Monthly Archives: December 2012
The letter to the editor below was submitted to and published by the Columbia Chronicle in Chicago in their print edition on Monday, December 10, 2012.
“This has been my dream ever since I was a kid.”
Noor Tagouri, a 19-year-old college student, wants to become the first Muslim hijabi anchorwoman in America. Two weeks ago, she was a relatively unknown entity on Facebook who posted a picture of herself sitting at the presenter’s desk at ABC News. Since then, Tagouri has become somewhat of a celebrity, with nearly 7,000 subscribers to her official Facebook page.
As the nation mourns the senseless violence in Connecticut and politicians in Washington bicker endlessly over the “fiscal cliff,” the #MyJihad public education campaign should have presented an unambiguous bit of good news to a country in sore need of it. Bus ads and Twitter posts promoting peace, tolerance, and understanding; who could possibly object?
According to the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the summer of 2012 saw one of the “worst spikes of anti-Muslim incidents in over a decade.” The FBI and Southern Poverty Law Center also recently noted that anti-Muslim hate crimes remain near a decade high.
Death from above
Faheem Qureishi sat in his uncle’s home in the hujra, a gathering space for men and male guests. He gathered that night with his uncle Mohammad Khalil, other relatives, and some of Khalil’s neighbors for conversation and tea.
Without warning, the men heard a distinct hissing sound, and all instinctively bowed their heads down. A drone missile hit the center of the hujra, blowing off the ceiling and the roof, shattering all the windows, and damaging neighbors’ homes.
The year is 1984, and James Cameron’s The Terminator is one of the highest grossing box office hits of the year. This film, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator, tells a story of a futuristic mechanized assassin traveling back in time to “terminate” Sarah Connor, the mother of John Connor, the future leader of the resistance against the machines. Throughout the film, the audience watches as the terminator devastates California, killing countless civilians, without ever achieving its mission of eliminating Sarah Connor. Similar themes unraveled in the following Terminator films, with the machine proving time and time again to be extremely efficient at killing everyone that isn’t its target.
In 1984, this film seemed to be purely science fiction. However, in recent decades there has been a boom in weapons development that has made that once distant future seem ever closer.
There is actually some truth to the claim that Fox News is “Fair and Balanced.” CAIR-Chicago director Ahmed Rehab’s recent appearance on the The Sean Hannnity Show to discuss the deteriorating situation in Egypt confirmed that Fox is perfectly capable of being both fair and balanced. The catch though, is that such treatment only is given to those who subscribe to the network’s right-wing ideology. Anyone else is going to find themselves out of luck.
The countries of the Western world, specifically the United States, have always prided themselves on being the champions of democracy, freedom, and human rights. Throughout the last century alone we saw wars fought all across the globe in the name of these ideals. In recent memory, the West, led by the U.S., has intervened in several cases to rid a country of an authoritarian government and put in its place a more democratic system. However, there is also a long track record of propping up regimes, for strategic and economic reasons, that embody everything the West claims to stand against.