Even though Navy Seals have exterminated Osama Bin Laden (whose brother Saleem was once a business partner with George W Bush), and 10 years have passed since the great media exploitation of events surround the 11th day of September, 2001 - the war is still raging, maybe more now than ever before.
Remember the articles claiming Muslims in Jerusalem (Palestine) were all rejoicing, celebrating in the streets and enjoying sweets given out free by street vendors? Remember? Oooops - the pictures showed it was in broad daylight. But, the time there was after dark. Oh yeah, and since when do street vendors set up to give away free stuff?
Turns out the photos were stock photos of the eid celebration from the year before - and it was discovered by someone in Brazil, of all places. What kind of journalism class taught people to do this type of reporting?
Ten years - and still playing the same videos over and over, still showing the murder and mayhem and dragging out anything and everyone even remotely related to "Islamics". May are asking, "What is really going on here?" and "Why are we all being subjected to this rhetoric, over and over - all about 'Islamic Extremists'" - "OK, if they were not real Muslims, and everyone knows that - then why are we still dragging Muslims and 'Islam' into the headlines?"
How many Muslims knew the state of California was forbidding translations of Quran in public libraries, based on "promoting terrorism?"
Though the 9/11 attacks by Islamic extremists are almost 10 years past and al-Qaida boss Osama bin Laden is dead, the American debate over Islam is still raging, as evidenced by numerous conflicts over public events around the country.
The battles — a kind of holy war for American hearts and minds — feature a changing cast of players, but they typically array some of the dozens of groups dedicated to exposing the threat of radical Islam in the U.S. against dozens of others established to protect the rights of Muslim Americans and defend their religion as peaceful.
Charles Kurzman, a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, says the clashes over Islam point to two powerful prevailing currents.
“One trend is heightened alarm and suspicion on the part of people concerned about domestic security,” he said. “The other trend is increased assertiveness and political activism on the part of Muslim Americans.”
At a national level, the conflict played out in controversial congressional hearings in April, which featured testimony from witnesses warning of a threat posed by Islamic radicals within the United States. Meanwhile Muslim leaders and civil rights groups — who were largely excluded from the proceedings — held press briefings comparing the hearings to red-baiting of the McCarthy era.
War of words, waged on small battlefields
But more often they unfold on smaller battlefields. Recent examples include:
· At least 20 states are considering “anti-Shariah” measures, which in various ways prohibit the courts from considering Islamic law in their decisions. Muslim advocates say the measures are legal gibberish that promote fear and hatred, while drafters portray them as a bulwark against creeping Islamization.
“I know the truth sometimes is ugly,” Ibrahim told reporters. “But I believe that getting the truth out is for everyone’s benefit. … I think we’ve had too much of people not talking about it because they don’t want to offend.”
Bigotry not scholarship
Ibrahim’s detractors say he is merely peddling bigotry based on dubious scholarship.
“Raymond Ibrahim is associated with a group that has a long history of one issue — bashing Muslims and Islam,” according to Arsalan Bukhari, head of the Seattle chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), referring to the Middle East Forum.
The Middle East Forum, where Ibrahim is associate director, was founded by historian Daniel Pipes, a controversial figure known for his hawkish, pro-Israel stance. On the group's website, he says the organization is committed to combating Islamist actions and influence, “whether violent or lawful.”
The Council on American Islamic Relations, the largest Muslim civil rights group in the United States, led the effort to halt Ibrahim’s speech. Leaders of 60 Muslim and other religious organizations and civil rights groups signed a letter to the college urging that Ibrahim’s talk be canceled.“Would a KKK member be given a platform by the college to talk about his/her view on African Americans in America?” said a letter from the coalition to college President David Beyer. “Would a member of the neo-Nazi movement be given a platform to share theories on Jews in America?"
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Last Updated (Tuesday, 27 September 2011 03:01)
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