10
Oct
We do not expect Buddhists to apologize as Buddhist extremists massacre Muslims in Burma or for their human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. I also don’t ask Christians to apologize for the genocide that Bosnian Muslims faced less than two decades ago at the hands of Christian Serbs, or for the Lord’s Resistance Army and Christian militias who have killed tens of thousands of civilians and ethnically cleansed Muslims throughout Uganda, the Congo and Central African Republic. Nor do I ask every white American to apologize for hate crimes committed by self-proclaimed White Christian supremacist groups like the Klu Klux Klan. All of us instead recognize that religious fanatics perpetuate violent acts for their own deranged reasons. Why is an apology only expected of Muslims?
04
Sep

An Arab civil rights activist was attacked in Brooklyn Wednesday by a man who hurled slurs and threatened to behead her to “see how your people feel about it,” authorities and the victim said.

Linda Sarsour, 34, director of the Arab American Association of New York, was leaving the group’s headquarters…when Brian Boshell, 45, allegedly threatened her, called her an “Arab bitch” and insulted her in Arabic. Boshell, who is white, then allegedly chucked a trash can at her…

-

The New York Daily News

Here’s an example of what can happen when politicians and media figures rile up the public with rhetoric like “we will follow them to the gates of hell until they are brought to justice,” which is a thinly veiled way of promising to kill people. An instinctive feeling of rage towards ISIS after hearing news of another American’s beheading is certainly understandable but being an adult, not to mention a public figure, means you might have to weigh the consequences of your response before giving it. When the Vice President reacts to a tragic death by saying something essentially along the lines of “let’s exterminate those barbarians,” bigots might respond by directing their rage at innocent people. Obviously it’s not Joe Biden’s fault this attack occurred, but he, other elected officials, and the media should give measured, contextualized responses to events that could incite violence. After 9/11, there was an enormous increase in the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes. Everyone should be wary of what sort of ugliness their words might inspire.    

10
Jun
The [Las Vegas] killers adorned their victims with the Gadsden flag. Tea Partiers insist that should not implicate their movement or its typical adherents. They’re absolutely right. Tea Partiers should not now be subject to intrusive surveillance, for example. The American majority’s unwillingness to extend the same logic and courtesy to Muslim Americans helps to explain policies like the NYPD’s decision to embed undercover agents among Muslims for no reason other than their religion.
15
Apr

Police Unit That Spied on Muslims Is Disbanded

This is a big deal.

29
Mar

A study published last year by the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition documented the effects of…mass surveillance. In targeted communities, a culture of enforced self-censorship takes hold and relationships of trust start to break down. As one interviewee said: “You look at your closest friends and ask: are they informants?”

This is what real fear of surveillance looks like: not knowing whom to trust, choosing your words with care when talking politics in public, the unpredictability of state power.

11
May

Glenn Greenwald debates Bill Maher on U.S. Intervention in Muslim Countries

Finally someone has obliterated Bill Maher’s smug sense of superiority. Bravo.

25
Apr
There seems to be this pervasive belief in the US that we can invade, bomb, drone, kill, occupy, and tyrannize whomever we want, and that they will never respond. That isn’t how human affairs function and it never has been. If you believe all that militarism and aggression are justified, then fine: make that argument. But don’t walk around acting surprised and bewildered and confounded (why do they hate us??) when violence is brought to US soil as well. It’s the inevitable outcome of these choices, and that’s not because Islam is some sort of bizarre or intrinsically violent and uncivilized religion. It’s because no group in the world is willing to sit by and be targeted with violence and aggression of that sort without also engaging in it…
21
Apr

In cases where the religious affiliation of terrorism casualties could be determined, Muslims suffered between 82 and 97 percent of terrorism-related fatalities over the past five years.

Of the 13,288 people killed by terrorist attacks last year, seventeen were private U.S. citizens, or .001 percent.

