are Americans the only ones battling fundamentalists? Have you recently visited the left-wing bastion that is France? How bout Germany? How about London and Manchester? Ask muslims and sikhs how they’re perceived and the battles they fight. More relevantly, ask them WHY THEY THINK they’re perceived in such a manner. I was recently in Brazil and felt more anti-Muslim flak there than in bumf*ckville, ohio where my parents reside. I’m born and raised and live in the Midwest, and while it’s not always great, I am not constantly aware “fear and hatred” that can’t be overcome by one on one interaction, the anathema of what you are calling for.

    Anyways, I do not like the policies or stances of Mike Gravel – he’s a little too hardcore left for me. But you my sympathize with him. So, here’s one of his gems which seems to touch on your idealized perspective on the world:

    Here comes a politician running a campaign for president saying he is going to heal the country were going to have blue skies and everyone is going to hold hands. That is unadulterated bullsh*t.
    -Mike Gravel

  21. Kaptaan says:

    Islamophobia is over-rated as far as I'm concerned. I don't think it is a phobia to be cautious regarding Muslims, so much as it is practical advice.

    When groups like muslim advocacy groups such as CAIR are unindicted co-conspirators in terrorism cases and don't unequivocally condemn terrorists who act in the name of Islam to kill non-Muslims, and there doesn't seem to be any movement amongst Muslims themselves to expose and oppose the ideology of hate against "kaffirs" that has run throughout the history of Islam from the time of Muhammad until now, you can't be surprised that many people would not want to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    Why is it so 'horrific' to shoot a koran versus all of the indignities that Christian or Jewish, etc… religious symbols have been subjected to in the name of "art"?

    What is truly horrific is sawing Nick Berg's head off while he's alive and conscious because he was a Jew. What is horrific is someone killing a man in his apartment building and then yelling that, "I've killed my Jew!". What is horrific is someone killing a film maker and pinning a note to his chest with the murder weapon with a hit list written on it.

    You tell me that shooting a koran is horrific and yet, there hasn't been one post on this blog about the truly horrific acts committed by muslims in the name of their leader Muhammad and their religion Islam. Every attack by Muslims has been justified by Islamic jurisprudence. No argument has been brought forth by any school of Islam to condemn these attacks in Islamic religious terms.

    You all need to get serious on this blog instead of spouting the same left wing talking points.

    best regards,

    Kaptaan

  22. Kaptaan says:

    Islamophobia is over-rated as far as I’m concerned. I don’t think it is a phobia to be cautious regarding Muslims, so much as it is practical advice.

    When groups like muslim advocacy groups such as CAIR are unindicted co-conspirators in terrorism cases and don’t unequivocally condemn terrorists who act in the name of Islam to kill non-Muslims, and there doesn’t seem to be any movement amongst Muslims themselves to expose and oppose the ideology of hate against “kaffirs” that has run throughout the history of Islam from the time of Muhammad until now, you can’t be surprised that many people would not want to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    Why is it so ‘horrific’ to shoot a koran versus all of the indignities that Christian or Jewish, etc… religious symbols have been subjected to in the name of “art”?

    What is truly horrific is sawing Nick Berg’s head off while he’s alive and conscious because he was a Jew. What is horrific is someone killing a man in his apartment building and then yelling that, “I’ve killed my Jew!”. What is horrific is someone killing a film maker and pinning a note to his chest with the murder weapon with a hit list written on it.

    You tell me that shooting a koran is horrific and yet, there hasn’t been one post on this blog about the truly horrific acts committed by muslims in the name of their leader Muhammad and their religion Islam. Every attack by Muslims has been justified by Islamic jurisprudence. No argument has been brought forth by any school of Islam to condemn these attacks in Islamic religious terms.

    You all need to get serious on this blog instead of spouting the same left wing talking points.

    best regards,
    Kaptaan

  23. Jodha says:

    Kaptaan, I agree we should all be "serious," especially Sikhs that need to confront our own Muslimophobia. Sikhs need to be able to see humanity in all, including Muslims. Why? Because this is the path our Gurus showed us.

    Unfortunately this myth that Muslims do not condemn terrorist acts is so pervasive, it is hard to tackle. I believe Ali Eteraz explained it best:

    Anyway, I reiterate my first point. There is something wrong with the basic premise of the idea that Muslims must condemn terrorism, because at the end of the day there is no such thing as The Muslim Collective. If we as a society are going to make collective demands on a group, then we are implying that collective punishment is appropriate as well. So while learning about all the Muslims who have condemned terrorism is nice; its nicer if we started to move beyond that point. Until we remain aware of our ignorance, we cannot ever get to ripping out the heart of extremism, nor can we realize the things we ourselves have done to help Muslim extremists. We need to be having more sophisticated discussions about Islam and Muslims, involving things like the Quran, the distinction between jihadism and islamism (political Islam), and the future of Islamic theocracy. The entire world is talking about such things, and we, the only ones who regularly take arms against Muslims or purport to bring them democracy, are not. [link]

    With regards to actual condemnations, there are so many. Here are just a few of some of the most well-known figures in Islamic jurisprudence (so well known that even I have heard of them):

    Ayatollah Muhammad Husain Fadlallah of Lebanon condemns Osama Bin Laden.

    The Grand Imam of al-Azhar Seminary, Shaikh Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, condemns Osamah Bin Laden.

    Prominent Pakistani Cleric Tahir ul Qadri condemns Bin Laden.

    Spanish Muslim Clerical authorities Issue Fatwa against Osamah Bin Laden.

    High Mufti of Russian Muslims calls for Extradition of Bin Laden.

    Since CAIR seems to be of particular interest to you, here I am quoting from their communications director, Ibrahim Hooper:

    In the past six years, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has coordinated the release of a fatwa (Islamic religious ruling) repudiating terrorism and religious extremism, initiated an online petition drive called "Not in the Name of Islam," and distributed a related TV public service announcement that has been seen by some 10 million viewers nationwide.

    This repeated repudiation of terrorism is not prompted by outside pressure, but by the basic Islamic principle that no one has the right to take innocent life. [link]

    A far more exhaustive list of condemnations (including MANY by CAIR, Islamic scholars, and even ordinary Muslims) can be found here.

    I am sure that I will begin receiving a flood of emails calling me a "Muslim apologist." That is fine, however I do hope that my Sikh brothers and sisters reflect on our own myopia and reflect if this is in accordance to that grand vision our Gurus bequeathed us. I remember back in 2001, soon after 9/11 when I was so proud of our community. It came when we transformed our slogans from "We are not the enemy" (implicitly indicting Muslims) to "We are all Americans." I hope that spirit remains alive and well today.

    Yes, the acts you describe Kaptaan are reprehensible. However, they were committed by individual Muslims, NOT Islam. Islam is not a monolith, nor is it an institution like a state.

    From your own blog, you seem to echo these same sentiments and that of Ali Eteraz. The parallels are striking:

    No one in the Sikh community supports the people behind the Air India bombing. Some fool kid makes a bogus threat on the internet in a comment section and its the entire Sikh community that should be held accountable? Hold yourself and every other identifiable Canadian group to those standards and we can talk… When the MSM starts identifying every Euro-Canadian's ethnicity and religion when they commit a crime, let me know… [link]

    I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments. However, before we expect others to see our humanity, let us make sure that we are seeing the humanity in others as well (yes that includes Muslims). Let us hold ourselves to an even higher standard than we expect of anyone else.

  24. Jodha says:

    Kaptaan, I agree we should all be “serious,” especially Sikhs that need to confront our own Muslimophobia. Sikhs need to be able to see humanity in all, including Muslims. Why? Because this is the path our Gurus showed us.

