"As a result of 9/11, I do not feel it is 'okay' to openly discriminate against Muslim-Americans."
By SAHAR DIKA, Arts & Entertainment Editor
As an Arab-American Muslim student who also attended Fordson High School and lived in Dearborn the majority of my life, I would like to respond to the article written by Hussein Jaward in the second issue of the Michigan Journal titled, “Cut the political correctness.”
NOTE: This article is no longer accessible online by request of the author.
I intend for Muslim-Americans to read this article and understand that they should stand up for themselves when being discriminated against for actions made in the Middle East that were not of their own fault. I also ask for those who have been discriminating against Muslim-Americans to understand that we are all Americans, regardless of your religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
I found this article to be extremely oversimplified on its take in regards to the way that Arab-Americans and/or Muslims should feel when being discriminated against because of the unfortunate events that took place on 9/11. Without a doubt, our hearts and prayers go out to all those who were affected by the tragedy of 9/11.
That does not, however, mean that as a result of 9/11, I feel like it is “okay” to openly discriminate against Muslim-Americans. Jaward stated in his article that Bush coined the term, “War on Terror.” He then went on to state that Muslim-Americans should understand when passenger “Mohamed” is searched “more thoroughly” than passenger “John” on an aircraft because nobody named John has ever hijacked an American airliner.
As someone with the Muslim name of Hussein, Jaward would be better advised to rethink his position on the matter considering that his name is not John either. Are you also suggesting that it was okay to detain the Japanese Americans in WWII? I don’t think so.
Moreover, the Oklahoma City Bombing was dubbed the most destructive act of terrorism on American soil before the September 9/11 attacks but I guess Timothy, Terry, and Michael were too common a name to be discriminated against. I’m obviously being sarcastic. Stating that this is not racial or religious profiling based solely on your own opinion seems a bit far-fetched.
It is because of the way that Islam and Arabs are portrayed in American media that things like the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting happen. People are uninformed about the culture and religion of their fellow Americans and instead of trying to promote and concede this discrimination, one should try to educate the public and work towards eliminating the anger that is embedded in this country towards Islam.
Nobody is disagreeing with the fact that there are extremist Muslims that pose a danger to society, but those Muslims do not reside in the U.S. and are not American citizens named Mohamed. I find it especially interesting that Jaward states in his article that “enhanced interrogation techniques” and other actions have kept this country safe for more than eight years.
I’m not exactly sure that’s true considering that maybe “enhanced interrogation techniques” could have saved the six people who died in the Sikh Temple shooting as a result of White Supremacist, Wade Michael Page. If that’s what Jaward considers safe, then I’m afraid of having someone like him in Washington someday.
Once again, citing terrorist acts done by Muslims living outside of the U.S. (which you probably Googled) does not pertain to the treatment of Arab and Muslim-Americans who are citizens of this country and deserve equal treatment just like everybody else.
Puckering up your lips and going against your own culture and religion does not make you more American than the next person. Jaward claims in his article that religious extremists in the U.S. knock on your door in a red suit and shout, “ho, ho, ho,” or sing Christmas carols outside your home.
His perception of the word extremist must be extremely skewed because some religious extremists in the U.S. have been known to dress in white robes and burn crosses. They have also been known to bomb gay bars, abortion clinics, and shoot people in Sikh temples.
Although you may be right about Muslim extremists having no soul, Muslim AMERICANS do and you, Hussein Jaward, should learn to be more compassionate towards them.