Tag Archives: Islamophobia
By Chicago Monitor Editorial Team
The Muslims are Coming!, directed by Dean Obeidallah and Negin Farsad, is part mockumentary, part adventure story. The movie provides a compelling portrait of a roguish group of Muslim comedians who bring their stand up show to venues across the Southern United States and the reactions they receive from audiences and interactions on the street.
The movie includes interviews with star comedic geniuses: Jon Stewart, David Cross, Janeane Garofalo, Aasif Mandvi and Lewis Black. The message is simple: Muslims are like you and me, they laugh and they cry and they can be pretty damn funny!
Protests continue in Santiago, Chile, where hundreds of thousands of activists have taken to the streets to protest the Chilean government. Though the country has been economically prosperous and relatively stable for many years, demonstrations have continued to signal public dissatisfaction with certain government policies. Protesters in the capital are demanding that the government address their wide range of concerns, including education reform, environmental issues, gay rights, Monsanto, and the rights of indigenous populations.
By Ahmed Rehab
We missed the humor: CAIR-Chicago spotted this troubling greeting card (pictured below) in a local store.
The card features a photo of a Muslim doll with a Hijab (headscarf) that many Muslim women wear out of religious observance. The The talking bubbles placed on top of the doll’s photo read, “The Talking Doll, Pull string for message, if you dare,” and “She’ll Love You To Death! She’ll Blow Your Brains Out!” The inside of the card reads “Hope your birthday is a BLOW OUT!”
The card is produced by NobleWorks Inc. with credit for its design given to “Ron Kanfi” according to the company’s website, www.nobleworkcards.com. The motto of the company printed under their logo on the back of the card is “modern cards for modern people.”
Notice that nothing identifies this doll as a terrorist in the minds of the card designers other than that she wears a Hijab. Moreover, she – like many Muslim girl who choose to wear the Hijab – is a smiling, non-threatening normal-looking female wearing a pink Hijab and a flower-patterned dress. The unmistakable message behind the “humor” is that even the most peaceful looking Muslims are synonymous and exchangeable with terrorists.
By Laith Saud
Professor Amitai Etzioni of The George Washington University recently published an op-ed piece questioning the veracity of the MyJihad Campaign. By now, many are familiar with this groundbreaking campaign, but for those who are not, MyJihad is a public awareness effort designed to educate people – non-Muslim and Muslim alike – on the nuances of the term ‘jihad’ and its largely spiritual character. The necessity of such a campaign is clear; the term ‘jihad’ has been the centerpiece of an anti-Muslim, pro-war discourse. Over the last twelve years, wherever public discussion on ‘jihad’ or ‘jihad and Islam’ has taken place, much of it has been hawkish – leading the public to ascend to disastrous conclusions, like in 2003, when 70% of the American public thought Iraq had something to do with 9 -11. Those who supported the MyJihad campaign argue that it is a healthy contribution to the public discourse, broadening our perspective on Islam and arming the public against over-zealous hawks that still use Islam as an excuse to go to war.
Why, when most people think of terrorists, do they assume Ahmed, Mohammed, and Nader and not Aaron, Michael, or Nathan? Not every terrorist is of Arab descent or even a Muslim, but to many people in America, if you have a foreign sounding name that could be Middle Eastern, you are automatically thought of as being a “potential terrorist.” Too many Americans continue to perceive Arabs and/or Muslims as terrorists, therefore causing severe injustice to the entire group.
As the U.S. goes into its 237th year as a nation, we are reminded of the struggle for freedoms that ultimately led our Founding Fathers to declare independence. Unfortunately, the struggle to maintain those freedoms continues today, as proposals for places of worship – whose creation are protected under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act – come under scrutiny in neighborhoods across the United States. As the Department of Justice shows, groups of all faiths have struggled in disputes with local zoning boards, but none more so than the Muslim community in America.
By Dima Ansari
According to Jonathan Schanzer, in his review of Nathan Lean’s book, The Islamophobia Industry: How the Right Manufactures Fear of Muslims, “Islamophobia is simply a pejorative neologism designed to warn people away from criticizing any aspect of Islam.”
I recently joined the rarefied heights achieved by The Children’s Museum of Manhattan and Butterball Turkey in being recognized by Pamela Geller as an imminent threat to the survival of Western Civilization, thanks to my recent piece in the Monitor about the #MyJihad campaign. Rather than sitting back and basking in my honor, I would like take this opportunity to respond and correct some of the most egregious insults that the truth suffered in it.
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?
Robert Spencer is feeling pretty downcast these days. Scrolling down his blog, past some Veterans’ Day-themed moaning about how the West is betraying its glorious dead, you will find him bitterly griping that, “The Republican Party is a useless collection of me-tooists and slow-downers who have virtually no chance of winning national elections anymore.”
It’s not great mystery why Mr. Spencer is sounding so disheartened, even setting aside Mitt Romney’s defeat, as some of his favorite congressman, comprising a good chunk of the so-called “Anti-Islam caucus,” suffered a set of truly astounding set of setbacks on Election Day.