    Unfortunately this myth that Muslims do not condemn terrorist acts is so pervasive, it is hard to tackle. I believe Ali Eteraz explained it best:

    Anyway, I reiterate my first point. There is something wrong with the basic premise of the idea that Muslims must condemn terrorism, because at the end of the day there is no such thing as The Muslim Collective. If we as a society are going to make collective demands on a group, then we are implying that collective punishment is appropriate as well. So while learning about all the Muslims who have condemned terrorism is nice; its nicer if we started to move beyond that point. Until we remain aware of our ignorance, we cannot ever get to ripping out the heart of extremism, nor can we realize the things we ourselves have done to help Muslim extremists. We need to be having more sophisticated discussions about Islam and Muslims, involving things like the Quran, the distinction between jihadism and islamism (political Islam), and the future of Islamic theocracy. The entire world is talking about such things, and we, the only ones who regularly take arms against Muslims or purport to bring them democracy, are not. [link]

    With regards to actual condemnations, there are so many. Here are just a few of some of the most well-known figures in Islamic jurisprudence (so well known that even I have heard of them):

    Ayatollah Muhammad Husain Fadlallah of Lebanon condemns Osama Bin Laden.

    The Grand Imam of al-Azhar Seminary, Shaikh Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, condemns Osamah Bin Laden.

    Prominent Pakistani Cleric Tahir ul Qadri condemns Bin Laden.

    Spanish Muslim Clerical authorities Issue Fatwa against Osamah Bin Laden.

    High Mufti of Russian Muslims calls for Extradition of Bin Laden.

    Since CAIR seems to be of particular interest to you, here I am quoting from their communications director, Ibrahim Hooper:

    In the past six years, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has coordinated the release of a fatwa (Islamic religious ruling) repudiating terrorism and religious extremism, initiated an online petition drive called “Not in the Name of Islam,” and distributed a related TV public service announcement that has been seen by some 10 million viewers nationwide.

    This repeated repudiation of terrorism is not prompted by outside pressure, but by the basic Islamic principle that no one has the right to take innocent life. [link]

    A far more exhaustive list of condemnations (including MANY by CAIR, Islamic scholars, and even ordinary Muslims) can be found here.

    I am sure that I will begin receiving a flood of emails calling me a “Muslim apologist.” That is fine, however I do hope that my Sikh brothers and sisters reflect on our own myopia and reflect if this is in accordance to that grand vision our Gurus bequeathed us. I remember back in 2001, soon after 9/11 when I was so proud of our community. It came when we transformed our slogans from “We are not the enemy” (implicitly indicting Muslims) to “We are all Americans.” I hope that spirit remains alive and well today.

    Yes, the acts you describe Kaptaan are reprehensible. However, they were committed by individual Muslims, NOT Islam. Islam is not a monolith, nor is it an institution like a state.

    From your own blog, you seem to echo these same sentiments and that of Ali Eteraz. The parallels are striking:

    No one in the Sikh community supports the people behind the Air India bombing. Some fool kid makes a bogus threat on the internet in a comment section and its the entire Sikh community that should be held accountable? Hold yourself and every other identifiable Canadian group to those standards and we can talk… When the MSM starts identifying every Euro-Canadian’s ethnicity and religion when they commit a crime, let me know… [link]

    I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments. However, before we expect others to see our humanity, let us make sure that we are seeing the humanity in others as well (yes that includes Muslims). Let us hold ourselves to an even higher standard than we expect of anyone else.

  25. Camille says:

    sizzle, 90% of why we don't agree is because you stick to a rhetorical tactic of self-righteousness without expending a whit of energy into the viewpoints of others. Did I, at any point, argue that the government is responsible for a kumbayaa fest? No, but that is your interpretation. What world do you live in, that you believe that "Islamophobia" has only sprung up "in reaction to the horrific events [of 9/11]", and is thus duly justified? What is your reality, when you completely ignore the fact that violence against minority communities INCREASES when you have an administration that fails to address the real disparities and discrimination that exists today? (and I am specifically discussing race-based civil rights claims in this reference, not Islamophobia)

    I'm not going to engage in a screaming match with someone who offers little analysis and devolves to the hateful and reductionist viewpoint of "Muslims are committed to destroying the western way of life, which is why Sikhs suffer."

  26. Camille says:

    sizzle, 90% of why we don’t agree is because you stick to a rhetorical tactic of self-righteousness without expending a whit of energy into the viewpoints of others. Did I, at any point, argue that the government is responsible for a kumbayaa fest? No, but that is your interpretation. What world do you live in, that you believe that “Islamophobia” has only sprung up “in reaction to the horrific events [of 9/11]”, and is thus duly justified? What is your reality, when you completely ignore the fact that violence against minority communities INCREASES when you have an administration that fails to address the real disparities and discrimination that exists today? (and I am specifically discussing race-based civil rights claims in this reference, not Islamophobia)

    I’m not going to engage in a screaming match with someone who offers little analysis and devolves to the hateful and reductionist viewpoint of “Muslims are committed to destroying the western way of life, which is why Sikhs suffer.”

  27. sizzle says:

    oh camille,

    “Muslims are committed to destroying the western way of life, which is why Sikhs suffer.”

    i said "fundamentalist muslims" and "many vocal muslims" contribute to how muslims are percieved in the western world if you don't realize the impact they have, and their role in how muslims and sikhs AROUND THE WORLD (not just the US) are percieved, especially the western world, well, yea….

    sorry, am i screaming too loud for you?

  28. sizzle says:

    oh camille,

    Muslims are committed to destroying the western way of life, which is why Sikhs suffer.

    i said “fundamentalist muslims” and “many vocal muslims” contribute to how muslims are percieved in the western world if you don’t realize the impact they have, and their role in how muslims and sikhs AROUND THE WORLD (not just the US) are percieved, especially the western world, well, yea….

    sorry, am i screaming too loud for you?

  29. Reema says:

    sizzle,

    one of the reasons for the distorted western perception of muslims is that vocal muslims who do denounce the nefarious work of a few are not being heard. they don't get to contribute to the overall perception of muslims.

    why is it that the denunciations jodha provided of well-known figures denouncing Bin Laden's work aren't on the news, but any videos of Bin Laden's associates are so well circulated?

  30. Reema says:

    sizzle,

    one of the reasons for the distorted western perception of muslims is that vocal muslims who do denounce the nefarious work of a few are not being heard. they don’t get to contribute to the overall perception of muslims.

    why is it that the denunciations jodha provided of well-known figures denouncing Bin Laden’s work aren’t on the news, but any videos of Bin Laden’s associates are so well circulated?

  31. Reema says:

    We don’t necessarily need to assign animus in order to say that there is a tacit policy and promotion of Islamophobia specifically, and xenophobia generally.

    camille,

    you're right if we're looking at government or institutions as unified, singular entities instead of discordant abstractions full of individuals which is the level i was viewing them at. but looking at the consequences of policy probably requires examining an institution as a whole instead of the various discordant parts/individuals within.

    I think it’s convenient to relegate the conversation to “acts of individuals.”

    i don't think it's convenient at all, i think it's more complicated; but for the purpose of looking at policy results, it might not be necessary.

    WHY are these individuals able to act in these ways?

    there are probably reasons that are both individual and structural- both should be addressed.

  32. Reema says:

    We dont necessarily need to assign animus in order to say that there is a tacit policy and promotion of Islamophobia specifically, and xenophobia generally.

    camille,

    you’re right if we’re looking at government or institutions as unified, singular entities instead of discordant abstractions full of individuals which is the level i was viewing them at. but looking at the consequences of policy probably requires examining an institution as a whole instead of the various discordant parts/individuals within.

