Following the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” and “Qur’an burning” frenzy, it would seem that Islam and Muslims have become the central object for fear and hatred by American mainstream media and extreme right-wing commentators and politicians. While Islamophobic rhetoric has been exasperated to such high lengths in recent months, it is not atypical of American mainstream media to recruit fear-driven tactics and hatemongering speech in general, in order to influence public opinion and garner viewership and popularity. But such petty agendas have not gone unnoticed by millions of Americans: come the 30th of October, Comedy Central network superstar John Stewart of “The Daily Show” announced a “Rally to Restore Sanity” at the National Mall of Washington DC in a statement against the often simply outrageous rhetoric infiltrating American public opinion. In typically satirical fashion, after Stewart’s announcement, Stewart’s alter-ego and following line-up Stephen Colbert of the “Colbert Report” invited Americans to attend another rally, which he dubbed the “March to Keep Fear Alive.” To learn more about the marches visit their websites (http://www.rallytorestoresanity.com) and (http://www.keepfearalive.com/).
“Ignorance, Not Islam, is the Enemy”
An article by John Esposito, author of “The Future of Islam,” and the founding director of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University and Sheila B. Lalwani, a research fellow at the center on the recent vote by the Texas Board of Education to remove any “pro-Islam” material from school books.
Islamophobia Watch is a UK-based online archiving project which targets Islamophobia ‘as a racist tool of Western Imperialism’. With a mainly text-based format and news reports from around Europe, the strength of the website is its section “Islamophobia: A Definition.”
Check it out: http://www.islamophobia-watch.com/
Journalist Joseph Mayton writes from Egypt regarding the potency of dialogue and educational efforts to clear up misconceptions about religion, especially in light of the Park51 Islamic Center controversy in New York. Mayton believes an educational curriculum that exposes young people to the religious beliefs of others can conquer prejudiced attitudes and can be applied to educational programs in Egypt and across the globe.
Read it here: http://www.commongroundnews.org/article.php?id=28550&lan=en&sid=1&sp=0&isNew=1
The internationally-acclaimed Muslim hip hop group Native Deen, has released its latest music video, ‘My Faith, My Voice’ which challenges the notion that Muslims are to be feared. The video was launched as part of the My Faith My Voice PR campaign, an independent initiative run by young Muslim professionals. With catchy lyrics like, ‘Come, you’re invited to see the real picture/Nothing hiding/ Here’s a free scripture’ this video is an entertaining reminder about the challenges facing Muslims in the US.
Watch it here: http://www.myfaithmyvoice.com/index.php
What do Frank Sinatra and Osama bin Laden have in common?
Probably very little, really. In fact, Sinatra may just be the antithesis to everything that bin Laden is seen to be: a brown-eyed, dark-skinned, turban-clad figure-head of one of the world’s most radical anti-US networks. Bin Laden is perhaps even viewed by some as the very embodiment of those who “hate America for its freedom”, the same freedom that produced the likes of Ol’ Blue Eyes’ and his inescapable charm, All-American winning-smile and his stellar contributions to modern musical history. (more…)
Is Good Muslim a Nice Muslim? wonders Mr. Bill Warner, founder of online portal dubbed Political Islam in a piece he wrote in the aftermath of the Ft. Hood killings. In it, he reminds readers that in Islam, you can either be a Muslim or not, rather than a “good” or “bad” Muslim. By making central the point that any person who does not follow the creed of Islam is considered a “kafir”, Warner shows that Muslims are endowed to kill all “kafris”, even if they seem like nice people. He then claims that it is by following the example of Muhammad that Muslims are inclined to murder all others, thereby showing that a good Muslim means bad news for Christians and Jews.