Archive for the ‘terrorism’ Tag
By Abdirashid Ahmed, Pioneer Press
As part of my daily routine, I read the local daily news clips every morning. I often find more than one article about the Somali community in Minnesota. Though some articles are positive, many frame the community negatively.
For example, on Monday, July 13, 2015, there were two articles about the community: one, titled “Minnesota’s Somali-Americans urge new treatment for would-be terrorists,” appeared in the Pioneer Press, and “Study: African immigrants’ economic impact untapped in Minnesota” appeared on ABC Eyewitness News Channel 5.
Surprisingly, the article with the term “terrorist” attracted the attention of many fellow Minnesotans, many of whom chose to post negative, un-American, unpatriotic, and clearly racist comments. One commenter asserted, “The only way to deradicalize (Somalis) is to not let them in here.” Another commenter stated, “Send them all back to the craphole from which they originated in Africa. These people are completely alien to Western Society and don’t belong here. They are a violent threat shoved into our midst by those whom (sic) would destroy us all.” And another commenter wrote, “Somalis have learned how to game the system and take advantage of the lefty dim wits in Minneapolis. These guys are no different than any street gang members. Do the crime, do the time.” Unfortunately, I didn’t notice any reasonable comments in response to this article. I have been reading, reviewing, and tracking these negative posts for some time and feel it’s my moral obligation to intervene positively.
Abdirashid S. Ahmed of Maplewood currently works for the City of Minneapolis as its East African community specialist. A public policy analyst, he has previously worked with public assistance programs in Ramsey, Hennepin and Dakota Counties. He has also worked with Metropolitan Council and Lutheran Social Services. He has a master’s degree in public policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and an undergraduate degree in human services administration from Metropolitan State University.
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By Hani Hamdan, Engage Minnesota
You’ve probably seen a Muslim in a public place at some point in time. Given the rising anti-Muslim sentiment in the US, you probably went through the brief discomfort associated with the questions: “Is it wrong to feel suspicious about this guy?” and “How do I know he/she isn’t plotting something?”
Right wing pundits wish to make you believe that you’re being forced under the pressure of illogical “political correctness” to treat Muslims with equality. I’m here to tell you that you can put all notions of political correctness aside and simply look at the facts:
I remember in 8th grade, my school hosted an inspirational speaker, Calvin Terrell. His presentation had a lot to do with racism, discrimination and the grotesque realities of today regarding these things. There was one point in the presentation when he would flash words onto a screen and we students would have to say the first race that we associated with that word. The list went on, and the reactions of the students were highly stereotypical. Then came the last word, “terrorist.” I remember bracing myself for the worst; students around me stared yelling not only races, but religions, people and countries. After hearing them repeatedly saying Islam, Muslims, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and so on, I became mortified. People need to know what Islam really is, not what the media and stereotypes spell it out to be. Islam is drowning in the misconceptions placed upon it, and it is being distrusted and hated for what it is not. There is no teaching in Islam that condones hate and violence against non-Muslims; in fact, all of the teachings prohibit aggression and injustice towards not only other human beings, but also every creation of God. Continue reading
In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
Islamic League of Somali Scholars in America
504 Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55454
Minneapolis, MN – October 4, 2011
PRESS RELEASE CONDEMNING THE HORRIFIC SUICIDE BOMBING IN MOGADISHU
The Islamic League of Somali Scholars in America strongly condemns the horrific suicide bombing that claimed many innocent lives in Mogadishu.
Abu Hurayra (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Every Muslim is forbidden from transgressing against the blood, property, and honor of another Muslim.” (Related by Muslim and Ahmed).
1. We extend our condolences to the families of those who lost their brothers/sisters, children, parents, and relatives in this senseless attack in Mogadishu.
– May Allah grant His Mercy to those who were killed.
– May Allah grant swift healing to those injured in the blast.
2. This criminal act goes against the teachings of Islam and all human norms.
3. We also declare that anyone who blows himself up or commits suicide may earn Hellfire in the following three ways:
– Taking his own life
– Killing an innocent life that has not committed any wrongdoing
– Justifying the spilling of an inviolable blood
4. We call on the Somali people to extend urgent assistance to the people affected by this heinous act
Our success comes from Allah,
And peace be upon you,
Sheikh Abdirahman Sharif Mohamed,
President, Islamic League of Somali Scholars in America
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Telephone: (612) 558-5389
By Rihab Naheel
I rarely think of 9/11. I know that almost every one has been affected by this day in one way or another. It was 10 years ago and yet it feels like yesterday. I had to remember that day against my will the other day, long before the actual date came, while teaching a grammar lesson. Yes, this day creeps up in unexpected places, unexpected times. Continue reading
By Asma Adam
If asked whether Muslim-Americans should be treated fairly, most Americans would answer “yes.” However, America has had its struggles with racism, bigotry, prejudice, and discrimination in its history and it seems that Muslim-Americans are now on the receiving end of these hateful reactions. Since the attacks of September 11, 2001 by Al-Qaeda terrorists, Muslim-Americans have had to deal with mistrust, fear, discrimination, and greater scrutiny. For instance, Muslim-Americans experience traveling restrictions, extra airport searches, denial of immigration cases, and deportations. Just because some Muslims commit horrific atrocities in the name of Islam does not mean that all Muslims are responsible for such actions. There needs to be a more fair way of viewing current issues. There must be a balance between security concerns and protecting civil rights. Continue reading
By Hani Hamdan, Engage Minnesota
Much of the industry of Islamophobia these days seems to operate based on a perceived existential threat to the American identity – the threat that somehow Americans may become “Islamicized” en masse and be brainwashed by Muslims either into converting to Islam or adopting Islamic viewpoints. The rhetoric of bigots like Robert Spencer and David Horowitz warns America from being nobbled into somehow becoming a Muslim nation.
