Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Moving Beyond Xenophobia

By Cernig

Friend of Newshoggers, Ali Eteraz, has a post up today at HuffPo entitled "The Myth of Muslim Condemnation of Terror", although it's more about the myth promulgated by xenophobes on the Right that Muslims don't condemn terror. I strongly urge you to read the whole thing - it may be the single most sensible thing I've read in weeks.
the reality is that condemnations of terrorism have been pouring in for years. The reasons that so many Americans are still ignorant about them are because they have willfully chosen not to pay attention. Having traveled internationally quite a few times since 2001, I can confidently say that our media has one of the lowest IQs about Islam anywhere in the world. It is - and should be - downright shameful that when I speak to British audiences, I am able to have intelligent discussions about complicated points of Islamic history; meanwhile, now six years since 9/11 and in the US I am still clarifying the simple point that Muslims soundly oppose terrorism. With awareness about Muslims at such a shameful nadir, it should be no surprise that our beloved President was able to convince us that Saddam was behind 9/11 and take us to war against "Islamofascism."

...while learning about all the Muslims who have condemned terrorism is nice; its nicer if we started to move beyond that point. Until we remain aware of our ignorance, we cannot ever get to ripping out the heart of extremism, nor can we realize the things we ourselves have done to help Muslim extremists. We need to be having more sophisticated discussions about Islam and Muslims, involving things like the Quran, the distinction between jihadism and islamism (political Islam), and the future of Islamic theocracy. The entire world is talking about such things, and we, the only ones who regularly take arms against Muslims or purport to bring them democracy, are not.
Go read the whole thing.

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