20
Sep

Girls beat up Iran cleric over dress code

Hojatoleslam Ali Beheshti said he encountered the girls on his way to the mosque in the village of Shahmirzad for noon prayers in late August.

He told one of the girls to cover up, the report said.

"She responded by telling me to cover my eyes, which was very insulting to me," Beheshti said. So he asked her a second time to cover up and also to put a lid on what he felt was verbal abuse.

She hit the man of the cloth, and he hit the ground.

"I don’t remember what happened after that," he said. "I just felt her kicks and heard her insults."

12
Sep
I think we should be very precise about what we mean when we say “Muslim.” There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. There are 148 million in Bangladesh. There are 23 million in China. Over 28 million in Ethiopia, 177 million in India, 204 million in Indonesia. Six million Muslims in Libya. They constitute less than a half a percent — 0.4 percent — of the world’s Muslims.
10
Aug
I’ll tell you that there is a gaze of intolerance that is going around our country that is disturbing to me.
- Chris Christie, on being called an “Islamist” by fellow Republicans
29
Feb
The number of American mosques has nearly doubled over the past decade, jumping from 1,209 in 2000 to more than 2,100 in 2010…
11
Feb
It should be clear from this catalog of atrocities that anti-Christian violence is a major and underreported problem. No, the violence isn’t centrally planned or coordinated by some international Islamist agency. In that sense the global war on Christians isn’t a traditional war at all. It is, rather, a spontaneous expression of anti-Christian animus by Muslims that transcends cultures, regions, and ethnicities.
Instead of falling for overblown tales of Western Islamophobia, let’s take a real stand against the Christophobia infecting the Muslim world. Tolerance is for everyone—except the intolerant.
—
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, contrary to other prominent “new atheists,” is a political conservative. The statements you see above, excerpted from Ali’s recent Newsweek article, sound fairly close to the kind of arguments New Gingrich or Rick Perry might make if either of these men knew nearly as much about the world as Ali does. 
It is hard to say Ali is wrong when she lists one example after another of tens of thousands of oppressed and persecuted Christians living in the Muslim world. It can be said, however, that this is a very odd point to make and it’s a point that appeals directly to religious conservatives in America.
Most nonbelievers would probably look at these examples and shake their heads, dismayed at the extraordinary ability of religion to turn entire societies mad. But Ali interprets these examples not as symptoms of organized religion, but as a Muslim war against Christianity. 
I think it’s time to start recognizing that Ali is a deeply conservative person and that even those devoted to the Enlightenment can still fall victim to political ideology and bias. 

It should be clear from this catalog of atrocities that anti-Christian violence is a major and underreported problem. No, the violence isn’t centrally planned or coordinated by some international Islamist agency. In that sense the global war on Christians isn’t a traditional war at all. It is, rather, a spontaneous expression of anti-Christian animus by Muslims that transcends cultures, regions, and ethnicities.

Instead of falling for overblown tales of Western Islamophobia, let’s take a real stand against the Christophobia infecting the Muslim world. Tolerance is for everyone—except the intolerant.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, contrary to other prominent “new atheists,” is a political conservative. The statements you see above, excerpted from Ali’s recent Newsweek article, sound fairly close to the kind of arguments New Gingrich or Rick Perry might make if either of these men knew nearly as much about the world as Ali does.

It is hard to say Ali is wrong when she lists one example after another of tens of thousands of oppressed and persecuted Christians living in the Muslim world. It can be said, however, that this is a very odd point to make and it’s a point that appeals directly to religious conservatives in America.

Most nonbelievers would probably look at these examples and shake their heads, dismayed at the extraordinary ability of religion to turn entire societies mad. But Ali interprets these examples not as symptoms of organized religion, but as a Muslim war against Christianity.

I think it’s time to start recognizing that Ali is a deeply conservative person and that even those devoted to the Enlightenment can still fall victim to political ideology and bias. 

02
Dec

Oh, America…