    I think its convenient to relegate the conversation to acts of individuals.

    i don’t think it’s convenient at all, i think it’s more complicated; but for the purpose of looking at policy results, it might not be necessary.

    WHY are these individuals able to act in these ways?

    there are probably reasons that are both individual and structural- both should be addressed.

  33. sizzle says:

    now that i can, i must respond in more depth:

    sizzle, 90% of why we don’t agree is because you stick to a rhetorical tactic of self-righteousness without expending a whit of energy into the viewpoints of others.

    the pot calls the kettle black. amusing. notice how these disagreements arise when the conversations turn to some of the most controversial and disagreed upon political matters of the day? often by you? this isn't the daily kos – it's not a necessarily sympathetic readership. if both sides of the debate didn't have any self-righteousness, were would we be? now continue being wrong.

    Did I, at any point, argue that the government is responsible for a kumbayaa fest? No, but that is your interpretation.

    yes, you pretty much did in your repeated criticisms of the current administration's LACK of taking more action to remedy the current problems. but, then again, you also go so far to say the following without corroborating the assertion beyond current foreign policy and assumptions of the current administration's personalities:

    We don’t necessarily need to assign animus in order to say that there is a tacit policy and promotion of Islamophobia specifically, and xenophobia generally.

    how bold. so perhaps, an administration that does absolutely nothing would work for you? no – because, you've criticized inaction as well. so, again, yes you do call for something.

    What world do you live in, that you believe that “Islamophobia” has only sprung up “in reaction to the horrific events [of 9/11]”, and is thus duly justified?

    do you even read what i write? i'm the guy who has pointed out, 3 separate times, that there was massive backlash against muslims and percieved muslims in the late 70's/80's after the whole Iran thing. making that point was relevant since there was so much assignment of blame on the current administration for any islamophobia/xenophobia, all while making nary a mention of other contributing factors, such as the acts of muslims, par example.

    What is your reality, when you completely ignore the fact that violence against minority communities INCREASES when you have an administration that fails to address the real disparities and discrimination that exists today?

    so wait, you are criticizing inaction and calling for action – a kumbaya fest? sorry, just trying to keep it all straight. but to your actual statement directly, it's awesomely broad and doesn't even warrant a response.

    I’m not going to engage in a screaming match with someone who offers little analysis and devolves to the hateful and reductionist viewpoint of “Muslims are committed to destroying the western way of life, which is why Sikhs suffer.”

    i think i've sufficiently pointed out how completely asinine this last comment is. the "little analysis" part is especially rich, but the paraphrase and sentiments contained that you assign to me also indicates a profound lack of reading comprehension.

    it's been fun.

  34. sizzle says:

    now that i can, i must respond in more depth:

    sizzle, 90% of why we dont agree is because you stick to a rhetorical tactic of self-righteousness without expending a whit of energy into the viewpoints of others.

    the pot calls the kettle black. amusing. notice how these disagreements arise when the conversations turn to some of the most controversial and disagreed upon political matters of the day? often by you? this isn’t the daily kos – it’s not a necessarily sympathetic readership. if both sides of the debate didn’t have any self-righteousness, were would we be? now continue being wrong.

    Did I, at any point, argue that the government is responsible for a kumbayaa fest? No, but that is your interpretation.

    yes, you pretty much did in your repeated criticisms of the current administration’s LACK of taking more action to remedy the current problems. but, then again, you also go so far to say the following without corroborating the assertion beyond current foreign policy and assumptions of the current administration’s personalities:

    We dont necessarily need to assign animus in order to say that there is a tacit policy and promotion of Islamophobia specifically, and xenophobia generally.

    how bold. so perhaps, an administration that does absolutely nothing would work for you? no – because, you’ve criticized inaction as well. so, again, yes you do call for something.

    What world do you live in, that you believe that Islamophobia has only sprung up in reaction to the horrific events [of 9/11], and is thus duly justified?

    do you even read what i write? i’m the guy who has pointed out, 3 separate times, that there was massive backlash against muslims and percieved muslims in the late 70’s/80’s after the whole Iran thing. making that point was relevant since there was so much assignment of blame on the current administration for any islamophobia/xenophobia, all while making nary a mention of other contributing factors, such as the acts of muslims, par example.

    What is your reality, when you completely ignore the fact that violence against minority communities INCREASES when you have an administration that fails to address the real disparities and discrimination that exists today?

    so wait, you are criticizing inaction and calling for action – a kumbaya fest? sorry, just trying to keep it all straight. but to your actual statement directly, it’s awesomely broad and doesn’t even warrant a response.

    Im not going to engage in a screaming match with someone who offers little analysis and devolves to the hateful and reductionist viewpoint of Muslims are committed to destroying the western way of life, which is why Sikhs suffer.

    i think i’ve sufficiently pointed out how completely asinine this last comment is. the “little analysis” part is especially rich, but the paraphrase and sentiments contained that you assign to me also indicates a profound lack of reading comprehension.

    it’s been fun.

  35. […] had a lot of discussion recently about various forms of identity discrimination. It seems that the UN is also paying attention to racial […]

  36. Kaptaan says:

    Jodha,

    those acts I pointed out committed by Muslims are just a few. In every case of Terrorism by Muslims GROUPS, not individuals, they have justified their actions using Islamic scripture and verse. Either the acts of Muhammad or the words in the Koran itself have been quoted by the terrorist organizations. When so-called individual Muslims commit acts of aggression they also cite it as a part of their religious observance.

    No where does any Sikh scripture or precedent justify any kind of terrorism in the way that Muslims themselves ascribe terrorist acts to their own religion. Why do the terrorists post videos of their acts of beheading and quote the Koran on how justifying the killing of their victims?

    As for the condemnations of terrorists by Muslims, and CAIR (which is an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism case), there is a concept of Taqqiya in Islam that allows Muslims to LIE to other people in order to advance the agenda of islamic supremacy.

    You seem to think that calling Sikhs 'myopic' and accusing Sikhs of 'muslimphobia' is justified. Why is that? There are real practical reasons for being suspicious of Muslims from the events taking place in the world today that you don't seem to want to acknowledge or tackle head on.

    Surveys in the US, UK, Australia, and other places all show that a large proportion of the Muslim population in those countries supports the acts of Jihad (terrorism) that have been committed in the name of Islam. In the UK in particular, many Muslims agree that acts of terrorism like the 7/7 bombings are justified, no such parallel exists in the case of Sikhs and Air India bombing. The fact that you would make such a ridiculous comparison speaks to your mentality. Sikhs are nothing like Muslims in this regard. The sooner you realize this the better.

    Sikhs do not 'hate' Muslims and do NOT have a 'muslimphobia'. Many many Muslims converted to Sikhism realizing the truth in the Sikh way of life (Baba Buddha Ji, Bhai Mardana, amongst others). Many others achieved a place of honour in history, such as Pir Buddhu Shah and his supporters, Pir Mian Mir, etc…

    Baba Farid and the bani he wrote which is the Guru Ji's word is remembered more by Sikhs than anyone else including Muslims. So don't throw stones about some phantom 'muslimphobia'. You seem to want to push that agenda as you have mentioned this word multiple times when discussing Sikhs and their attitudes.

    best regards,

    Kaptaan

  37. Kaptaan says:

    Jodha,

    those acts I pointed out committed by Muslims are just a few. In every case of Terrorism by Muslims GROUPS, not individuals, they have justified their actions using Islamic scripture and verse. Either the acts of Muhammad or the words in the Koran itself have been quoted by the terrorist organizations. When so-called individual Muslims commit acts of aggression they also cite it as a part of their religious observance.

