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May 25, 2007

Tawfik Hamid: How To End Islamophobia

Topics: Understanding Islam

Finally, real moderate Muslims, as opposed to Islamists like the CAIR crowd that are moderate in "claim only," are beginning to speak out against Islamism and the Islamists' pseudo-cause du jour - Islamophobia. Today, Tawfik Hamid addresses the correct way of dealing with Islamophobia, saying that "Islamophobia could end when masses of Muslims demonstrate in the streets against videos displaying innocent people being beheaded with the same vigor we employ against airlines, Israel and cartoons of Muhammad. It might cease when Muslims unambiguously and publicly insist that Shariah law should have no binding legal status in free, democratic societies." Although this sounds almost too sensible to not have already been suggested by Muslims, but better late than never:

The latest survey of American Muslims won't reassure their fellow citizens.

BY TAWFIK HAMID
Friday, May 25, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

Islamic organizations regularly accuse non-Muslims of "Islamophobia," a fear and disdain for everything Islamic. On May 17, this accusation bubbled up again as foreign ministers from the Organization of the Islamic Conference called Islamophobia "the worst form of terrorism." These ministers also warned, according to the Arab News, that this form of discrimination would cause millions of Muslims in Western countries, "many of whom were already underprivileged," to be "further alienated."

In America, perhaps the most conspicuous organization to persistently accuse opponents of Islamophobia is the Council of American Islamic Relations. CAIR has taken up the legal case of the "Flying Imams," the six individuals who were pulled from a US Airways flight in Minneapolis this past November after engaging in suspicious behavior before takeoff. Not long ago, CAIR filed a "John Doe" lawsuit that would have made passengers liable for "malicious" complaints about suspicious Muslim passengers.

In an interview at the time, CAIR spokesman Nihad Awad accused Rep. Peter King (R., N.Y.) of being an "extremist" who "encourages Islamophobia" for pointing out what most people would think is obvious, that such a lawsuit would have a chilling effect on passengers who witnessed alarming activity and wished to report it. We can only assume that Mr. Awad believes flyers should passively remain in a state of fear as they travel and submissively risk their lives. In this case, Congress is acting appropriately and considering passing a law sponsored by Mr. King that would grant passengers immunity from such lawsuits.

It may seem bizarre, but Islamic reformers are not immune to the charge of "Islamophobia" either. For 20 years, I have preached a reformed interpretation of Islam that teaches peace and respects human rights. I have consistently spoken out--with dozens of other Muslim and Arab reformers--against the mistreatment of women, gays and religious minorities in the Islamic world. We have pointed out the violent teachings of Salafism and the imperative of Westerners to protect themselves against it.

Yet according to CAIR's Michigan spokeswoman, Zeinab Chami, I am "the latest weapon in the Islamophobe arsenal." If standing against the violent edicts of Shariah law is "Islamophobic," then I will treat her accusation as a badge of honor.

Continue reading here ...

Posted by Abdul at May 25, 2007 3:59 PM



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