Category Archives: Islamophobia

Over 30,000 Muslims in the UK Marched Against ISIS, Of Course You Didn’t Hear About It – Sarah A. Harvard. 

More than 30,000 Muslims from around the world congregated at a farm in the United Kingdom for a three-day event protesting ISIS and religious extremism.

The protest was part of the 50th annual Jalsa Salana, an annual convention and gathering for Ahmadiyya Muslims.

The Ahmadiyya sect was founded in India in 1889 and faced persecution and violence from religious extremists in countries abroad. Despite their plight, the religious movement’s official motto is “Love for all, hatred for none” and their philosophy is rooted in tolerance over extremism.

Mic

Why do some young people become jihadis? Psychiatry offers answers – Kamran Ahmed. 

There are approximately 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, the overwhelming majority of whom abhor Isis and the evil it represents. So what is driving a handful of extremists to commit horrific acts of mass murder in the name of Islam?

One contributing factor might be a concept drawn from the world of cultural psychiatry: acculturation – the process of balancing two competing cultural influences.

There can be a number of possible outcomes to this process:

Deculturation, when a migrant loses all touch with their culture of origin.

Assimilation, when they retain some loose association with it but fully adopt the culture of the host nation.

Integration, when they retain strong ties with their culture of origin but are fully functioning members of society.

Rejection, when they reject the host-nation culture completely in favour of their culture of origin.

Trying to meet the cultural expectations of parents while trying to fit in with peers; dealing with experiences of racism; balancing religious and western values, it poses a challenge for many Muslim youths living in western countries today.

For those who find themselves at odds with the culture of their parents, and yet are met with hostility from the culture of the society they live in, exiting the acculturation paradigm to embrace a third culture that provides them with a sense of belonging may be an appealing option. In this case their minds become fertile ground for radicalisation.

This is akin to the pathway into gang culture for young people around the world – a sense of alienation from family and society at large delivers them into the hands of older gang leaders. The counterculture for young Muslim men at odds with society nowadays is not gang culture but radical extremist factions that offer self-esteem and identity in exchange for allegiance to a violent and morally bankrupt manifesto. Once they are members of the subversive peer group, alarming ideas and behaviours can become normalised very quickly indeed.

Perhaps the low self-esteem brought on by marginalisation is the mediator here, traded readily by some disaffected Muslim youths for the perceived sense of purpose and status associated with being a jihadi.

Those most likely to make the transition from radical to terrorist are the exceedingly vulnerable, who are highly susceptible to jihadi rhetoric, and narcissistic psychopaths, who might revel in the notoriety of being a terrorist.

Collective community action has been a prominent feature in anti-gang strategies around the world, and may prove effective in opposing this new type of thuggery, starting with closer ties and cooperation between Muslim and non-Muslim communities and a concerted effort to open a dialogue with at-risk individuals.

The media must present a counter-narrative to Isis propaganda, showing young Muslims they are accepted in the west and can find their sense of belonging here.

Muslim parents should be flexible in their demands that their children follow their cultural values and traditions where these are unlikely to lead to a favourable acculturation outcome for them.

Nothing can be worse for a Muslim immigrant parent who builds a new home in the west, with hopes and dreams for their family, than to see their child become a murderous suicide bomber.

We must take action to address the factors that underlie this problem if we are to prevent further suffering.

Terrorists seek to divide us; the only way we can defeat this evil is by working together.

***

Kamran Ahmed, psychiatrist and filmmaker

The Guardian

New Zealand can stand up against racism – Dame Susan Devoy, NZ Race Relations Commissioner. 

New Zealand can stand up against racism.

Race Relations Commissioner Susan Devoy has called on New Zealanders to stand up against racist taunts and attacks, drawing an apparent contrast with President Donald Trump’s America.

“The world is at a crossroads when it comes to race relations. The way we treat each other will decide what path New Zealand goes down,” she said, marking Race Relations Day today.

She said people from ethnic minorities reported an increase in the number of personal racist attacks in recent times, “in step with events taking place overseas”.