Regardless of the hilarity of such a claim, there is something else about it that should be deeply insulting to Americans: It presumes that Americans are stupid. Continue reading
By Hani Hamdan, Engage Minnesota
This is not to say that Islamophobia has not already cost a barrage of human lives. In addition to direct hate crimes committed against Muslims and Muslim-looking individuals in the US and Europe, hate speech against Muslims or at least the broad criticism of Muslims’ way of life is to blame, in my opinion, for the general public’s inaction toward the thousands of lost lives deemed “collateral damage” during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota
Organisation of The Islamic Conference condemns the killing of UN Staff members during protests in Mazar-i- Sharif
Recalling his warning against unforeseen and volatile consequences of the outrageous and irresponsible act of burning the Holy Quran, Prof. Ihsanoglu reiterated OIC’s position on a normative approach to deal with the acts of discrimination and incitement to violence on religious grounds – through concerted efforts by the international community- with a view to avoiding recurrence of incidents caused by inflamed religious sentiments.”
(Washington, DC – 4/1/11)—The Muslim Public Affairs Council today condemned the killing of at least 12 people, including seven United Nations workers, in Afghanistan by protesters as “barbaric, atrocious and senseless.” This afternoon, MPAC will hold press conferences in Washington, DC and Los Angeles to respond to today’s events.
Read the rest of The American Muslim’s article here.
By Zafar Siddiqui, Engage Minnesota
Terry Jones, the pastor of a little known church in Florida, first came to attention during the hysteria that surrounded the proposed Park51 project in New York last year. His threat to burn the Qur’an was given way too much attention than it deserved and he ended up topping the list of the most notorious. At that time, he backed off from his threat to burn the Qur’an. However, he apparently missed being in the spotlight and decided to go ahead and burn the Qur’an on March 20, 2011.
Read the rest of Zafar’s Star Tribune article here.
by Hani Hamdan, Engage Minnesota
Quite refreshing were new hearings led by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., on protecting the civil rights of American Muslims, especially after a slew of anti-Muslim events within the past year or so. Those culminated in a House committee’s hearings on the “radicalization of American Muslims” a couple of weeks ago.
As glad as I am about Durbin’s hearings, I have to maintain that the way to gain the best understanding of Muslims in the United States starts not by listening to politicians or pundits, left or right, but by shutting them off.
Read te rest of Hani’s article here.
Engage Minnesota is proud to present the following short manual written by our very own Tamim Saidi for journalists who seek to be fair toward Muslims in their journalistic work.
Is It Me or Is It the Media?
Muslims in the Media: Some suggestions for fair-minded journalists
At the outset, and before I start the discussion on presentation or misrepresentation of Muslims in the media, I feel obliged to acknowledge and thank all the great journalists who have gone out of their way to be fair in representing Muslims. I have personally met or communicated with some these great journalists. Being fair to Muslims is not an easy task in the prevalent commercial media culture where “if it bleeds, it leads” has become the motto of some commercial stations. Continue reading
By Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota
As we reflect on the life of Martin Luther King Jr., it is beneficial for us to see the whole person and not just one moment of his life where he gave the “I have a dream speech.” King was angry at the sufferings that African Americans were enduring. He was not passive, a dreamer or in denial of what was happening around him. People who are in denial of what they are experiencing cannot solve their problems, but resort to escapism solutions like drugs and alcohol.
“…the vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business…. When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government—the anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous, and unfortunately Arizona has become sort of the capital…. People tend to pooh-pooh this business about all the vitriol we hear inflaming the American public by people who make a living off of doing that. That may be free speech, but it’s not without consequences.”
We thought it is important to show examples of solidarity and tolerance in a time when contention and division are celebrated by the media. In case you missed it, here are a few links:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CAIR Welcomes Top Muslim Leader’s Hajj Sermon Against Terror
Saudi religious leader tells pilgrims that Islam prohibits terror and extremism
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/15/10) –- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today welcomed an anti-terror statement by Saudi Arabia’s top religious leader made in a sermon at the peak of the Hajj, the most important event on Islam’s spiritual calendar. Continue reading