Archive for Wajahat Ali

Goat Milk: Death by tweet? How Hamza Kashgari’s fate will shape the face of Islam today

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , on March 26, 2012 by loonwatch

Kashgari

Visitors sometimes ask why we don’t devote more of our articles to criticizing some of the regressive views within the Muslim community.

For one thing, there is already an overwhelming amount of criticism leveled at the Muslim community, which in itself is not a bad thing. However, much of what passes as “criticism” is actually pure and unadulterated hatred, something we highlight daily. The well funded machinery of anti-Muslim Islamophobic hate propaganda is an industry with thousands of websites, growing organizational structure and reach. It takes time and effort to combat this hate, and at the moment we are one of the only sites taking on the misinformation and bigotry emerging from the hatemongers on a daily basis. So of course that is our focus and will remain as such.

Also, loaded words like “moderate,” “liberal,” “reformer” and “critic” are at times code words used by self-proclaimed “Muslim” spokesmen/women who play the role of modern-day Uncle Toms and Sally Hemings, (see: Tarek Fatah, Zuhdi Jasser or Asra “Quranolatry” Nomani, etc.).

Still, the question remains, should one really leave the “criticism” to those who sell out the Muslim community for personal aggrandizement?

The fact is there are many Muslims across the world and in America who “criticize” without being agents of empire and imperialism and who do so not for reasons of personal enrichment. In fact, the most effective “criticism” originates within Muslim communities and it is they who should be seen as leaders in this regard. Interestingly, one of the regular Islamophobic talking points forwards the opposite notion, that Muslims are a monolith who have no critical voice when it comes to regressive forces within their community. Anyone who cares to do a minimal Google search on this topic can quickly dispel that belief.

Regressive views garner widespread attention, and are a public relations bonanza for hatemongers like Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. In fact, a tiny group of regressive throwbacks in the Muslim community are arguably the best allies for anti-Muslim hatemongers, and for that reason, it makes sense to voice dissent and offer some alternative views from time to time.

This brings us to Saudi writer Hamza Kashgari, whose tweets on the occasion of the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday landed him in the midst of a controversy and a possible “death sentence.”

All Muslims are indicted in the public imagination, even if a majority find the case frivolous and absurd. However, there are voices of thoughtful opposition, criticizing the persecution of Kashgari. Adeel Ahmed’s article, published on Goat Milk, discusses the case and its implications, arguing it will either lead the Muslim community a step forward–or several steps back.

Death by tweet?: How Hamza Kashgari’s fate will shape the face of Islam today

by Adeel Ahmed, Goat Milk

On the occasion of Mawlid, the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, a young 23-year-old former columnist for Saudi Arabia’s Al-Bilad newspaper tweeted a conversation he imagined he would have if he were to meet the Prophet Muhammad.

-On your birthday, I will say that I have loved the rebel in you, that you’ve always been a source of inspiration to me, and that I do not like the halos of divinity around you. I shall not pray for you.

-On your birthday, I find you wherever I turn. I will say that I have loved aspects of you, hated others, and could not understand many more.

-On your birthday, I shall not bow to you. I shall not kiss your hand. Rather, I shall shake it as equals do, and smile at you as you smile at me. I shall speak to you as a friend, no more.

Almost immediately after the posts he was running for his life. He hopped a plane in Jeddah hoping to reach New Zealand. In Malaysia, where he had to change planes, he was stopped and held until a private plane arrived to take him back home to Saudi Arabia. Now, he sits in a Saudi jail awaiting a possible death sentence.

Yes, death.

Saudi cleric Nasser al-Omar called for Kashgari to be tried for apostasy. Outrageous, I first thought, living here in the Western world. Although I don’t believe that the tweets validate in labeling Kahsgari as an apostate even if he did insult the Prophet Muhammad, let’s just agree with al-Omar’s point of view. If Kashgari is an apostate like al-Omar says, we must look into what Islam says about capital punishment, apostasy and those two linked together.

The Qur’an states: “…Take not life, which God has made sacred, except by way of justice and law. Thus does He command you, so that you may learn wisdom” (6:151). Key words here are “by way of justice and law.” It is clear that capital punishment can be applied by a court as long as it is justifiable and lawful, which fall under two crimes: intentional murder and Fasad fil-ardh, or spreading mischief in the land. The term “spreading mischief in the land” is generally interpreted as crimes that affect a community as a whole and destabilize society. These include treason/apostasy, terrorism, land, sea and air piracy, rape and adultery.

That being said, it must mean that al-Omar’s argument to punish Kashgari with the death sentence for apostasy is valid, correct? No. What al-Omar fails to realize is how that ruling originated and under which circumstances.

During the time of war, if one were to abandon his Muslims by committing treason and declaring himself as an apostate and then fight against Muslims, it would be valid to punish the individual with the death sentence. However, Kashgari is not fighting against his home country, and as a result, is not committing treason. The problem rests in that al-Omar, along with many others, tie apostasy to treason instead of realizing that apostasy is not always linked to war and treason, especially not in this day and age. So, if he is an apostate, should the death sentence apply? Is speaking ill of the Prophet Muhammad considered an act of mischief large enough to punish Kashgari with capital punishment, given that he is considered an apostate?  This is where I searched further to see what Islam says about punishments for the act of apostasy on its own, without being linked to treason.

In Surah 4: 137, the Qur’an reads, “Behold, as for those who come to believe, and then deny the truth, and again come to believe and again deny the truth and thereafter, grow stubborn in their denial of the truth, God will not forgive them, nor will He guide them in any way.” With this passage it’s evident that even after rejecting Islam twice, no punishment is prescribed for the apostate.

Furthermore, Dr. Maher Hathout, a leading American Muslim spokesperson, underscores in his recent book “In Pursuit of Justice: The Jurisprudence of Human Rights in Islam” that while apostasy may be a sin in the eyes of God, it is not considered criminal behavior.

Subhi Mahmassani, an Islam scholar and jurist from Lebanon, has observed that the death penalty was meant to apply not to simple acts of apostasy from Islam, but when apostasy was linked to an act of political betrayal of the community. The Prophet never killed anyone solely for apostasy. This being the case, the death penalty was not meant to apply to a simple change of faith but to punish acts such as treason, joining forces with the enemy and sedition. [Arkan Huquq al-Insan fi l-Islam (Bases of Human Rights in Islam), Beirut: Dar al-‘Ilm li-l-Malayin, 1979, cited in Kamali, as above]

Executing a person because of conversion to another faith or out of faith clearly contradicts the Qur’an, the ultimate source of Islamic law. Without the apostasy being linked to treason that leads to a matter of national security or security of a Muslim community, capital punishment cannot be permitted.

The question now remains, if Islamic law prohibits capital punishment for apostasy, where did Muslims get the idea that it is valid? In Josef Van Ess’s book “The Flowering of Muslim Theology” he observes this issue and the first execution of someone who spoke ill of the Prophet Muhammad. Dating back to the 8th Century, Syrian scholar Muhammad Ibn Said Al-Urdunni was executed for statements he made about the Prophet Muhammad. Al-Urdunni stated that, although Prophet Muhammad was the last prophet, if Allah wanted, He would and could create another Muhammad. He simply was stating that Allah, the Almighty, has the ability to do whatever he wants, which includes creating another Muhammad. It is as unknown as to whom exactly made the final decision to charge Al-Urdunni with apostasy, but the Syrian government issued the death sentence for disrespecting the Prophet Muhammad by even imagining that there could be another prophet after him. The intentions behind the Syrian government are unknown, however, one is to assume that they could have been trying to set an example for Muslim citizens—if Al-Urdunni is executed, people will not dare to speak ill of the Prophet. It seems that al-Omar is using the same philosophy of the 8th Century government in Syria. But we sit here now, in the 21st Century with the same problem that Syrians tried to squash in the 8th Century. So, does al-Omar really believe that the death sentence will in fact put fear in citizens from talking badly about the Prophet?

It is unfortunate that Muslim scholars don’t stand together to stop al-Omar and the Saudi government from this to move forward. Apostasy is not the equivalent of treason. Kashagri wasn’t out to destroy a Muslim community. There should not even be a trial. Under Islamic law, people of other faiths and people who leave Islam are not to be harmed.

The problem is that Saudi Arabia strives to both move forward in the world of high technology while they govern strict limitations and boundaries upontheir citizens. Their strong and strict Wahabbi interpretation of Islamic law will be a crutch for Muslims all over the world, especially the Western world, where Muslims constantly try to prove that Islam is a religion of peace and forgiveness and that Muslims can coexist in a world with other religions. The decision on Hamza Kahsgari’s case will leave a mark. It can either be a huge step in the right direction or send Muslims back another ten.

Adeel Ahmed is an actor and writer. His work has been featured at Sundance and SXSW. Credits include Law & Order CI, Saturday Night Live, Domestic Crusaders. He will next be seen on Hum TV’s drama series Hum Tho Huay Pardesi as well as Rangoon on Theatre Row in New York City. 

Read the original here: http://goatmilkblog.com/2012/03/07/death-by-tweet-how-hamza-kashgaris-fate-will-shape-the-face-of-islam-today-adeel-ahmed/

Wajahat Ali: How turkey came to our Thanksgiving table

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , on November 24, 2011 by loonwatch

(cross-posted from Salon)

Once shunned by my Muslim family, the bird finally found a place in our home, just like so many American traditions

By: Wajahat Ali

My Pakistani and American Muslim social circles celebrate Thanksgiving each year alongside our Eid festivities and Super Bowl Sunday parties, featuring homemade guacamole dip, chips and samosas. But it wasn’t always like this. For my family, this marriage between East and West was three decades in the making.

