Hatred against do-gooder American Muslims in Orange County

Despite the US first amendment, which guarantees freedom of religion, the US has a long history of religious bigotry. Native Americans were forbidden to practice their religions for long decades. Catholic churches were burned by the militant Protestant ‘Know-Nothings.’ Buddhists and Hindus were disadvantaged. Jews were discriminated against. The latest paroxysm of religious hatred is being directed against American Muslims, against whom libels are being launched that have nothing to do with reality.

A good antidote to the hate is Georgetown University’s Center for Christian-Muslim Understanding and the writings of John Esposito

In mid-February, an outburst of anti-Muslim hatred and bigotry, promoted by dangerous nut cases like Pamela Geller and joined in by elected officials in Orange County, broke out as American Muslims meet to raise money for women’s shelters and the homeless.

In this Christian Science Monitor video, three American Muslims talk about misconceptions of Islam in the US:

Posted in Islamophobia | 7 Responses | Print |

7 Responses

  1. I am uncomfortable with this juxtaposition. Raw hatred and bigotry meeting defensiveness and affirmations of American greatness. Yikes. When black people are called “monkeys” in European stadiums, should we have videos of black people explaining to us patiently they are biologically part of the human species? When Jews are called blood suckers, should we have prominent Jews record promotional tapes informing the public that Jews do not actually drink blood?
    I don’t think so. So all these Muslims in the video tell us they are true-blue Americans who love their country and think it is great. Cool! But as Americans shouldn’t they be allowed to dislike America, too? Or would that play into the hands of the bigots? I am sorry but I don’t want American Muslims to feel the need to remind us they’re “good” Americans. The answer to bigotry is to call people out on their bigotry and punish them: it is not for the victims to have to justify why the bigotry is uncalled for.

  2. The video brought tears to my eyes. I go to Yorba Linda, CA often and am struck by the number of places of worship of various faiths. I’m always surprised that it’s the so-called religious who can be intolerant and hateful. It’s sad that this occurred.

  3. While first amendment guarantees freedom of religion, it also provides for freedom of speech which seems to hinge on whether there is immediate physical acts of violence. Thus while such shouting and carrying on may seem like hate, it’s allowed due to freedom of speech.

    First Amendment:
    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    Tough nut to crack …

  4. Is there anything we can do to show our support for these people who were victimized? Anything; a number we could call, or an address to send a message that all beliefs and lifestyles are welcome in this country? I do not live in California, but I am sickened by the actions of the real terrorists here: those who attempt to drive peaceful citizens out of their homes- their real homes in the United States.

  5. Thank you, Juan.

    When she assailed the community center at ground zero, Pamela Geller invoked “religious liberty.” (I won’t honer her with a link, but Google will provide an example for anyone who requires one.) She repudiated liberty of conscience in the name of religious freedom.

    Geller and her allies are redefining the core principles of an open society, perverting them into the rhetorical tropes of a closed society. Her distortion, as well as the acquiescence of others, is unconscionable.

  6. This is indicative of the low position to which a once great country has stooped. Our power greatly diminished; our dreams of world dominance crushed by cold economic and political reality, we look for someone, anyone, at whose feet we might lay the blame for our misfortunes. Islam is the perfect scapegoat for many americans. It is incredible to me how acceptable prejudice against muslims still is. Can anyone imagine what the reaction would be if this protest had taken place at a gathering of jews, blacks, or even homosexuals? There would be outrage in all quarters. All politicians even remotely involved would lose their jobs in short order (probably within hours). Those who spewed threats (“I will throw that camera on your head”) would be put in jail. I do not know all of the psychological and sociological causes for such duplicity; eschewing even the most subtle indication of prejudice against certain groups while letting open threats against others pass without so much as a comment. Surely, the only weapons against such horror are ideological ones. This blog can, and does, play a huge part towards educating the populace on the realities of Islam and Muslims. Thank you Professor Cole. Continue your good work for the sake of all groups living in our country.

  7. Near my home, the local authorities have recently refused permits to several different Muslim groups seeking to build mosques. To their great credit, leaders of other religions, including Jews, have stepped forward to defend the rights of these congregations to build a place of worship. It was disturbing to see a rabbi listed as one of the leaders of the hate mob in Yorba Linda, and to see what appeared to be an Israeli flag among the US flags behind the podium.

    If these people want to see their country hated, this flag abuse is certainly the way to go about it.

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