    No where does any Sikh scripture or precedent justify any kind of terrorism in the way that Muslims themselves ascribe terrorist acts to their own religion. Why do the terrorists post videos of their acts of beheading and quote the Koran on how justifying the killing of their victims?

    As for the condemnations of terrorists by Muslims, and CAIR (which is an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism case), there is a concept of Taqqiya in Islam that allows Muslims to LIE to other people in order to advance the agenda of islamic supremacy.

    You seem to think that calling Sikhs ‘myopic’ and accusing Sikhs of ‘muslimphobia’ is justified. Why is that? There are real practical reasons for being suspicious of Muslims from the events taking place in the world today that you don’t seem to want to acknowledge or tackle head on.

    Surveys in the US, UK, Australia, and other places all show that a large proportion of the Muslim population in those countries supports the acts of Jihad (terrorism) that have been committed in the name of Islam. In the UK in particular, many Muslims agree that acts of terrorism like the 7/7 bombings are justified, no such parallel exists in the case of Sikhs and Air India bombing. The fact that you would make such a ridiculous comparison speaks to your mentality. Sikhs are nothing like Muslims in this regard. The sooner you realize this the better.

    Sikhs do not ‘hate’ Muslims and do NOT have a ‘muslimphobia’. Many many Muslims converted to Sikhism realizing the truth in the Sikh way of life (Baba Buddha Ji, Bhai Mardana, amongst others). Many others achieved a place of honour in history, such as Pir Buddhu Shah and his supporters, Pir Mian Mir, etc…

    Baba Farid and the bani he wrote which is the Guru Ji’s word is remembered more by Sikhs than anyone else including Muslims. So don’t throw stones about some phantom ‘muslimphobia’. You seem to want to push that agenda as you have mentioned this word multiple times when discussing Sikhs and their attitudes.

    best regards,
    Kaptaan

  38. Jodha says:

    Dear Kaptaan,

    When I read despicable acts of intimidation upon people that certain Sikhs do not agree with, I see SOME Sikhs justify that as well. Unfortunately no religious community has a monopoly on idiocy.

    As an aside, what case against CAIR are you referring to? You have mentioned it a number of times. Oddly enough your language parallels what KP Gill use to say against Shaheed Jaswant Singh Khalra.

    Your comment on 'taqiyya' belies a huge ignorance of Islam. 'Taqiyya' is a Shi'i Muslim tradition (al-Qaida and Osama Bin Laden are vehement Salafi Sunnis and do not even consider Shi'is Muslim. They consider them apostate). Taqiyya does not allow Muslims to 'advance the cause of Islamic supremacy,' but is rather a defensive tactic for Shi'i Muslims to employ (if they desire) to avoid persecution by majority Sunni communities. It is only to be engaged in during 'conditions of compulsion' and 'it is NEVER permissible to kill or shed blood under taqiyya.' It had more to do with not praising Mohammad's martyr grandson at the Battle of Karbala. (If you are interested in more information, feel free to email me and I will send academic studies on the issue). Also as a side note, this practice is hardly limited to Shi'i Muslims, other religious communities have practiced similar ideas in the past as well.

    You state:

    Surveys in the US, UK, Australia, and other places all show that a large proportion of the Muslim population in those countries supports the acts of Jihad (terrorism) that have been committed in the name of Islam.

    Actually, Professor John Espisito of Georgetown University, has recently co-written a book titled "Who Speaks For Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think." (Here is a link to a podcast discussion of the book by one of the authors.) The book is fascinating, because of the sheer numbers of people that were interviewed and took part in the study:

    Based on the largest and most in-depth study of its kind, this book presents the remarkable findings of the Gallup Poll of the Muslim World, the first ever data-based analysis of the points of view of more than 90% of the global Muslim community, spanning nearly 40 countries. [link]

    Now, addressing those that do 'condone the 9/11' attacks, this is what they found:

    We asked how many people condone the 9/11 attacks and found that the vast majority condemn the attacks; only 7 percent thought it was completely justified. We also asked about attacks on civilians in general, the moral justifiability of sacrificing one's life, and about the moral justifiability of attacking civilians as an individual or as a military. We asked those 7 percent about why they felt the attacks were justified and, surprisingly, not a single one offered a religious justification. Instead, the responses sounded like revolutionaries; they talked about American imperialism. Instead of piety motivating their responses, it was politics. [Emphasis added][<a href="http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/world/2008/03/14/inside-the-minds-of-muslims+.html&quot; rel="nofollow">link]

    You are right, 'Sikhs' do not have 'Muslimophobia,' but SOME SIKHS DO! Citing examples from over four centuries ago, hardly makes for an argument. On a side note, there is no historic evidence that Bhai Mardana converted to Sikhism and '[realized] the truth in the Sikh way of life.' There is truth to Islam as well. In fact, the Guru Granth Sahib even tells one how to live that <a href="http://sikhitothemax.com/page.asp?ShabadID=379&quot; rel="nofollow">truth in Islam. Such is the beauty of our Guru.

    Again while you may not have 'Muslimophobia,' despite being highly ignorant on on Islam and using right-wing talking points, MANY Sikhs do have it. I hope you would stop those Sikhs that you come across that do exhibit this tendency.

    While to me I don't seem to be saying anything radical — there are good Muslims and bad Muslims just as there are good Sikhs and bad Sikhs — others seem to think I am. We should judge people as individuals and not as aggregate groups. This is a lesson I take away from the Gurus' own example.

  39. Jodha says:

    Dear Kaptaan,

    When I read despicable acts of intimidation upon people that certain Sikhs do not agree with, I see SOME Sikhs justify that as well. Unfortunately no religious community has a monopoly on idiocy.

    As an aside, what case against CAIR are you referring to? You have mentioned it a number of times. Oddly enough your language parallels what KP Gill use to say against Shaheed Jaswant Singh Khalra.

    Your comment on ‘taqiyya’ belies a huge ignorance of Islam. ‘Taqiyya’ is a Shi’i Muslim tradition (al-Qaida and Osama Bin Laden are vehement Salafi Sunnis and do not even consider Shi’is Muslim. They consider them apostate). Taqiyya does not allow Muslims to ‘advance the cause of Islamic supremacy,’ but is rather a defensive tactic for Shi’i Muslims to employ (if they desire) to avoid persecution by majority Sunni communities. It is only to be engaged in during ‘conditions of compulsion’ and ‘it is NEVER permissible to kill or shed blood under taqiyya.’ It had more to do with not praising Mohammad’s martyr grandson at the Battle of Karbala. (If you are interested in more information, feel free to email me and I will send academic studies on the issue). Also as a side note, this practice is hardly limited to Shi’i Muslims, other religious communities have practiced similar ideas in the past as well.

    You state:

    Surveys in the US, UK, Australia, and other places all show that a large proportion of the Muslim population in those countries supports the acts of Jihad (terrorism) that have been committed in the name of Islam.