The 1980s:  An “Amreekan Holiday”

As a child, I often asked my mother what we were eating for Thanksgiving.

“Food,” she replied matter-of-factly.

“Are we eating a turkey?” I asked.

“No, only Amreekans eat turkey.”

Any immigrant or child of immigrants understands that “Amreekan” is a code word for “the mainstream,” which really means “white people.” In addition to celebrating Thanksgiving with a turkey, here are some other things we learned only “Amreekans” do:

  • Wear shoes inside the home
  • Receive “time out” as a valid form of punishment for unruly behavior
  • Talk back to elders
  • Have sex before marriage
  • Put grandparents in senior homes
  • Sleep over at friends’ homes
  • Tattoos
  • Christmas trees
  • Cable television
  • Shop at stores other than Ross, K-Mart, outlet stores, Marshalls and Mervyns (RIP)

Now, I don’t begrudge my parents their position toward turkey. It’s a confounding bird for most immigrants, who are generally more comfortable with the bleats of a goat or a lamb, the squawks of the simple-minded chicken. The turkey was an enigma: a heavy, feathered bird with its “gobbledygook” mutterings, freakish red wattle and vast supply of dry, juiceless meat.

“Do the Amreekans realize it is dry?” ask my still perplexed relatives living in Pakistan. “Where is the masala? The taste? The juices? Why do they eat this bird?”

Besides, most first-generation immigrants in America retain the romantic, deluded concept that “We will eventually go back home to the Motherland.” They will never be “Amreekan.”

Of course, they never do go back and instead firmly plant their familial, cultural, economic, religious and political roots in this foreign yet welcoming “Amreekan” soil. They have second-generation kids — yours truly — who are as “Amreekan” as apple pie, burritos and biryani.

And so Thanksgiving traditions began to leak into our old-school immigrant mentality. I watched the annual Macy’s parade, hoping to see a Spider-Man float. I played Super Mario on my Nintendo and looked forward to spending the evening with Snoopy, Linus, Charlie Brown and the gang, all the while eating a traditional Pakistani dinner. No turkey — yet.

The ’90s: Introducing the Thanksgiving Chicken

In my teen years, I discovered hair in new places and found the courage to demand authentic “Amreekan” requests from my parents.

“Give me turkey, woman!” I once commanded my mother for the upcoming Thanksgiving festivities.

“Here’s some money. You buy it and make it yourself if you like it so much,” she replied.

Foiled again. She knew my inherent culinary uselessness and overall laziness far too well. Well played, Mother. Well played.

During this decade of grunge and Bill Clinton, the immigrant generation in our family gradually replaced the “We will go back to the motherland” mantra with disillusioned rants about how “The motherland is going to hell” after they returned from visiting.

American pop culture effortlessly coexisted within the confines of our Pakistani-American home. Visiting from college one day, I descended the stairs to Nusrat belting out a qawwali in Punjabi. Moments later my father changed the track to Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.” He was in the kitchen rubbing traditional South Asian spices into pieces of steak he would later cook on his brand-new George Foreman grill.

My mother relented to my requests and made a meal on Thanksgiving. Instead of cooking a turkey, though, she insisted on roasting two whole chickens.

“What’s the point of having a chicken on Thanksgiving of all days?” I asked. “It’s like passing out omelets to kids on Easter instead of colored eggs.”

“I like chickens. I can cook a chicken. Chickens are tasty,” my mother replied. “I’m not wasting my time cooking a dry bird.”

She ruled the kitchen with an Iron Ladle.

But the consumption of “some form of a bird” on Thanksgiving was remarkable progress toward fully celebrating this Amreekan holiday. Furthermore, the religious clergy in our communities realized the obvious: Thanksgiving dinner is actually harmonious with Muslim values. After all, aren’t we reconciling with our family and communities and being thankful and grateful for all of our blessings? Isn’t that what Muslims are supposed to do on a daily basis?

Score one for theology in supporting rational arguments to consume dead birds.

That night, we ate two fully roasted whole chickens (quite tasty), and my mother also made basmati rice, daal (lentls), chicken khorma (curry) and kheema (South Asian ground beef.)

It wasn’t perfect — but it was a start.

The new century: Let there be turkey

The 21st century opened the culinary floodgates. It was a brave new world. Turkeys were unleashed to South Asian and Muslim American homes on Thanksgiving with wild abandon. No American holiday would be left unattended and no holiday sale would be forsaken by the immigrant communities! The musings of “going back to the motherland” have now transformed into semi-annual visits to see relatives and nothing more.

Even Muslim butchers are readily selling Halal turkeys in their local community shops. (Halal meat refers to animals slaughtered according to Islamic custom similar to Kosher slaughtering practices for Jews).

2002 was the “Great Turkey Explosion,” when Chandni, the neighborhood South Asian restaurant/wedding reception hall/religious ceremony hall/miscellaneous space used for all celebrations, started offering an “authentic Thanksgiving buffet” for $11 on Nov. 24-25. I had heard rumors of this awesomeness, but I had to drive there and witness morsels of turkey flesh swimming in a broth of fat and oil to believe it myself. And, lo and behold, in front of the South Asian buffet table — which featured lamb karahi, chicken tikka masala, and saag ghosht (spinach with meat) — there was “Thanksgiving” buffet table with turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes and bread rolls.

In our home, my father made the official decree that the Ali family would now and forever more eat turkey on Thanksgivings – provided he could successfully cook it, which meant “Not cooking it like the Amreekans who always make it too dry.” He felt ambitious in his old age and wanted to test his expanding baking skills by finally tackling the Gobbling-Goliath.

His initial attempt in 2003 was conservative, baking the turkey over several hours as per custom. There was also corn. The mother made some chicken khorma as emergency along with Basmati rice. Some cans of mango and lime pickle achar (relish) were opened just in case. The turkey was both edible and tasty. The family had successfully conquered the mythical bird and stuffed it with so much masala juice it developed a South Asian accent, bhangra dance moves, good credit and IT tech support skills.

A few years later, the family decided to up the ante and “brine” the turkey after some intense Googling sessions researching “Best Way to Cook + Turkey.” This time, we added gravy, mashed potatoes and soft rolls to the menu, along with corn.

Some Thanksgiving staples, however, remained foreign. Yams could only be justified if it was added with meat to a curry. Pumpkins were still regarded as an “exotic vegetable” only to be seen and carved on Halloween. Cranberry sauce was something you drank out of a bottle as a juice concentrate and never ate on the side. “Stuffing” was still only understood as a verb and not an edible noun.

Fast-forward a few years to 2011, and lo and behold, our turkeys have been successfully baked, roasted, brined, deep fried — and thoroughly enjoyed. The annual turkey now sits on a large dining table next to homemade sweet yams, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn bread, rolls, corn on the cob, and store-bought pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce. And yes, there is always a South Asian curry dish just in case.

We also wash down the gluttony with the American Muslim version of Cristal: Martinelli’s Apple Cider.

But this isn’t just a story about how we integrated a strange-looking bird into our dinners. It’s how my American Muslim Pakistani family integrated into the American cultural fabric. It’s the same messy, colorful but inevitable way immigrants all over enter the American narrative, bringing their own flavors to collide, merge and spill outside the pot.

It’s as Amreekan as turkey and chicken khorma.

Wajahat Ali continues to awkwardly pray in Gap stalls.  He is a playwright, attorney and journalist.  His first play, “The Domestic Crusaders,” was recently published by McSweeney’s.  He is currently writing an HBO pilot with Dave Eggers.

The Stealth Halal Jihadist Turkey: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love the Muslim Trojan Horse

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 24, 2011 by loonwatch

Guest Article by: Wajahat Ali 

American Muslim communities celebrating Thanksgiving with a traditional Turkey feast represents an encouraging sign of integration with American values and rituals.

But, of course, we Muslims fooled you.

Yet again.

You should have known that our baked, brined, and deep-fried masala turkeys were simply veiling our nefarious, anti-American plots to replace McDonald’s arches with minarets and convert the White House to the United Colors of Benetton House.

Pam Geller, our anti-Muslim Paul Revere

However, not all patriotic Americans were gullible and naïve! Nay, some America-holic crusaders, like bloggers Pam Geller and her fearless co-horts, called out our “stealth jihadist turkey plot!” Like modern-day Paul Reveres, they blogged, tweeted and mass mailed our ingenious plot “to submit unassuming Americans to Islam by feeding them halal Turkey” this holiday season. (Halal meat is slaughtered according to Islamic custom, similar to Jewish Kosher laws.)

Our nation’s Cassandra, Pam Geller – the preeminent anti-Muslim blogger and conspiracy theorist aficionado –  believes President Obama is a Muslim, illegitimate son of Malcolm X who once went to Pakistan for drugs and jihad. She also uncovered Arabic is not just a language, but actually a spearhead for anti-Americanism. Thanks to her, we discovered radical Islam has infiltrated our government, which is secretly being run by Islamic supremacists. She also accused Muslims of engaging in stealth cultural jihad by wearing their headscarves at Disneyland.

Truth be told, we’ve already converted Goofy. Donald Duck was always our Manchurian candidate. Mickey was the first to turn Benedict Arnold.  As for Porky Pig, he better watch out; we’re coming for him next…with our scimitars.

Damn you, Pamela Geller, your anti-Muslim, detective nose is too evolved and sophisticated in sniffing out our dastardly plots!