“What we do now matters and that’s why we want people to be prepared to stand up for what they believe in. Whether we let our country become a place where abusing someone because of their race is normal or not, that part is up to us, all of us,” she said.

“We want people to record attacks, to support people who are being attacked and to ensure attacks are reported.

“When we see yet another racist attack on the news we need to ask ourselves: is this us? Is this the kind of country we want to be? If the answer is no, then we need to do something.

“What we do today is our insurance policy for the future of our nation.

“This year we are focused on encouraging New Zealanders to answer these two questions: what do you stand for? What do you stand against?”

Race Relations Day marks the Sharpeville Massacre when 69 black South Africans, including 10 children, were shot to death by police for protesting against apartheid laws on March 21, 1960.

A series of events in provincial and urban communities to celebrate Race Relations Day are being held throughout this month.

The Human Rights Commission has produced a short video highlighting what people can do if they experience or witness a racist attack.

Simon Collins, NZ Herald

Donald Trump’s executive order means he is now officially gunning for Muslims –  Moustafa Bayoumi. 

Donald Trump is now officially gunning for the Muslims. On Friday, he signed an executive order titled Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States. The order is nothing short of a Muslim ban by another name. It is cruel and callous, espouses positions contrary to the professed values of the United States, and will certainly produce more problems than it purports to solve. In other words, it’s exactly like Donald Trump.

I cannot tell you how livid these scant pages of bureaucratic language make me. In them, Trump is returning the country to the dark days of excluding masses of people on the basis of our national prejudices. It’s as if we’ve reverted to the late 19th century when laws were passed to bar Chinese entry to the United States, but this time the action is by executive fiat and trained on Muslims. Not incidentally, the case law for Chinese Exclusion also established the legal authority for the National Security Entry-Exist Registration System (Nseers), the US government’s previous incarnation of a Muslim registry.

We’re never far away from our demons.

The Guardian

Sign George Takei’s Petition: Stand Up for Muslims in the U.S.

When I was just 5, my family was rounded up at gunpoint and forced from our home in Los Angeles into an internment camp.

We were prisoners in our country, held within barbed wire compounds, armed guards pointing guns down at us. It was an egregious violation of our rights under the U.S. Constitution, all in the name of “security.” During that time, fear and racism drove government policy, creating a living hell for over 120,000 innocent Japanese Americans, most of whom were U.S. citizens.

I have spent my life trying to ensure something like this never happens again. But dark clouds once more are gathering.

A Trump spokesperson recently stated the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II “sets a precedent” for Trump to do the same today.

And Trump continues to stand by his plans to establish a Muslim registry and ban immigrants from “certain” Muslim countries from the U.S. It starts with a registry, with restrictions, with irrationally ascribed guilt, and with fear. But we know well where it might lead.

National security must never again be permitted to justify wholesale denial of constitutional rights and protections.

If it is freedom and our way of life that we fight for, our first obligation is to ensure that our own government adheres to those principles. Without that, we are no better than our enemies.

Please sign this petition to let the Muslim community know you support them and oppose any policy targeting them based on their religion or national origin. Help send a message to Trump and his ilk that this will never again happen in America.
George Takei 

Please sign the Petition

Trust Test: Heart-Warming Display of Love and Politics Outside a Trump Hotel – AlterNet. 

Karim Sulayman is a an Arab-American tenor and activist from Chicago. 10 Days after Donald Trump was elected president, Sulayman teamed up with filmmaker Meredith Kaufman Younger for a different kind of trust test.

Blindfolded outside Trump International Hotel in New York City, Sulayman held a handwritten poster board type sign. It read: 

“Hello, my name is Karim and I am Arab-American. Like many people who are black, brown, women, LGBTQIA, Latinix, Muslim, Jewish, Immigrants and Other, I am very scared. We are anxious and uneasy in our own country and it’s difficult to see what lies ahead for US. But, I hope that I am safe with you. Together, we can build a community of caring, rather than one of fear. You can trust me to care for you no matter who you are. Will you shake my hand and/or take a photo with me and post it as a sign that I am safe here with you? I trust you.” 

YouTube

Alternet