    Actually, Professor John Espisito of Georgetown University, has recently co-written a book titled “Who Speaks For Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think.” (Here is a link to a podcast discussion of the book by one of the authors.) The book is fascinating, because of the sheer numbers of people that were interviewed and took part in the study:

    Based on the largest and most in-depth study of its kind, this book presents the remarkable findings of the Gallup Poll of the Muslim World, the first ever data-based analysis of the points of view of more than 90% of the global Muslim community, spanning nearly 40 countries. [link]

    Now, addressing those that do ‘condone the 9/11’ attacks, this is what they found:

    We asked how many people condone the 9/11 attacks and found that the vast majority condemn the attacks; only 7 percent thought it was completely justified. We also asked about attacks on civilians in general, the moral justifiability of sacrificing one’s life, and about the moral justifiability of attacking civilians as an individual or as a military. We asked those 7 percent about why they felt the attacks were justified and, surprisingly, not a single one offered a religious justification. Instead, the responses sounded like revolutionaries; they talked about American imperialism. Instead of piety motivating their responses, it was politics. [Emphasis added][link]

    You are right, ‘Sikhs’ do not have ‘Muslimophobia,’ but SOME SIKHS DO! Citing examples from over four centuries ago, hardly makes for an argument. On a side note, there is no historic evidence that Bhai Mardana converted to Sikhism and ‘[realized] the truth in the Sikh way of life.’ There is truth to Islam as well. In fact, the Guru Granth Sahib even tells one how to live that truth in Islam. Such is the beauty of our Guru.

    Again while you may not have ‘Muslimophobia,’ despite being highly ignorant on on Islam and using right-wing talking points, MANY Sikhs do have it. I hope you would stop those Sikhs that you come across that do exhibit this tendency.

    While to me I don’t seem to be saying anything radical — there are good Muslims and bad Muslims just as there are good Sikhs and bad Sikhs — others seem to think I am. We should judge people as individuals and not as aggregate groups. This is a lesson I take away from the Gurus’ own example.

  40. Camille says:

    he pot calls the kettle black. amusing. notice how these disagreements arise when the conversations turn to some of the most controversial and disagreed upon political matters of the day? often by you? this isn’t the daily kos – it’s not a necessarily sympathetic readership. if both sides of the debate didn’t have any self-righteousness, were would we be? now continue being wrong.

    sizzle, if you have an actual point — including a valid argument–, then I'm happy to engage it, and I have consistently done so in the past. I've certainly seen you write completely intelligible commentary, but for some reason this (often, although not always) flies out the window when you try to "discuss" issues with me. I typically ignore your editorializations re: my intelligence, my character, etc., because they have NOTHING to do with the actual conversation. The few times I get irritated, you act as though this is Crossfire. Well, neither of us is Tucker Carlson, so let's just both chill out a little and try again. Perhaps we have different expectations, or appreciate different styles, of talking about issues.

    That said, I was not referring to your commentary in other posts (re: 1970s/80s backlash), so I apologize if I mischaracterized your point in this post. I don't always get the chance to read each post, so sometimes I miss out on cross-referenced conversations. I try to I read the full comments from linked posts, but realistically I'm not always able to.

    That said, back to the argument:

    I think "tacitly" xenophobic policies are fair game when discussing policy positions or actions. I'll use a more specific example of what could be considered "tacit" versus "active", or progressive, measures:

    Shortly after 9/11, either the Mayor or Governor (I can't remember which) of Ohio held a public meeting at OSU's football stadium to address retribution. He said, in no uncertain terms, that it was unacceptable for people to target Muslim-, Arab-, and South Asian-Americans, and then he issued a directive requiring the police to follow up on hate violence complaints. While this is something that should happen anyway (i.e., law enforcement), having a public figure state explicitly that vigilante and ignorance-based violence is not tolerated, in my opinion, diffused some of the anger and ameliorated some of the backlash. This doesn't mean that there wasn't violent backlash in Ohio (there were many instances), but I do think that the worst, or most widespread, was largely avoided or addressed immediately.

    Another example: When I was at the DOJ, the administration changed tack from the previous administration and had an (unpublished) directive that attorneys were NOT to take action on race-based civil rights complaints without very high levels of authorization. In practice, this resulted in very few authorizations, with viable cases waiting in the queue, sometimes past the statute of limitations, with no action taken. At the time, about 90% of the complaints submitted to DOJ-CRD were race-based claims. In turn, by not taking action, legitimate, and occasionally prosecutable cases, were left untouched. The reaction from many community groups was that this administration did not deal honestly with the lingering and persistent inequalities and discrimination of present-day discrimination (this was also pre-Katrina). On the intake side, qualitatively, the egregiousness and frequency of race-based hate violence seemed to worsen simultaneously. This policy was very similar to how the DOJ-CRD was run in the second Reagan administration, as well. In effect, there is a tacit message sent that specific kinds of actions will be tolerated, including prejudice-based harassment and violence. (As an aside, and to be fair, the administration did a tremendous job ramping up efforts to combat human and sex trafficking and national origin claims; i.e., issues that tended to affect migrant and immigrant communities.)

    These are the kind of action/inaction options that I think make a difference in the tenor and the way in which pockets of the American public forms its attitudes, behavior, and beliefs.

  41. Camille says:

    he pot calls the kettle black. amusing. notice how these disagreements arise when the conversations turn to some of the most controversial and disagreed upon political matters of the day? often by you? this isnt the daily kos – its not a necessarily sympathetic readership. if both sides of the debate didnt have any self-righteousness, were would we be? now continue being wrong.

    sizzle, if you have an actual point — including a valid argument–, then I’m happy to engage it, and I have consistently done so in the past. I’ve certainly seen you write completely intelligible commentary, but for some reason this (often, although not always) flies out the window when you try to “discuss” issues with me. I typically ignore your editorializations re: my intelligence, my character, etc., because they have NOTHING to do with the actual conversation. The few times I get irritated, you act as though this is Crossfire. Well, neither of us is Tucker Carlson, so let’s just both chill out a little and try again. Perhaps we have different expectations, or appreciate different styles, of talking about issues.

    That said, I was not referring to your commentary in other posts (re: 1970s/80s backlash), so I apologize if I mischaracterized your point in this post. I don’t always get the chance to read each post, so sometimes I miss out on cross-referenced conversations. I try to I read the full comments from linked posts, but realistically I’m not always able to.

    That said, back to the argument:
    I think “tacitly” xenophobic policies are fair game when discussing policy positions or actions. I’ll use a more specific example of what could be considered “tacit” versus “active”, or progressive, measures:

    Shortly after 9/11, either the Mayor or Governor (I can’t remember which) of Ohio held a public meeting at OSU’s football stadium to address retribution. He said, in no uncertain terms, that it was unacceptable for people to target Muslim-, Arab-, and South Asian-Americans, and then he issued a directive requiring the police to follow up on hate violence complaints. While this is something that should happen anyway (i.e., law enforcement), having a public figure state explicitly that vigilante and ignorance-based violence is not tolerated, in my opinion, diffused some of the anger and ameliorated some of the backlash. This doesn’t mean that there wasn’t violent backlash in Ohio (there were many instances), but I do think that the worst, or most widespread, was largely avoided or addressed immediately.

    Another example: When I was at the DOJ, the administration changed tack from the previous administration and had an (unpublished) directive that attorneys were NOT to take action on race-based civil rights complaints without very high levels of authorization. In practice, this resulted in very few authorizations, with viable cases waiting in the queue, sometimes past the statute of limitations, with no action taken. At the time, about 90% of the complaints submitted to DOJ-CRD were race-based claims. In turn, by not taking action, legitimate, and occasionally prosecutable cases, were left untouched. The reaction from many community groups was that this administration did not deal honestly with the lingering and persistent inequalities and discrimination of present-day discrimination (this was also pre-Katrina). On the intake side, qualitatively, the egregiousness and frequency of race-based hate violence seemed to worsen simultaneously. This policy was very similar to how the DOJ-CRD was run in the second Reagan administration, as well. In effect, there is a tacit message sent that specific kinds of actions will be tolerated, including prejudice-based harassment and violence. (As an aside, and to be fair, the administration did a tremendous job ramping up efforts to combat human and sex trafficking and national origin claims; i.e., issues that tended to affect migrant and immigrant communities.)