I guess the feathered, red wattled bird is out of the proverbial bag. There’s no reason to hide the secret any longer.

It’s true. The turkey is our new Trojan Horse.

After spending decades learning to cook and enjoy the famously-dry turkey, we Muslims decided to use the bird to launch our turkey jihad after successfully conquering it in our respective kitchens.  We’ve evolved from creeping sharia into states to creeping cholesterol and obesity into American diets. After taking over all the street meat vendors in New York, the Islamization of the turkey bird was inevitable.

Turkey: The Greatest Weapon of Mass Distraction

The Turkey is our greatest weapon of distraction. Even more so than hummus, biryani, shwarmas, kebobs, naans, and Lupe Fiasco.

The fatty bird’s high levels of tryptophan act like a paralyzing agent, causing intense drowsiness and lethargy when Americans overeat on Thanksgiving Day. The ensuing food coma paves the way for The Muslim Agenda to stealthily accomplish its ambitious goal of radically transforming America into a radical Caliphate guided by Sharia law.

Pam Geller, the 21st century’s Velma, uncovers The Great Halal Turkey Conspiracy:

Across this great country, on Thanksgiving tables nationwide, infidel Americans are unwittingly going to be serving halal turkeys to their families this Thursday. Turkeys that are halal certified… [this] is just the opposite of what Thanksgiving represents: freedom and inclusiveness, neither of which are allowed for under that same Islamic law.

Blast her foresight and remarkable sleuthing skills!

In this land of religious freedom, tolerance and pluralism, it is utterly unacceptable – downright un-American, I say – to allow a diversity of slaughtering options for mass consumers! And allowing Turkeys to be slaughtered according to a religious custom similar to Jewish Kosher laws? Shudder the thought!

Indeed, it is more patriotic to consume a steroid-pumped, undernourished, traumatized turkey hurled onto a mechanical conveyor belt – along with thousands of its gobbling brethren – awaiting its rapture under the guillotine of economic efficiency and other profit-maximizing instruments of death.

That, my friends, is truly the American way!

Muslims, we’re like the Green Bay Packers

But, even American superheroes like Pamela Geller can’t stop our momentum. Muslims are like the current Green Bay Packers of fifth-column, culinary stealth jihadists– we’re on a hot streak!

First, we infiltrated America by creating a hot, Lebanese American beauty pageant named Rima Fakih who won Miss USA and stole the tiara from the infidels. Then, we installed a biracial man with Kenyan roots in the Oval Office, who happens to be a practicing Christian that celebrates Easter, accepts Christ as his savior, and has yet to step foot in a mosque during his three years as President. Moreover, he drinks alcohol and publicly eats bacon. Indeed, the hallmark traits of a Muslim President.

Most recently, we have invaded mainstream American television sets with our very own reality TV show, TLC’s All American Muslim. Move over Kim, Paris and Snookie, Arab-American Muslim Shadia is creeping to take over your botox and photoshopped US Weekly covers. According to Pamela Geller’s Justice League of Islamophobes, TLC’s real intention in creating the show is to force “submission to Islam through the hijab.” (Our clandestine plots foiled yet again!)

Halal Turkey Victory: The Icing on the Cake

But this latest victory is the icing on the cake, or I should say, the honey on the kanafeh. Ha!

Who was our mighty warrior leading us to victory, you ask? Our Alexander? Our Achilles? Our Obama? Our Aaron Rogers? The Trojan horse of our stealth victory was none other than the Thanksgiving turkey.

In fact, we’ve been so successful at integrating, we’ve inspired the mega corporation Butterball to become our preeminent stealth jihadist and unleash stealth halal turkeys on unsuspecting Americans and citizens abroad.

After all, what’s more anti-American than introducing a uniquely American bird, Turkey, to new global consumer markets thereby promoting American products, advertising brand names, and stimulating the national economy? That’s downright Communistic!

But, even this is too much for Geller, who is asking for Butterball to be held accountable for allegedly serving Americans unlabeled halal meat. She has created the “Boycott Butterball Turkey” Facebook page.

Even fellow American Muslims are upset! All this time they could’ve purchased turkey at affordable prices from their local supermarkets instead of shelling out extra money for halal-certified birds from their community butchers! How come no one told the rest of them about Butterball’s ingenious stealth halal turkey jihadist plan?

(We have to keep them in the dark. We can’t afford to activate all of our of culinary stealth jihadists at once. Most of them have to live as if they are actually moderate, peaceful, loyal, normal Americans going about their day to day lives dealing with real problems and concerns that are shared by their neighbors, friends and co-workers. Lateral thinking.)

The Muslim Agenda Fortune Cookie

If you’re lucky, you’ll find The Protocols of the Elders of Mecca (or, “The Muslim Agenda”) stuffed in your Butterball turkey this holiday season. It outlines the plans for our next American cultural takeovers.  If you look closely, deep inside your Butterball turkeys, there will be leaked cell phone photos of a circumcised Easter Bunny praying towards Mecca right before he hands out Kosher eggs and crescent-shaped chocolates to kids from his Easter basket, which we imported from China.

Apparently he’s also developed an insatiable sexual urge for white female rabbits and has started his own “Hare’s Harem.” Rumor has it he’s been fasting during Ramadan and partying like it was Mardi Gras during Lent.

And, wait until you see what we have in store for Christmas! Red-nosed camels and a Santa Claus named Abu Qhlaws: a hairy, overweight Moroccan man with a bushy beard giving chicken tagine to school kids in the malls.

There’s a rumor that American Muslim families will be giving snickers and tandoori chicken pieces for Halloween. Trick or Treat?

We’ve successfully brainwashed the Tooth Fairy as well. She now wears a burqa and was forced to marry Imam Rumpelstiltskin (Come on, that wasn’t a shocker, right?).  Instead of replacing children’s teeth with coins, she now places small Qurans published in Saudi Arabia under their bedroom pillows. She also sprinkles fairy dust on the children, consisting of turmeric and zaatar.

The battle of the absurd, paranoid, and demented is thankfully yearlong and not contained to seasonal limitations. This Thanksgiving, however, please do enjoy your Turkey, whether it be kosher, halal, vegan, vegetarian, American or even foreign.

To appease Pamela Geller and company, just please make sure your dead, cooked bird is tasty, America-holic and not a radical, stealth agent of jihad.  Just to be safe, stab the bird a few times Pulp Fiction-style with the baster. Because, after all, you can never really know and you can never really be too sure.

Wajahat Ali is a playwright, attorney, journalist and humorist.  He blogs at Goatmilk and is the author of the award-winning Domestic Crusaders.  He will be basting his halal turkey in America-holic juices this Thanksgiving.

$42 Million From Seven Foundations Helped Fuel The Rise Of Islamophobia In America

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2011 by loonwatch

money bags

A very interesting report on the funding of the anti-Muslim movement. It is unfortunate that despite a few citations there is scant mention of our taking the haters on day in and day out for over two years.

REPORT: $42 Million From Seven Foundations Helped Fuel The Rise Of Islamophobia In America

By Faiz Shakir on Aug 26, 2011 at 9:30 am

Following a six-month long investigative research project, the Center for American Progress released a 130-page report today which reveals that more than $42 million from seven foundations over the past decade have helped fan the flames of anti-Muslim hate in America. The authors — Wajahat Ali, Eli Clifton, Matt Duss, Lee Fang, Scott Keyes, and myself — worked to expose the Islamophobia network in depth, name the major players, connect the dots, and trace the genesis of anti-Muslim propaganda.

The report, titled “Fear Inc.: The Roots Of the Islamophobia Network In America,” lifts the veil behind the hate, follows the money, and identifies the names of foundations who have given money, how much they have given, and who they have given to:

The money has flowed into the hands of five key “experts” and “scholars” who comprise the central nervous system of anti-Muslim propaganda:

FRANK GAFFNEY, Center for Security Policy – “A mosque that is used to promote a seditious program, which is what Sharia is…that is not a protected religious practice, that is in fact sedition.” [Source]

DAVID YERUSHALMI, Society of Americans for National Existence: “Muslim civilization is at war with Judeo-Christian civilization…the Muslim peoples, those committed to Islam as we know it today, are our enemies.” [Source]

DANIEL PIPES, Middle East Forum: “All immigrants bring exotic customs and attitudes, but Muslim customs are more troublesome than most.” [Source]

ROBERT SPENCER, Jihad Watch: “Of course, as I have pointed out many times, traditional Islam itself is not moderate or peaceful. It is the only major world religion with a developed doctrine and tradition of warfare against unbelievers.” [Source]

STEVEN EMERSON, Investigative Project on Terrorism: “One of the world’s great religions — which has more than 1.4 billion adherents — somehow sanctions genocide, planned genocide, as part of its religious doctrine.” [Source]

These five “scholars” are assisted in their outreach efforts by Brigitte Gabriel (founder, ACT! for America), Pamela Geller (co-founder, Stop Islamization of America), and David Horowitz (supporter of Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch). As the report details, information is then disseminated through conservative organizations like the Eagle Forum, the religious right, Fox News, and politicians such as Allen West and Newt Gingrich.

Over the past few years, the Islamophobia network (the funders, scholars, grassroots activists, media amplifiers, and political validators) have worked hard to push narratives that Obama might be a Muslim, that mosques are incubators of radicalization, and that “radical Islam” has infiltrated all aspects of American society — including the conservative movement.

