Immensely sad and
deplorable as the incident is, there is bright silver lining in the concluding
statement: "An earlier Gallup poll found that the majority of Americans
Muslims are loyal to their country and optimistic about their future in the
Can you imagine what a
terrible price a minority community would have paid as backlash of a
cataclysmic terror attack (9/11) attributed to its terrorists? George Bush
played a key role in preventing it by visiting one of the prominent mosques and
declaring that Islam is a religion of peace. But the ripple of that volcanic
eruption of terror has not died down. The war on terror and its fallout coupled
with occasional eruption of terror has kept memories alive.
Coming to the sad
episode you mention, the driver must be harboring immense fear and hatred of
Islam. That will indeed be corrected over time with better inter-faith
relations. But if a Muslim thinks an invocation from the Qur'an reeks of
militant jihad as the jihadists also pronounce it or owing its contextual
meaning, you cannot really blame a semi-literate driver to take Arabic prayer
as a jihadist outburst for the jihadists also pray in the same language.
Anyway, these are the
dreadful fall-outs of hatred of which countless people, including children of
all minority communities suffer in many countries of the world. We as American
Muslims have to diffuse Islamophobia and here is my take on this immensely
grave and crucial theme:
Islamophobia in America: Need for a Major Paradigm shift in Mosque Proceedings
Feel free to criticize
under appropriate thread for that is the only way you can add value to this
empirical agenda. I cannot claim to be above error in outlining a strategy on
such an immensely complex issue as Islamophobia.
@ dear yunus bhai, what do u say about this news: CAIRO – Praying to God to find his missed boarding card, a 10-year-old Muslim boy was branded a 'terrorist' and kicked-off a bus in New York after reciting short-prayer.
“I start in the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Beneficent,” the Muslim child said, according to a lawsuit filed by his family against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), New York post reported.
The Brooklyn boy was abused while boarding the B-39 bus on his way home after school in October 2012.
Looking for his missing metro card, the boy, who was not named, recited a short prayer 'Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim', standing for “in the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Beneficent”.
Although the boy could successfully find his metro card, the bus driver insisted on tossing him off after shouting 'terrorist'.
“The driver said ‘Get off! And used the T-word,” Hyder Naqvi, lawyer for the boy and his family, told the Daily News, referring to the word 'terrorist'.
"(The child) said it as he was trying to find his card so he could get home.
“He was only 10 years old when this happened, but he was old enough to know what discrimination is, and unfortunately, now he knows what it feels like,” Naqvi added.
When the boy arrived home, “he told his parents what happened, and they were obviously upset by it,” Naqvi was quoted by New York Post.
Shocked by the incident, the boy shunned public transportation for months, until he decided to speak up recently.
The boy's family complained that they couldn't get any information about the investigation results, the lawyer said.
They cooperated with MTA during probe, after providing pictures of various drivers the boy could identify the criminal, Navi said according to New York Daily News.
Commenting on the incident, a leading Islamic advocacy group has praised the lawsuit which underlines discrimination against Muslims.
“It’s very disappointing to see how young children have become the targets of discrimination because of their religion," Sadyia Khalique, the Director of Operations at New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), said in a statement released on Wednesday, October 30.
"CAIR-NY applauds the filing of the lawsuit and we hope the MTA can take disciplinary action against the employee.
"We urge the MTA to provide diversity trainings to its employees to reflect cultural and religious competency in their attitudes, policies and services to ensure that no New Yorker becomes a victim of hate speech by MTA officials.”
Since the 9/11 attacks on the United States, many Muslims have complained of facing discrimination and stereotypes in the society because of their Islamic attires or identities.
An earlier Gallup poll found that the majority of Americans Muslims are loyal to their country and optimistic about their future in the United States.
Dear Harsh ji,
Thanks for being the first
to comment. As you know human mind readily draws to polemics, controversies,
scandals ....so it is not surprising that a well intentioned statement or
remark by a supposedly unsympathetic critic may provoke a chain of responses. Imagine
what would have happened if this article was written by a non-Muslim. (???). I
think you can clear the cobweb.
Let me come to your
statement: "non-Muslims are very confused about Islam, is that why Islam
and its teachings are not being followed by the Muslims. Why is there a
Himalayan gap between the two?"
Since I have discussed
various facets of this multifaceted issue, let me cut/past below an extract
from one of my articles to avoid taxing myself and creating another controversy
- given the sensitive nature of the question and possible ripple effect of the
ongoing polemics that your comments generated:
It is high time that the Muslim Ulema abolish any division of knowledge between
Islamic and un-Islamic and incorporate the study of physical sciences and other
universal faculties and professional disciplines in the curriculum of the madrasas.
Obviously any major transformation in educational curriculum has to come in
stages, but having lost almost five centuries, there is no more time to lose.
Today, the participation of Muslims in academic and professional fields,
cultural arenas, and prestigious and lawful avenues of livelihood in
practically all Muslim minority countries is abysmally low as their
educational, professional and cultural attainments are handicapped by their own
or their parents’/ancestors’ madrasa based education. In historical
perspective, if any single agency has to bear the blame for the introductory
poetic outburst, it is probably the Ulema and the orthodox Islam - their
throwback influence and reductive madrasa curriculum as this discourse amply
demonstrates – however, bitter this may sound."
Open Reminder To The Ulema: Rejecting Universal Knowledge As Un-Islamic Is Brazenly
Un-Islamic And Kufr (Denial Of Truth)