    These are the kind of action/inaction options that I think make a difference in the tenor and the way in which pockets of the American public forms its attitudes, behavior, and beliefs.

  42. Kaptaan says:

    The following should have been the post properly quoted…

    Jodha,

    you wrote,

    As an aside, what case against CAIR are you referring to? You have mentioned it a number of times. Oddly enough your language parallels what KP Gill use to say against Shaheed Jaswant Singh Khalra."

    You really have no clue. You find all sorts of muslim apologists to quote yet you can't do a simple google search to find out that CAIR (a muslim propaganda group) is an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism case?

    You make a such ridiculous comparisons when you talk about Sikhs intimidating people and mention what KP Gill had to say about Jaswant Singh Khalra and then try to apply that to criticism of Muslims for MURDERING people (such as Nick Berg, and Theo Van Gogh) in the most heinous ways while using religious justifications from the koran and islamic law.

    Clearly you are some sort of relativist who can't get it out of his head that Sikhs and Muslims are NOT the same and never will be. The motivation for Sikhs who support an independent homeland versus the motivation of Muslims who kill people in the name of Jihad, Islam and Muhammad are completely different.

    Your ad-hominem attack on me by trying to compare my words with KP Gill's and your previous attempt to compare what I have written as being "right wing" talking points only shows your closed mindedness.

    You mention Islamic apologists such as John Esposito as being experts on Islam despite their obfuscations and inveigling regarding Islamic law, theology and practice. People like Esposito do not tell the truth about concepts such as Taqiyya in Islam. If you want to know about Sunnis and Taqiyya read here and here. Perhaps you shouldn't call other people ignorant about topics you yourself don't have any knowledge about.

  43. Kaptaan says:

    The following should have been the post properly quoted…

    Jodha,

    you wrote,

    As an aside, what case against CAIR are you referring to? You have mentioned it a number of times. Oddly enough your language parallels what KP Gill use to say against Shaheed Jaswant Singh Khalra.”

    You really have no clue. You find all sorts of muslim apologists to quote yet you can’t do a simple google search to find out that CAIR (a muslim propaganda group) is an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism case?

    You make a such ridiculous comparisons when you talk about Sikhs intimidating people and mention what KP Gill had to say about Jaswant Singh Khalra and then try to apply that to criticism of Muslims for MURDERING people (such as Nick Berg, and Theo Van Gogh) in the most heinous ways while using religious justifications from the koran and islamic law.

    Clearly you are some sort of relativist who can’t get it out of his head that Sikhs and Muslims are NOT the same and never will be. The motivation for Sikhs who support an independent homeland versus the motivation of Muslims who kill people in the name of Jihad, Islam and Muhammad are completely different.

    Your ad-hominem attack on me by trying to compare my words with KP Gill’s and your previous attempt to compare what I have written as being “right wing” talking points only shows your closed mindedness.

    You mention Islamic apologists such as John Esposito as being experts on Islam despite their obfuscations and inveigling regarding Islamic law, theology and practice. People like Esposito do not tell the truth about concepts such as Taqiyya in Islam. If you want to know about Sunnis and Taqiyya read here and here. Perhaps you shouldn’t call other people ignorant about topics you yourself don’t have any knowledge about.

  44. Jodha says:

    Dearest Kaptaan,

    Unfortunately this can go on forever and ever, so this will be my last comment on this particular thread. Feel free to continue as you please though.

    I did take a look at your suggested reading. However, none of them come from websites that even attempt objectivity. Your link to the "Investigative Project on Terrorism" shows a man holding a grenade in one hand and a book on Islamic Law in the other. This expert, Stephen Emerson, is a guest commentator on Fox News, the refuge of reality.

    So why was CAIR not indicted? As as aside, may I ask, what is your viewpoint on the Israeli/Palestine conflict? Actually I can already guess, but do Palestinians have any grievances? What would you suggest to the Palestinian community? Hopefully AIPAC is recruiting!

    Clearly I am a relativist. Clearly you are enlightened. Clearly I am closed-minded, yet clearly you are open-minded. Clearly John Esposito, the Georgetown professor, is a liar and is out to 'obfuscate' concepts such as 'taqiyya.' Clearly the Christian websites that you suggested to me that announce "Allah – The Greatest Deceiver of them All" is a reputable source (Did you know that in the Guru Granth Sahib, Guru Nanak praises Allah – this supposed 'greatest deceiver of them all?)

    Clearly I should trust websites by Christian evangelicals to learn about Islam:

    We want that Muslims come to faith because they become convinced of the truth of the Gospel through the soundness of the material we present, and we want our Christian brothers and sisters to develop their convictions about their own faith and about Islam for the same reasons: Because it is true.

    This all said, we are Evangelical Christians and agree without reservations with the statement of faith as given, for example, by the World Evangelical Alliance and the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. [link]

    Clearly I hope these evangelicals soon produce a website about Sikhs so that, Kaptaan, you can quote them as accurate sources on Gurbani and Sikh concepts such as shahadat.

    Kaptaan, let me be the first to admit that I am NOT an expert on Islam. I claim no expertise on a tradition that I have never truly explored. However, you seem to claim some sort of knowledge. However your comments on 'taqiyya' and now that I know your sources are Christian evangelical websites definitely make me believe that you are ignorant about Islam, not ignorant in general (I don't even know you), but definitely ignorant on Islam.

    If you believe that Muslims are evil, maniacal, ruthless boogeymen that are out to destroy the whole world and Sikhs are some sort of cowboys with white turbans that stand for all that is good and great in the world, then that is your world view. Meet some more people! Contrary to popular belief, Islam is not a monolithic religion, nor are Muslims a monolithic people. There are good Muslims and bad Muslims. Just as there are good Sikhs and bad Sikhs.

    That said, I'm done. It has been enlightening and hopefully we'll get to learn more about one another on other topics in this blog as well. Best wishes.

    Rabb Rakha (did you know that the word 'Rabb' is actually from Arabic!)

  45. Jodha says:

    Dearest Kaptaan,

    Unfortunately this can go on forever and ever, so this will be my last comment on this particular thread. Feel free to continue as you please though.

    I did take a look at your suggested reading. However, none of them come from websites that even attempt objectivity. Your link to the “Investigative Project on Terrorism” shows a man holding a grenade in one hand and a book on Islamic Law in the other. This expert, Stephen Emerson, is a guest commentator on Fox News, the refuge of reality.

    So why was CAIR not indicted? As as aside, may I ask, what is your viewpoint on the Israeli/Palestine conflict? Actually I can already guess, but do Palestinians have any grievances? What would you suggest to the Palestinian community? Hopefully AIPAC is recruiting!

    Clearly I am a relativist. Clearly you are enlightened. Clearly I am closed-minded, yet clearly you are open-minded. Clearly John Esposito, the Georgetown professor, is a liar and is out to ‘obfuscate’ concepts such as ‘taqiyya.’ Clearly the Christian websites that you suggested to me that announce “Allah The Greatest Deceiver of them All” is a reputable source (Did you know that in the Guru Granth Sahib, Guru Nanak praises Allah – this supposed ‘greatest deceiver of them all?)

    Clearly I should trust websites by Christian evangelicals to learn about Islam:

    We want that Muslims come to faith because they become convinced of the truth of the Gospel through the soundness of the material we present, and we want our Christian brothers and sisters to develop their convictions about their own faith and about Islam for the same reasons: Because it is true.