To explain how the Islamophobia network operates, we’ve produced this video to show just one example of how they have mainstreamed the baseless and unfounded fear that Sharia may soon replace American laws:

*We published this piece earlier but took it down for technical reasons.

Wajahat Ali: My Awkward Moments in Muslim Prayer

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2011 by loonwatch

Muslim prayer is a beautiful thing, but sometimes it can be awkward given the circumstance. A great piece from Wajahat on his experiences and also why the anti-Muslim hysteria is misplaced.

Talk about awkward prayer moments:

My awkward moments in Muslim prayer

by Wajahat Ali

(Salon.com)

A Muslim who prays in public is like James Bond, but without the bling, sophisticated gadgets and entourage of gorgeous women eager to bed him. Both brilliantly fail at every attempt at stealth. Like the fictional secret agent, a Muslim, despite his best intentions and clandestine efforts, sticks out like a pink elephant when forced to offer his ritualistic prayer, salat, outside the comforting cocoon of his home or mosque.

Contrary to the fear-mongering asserted by professional Islamophobes, Muslim Americans do not wish to impose their religious practices and beliefs upon their non-Muslim neighbors. The reality is that most of us are simply trying to navigate the sometimes tricky — but often entertaining — balancing act of adhering to our religious values and rituals while avoiding societal awkwardness and being seen as modern-day Boo Radleys.

Each time I have to pray and am unable to find a secluded spot, I would love for a magic Muslim portal to open and take me away to a fantastic Greyskull castle. Here, I could pray in solitude, shielded from the curious eyes of fascinated and horrified observers and ride on an armored tiger named Battle Cat while drinking mango lassi from a diamond-encrusted goblet.

Unfortunately, I live in reality.

Instead, I discover I have 15 minutes left to pray the afternoon Asr prayer and I’m stuck in a crowded, Valley Fair mall in San Jose, Calif. Realizing that I’d probably be tazed and shot by Homeland Security if I decided to bust out my Arabic tai chi at the Orange Julius, I seek temporary refuge for my prayer woes in the most obvious location: the fitting room at the Gap.

I enter the clothing metropolis in a frantic state and pretend to peruse the fine clothing merchandise. I randomly pick up some accessories and head toward the fitting room stalls only to realize that I am holding skinny female jeans and a Size 2, purple dress. I hastily dump the incorrect clothing on a wooden bench — making sure no one saw me — and run to the men’s section. I decide to play “pretend” and pick up hip, expensive clothing I’d probably never wear in real life and lug the stylish suit, jacket and jeans to the fitting room.

After waiting five minutes due to the long line, the ridiculously good-looking female employee directs me to a fitting stall. I cannot bring myself to make eye contact with her lest I confess my ruse. I rush into the stall and hang the clothes on the wall and devise a complex and sophisticated strategy to secretly pray while “pretending” to try on hip, urban garments. I make sure to create as much noise as possible when changing my pants from the brown, Docker, uncle khakis to the hipster jeans so they don’t suspect my celestial intentions.

I leave the rumbled pants on the floor, along with my shoes and my outer shirt, as visible signs of evidence that I am indeed using this fitting room for normal fitting room purposes.

Now, all I have to figure out is which way is Northeast, because Muslims pray toward Mecca, and this event occurred BIP — before iPhone. I basically do an “eeny-meeny-miney-mo” with the four corners and go with my “gut,” and decided “Mecca” was probably somewhere in the corner nearest to the stall door.

All is well until the prostration, where Muslims have to touch their forehead and nose to the ground. As I’m about to go to the floor, I was overwhelmed with a sense of comfort — I honestly thought I had created a successful camouflage using limited means with limited time. I felt proud and complimented myself on being a pretty dope, on-the-fly, Pakistani, Muslim American James Bond.

My head and knees are now on the floor next to the gap in the door, and everything is going smoothly. I glance to my left and the Gap employee, having bent down, is now staring at me and asking, “Sir, is everything all right?”

F my life.

I quickly finish my prayer, mumble, “Everything is fine! Just fine!” I change my clothes and exit the door to find two Gap employees and a several customers staring at me with concern and confusion in their eyes.

“Just, uh, was praying, yeah, uh, Muslim. We, uh, five times … a day … needed space. Used the stall. Not having a heart attack. Don’t worry. Just thought — yeah, OK! Thanks!”

And I peace out like Flash, running for the exit door and deliberately trying to get lost in the crowd and become a brown blurry dot so as to outwit the imagined Gap security chasing after me.

Other classic awkward moments include the following memorable gems:

• The San Francisco Abercrombie and Fitch fitting room where the ridiculously good-looking female employee again asked me, “Are you OK?”

• The Century 21 Winchester movie theater parking lot, where hundreds of movie patrons exited the packed screening of “Mission Impossible 2″ only to find three brown men praying outside the exit door, next to the garbage cans. (Thank you, Adil, for that brilliant idea.)

• The allegedly dark, closed-off corner in AMC Metreon in San Francisco while waiting in a crowded line to see “The Lord of the Rings” — the corner was neither dark nor closed-off, and you can imagine the rest.

• Praying as a group along with several brown friends during the seventh inning of an Oakland A’s baseball game in between a closed-off escalator and a hot dog stand, and protected by an African-American park employee who said, “You all go ahead and pray. I was married to a Muslim man … once.”

• And, finally, my favorite was our extremely well planned and brilliantly executed two-minute prayer drill while visiting Alcatraz prison. We found a hidden room with antiques and I was the initial watchman, standing outside the door, vigilantly keeping an eye out for the tour group that was hovering around the corner about to bust in on our private prayer session.

In the years since these colorful incidents, some confused and ignorant Americans have begun protesting the construction of mosques in America, citing their presence as fundamentally alien to American values and proof of a Muslim takeover. Along the way, these misguided individuals seem to have forgotten the First Amendment and cultural values celebrating diversity and freedom of religion. Preventing the construction of mosques (like the recent controversy in California) will have no effect on stealth jihadists. However, it will unleash a far greater problem for America: a horde of Muslim Americans awkwardly praying in public.

 

FBI: Stop Spying on American Muslims

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2010 by loonwatch
Craig Montielh, Wanna-be FBI Infiltrator

It is high time the FBI stop spying on American Muslims, as recent op-eds, comments from leading Muslim organizations and leaders and former intelligence officials reveal, spying is an ineffective tool that runs counter to anti-Terrorism efforts.

Instead of fostering better relations with Muslims, it creates and perpetuates an atmosphere of distrust that drives further away the number one resource –the Muslim Community– in combating terrorism and threats to our security.

Wajahat Ali writes piercingly on the topic,

Time for FBI to stop spying on American Muslims

(Guardian)

The recent arrest of the potential Christmas tree bomber is reflective of the FBI’s myopic strategy of using glitzy, expensive sting operations and dubious confidential informants to further erode Muslim American relations instead of concentrating on effective partnerships to combat radicalisation. The FBI is promoting the arrest of Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a 19-year-old Somali-born teenager accused of attempting to detonate a car bomb at a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony, as a triumph of effective law enforcement. Instead, the operation reeks of gratuitous self-adulation, requiring 6 months of time and precious expenditures to “uncover” a dummy terrorist plot wholly scripted and concocted by the FBI in the first place.

Although many argue that this was simply entrapment, evidence does indicate that Mohamud became increasingly radicalised and voluntarily continued with the FBI’s fake terror plot. Regardless, CAIR attorney Zahra Billo told me, “The FBI seek out troubled people – nobody is arguing that some of these individuals aren’t deeply troubled – and then enable and facilitate their aspirations. It is the FBI’s job to stop operational terrorists. It is not the FBI’s job to enable aspirational terrorists.”

Attorney General Eric Holder recently suggested the use of such sting operations were “part of a forward-leaning way” in which law enforcement could proactively find those individuals committed to harming Americans, and a study revealed that 62% of terror prosecutions relied on confidential informants. But recent episodes suggest these tactics are neither “forward-looking”, nor effective. Instead, they contribute towards a deepening, polarising wedge between law enforcement officials and some of their most important assets in the war against extremism: Muslim American communities.

Recently, a former FBI confidential informant, Craig Monteilh, humorously codenamed “Oracle”, revealed he was paid $177,000 tax-free by the FBI to infiltrate and entrap a southern California Muslim community. The convicted forger, who went by “Farouk al-Aziz”, was served with a restraining order by the mosque after he repeatedly pestered attendees with absurd conversations about engaging in violent jihad. Not to be deterred, the FBI heavily relied upon Oracle’s superlative evidence, consisting of taped conversations, to indict an Afghan-American language instructor for allegedly making false statements regarding his ties to terrorists. Moreover, prosecutors alleged he was the brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden’s security coordinator.

Surely, this bombshell discovery paved the way for a successful prosecution and conviction? Nearly a year and a half later, the judge agreed with the prosecutors to dismiss the case citing lack of an overseas witness and “evidentiary issues”. The result is a widening distrust of the FBI, since “the community feels betrayed,” said Shakeel Syed, executive director of the Islamic shura council of southern California, an umbrella group of more than 75 mosques.

