Sunday, September 2, 2012

Reclaiming Ownership of a “Name in Joint Custody”

Those who read the newspapers (hard copy or online), watch the news on television or on the Internet may have read or heard about the growing cottage industry of Islamaphobia and the over $40 million funding it receives. Those who follow the news may be aware of the names of those who perpetrate themselves to be “experts” in the realm of Islam, Islamic studies or (though unrelated) terrorist training. We've recently witnessed how an Islamic civil rights organization (the Council on American-Islamic Relations – CAIR) saved the American taxpayers an unknown sum of tax dollars by pointing out to the military and federal agencies that these perpetrators masquerading as “experts” were bilking Americans out of whatever fees that they are charging them for ineffective, bigoted and flawed “so-called terrorist training”. Of course, these frauds had and have nothing nice or truthful to say about CAIR, as they've exposed them for the frauds that they are.

CAIR is one of many U.S. Islamic organizations that is deep in the battle against bigotry against Muslims, in particular, other U.S. minorities, in general. Yes, they do speak out and loudly when there are cases of discrimination against Muslims. But they also do the same when a Jewish synagogue was vandalized in Olney, MD in 2011. They also spoke out against the violence when a White supremacist opened fire in a Sikh temple in 2012. More recently, they spoke out against the Afghan government who was holding a mentally challenged 12-year old girl on blasphemy charges. What we notice is that while the Islamaphobia network constantly and consistently make outlandish and false statements against CAIR, they have never acknowledged them making such public stances as they've taken when the victim is (or victims are) non-Muslim.

The Islamaphobia network even attacks Muslim college students who join the college student group for Muslims (Muslim Student Alliance). They claim that it and all Islamic organizations are created by and a part of the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that the U.S. has defined as a terrorist organization. They've even claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated high levels of the U.S. government, though they offered not one name or one such infiltrator. Recently, the Islamaphobia network's bogus claims reached the news level and was picked up by the Muslim Brotherhood. The leader of the Muslim laughed as such a silly thought saying, “We're having a hard enough time getting into the Egyptian government. We wouldn't even think about getting into the American government!” Silly Islamaphobes....

In the ongoing battle against these fact-free haters of Islam and Muslims, Muslims have used many descriptive labels in categorizing these people. The most popular and recent coined term is one I've used in this article quite frequently: Islamaphobe. It is derived from the word “Islamaphobia” which is the irrational fear of Islam and anything related to Islam. An Islamaphobe is one who has said irrational fear. But at some point, these people might no longer have an irrational fear of Islam and Muslims, but an irrational hatred of them.

This is why the need for a more encompassing word. And it's not necessary to coin a new word or phrase. We can use a word that is already in common use. Let's look at a similar group and how they were treated in the U.S. and in Europe. Of course, we know that the Jews were demeaned and mistreated in Europe and when they immigrated to America. Eventually, the word “antisemitic” was assigned to those who showed their hatred or despise towards Jews or anything related to them. But let's examine the meaning of this word.

Of course we know that the prefix, anti, means “to be against”. But the word Semite does not mean “Jewish”. It actually means “a member of any of the peoples of Semitic languages, cultures or religions including the Hebrews, Arabs, Assyrians, Phoenicians, etc.” So, to strictly assign Semitic to be mean Jewish only is actually an omission of many peoples. As a Muslim, I hereby reclaim part of that which is rightfully mine! I am a Semite along with others who are also considered to be Semites. No one group of Semites has any more ownership of the word than anyone else who is Semitic.

Technically speaking, by people showing or having hatred toward and/or promoting lies against Islam and/or Muslims, they are being antisemitic! So, even if people do deny being Islamaphobes, they can't continue hating and lying against Islam and Muslims without being classified anti-Semites. I only wonder how those who claim to be Jewish who are supportive of the Islamaphobia network will feel realizing that they, too, can be considers anti-Semites, even though their hate and lies aren't directed toward Jews.

Galen Muhammad
Stop Islamaphobia in America (SIIA)

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