    This all said, we are Evangelical Christians and agree without reservations with the statement of faith as given, for example, by the World Evangelical Alliance and the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. [link]

    Clearly I hope these evangelicals soon produce a website about Sikhs so that, Kaptaan, you can quote them as accurate sources on Gurbani and Sikh concepts such as shahadat.

    Kaptaan, let me be the first to admit that I am NOT an expert on Islam. I claim no expertise on a tradition that I have never truly explored. However, you seem to claim some sort of knowledge. However your comments on ‘taqiyya’ and now that I know your sources are Christian evangelical websites definitely make me believe that you are ignorant about Islam, not ignorant in general (I don’t even know you), but definitely ignorant on Islam.

    If you believe that Muslims are evil, maniacal, ruthless boogeymen that are out to destroy the whole world and Sikhs are some sort of cowboys with white turbans that stand for all that is good and great in the world, then that is your world view. Meet some more people! Contrary to popular belief, Islam is not a monolithic religion, nor are Muslims a monolithic people. There are good Muslims and bad Muslims. Just as there are good Sikhs and bad Sikhs.

    That said, I’m done. It has been enlightening and hopefully we’ll get to learn more about one another on other topics in this blog as well. Best wishes.

    Rabb Rakha (did you know that the word ‘Rabb’ is actually from Arabic!)

  46. Kaptaan says:

    Jodha,

    Where to begin?

    You wrote,

    Your link to the “Investigative Project on Terrorism” shows a man holding a grenade in one hand and a book on Islamic Law in the other. This expert, Stephen Emerson, is a guest commentator on Fox News, the refuge of reality.

    What does his being a guest on Fox News have to do with anything? Your comment is just another example of your closed-minded attitude at work. All sorts of people appear on Fox News or any other news station.

    You wrote,

    So why was CAIR not indicted? As as aside, may I ask, what is your viewpoint on the Israeli/Palestine conflict? Actually I can already guess, but do Palestinians have any grievances? What would you suggest to the Palestinian community? Hopefully AIPAC is recruiting!

    Again, you don’t make any sort of cogent argument. Why bring Israel into the conversation? The last refuge for people like yourself is to bring the Jews into the conversation. What have the Jews ever done to the Sikhs? NOTHING. Palestinians themselves in their own mouthpiece the PA daily implicate Arabs as being the ones responsible for the Arab refugees on Jordan’s border. On the day Israel was born it was attacked by Arabs states from all sides in an attempt to destroy Israel and commit genocide of the Jews, and you have the gall to bring the Jews into a conversation that has nothing to do with them. Those people left their villages believing that they would return after the Jews were killed and Israel destroyed.

    You wrote,

    Clearly John Esposito, the Georgetown professor, is a liar and is out to ‘obfuscate’ concepts such as ‘taqiyya.’ Clearly the Christian websites that you suggested to me that announce “Allah – The Greatest Deceiver of them All” is a reputable source (Did you know that in the Guru Granth Sahib, Guru Nanak praises Allah – this supposed ‘greatest deceiver of them all?)

    You seem to think that just because someone is a christian that they are automatically liars. I could have quoted from Islamic sources that explain the concept of Taqiyya or point to the use of deceipt by Muhammad himself, however, the level of your bias astounds. Tell me and maybe explain to the Sikhs who read this site if Al-Islam.org is a site run by Christian evangelists? How about Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library? Is that a Christian organization? Is the USC-MSA (university of s. california muslim students association) a Christian organization?

    You wrote,

    Clearly I hope these evangelicals soon produce a website about Sikhs so that, Kaptaan, you can quote them as accurate sources on Gurbani and Sikh concepts such as shahadat.

    Your facetious and foolish comments just go to show your mentality. Several times you have tried this tactic of painting me with some brush or the other. Why you insist on always comparing Sikhs and Muslims in a similar light I don’t understand. You write about ‘muslimphobia’ amongst Sikhs, all the while wiping away Sikh experience as a legitimate basis for being wary of Muslims due to the first hand knowledge of Jihad, jizya, dhimmi status, and the like, not to mention the way Sikh Gurus and Khalsa warriors themselves became Shaheed. How about the Sahibzadhey? Were they the benefactors of Muslim kindness and compassion? It was a Qazi/ Maulvi himself that read the ISLAMIC sentence of death for them. I make my comments based on the words and actions of Muslims themselves who have quoted the Koran and Islamic sources as guides for the heinous murders of people such as Nick Berg and Theo Van Gogh, and you try to compare jihadi muslims with Sikhs. I am not an apologist for Islam, but your comments surely paint you with that brush.

    You wrote,

    you seem to claim some sort of knowledge. However your comments on ‘taqiyya’ and now that I know your sources are Christian evangelical websites definitely make me believe that you are ignorant about Islam, not ignorant in general (I don’t even know you), but definitely ignorant on Islam.

    So Christians can’t tell the truth about what muslims themselves say about their own religion? I don’t claim special knowledge about Muslims, but perhaps you should use your internet skills and find what muslims themselves say about the subject. Maybe you should examine what translations of muslim sources such Sahi Bukhari (quoted as an authoritative source by muslims) and others say about Islamic practices. The sites I linked to above are also evangelical? Right Jodha?

    You wrote,

    If you believe that Muslims are evil, maniacal, ruthless boogeymen that are out to destroy the whole world and Sikhs are some sort of cowboys with white turbans that stand for all that is good and great in the world, then that is your world view.

    Those are your words not mine. I have never referred to muslims as evil, etc… Why you insist on comparing Sikhs with Muslims again, I do not understand. Do you have some inherent animosity towards Sikhs, that you would continue to bring them into any conversation about the actions and behaviours of Muslims? What exactly are you trying to prove? Sikhs who commit heinous acts DO NOT quote gurbani when doing so. Muslims who have killed people in the most heinous ways find justification in the KORAN and actions of MUHAMMAD. Are those Muslim murderers all liars? Are they Islamophobes?

    You wrote,

    Rabb Rakha (did you know that the word ‘Rabb’ is actually from Arabic!)

    What exactly does that have to do with anything? So what if there are words from Arabic, farsi and other languages incorporated in the Punjabi language, am I to feel some sort of kinship with the people who speak those languages? What’s your point? Did you know that Apple pie originated in Canada? Did you know the word Jarnail comes from the English word for the military rank General? Did you know that arab Christians use the word Allah to refer to god? Do you know that 1+1=2?

  47. Jodha says:

    Although I said I would not comment, I did have to clarify one point.

    The reason I brought up Israel was because I did look at your 'unindicted co-conspirator of terrorism' charge against CAIR. (Kaptaan, despite my supposed 'closed-mindedness', I looked at all the information you provided) The charge was that CAIR had helped channel money to HAMAS, the now legitimate, democratically-elected Palestinian government of the Gaza Strip.

    I guess we'll have to disagree. Best wishes and smile!

  48. sizzle says:

    HAMAS, the now legitimate, democratically-elected Palestinian government of the Gaza Strip.

    i have no idea what's going on in this thread anymore, but this caught my eye. hamas, despite any legitimacy gained from a vote, is still a terrorist organization. its a sad state of affairs that they're the majority party….it's akin to some right wing fascist party winning a plurality in germany. but then again, the palestinian authority also gave us yaser arafat, so, what to expect.

  49. Kaptaan says:

    Jodha,
    Where to begin?

    You wrote,

    Your link to the Investigative Project on Terrorism shows a man holding a grenade in one hand and a book on Islamic Law in the other. This expert, Stephen Emerson, is a guest commentator on Fox News, the refuge of reality.