In the deeply flawed 2005 Lodi terror case, the FBI boasted of capturing two, alleged high-level terrorists, Hamid and Umer Hyatt – Pakistani father and son immigrants, who drove ice cream trucks for a living – based on the evidence of an unreliable Pakistani-American informant, codenamed “Wildkat”. Indeed, his fact-finding lived up to his name, since he told the FBI he saw al-Qaida’s number two man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, at his Lodi, California mosque. Although the FBI [thankfully] conceded his reporting as false, they nonetheless proceeded to pay him nearly $300,000 to infiltrate the sleepy Muslim community and scour for terrorists. His taped conversations with Umer Hyatt reveal him badgering and allegedly conning Umer to make incriminating statements. Furthermore, videotapes of the Hyatts’ absurd alleged “confessions”, which former veteran FBI agent James Wedick Jr reviewed and concluded were a result of illegal questioning and coaxing, nonetheless convinced a jury to convict Hamid of providing material support to terrorists and making false statements to the FBI.

Aside from a miscarriage of justice, perhaps the most poisonous result of such belligerent law enforcement procedures, is a “chilling effect” on the Muslim American community, in which citizens legitimately feel fear and alienation from, and a deepening mistrust of, their government, as a result of such harassment. “Time and again, Muslims prove themselves to be good and smart when it comes to reporting potential crimes. The problem with this method of law enforcement is that strains the very relationships that are critical to effective community policing,” says Billo.

In a country where 60% of its citizens claim to not know a Muslim and 45% regard Islam as a religion that promotes violence, these self-aggrandising displays of “successful” prosecutions also contribute to the volatile climate of anti-Muslim bigotry and reactionary rhetoric. Recently, Glenn Beck delved into his hyperactive, paranoid imagination to produce the utterly baseless statistic that nearly 10% of Muslims are terrorists. Although many of Beck’s audience will not question the veracity of his “facts”, a comprehensive study undertaken by Duke University reveals that the number of radicalised Muslim-Americans remains very small. The study reports that “Muslim American communities have been active in preventing radicalisation… This is one reason that Muslim American terrorism has resulted in fewer than three dozen of the 136,000 murders committed in the United States since 9/11.”

Thus, a Senegalese Muslim immigrant was the first to witness and report failed jihadist Faisal Shahzad’s burning car in Times Square. A Muslim American community in Virginia went to local law enforcements and the FBI after discovering troubling videotapes left by five youths who allegedly went to Pakistan to commit jihad. A convert to Islam tipped off the FBI about the Christian militant group, the Hutarees, who were planning a terrorist attack on American soil. Even the Nigerian underwear bomber’s own father warned British authorities that his son was radicalised and could potentially harm himself and others.

Undoubtedly, radicalisation and terrorism are real threats, which afflict all US citizens, regardless of race or religion. Perhaps the FBI should now cease treating most Muslim American citizens as potential suspects, whose privacy rights and civil liberties are now curtailed in clumsy ways – such as faulty GPS tracking devices sloppily attached on their cars. Perhaps the FBI needs to spend its considerable (taxpayer-paid-for) resources to re-engage them as partners and allies – instead of contributing to the heightened climate of fear and paranoia by employing shady informants with cheesy, comic-book codenames.

 

Muslim-American Spills His Guts, Admits Barack Hussein Obama’s Taqiyya

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , on August 21, 2010 by loonwatch

How many of you have heard of taqiyya?  It’s a religious belief of Muslims where they can lie to infidels.  Read all about this fundamental Islamic doctrine right here.

Basically, it allows them to lie about what religion they belong to, among other things!  I didn’t believe it when I read Robert Spencer’s book, but just today a prominent Muslim-American named Wajahat Ali, known for drinking goat milk (that’s what Muslims drink), spilled his guts and wrote a tell-all piece for The Guardian.  Hear it straight from his own words how all Muslim-Americans know that President, or should I say Imam Barack Hussein Obama, is doing taqiyya and has the seed of Islamin him!  Wajahat Ali demands that Obama return the seed if he is not using it.  Will a fleet enema be sufficient to flush out the seed that Obama swallowed?

Check out the amazing article for yourself:

Barack Obama, ‘Muslim’ president

Like many Muslim Americans, I had high hopes – now dashed: our brother drinks beer, eats pork and won’t fast at Ramadan …

by Wajahat Ali

Exhibit A: Barack Obama dressed as a Somali elder during his 2006 visit to Kenya. The photograph was circulated during the presidential election campaign in 2008, regarded by Democrats as a smear. Photograph: APOne wonders why only 20% of Americans believe President Barack Obama is a Muslim, considering the overwhelming evidence conclusively proving his slavish allegiance to Islam and utter disregard for Christianity.

After Obama’s wishy-washy defence of Muslim Americans’ freedom to build a community centre, which includes a mosque, two blocks away from Ground Zero, a poll from the Pew Research Centrereveals that nearly 20% of Americans – up from 11% a year ago – consider him a Muslim, and nearly 43% are unsure of his religion.

As a Muslim American, I presciently spotted the tell-tale signs of Obama’s Muslimy-ness and raucously celebrated – along with the entire monolithic entity of 1.5bn Muslims – our successful Islamisation of America. With one of us finally implanted in the White House and the other wearing a Miss USA tiara, minarets on the Capitol and a burqa-clad Hillary Clinton were only a lunar cycle away.

The smoking gun proving Obama belonged to the “stars and crescent” occurred during his interview with influential pastor Rick Warren, when he publicly admitted: “I believe Jesus died for my sins and I’m redeemed through him – that is a source of strength and sustenance on a daily basis.” Further testimony came with his 2009 Notre Dame graduation speech, where Obama referenced his community organising days in Chicago, boldly declaring: “… it was through this service I was brought to Christ.”

His decisive break with Christianity and subsequent undying fealty to the Islamic empire clearly then occurred at the White House Easter prayer breakfast, where he welcomed the esteemed guests as his “brothers and sisters in Christ“. And how can one forget Obama publicly denouncing Reverend Jeremiah Wright, his pastor for over 20 years at the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago?

However, despite this powerful evidence of his Islamic faith, my mind is plagued with doubts concerning Obama’s authentic Muslim credibility. The world takes photos of him eating lunch during Ramadan, a holy month for Muslims in which we abstain from food and drink until sunset. Also,Obama apparently likes beer – which is strictly forbidden in Islam – and he never hesitates to flagrantly exhibit this sin. Memorable examples include his drinking bout with Professor Henry Louis Gates’ arresting officer, Sgt Crowley, or his chugging a few bottles while awkwardly bowling to pacify nervous, middle-class white voters in Pennsylvania during the primaries.

It also appears that Obama indulges in eating swine – thoroughly forbidden for Muslims – and he was subsequently caught devouring a tasty piece of salami with Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York, who may also be a closet Muslim given his recent stirring and eloquent defence of religious liberties in light of the Park 51 mosque controversy.

So I worry about my Muslim brother’s observance. In over two years, Obama has yet to step foot in a mosque. Furthermore, when given the ripe opportunity to pick a Muslim judge for the supreme court – thereby implementing sharia law through stealth judicial activism – Obama instead nominated Elena Kagan (a Jew and a female to boot!). His cabinet, which counsels him on the most critical domestic and foreign policy issues, does not contain even one member with an Arabic name.

And despite all the president’s obvious Muslim credentials and avowed commitment to convert America to an Islamic theocracy, there are only two elected Muslim American officials out of 435 Congress members. What is more, hummus has not supplanted peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, hookahs have yet to be installed in congressional chambers, male elected officials continue shaving their facial hair, Egyptian soap operas and al-Jazeera have yet to replace Fox News and CNN, and the Iron Sheik, sadly, is still not the White House spokesman.

And yet, many impassioned and determined voices continue proclaiming Obama a “card-carrying Muslim”.

Objectively reviewing the evidence, one notices that Obama’s middle name is indeed shared by a recently deposed Iraqi dictator, and the president’s first and last name contain superfluous multisyllables. Also, Obama, who is biracial and raised primarily by his white, Christian mother, had a Kenyan father, who was a (non-practising) Muslim. Further, the family lived in Indonesia, a Muslim country, for nearly four years. Obama also wore a traditional African turban and dress – a little too confidently and comfortably – while visiting Kenya in 2006, and he said “Assalam aleikum” – a little too eloquently – while addressing Muslims in his famous Cairo speech.

If one was to disavow common sense, history, evidence and truth, and, instead, rely purely on hysteria and hearsay created out of conjecture, then perhaps superficial appearances do conclusively prove Obama is a Muslim. Following this logic, Bill O’Reilly could secretly be a Manchurian Candidate for Hamas because of his prolific knowledge of Arabic, as gleaned from his usage of “loofah” and “falafel” when allegedly attempted to sexually harass a female producer. George W Bush could potentially be a covert, homosexual Saudi Arabia spy, since photos show himholding hands with Prince Abdullah and kissing him on the cheek. Rachel Ray, that perky culinary superstar, could be cooking lethal, anthrax-laced batches of girl scout cookies for Hezbollah, because, after all, she wore a keffiyeh in a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial.

After review, the evidence produces a hung jury in deciding whether or not Obama is a Muslim. But, even if he is one, it appears he is a “secular Muslim” – precisely the type Pamela Geller, the rightwing blogger responsible for creating much of the anti-NYC mosque hysteria, allegedly welcomes with open arms. She and her likeminded ilk should embrace “secular” Obama, who drinks beer, eats pork and doesn’t observe Ramadan, instead of relentlessly demonising him.

It seems, after all, that his “Muslim” values coincide closely with American family values – of being married, staying loyal to your wife, raising well-behaved children, actively helping neighbours and contributing to the public good of the community members, as he did in Chicago. With his deep understanding of “Muslim culture”, the president could also foster conciliation and healing with Muslim communities in Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. Finally, Obama being a Muslim would permanently negate al-Qaida’s narrative that America is at “war with Islam”. How could “America” hate Islam if American citizens had elected a biracial citizen with an Arabic name and non-Christian religion as their president?

