By Asad Zaman, Amy Eilberg and Tom Duke, Pioneer Press
On behalf of a hundred Minnesota clergy and faith leaders, we write today with a sense of urgency about the unraveling of the fabric of American society. We ask all Minnesota political leaders to condemn the Islamophobic statements of Mr. Donald Trump.
On Dec. 7, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” Earlier he called for a database to track Muslims in America and for many mosques to be shut down.
Such discriminatory, bigoted statements by the presidential frontrunner of a major political party make it appear that bigotry is the perceived stance of that party and that it thrives in the politics of our nation. As such, condemnation by all Minnesota political leaders is urgently needed on this issue.
Imam Asad Zaman is executive director of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota. Amy Eilberg is a rabbi who teaches at United Theological Seminary. Lutheran pastor Tom Duke (ELCA-retired) is coordinator of Saint Paul Interfaith Network.
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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. Read the rest of this entry
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.
Read the rest of this entry
By Marcia Lynx Qualey, Engage Minnesota
The Minnesota Department of Education has issued a report clearing Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy of the major allegations leveled against it and requesting that the school address smaller areas of concern.
The May 19 report states that the school’s core business—curriculum—is nonreligious, in full compliance with all Minnesota statutes. The Department of Education’s areas of concern related to how the school structures its voluntary Friday prayers as well as the timing of after-school busing. In a statement, Tarek school officials said that they take these concerns “very seriously” and will be getting together with parents and Department of Education officials to quickly rectify any possible or perceived infractions.
But the small concerns detailed in the report are not what should worry us most.
What should worry us most is the atmosphere of hate that surrounds them. Read the rest of this entry