    What does his being a guest on Fox News have to do with anything? Your comment is just another example of your closed-minded attitude at work. All sorts of people appear on Fox News or any other news station.

    You wrote,

    So why was CAIR not indicted? As as aside, may I ask, what is your viewpoint on the Israeli/Palestine conflict? Actually I can already guess, but do Palestinians have any grievances? What would you suggest to the Palestinian community? Hopefully AIPAC is recruiting!

    Again, you dont make any sort of cogent argument. Why bring Israel into the conversation? The last refuge for people like yourself is to bring the Jews into the conversation. What have the Jews ever done to the Sikhs? NOTHING. Palestinians themselves in their own mouthpiece the PA daily implicate Arabs as being the ones responsible for the Arab refugees on Jordans border. On the day Israel was born it was attacked by Arabs states from all sides in an attempt to destroy Israel and commit genocide of the Jews, and you have the gall to bring the Jews into a conversation that has nothing to do with them. Those people left their villages believing that they would return after the Jews were killed and Israel destroyed.

    You wrote,

    Clearly John Esposito, the Georgetown professor, is a liar and is out to obfuscate concepts such as taqiyya. Clearly the Christian websites that you suggested to me that announce Allah The Greatest Deceiver of them All is a reputable source (Did you know that in the Guru Granth Sahib, Guru Nanak praises Allah – this supposed greatest deceiver of them all?)

    You seem to think that just because someone is a christian that they are automatically liars. I could have quoted from Islamic sources that explain the concept of Taqiyya or point to the use of deceipt by Muhammad himself, however, the level of your bias astounds. Tell me and maybe explain to the Sikhs who read this site if Al-Islam.org is a site run by Christian evangelists? How about Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library? Is that a Christian organization? Is the USC-MSA (university of s. california muslim students association) a Christian organization?

    You wrote,

    Clearly I hope these evangelicals soon produce a website about Sikhs so that, Kaptaan, you can quote them as accurate sources on Gurbani and Sikh concepts such as shahadat.

    Your facetious and foolish comments just go to show your mentality. Several times you have tried this tactic of painting me with some brush or the other. Why you insist on always comparing Sikhs and Muslims in a similar light I dont understand. You write about muslimphobia amongst Sikhs, all the while wiping away Sikh experience as a legitimate basis for being wary of Muslims due to the first hand knowledge of Jihad, jizya, dhimmi status, and the like, not to mention the way Sikh Gurus and Khalsa warriors themselves became Shaheed. How about the Sahibzadhey? Were they the benefactors of Muslim kindness and compassion? It was a Qazi/ Maulvi himself that read the ISLAMIC sentence of death for them. I make my comments based on the words and actions of Muslims themselves who have quoted the Koran and Islamic sources as guides for the heinous murders of people such as Nick Berg and Theo Van Gogh, and you try to compare jihadi muslims with Sikhs. I am not an apologist for Islam, but your comments surely paint you with that brush.

    You wrote,

    you seem to claim some sort of knowledge. However your comments on taqiyya and now that I know your sources are Christian evangelical websites definitely make me believe that you are ignorant about Islam, not ignorant in general (I dont even know you), but definitely ignorant on Islam.

    So Christians cant tell the truth about what muslims themselves say about their own religion? I dont claim special knowledge about Muslims, but perhaps you should use your internet skills and find what muslims themselves say about the subject. Maybe you should examine what translations of muslim sources such Sahi Bukhari (quoted as an authoritative source by muslims) and others say about Islamic practices. The sites I linked to above are also evangelical? Right Jodha?

    You wrote,

    If you believe that Muslims are evil, maniacal, ruthless boogeymen that are out to destroy the whole world and Sikhs are some sort of cowboys with white turbans that stand for all that is good and great in the world, then that is your world view.

    Those are your words not mine. I have never referred to muslims as evil, etc Why you insist on comparing Sikhs with Muslims again, I do not understand. Do you have some inherent animosity towards Sikhs, that you would continue to bring them into any conversation about the actions and behaviours of Muslims? What exactly are you trying to prove? Sikhs who commit heinous acts DO NOT quote gurbani when doing so. Muslims who have killed people in the most heinous ways find justification in the KORAN and actions of MUHAMMAD. Are those Muslim murderers all liars? Are they Islamophobes?

    You wrote,

    Rabb Rakha (did you know that the word Rabb is actually from Arabic!)

    What exactly does that have to do with anything? So what if there are words from Arabic, farsi and other languages incorporated in the Punjabi language, am I to feel some sort of kinship with the people who speak those languages? Whats your point? Did you know that Apple pie originated in Canada? Did you know the word Jarnail comes from the English word for the military rank General? Did you know that arab Christians use the word Allah to refer to god? Do you know that 1+1=2?

  50. Jodha says:

    Sizzle: You're right. It may be. And we have the right to criticize them. However, many in the world use the same characterization for the present administration.

  51. sizzle says:

    this is true. they do. and they're wrong…i'm not a big fan of smal minded moral relativism. but we digress….

  52. Jodha says:

    Although I said I would not comment, I did have to clarify one point.

    The reason I brought up Israel was because I did look at your ‘unindicted co-conspirator of terrorism’ charge against CAIR. (Kaptaan, despite my supposed ‘closed-mindedness’, I looked at all the information you provided) The charge was that CAIR had helped channel money to HAMAS, the now legitimate, democratically-elected Palestinian government of the Gaza Strip.

    I guess we’ll have to disagree. Best wishes and smile!

  53. sizzle says:

    HAMAS, the now legitimate, democratically-elected Palestinian government of the Gaza Strip.

    i have no idea what’s going on in this thread anymore, but this caught my eye. hamas, despite any legitimacy gained from a vote, is still a terrorist organization. its a sad state of affairs that they’re the majority party….it’s akin to some right wing fascist party winning a plurality in germany. but then again, the palestinian authority also gave us yaser arafat, so, what to expect.

  54. Jodha says:

    Sizzle: You’re right. It may be. And we have the right to criticize them. However, many in the world use the same characterization for the present administration.

  55. sizzle says:

    this is true. they do. and they’re wrong…i’m not a big fan of smal minded moral relativism. but we digress….

  56. Kaptaan says:

    It's a sad state of affairs when someone is drinking the koolaid to such an extent as Jodha and fails to realize that the election of Hamas, whose stated aim is the destruction of Israel and who refer to the Jews and Christians as the descendants of Apes and Pigs and who openly call for the murder of Jews, is an indictment of the Arab Palestinians' themselves.

    Their mentality is so depraved that they would rather elect a group whose only justification is to destroy Israel and murder Jews, rather than a party that would seek to uplift the Arabs and create an actual country for them to live in.

    [Thread is now closed by author….Admin Kaur.]

  57. Kaptaan says:

    It’s a sad state of affairs when someone is drinking the koolaid to such an extent as Jodha and fails to realize that the election of Hamas, whose stated aim is the destruction of Israel and who refer to the Jews and Christians as the descendants of Apes and Pigs and who openly call for the murder of Jews, is an indictment of the Arab Palestinians’ themselves.

    Their mentality is so depraved that they would rather elect a group whose only justification is to destroy Israel and murder Jews, rather than a party that would seek to uplift the Arabs and create an actual country for them to live in.

    [Thread is now closed by author….Admin Kaur.]

  58. […] today, as I see the political discourse allowing for sinister Arabophobia and Muslimophobia, I stand in solidarity and say “Yes I am Arab….even though I am a […]

  59. […] today, as I see the political discourse allowing for sinister Arabophobia and Muslimophobia, I stand in solidarity and say “Yes I am Arab.even though I am a […]