Thankfully, at least 80% of Americans seem impervious to the “Obama is a Muslim” Kool-Aid being peddled abundantly by a reactionary minority. But that 20%, maybe more, choose to remain ignorant of American principles and history, thereby paralysing their ability to reflect on how similar fear tactics, baseless doubts and paranoid allegations smeared another US president nearly 50 years ago. His name was John F Kennedy and his offence was to be a Catholic.

The irony of this shameful debacle is that Obama is, in fact, a “card-carrying Christian”. Ultimately, it suggests the question: had he actually been Muslim, or instead been Hindu, Jewish or atheist, would he be any less American?

The overwhelming evidence suggests not.

 

Salon.com: “Sex and the City 2′s” stunning Muslim clichés

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , on May 26, 2010 by loonwatch
Wajahat Ali


By Wajahat Ali

It’s hard to overstate the offensiveness of the fabulous four’s exquisitely tone-deaf trip to Abu Dhabi

I’m a heterosexual, Muslim dude who until recently thought pleated khakis and loafers were “hip” and mistook Bergdorf Goodman for an expensive Swiss chocolate. So it is not surprising that 40 minutes into “Sex and the City 2,” a 150-minute cotton candy fantasy accessorized with materialism and fashion porn, I was comatose with boredom.

But I was defibrillated by the film’s detour into Abu Dhabi (really Morocco and studio sets) and what can only be described as an Orientalist’s wet dream. After discovering they will visit the Middle East, the ladies whip out hall-of-fame Ali Baba clichés: References to “magic carpet” (a double entendre, naturally), Scheherazade and Jasmine from “Aladdin” come in rapid succession. Upon hearing a stewardess give routine flight instructions in Arabic, Samantha behaves like a wild-eyed child hearing a foreign language for the first time. “I wonder what she’s saying. It sounds so exotic!”

Michael Patrick King’s exquisitely tone-deaf movie is cinematic Viagra for Western cultural imperialists who still ignorantly and inaccurately paint the entire Middle East (and Iran) as a Kubla Khan in desperate need of liberation from ignorant, backward natives. Historian Bernard Lewis, the 93-year-old Hall of Fame Orientalist and author of such nuanced gems as “The Arabs in History” and “Islam and the West,” would probably die of priapism if he saw this movie. It’s like the cinematic progeny of “Not Without My Daughter” and “Arabian Nights” with a makeover by Valentino. Forget the oppressed women of Abu Dhabi. Let’s buy more bling for the burqa!

Our four female cultural avatars, like imperialistic Barbies, milk Abu Dhabi for leisure and hedonism without making any discernible, concrete efforts to learn about her people and their daily lives. An exception is Miranda, whose IQ drops about 100 points as she dilutes the vast complexities of a diverse culture into sound bites like this: “‘Hanh Gee’ means ‘yes’ in Arabic!”

Only it doesn’t — it’s Punjabi, which is spoken by South Asians.

She also incorrectly tells the audience that all women in the Middle East have to cover themselves. And, yes, nearly every single Middle Eastern female character in “SATC 2′s” imaginative rendition of “Abu Dhabi,” is veiled, silent or subdued by aggressive men.

Like curious visitors staring at an exotic animal in the zoo with equal doses of horror and fascination, the four “girls” observe a niqabi female eating French fries by carefully lifting her veil for each consumed fry. After witnessing this “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” event, Samantha declares, “It’s like they don’t want [women] to have a voice.”

If our cultural ambassadors truly cared about saving Muslim women, they surely would try to help them during the film’s interminable two and half hour running time, no? Sadly, instead, these incredibly shallow mock-feminists can’t even bother to have one decent conversation with a Muslim woman, because they’re too immersed in picnics on the desert and singing Arab disco karaoke renditions of “I Am Woman.” In fact, Abu Dhabi is just peachy when it’s a fantasy land where they ride around in limos and get comped an extravagantly vulgar $22,000 hotel suite. However, only when that materialism is taken away do they worry, in only the most superficial way, about sexual hypocrisy and women’s oppression.

Meanwhile, the perpetually self-absorbed Carrie finds enlightenment in the simple, wise words of her Indian manservant Gaurav, who functions as the movie’s life-changing, magical minority. And Samantha, our “Western” avatar of freedom and liberation, offers a juxtaposition to the silent, oppressed Muslim women by making immature puns like “Lawrence of my Labia” and performing fellatio on a sheesha pipe in public.

The movie uses only two broad colors to paint the Middle East: One depicting an opulent Eden for our blissfully ignorant protagonists to selfishly use as a temporary escape, and the other showing an oppressive dungeon populated by intolerant men that cannot comprehend cleavage or bare shoulders.

Consider the film’s painful climax, in which Samantha, now wearing shorts and a low-cut top, spills dozens of condoms from her purse in the middle of a crowded market. Right before the condom explosion, the Islamic call to prayer, the Adhan, is conveniently heard for no discernible reason. The angry, hairy men, overwhelmed by anger and shock, decide to abandon their daily activities and busy life to encircle Samantha and condemn her as a harlot and slut, but not before Samantha proudly holds the condoms up high and dry humps the air telling the men she uses them to have sex. Because they cannot tolerate a sassy, back-talking, condom-using female baring her legs, they decide en masse to spontaneously chase all four women. Appearing like an oasis in the desert, two mysterious women in a burqa silently nod to the four girls, who subsequently follow the women into a secret room revealing the existence of a secret book club attended by a dozen niqabi women, who disrobe to reveal their hidden designer clothes, fashionable shoes and makeup.

OK, a bubble gum approach to reality is to be expected from “SATC2.” And one could imagine a scenario in which the frothy light comedy could be used to erase mutual misunderstandings. After all, Muslim women around the world, who religiously watched the show, would love a strong, empowered Muslim female “SATC” character who could enlighten Western audiences about the complex, and at times oppressive, reality of Middle Eastern women while simultaneously rocking Ferragamos. Instead, the film exists in a wacky cultural vacuum blissfully unaware of its own arrogance and prejudices.

Apparently, we’re meant to believe Muslim women in the Middle East are equally self-absorbed, vain and materialistic. After completely dissing the Middle East, its people, its religion and its culture, it’s “Sex and the City” that truly insults the Muslim women, by silencing them entirely.

Wajahat Ali is the author of “The Domestic Crusaders,” a play about Muslim Pakistani Americans that will be published by McSweeney’s in the Fall 2010. He blogs at Goatmilk.

source

 

How Miss USA will push the secret Muslim agenda

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on May 22, 2010 by loonwatch
Rima Fakih, Muslim cyborg sent to impose dhimmitude

 

by Wajahat Ali

MEMORANDUM

To: The Muslim World

From: Evil Muslims Worldwide, Inc.™

Re: “The Muslim Agenda: Or, How to Infiltrate America by Learning to Love Ridiculously Good Looking People in The Miss USA Pageant”

This is a transcription and translation of a meeting recently held in Arizona, U.S.A, the global headquarters for Evil Muslims Worldwide, Inc.™ Several evil dignitaries were present either in person or via Skype. Their identities have been protected.

——————————————————

A bearded man of average height and brownish hue dismounts his distinguished, but very evil, camel and proceeds to address the distinguished evil guests in a very evil, foreign language.

Gentleman, our nefarious plots for infiltrating America and creating a “politically correct, Islamo-pandering climate” has yielded mixed results. We need a new strategy.

It seems that our initial plan of violence and intimidation has backfired. Amateurish acts of terrorism in Times Square, failed underwear bombs on airplanes, and the introduction of hummus has done little to curry the favor (Speaker nods to Pakistani Representative) of the American people to our cause.

As you know, we are at the cusp of completely taking over and Islamicizing America. What, with our 0 Muslim Justices on the Supreme Court, 0 Muslim American owners of major media corporations, 2 Muslim American congressmen with impeccable records and high popularity ratings dominating 433 non-Muslim congressmen — and now Obama as president! (Gives a knowing look to the Kenyan Representative for successfully implementing “The Kenyan Birth Agenda”)

Our influential network of covert spies even brainwashed Food Network’s Rachael Ray to wear a keffiyeh during her stint as a Dunkin Donuts-monger! We even have News Commentators imagining using falafels and loofahs to sexually harass their young producers! We’re at the precipice of creating Sharia USA!

However, we need a game changer.

After spending considerable amounts of money and time performing sophisticated research on Google and sifting through countless pages of pornography (for research purposes only), we have discovered the American people do not cower when confronted with terrorism. Also, many are not inspired by complex discussions on foreign policy, and most are not motivated by intellectual debates concerning global affairs.

However, our research has conclusively shown that all Americans respond positively to one thing: hotness.

The point is, gentleman, that hotness, for lack of a better word, is good. Hotness is right, hotness works. Hotness clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary, Islamo-fascism spirit. Hotness, in all of its forms has marked the upward surge of mankind. And hotness, you mark my words, will not only save our “Muslim Agenda,” but also that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA. Thank you very much.

Brief smattering of applause.

I point as Exhibit A this sexy, hot and nude centerfold from Cosmopolitan’s 1982 “America’s Sexiest Man” issue. This red-blooded, all-American hunk is now a full-time Republican senator. Need I say more?

Everyone claps. Moroccan representative looks around scared and asks, ”But how will we use Hotness?”

We will infiltrate and capture America’s attention by hijacking one of their most prized institutions: the Miss USA Beauty Pageant.

Audible sounds of shock.

We have already commenced the production of modern-day “fembots” in a Southern Lebanon Factory funded by Iranian scientists.

Our prototype “fembot” that was originally sent to Wasilla, Alaska, suffered from severe malfunctions that made her preoccupied with moose hunting. Subsequently, she went “rogue.” Nonetheless, she achieved her “divide and conquer” objective and tested our hypothesis: that many Americans would listen to the simplistic rantings of a hot, brunette, former beauty pageant winner with great legs and really white teeth. They will even give her millions for a biography written by someone else. She did a great job in helping our Manchurian candidate, Obama, win the office.

Gentleman, it is time for us to evolve. Judging from America’s newfound obsession with color and globalization, our next “fembot” will be … Arab-American!

There is uproar, commotion and excitement. North Korean representative faints.

She will be a sleeper agent during her youth living comfortably in the Middle East. During her teens, she will be sent to infiltrate the USA. She will be “activated” in her early 20s right as she achieves peak, maximum hotness.

She will create confusion and disunity among the American masses with her excellent English, perfect nose, and assimilation into Western culture, but also throw them off-guard with her multisyllabic last name, dark features and Arab roots.

“Can we please make her blond?” asks the Jordanian leader.

No! Conclusive research has shown that for the first time in American history blond-haired, blue-eyed women are marginalized and unpopular. Just look at how the mainstream media oppressed last year’s runner-up, Miss California Carrie Prejean, who spoke out against gay marriage and suffered painfully with a lucrative settlement and a book deal!

Moreover, this is the perfect opportunity to hijack “hotness” from white blond women with Christian backgrounds and radicalize it with a brown face.

“Can we hug the beauty pageant?”

Pakistan, we already warned you once! You recall the embarrassment when you tried to hug our first fembot?

Pakistani Ambassador makes a frowny face and twirls his mustache.

Now, we had to choose a country of origin in the Middle East for our fembot, and although all the Arab countries’ bids were seriously considered, we’ve decided to go with … Lebanon!

Syrian, Jordanian and Egyptian ambassadors stage a protest. Syrian ambassador begins invading and taking over Lebanese rep’s chair, but stops.

We’ve decided upon Lebanon after careful research. The popular TV show “Monk” stars Tony Shalhoub, a three-time Emmy winner, who is Lebanese American. Old white people love “Monk” and his quirky, obsessive-compulsive brilliance. Tiffany, the ’80s pop starlet, and nostalgic icon for middle-aged baby boomers, is also Lebanese American. And, finally, three extremely HOT women who exemplify ridiculously good-looking hotness are part-Lebanese: Salma Hayek, Shakira and “American Pie’s” Shannon Elizabeth!

We’ve decided in order to successfully infiltrate and destroy the enemy, one must become like the enemy. Our fembot must be able to pass as a liberated, proud Western woman confident and unafraid of her feminine sexuality, but also unwilling to be sexually exploited by men. In order to accomplish this herculean task, she has to master the most intimidating and fearsome obstacle course … the stripper pole.

Yes, the stripper pole, that symbol of female empowerment, must be thoroughly mastered by our fembot. However, we cannot lower our moral standards, so we’ll make sure she does it fully clothed — this will avoid the Vanessa Williams Playboy scandal from the ’80s and oppressed Carrie Prejean nude photo scandal from 2009.

Preferably, our fembot will have to win an amateur pole-dancing competition thrown by a juvenile radio station. Photos of this event will have to eventually resurface on a tawdry online entertainment magazine. This is our double-edged sword strategy. Even if our fembot loses the Miss USA competition, she can have a successful and influential career on television by leaking photos on the Internet and becoming a celebrity overnight for no substantive reason aside from gullibility, shamelessness and YouTube. She can infiltrate American youth by Islamicizing the masses through her own reality show, which will inevitably be given to her by E!

In order to upgrade our fembot, we are seeking uranium-enhanced breast implants, nuclear explosive nipples and yellowcake-padded buttocks. Unfortunately, we were unable to secure the necessary materials, so instead we settled on 6-inch stiletto heels and thongs.

However, we can’t leave anything to chance! We must ensure success, and to do so, we must align ourselves with our secret operatives who will rig the Miss USA pageant in our favor. That’s right — Mexican Americans and illegal immigrants.

We must court power and influence, and no one is more powerful than the dominant illegal immigrant workforce that holds a near monopoly on the thriving and lucrative “field labor” sector of American economy. Indeed, our evidence shows the depths of their immense power and their sly, subversive strategic plotting. They are so shrewd — having taken over America — that they rigged Arizona to create a draconian law that would effectively racially profile them, require them to carry identification at all times, and essentially criminalize their entire existence. They’ve even banned the study of their own ethnicity and history in some Arizona state schools! Now, that’s lateral thinking! And we should give our due respect and props.

If they can rig a state, they can definitely handle a beauty pageant. We will plant a Mexican American judge, preferably an actor on a popular comedy show, who will knock out our closest competition — a very blond, very white and very “real American” — by asking a controversial but relevant questionabout oppressive state laws demonizing immigrants. Our evidence suggests she will answer in favor of Arizona and states’ rights, thereby ensuring the liberal media, another agent in our employment, will unleash the p.c. police and further oppress the white Christian minority by silencing their voice and mocking their opinion.

Malaysian ambassador gets up to ask a question. “This is all fine and dandy, but don’t you think the surprising frequency of Muslims winning beauty pageant will make some commentators suspect “an odd form of affirmative action.” I mean we’re talking about six Muslim women around the world — including our fembot, God willing — in the past five years!

Malaysia, please, no one could possibly be that dumb.

As the archaic and fossilized vestige of blond, Western decadence succumbs to her political incorrectness and dooms herself, our glorious fembot meanwhile shall rise! She will simultaneously support our president’s socialist agenda as well as plant suggestive, subconscious propaganda in the minds of “real” Americans to stop them from breeding, thereby giving us yet another advantage toward Islamicizing the West!

When asked whether contraceptives should be covered by health insurance, fembot will confidently say yes and assert, “I believe that birth control is just like every other medication even though it’s a controlled substance.”

When she wins the crown and is asked how she feels, we will remind America that our fembot has assimilated and is “one of them” by programming her to feign nervousness and sincerity when she cryptically answers, “Ask me after I had pizza.” However, we all know she secretly wants tabouleh, baba ghanoush and biryani! Ha ha ha!

Everyone laughs. Even North Korea.

And what shall we do on that glorious night that commences our successful infiltration and domination of America with our globalized Muslim, Islamo-pandering agenda? We shall celebrate and laugh at them “from within Dearbornistan’s Hezbollah restaurant, La Pita, where [our] workers [will] openly sing Hezbollah war songs and anti-Semitic ‘ditties’ in the kitchen …where falafel, and hummus, and hate [are] all on the menu.”

Iran asks the final question. ”But what will we name our Femme Bot?”

She will be named Rima Fakih. And she will be our great Fak-you to all the haters.

Wajahat Ali is the author of “The Domestic Crusaders,” a play about Muslim Pakistani Americans that will be published by McSweeney’s in the Fall 2010. He blogs at Goatmilk.

 

Listen to an interview of Wajahat Ali, the voice of reason

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , on May 12, 2010 by loonwatch
Wajahat AliWajahat Ali 

We can’t get enough of this guy Wajahat Ali.  He’s a Pakistani-American, a lawyer by profession and writer by passion.  In the interview with host Jeff Farias below, Mr. Ali discusses South Park, the Times Square bombing, and what it means to be an American:

Will cool minds like his prevail?

 

What I understand about Faisal Shahzad

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , on May 7, 2010 by loonwatch
Wajahat AliWajahat Ali

By Wajahat Ali

As a Muslim Pakistani, I can’t tell you why he did it.  But I know one violent nut can change how Americans see me.

Last Saturday, I was drinking my chai, reading the latest Green Lantern comic, and participating in the glorious American hobby that is Googling when I saw the news about the foiled NYC Times Square terror plot. I immediately began reciting the “Post-Crisis Minority Mantra,” familiar to many ethnic minorities and religions in these troubled times:

“Please don’t let it be a Muslim or Pakistani dude. Please don’t let it be a Muslim or Pakistani dude.”

Back then, it wasn’t. They had footage of a suspicious white guy.

“Phew! Thank God!” I said out loud.

But I had to invoke the mantra repeatedly over the next few days, as details emerged and the truth became all too clear: The terrorist was a recently naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan named Faisal Shahzad. A Muslim Pakistani.

“No! Not again! Why, God, why??”

A Muslim born and raised in America with Pakistani parents, I was the “token” at early age. Growing up, I was like any other socially awkward, overweight, dorky American kid who wanted to date Alyssa Milano and beat Contra on my Nintendo without using the secret, unlimited life code — except my T-shirts were smeared with turmeric and lentil stains instead of PB and J, and in place of Lunchables my mom fed me homemade, green-colored, lamb patty burgers. I was the kid comfortable with all his identities — Muslim, American, Pakistani — and as such, I became the one people consulted when uncomfortable questions had to be asked, or misconceptions and stereotypes needed to be explained.

After news of the averted attack, I was hit with a blitzkrieg of texts, Facebook updates and gchat pings. Friends from varying backgrounds — Mexican-American, African-American, Arab-American — wanted to know what I thought about another “Rage Boy” foolishly attempting to commit violence with an amateurish terror plot. Several made a similar confession: How glad they were that the suspect didn’t belong to “their tribe.” What I did know, with a sinking feeling, was that many moderate, peaceful Pakistani Muslims like me were further doomed to collective mistrust and suspicion.

America has a long tradition of scapegoating (see African Americans, Jews, Irish and Japanese Americans), in which the criminal and moral bankruptcy of a few perverse individuals becomes an archetype for multitudes. But when painting the complex experience of Muslim Pakistanis in the mainstream media, there seems to be only two colors: “Crazy” and “Hella Crazy.” Islam was recently voted “the third worst brand disaster of the decade” thanks to a few deluded individuals — out of the vast 1.5 billion members of Muslim communities — who have engaged in violent jihadi movements, honor killings, suicide bombings and pathetic assassination threats directed at satirical cartoonists. Honestly, I cannot blame the average American, who gets his information from cable news or hate radio, for harboring such caricatures. The misunderstanding cuts both ways: When I travel in the Middle East, I’m asked why I invaded Iraq and want to impose my imperialistic might on sovereign nations. Thanks, George W. Bush, for this staggering global misconception.

But if “Muslim Pakistani American” were an asset, it would be more toxic than the Goldman Sachs Abacus CDO. If it were a stock, it would plummet to Enron levels.

Sometimes, I long for the blurry cultural identities of the 80s, when elementary school friends lumped all Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan and Egyptian immigrants in one brown-hued bucket: “India.” Who wouldn’t rather be affiliated with “Slumdog Millionaire,” Metro PCS’s Ranjit and Chad, Chicken Tikkah Masala, Bhangra remixes and Bollywood instead of religious extremism and Al Qaeda? Pakistani culture has some bomb biryani, lively and critical political commentary, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and dubious Lollywood entertainment. But we rarely hear anything about that.

Sometimes, I feel Muslim Pakistanis are like Daffy Duck, always cursed to have the anvil drop on our heads, regardless of our patriotism, lack of criminal record, good credit score and groomed facial hair. The moderate and innocent majority collectively bear the brunt of the sins of a deluded minority, such as Faisal Shahzad.

This is something my white friends can never understand. They never get personal blowback when one of their members commits crimes. They are like Bugs Bunny to our Daffy Duck: They can get hit with a McVeigh, Madoff, Kaczynski, the Hutaris, even W. Bush. They just brush it off, make a wisecrack, and move along untouched. They are never asked to “prove their loyalty” or face increased racial profiling and “extra loving” pat downs at the airport.

In the last two days, many other Pakistani American Muslims like me have been bombarded with one question: “Why did Faisal Shahzad do it?” Let it be known that Pakistanis and Muslims are not like the Borg, some cybernetic species with a collective consciousness. There is no broadcast frequency that alerts us to the internal machinations of an angry or confused individual who simply happens to share our skin color, ethnicity or religious affiliation. We are not “alerted” when they create their diabolical plans to commit mayhem. It’s akin to me asking all my white friends: Why does the Tea Party think Obama is a Muslim? What goes on in the mind of those crazy-ass white, Christian militias who hate the government? Or really: Why do white people wear cargo shorts?

But what I can tell you is that the news hits us differently. A friend of mine born and raised in this country, who is both a religious Muslim and shares strong Pakistani roots, emailed me saying he was “ashamed and disgraced” about Faisal Shahzad. A Pakistani immigrant uncle in the Texas community was outraged that the suspect tried to commit terror despite having just “recited a pledge of allegiance to his adopted country … still the greatest country on the fact of the earth, warts and all notwithstanding.” We face increased calls to “police our own.” (Perhaps people forget that it was a Senegalese Muslim immigrant by the name of Aliou Niasse responsible for tipping off the NYPD to the burning vehicle.)

But the overwhelming response to this averted tragedy amongst Pakistani Muslim Americans was simple: anger, disgust, outrage. Just like any other American.

Wajahat Ali is the author of “The Domestic Crusaders,” a play about Muslim Pakistani Americans that will be published by McSweeney’s in the Fall 2010. He blogs at Goatmilk.

source: Salon.com

 

The Guardian: Against terror, our liberty is our best defence

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2010 by loonwatch
Wajahat AliWajahat Ali

by Wajahat Ali

The arrest of Faisal Shahzad, a 30-year-old US citizen of Pakistani descent, as the alleged driver of the vehicle used in the failed Times Square bombing represents an opportunity to respond effectively to a potential act of terrorism – instead of reacting with fear and hysteria that will inevitably be manipulated by extremist elements.

As of Tuesday morning, details are slowly emerging regarding the potential motives of suspect Shahzad, who was arrested at JFK airport as he planned to fly to Dubai, having recently returned from a five-month trip to Pakistan. Despite initial evidence and statements from law enforcement agencies suggesting this incident lacked the sophistication and planning of an international operation, the Pakistani Taliban has nonetheless claimed responsibility for this amateurish and failed attempt.

Their eagerness speaks volumes about their desperation to instil fear in the hearts of the American public by an act of terrorism on the US mainland. The instant resumption of New York’s kinetic lifestyle following such an incident clearly demonstrates American resilience and immunity to such intimidation.

Regrettably, however, similar moments of tension – though isolated – have in the past been used cynically by bigoted ideological pundits in both non-Muslim American and Muslim communities to sow dissension and enmity. We saw this tendency recently, when a mentally unstable Army major, Nidal Hassan Malik, opened fire and killed 13 soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas. A Nigerian student, Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab, forever known as the underwear bomber, tried to ignite himself on an airplane on Christmas Day after, staggeringly, getting past security despite having been previously flagged (an unacceptable internal administrative mistake, revealing a lack of communication between security agencies).

Five young American Muslims were arrested in Pakistan for attempting to join a terrorist group after the children’s parents and Muslim American community members proactively contacted the FBI and assisted in their investigation (although the five have since protested their innocence). And, most recently, two clowns known as “Revolution Muslim” made veiled threats towards the creators of South Park for making a cartoon mocking the Prophet Muhammad.

These incidents of violence or attempted terrorism by radicalised individuals in America – as well as the blank space in the New York skyline that was once graced by the World Trade Center towers – serve as unending fuel for the rightwing commentators. And those bellicose pundits will inevitably squeeze every drop of righteous anger and fear from this failed Times Square plot, in order to promote a dangerously inaccurate image of an Islamic monolith comprising 1.5 billion diverse individuals as having an innate homicidal aversion to “our freedoms”. Attacks will, no doubt, be made on Barack Obama’s efforts at conciliation and partnership with Muslim communities – as evidenced by his al-Arabiya interview, his historic speech to Muslims in Cairo, and his outreach to Muslim American organisations and leaders.

Sarah Palin and her ilk will argue passionately on Fox News to “profile away” evil-doers – in effect, advocating racial profiling of ethnic minorities, especially of Middle Easterners and South Asians. Anticipating public anxiety, Obama reacted to calls for “greater security” following the failed Christmas Day bombing by implementing catch-all measures – recently amended – to extend special pat-downs and heightened profiling to individuals returning from 14, mostly Muslim, countries.

Despite overwhelming evidence showing that racial profiling and the erosion of civil liberties and due process are counterproductive in fighting terrorism, I worry that fear and divisive rhetoric will be used to undermine the mutual trust and co-operation that has been painstakingly built over the past two years between American Muslims and law enforcement agencies.

Rightwing demagogues who proclaim the virtues of the west, and argue that terrorism is unique to the “Muslim world”, should be reminded of evidence to the contrary. The recent arrest of nine members of the Christian terrorist militant group, the Hutarees, for conspiring to kill police officers and wage war on the United States government has largely been labelled an anomaly. The suicide flight of disgruntled Joseph Stack into the IRS building in Texas, which killed an innocent public employee, has been overlooked, even as Tea Party-type anger at federal government institutions has been allowed to fester.

Islam, too, has its reckless demagogues. Radicalised Muslim elements manipulate asinine episodes such as satirical cartoon depictions of the Prophet as categorical proof that the “imperialist” west is perpetuating its war on all of Islam and Muslims. Recent violence and threats against those cartoonists who have depicted the Prophet in a disrespectful manner do not emerge from a vacuum, but rather they are symptomatic of a sustained belief in a skewed and simplistic narrative of the “war-mongering west” that finds its evidence in the Iraq war, US support for Israel, civilian casualties in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and cozy US relations with brutal Arab dictatorships. These thugs ultimately bear the greatest blame for betraying the legacy and spirit of their Prophet, who urged moderation and civility.

In the face of the threat from extremists, the greatest mistake Americans could make would be to revisit the rhetoric and security policies of George W Bush, which proved to be disastrous in curbing global terrorism but highly successful in eroding the US’s standing in world opinion, and which damaged co-operation with Muslim communities. Ultimately, the best defence is the very same values of freedom, liberty and democracy they wish to defend and protect.

The sad reality of modern, globalised 21st century existence is that the threat of terrorism and violence is a constant, yet manageable and containable, aspect of daily life. Reactionary posturing, rampant ethnic stereotyping, scapegoating of minorities, and provoking mistrust of Muslim Americans and allies have only ever exacerbated the risks. Recent history has shown that a reasoned and moderate perspective, along with sound security measures, vigilant policing, protection of civil liberties and mutual aid are our best hope.

As more evidence in this case emerges in coming days, let us hope this philosophy prevails.

Wajahat Ali is a Muslim American of Pakistani descent. He is a writer and attorney, whose work, The Domestic Crusaders is the first major play about Muslims living in a post 9/11 America. He is the Associate Editor of Altmuslim.com. His blog is here

source: The Guardian