An interesting commentary on the debate from Adam Serwer at “The Plum Line“, a Washington Post blog:
Frank Gaffney is part of a group of conservatives who have been trying to mainstream the conspiracy theory that the United States is on the verge of a stealth Islamist takeover, a group that has recruited at least one high-profile convert in former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. A couple of days ago he appeared on Anderson Cooper’s show on CNN across from Former Pakistani Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Akbar Ahmed, who matter-of-factly explained that an Islamic takeover of the United States was a numerical impossibility. The Anti-Defamation League’s Abraham Foxman once described these theories as “nonsense.”
While Akbar Ahmed may have made Gaffney look paranoid and foolish on CNN, the frustrating reality is that more and more conservatives are finding his particular brand of paranoid Islamophobia persuasive.
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Tagged AC360, adl, Akbar Ahmed, anderson cooper, frank gaffney, Islam, murfreesboro, muslims, relisgion, ridiculous arguments, sharia
An In-Depth Look at Mosques in America from CNN American Morning on Monday the 9th of August.
Also, a special opinion article by Akbar Ahmed “Make New York Mosque an Interfaith Center”.
The United States must resolve what I call the Great American Conundrum by clarifying its policy toward Muslims. It cannot treat its Muslim citizens as second-class citizens at home and hope to win them over abroad.American Muslims complain of their second-class status by pointing out that their religion and houses of worship can be attacked with near impunity. When they do object, they are told that this kind of abuse is a small price to pay for living in a free society. Yet it is blatantly clear that only Islam is being attacked in such a crass fashion. It is virtually unimaginable to hear of any other ethnic or religious group being so targeted without an uproar. Read the entire article.
For a full answer to this and other questions, see Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam
In Brooklyn, New York, there is a neighborhood that calls itself “Little Pakistan”. Located on Coney Island Avenue, the neighborhood was described to us, by people we met, as an energetic and bustling part of town. But, everything had changed. The neighborhood was nearly empty. We were told that something like40 percent of the Pakistani population had either voluntarily left, were deported, or simply disappeared.
In the days and months after 9/11, security had tightened, the community was repeatedly raided for illegal immigrants, and hundreds were deported. Many more left because of fear. In another part of Brooklyn, Imam Siraj Wahhaj spoke about the fear of those in the neighborhood. “Just imagine FBI knocking on your door at 3:00 in the morning and questioning you,” he said, “people get scared.” Some estimate that about 15-20,000 left the neighborhood. Many stores went out of business. “In the old days,” someone said, “when you went to Coney Island Avenue you saw a lot of people, even at 12 o’clock midnight. And now at nine o’clock at night this place is deserted.”
The neighborhood is now seeing a resurgence thanks to many Pakistanis who have returned. We have much more on Little Pakistan, National Security and Immigration in the book. Please order below.
Order Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam.
Next: Who is the “Yankee Mahomet”?
The University of Michigan will hold a screening of “Journey into America”, hosted by the International Institute on April 19 at 12:00. For all of the friends we met in Michigan, please come out and see the film.
More details on the screening here. Click here to pre-order the book Journey into America at Amazon.
Several film screenings to report on recently. Two of them were held in Ann Arbor, Michigan by our friends in the area. Thanks to Dawud Walid for taking part in the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice screening in February.
Another was held this past weekend at the Ann Arbor District Library Downtown branch where “Journey into America” was screened in an event co-sponsored by the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Michigan.
Finally, Frankie and Jonathan traveled down to lovely Lynchburg, Virginia to take part in the opening night of the Randolph College Film Festival “Spring Into Action: Documentaries to Change the World,” sponsored by the Driver Lecture Series. We had an incredible time and were on hand to talk about the making of the film and answer questions from the audience. “It was great to get out of the city where we have been working on the book throughout the bitter winter. The weather was wonderful and the landscape beautiful. We were received warmly and the response to the film was overwhelming. It provoked a lot of debate and discussion and I was delighted that the students enjoyed it so much”, said Frankie. Special thanks to Professor Jennifer Gauthier, who organized the festival along with the Festival Planning Committee and members from the campus student groups UMMAH and Bridges.
As Frankie mentioned, we are working hard on Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam and are in the final stages of editing. We are set for an early June release date and we are really excited to turn our attention to promoting the book and sharing more about what we found on the journey. Stay tuned to the blog as we will soon be writing more about the issues raised by the book. As always, thanks for visiting.
Click here to pre-order Journey into America at Amazon.
For those who have not seen the film yet, here is your chance. The film will be shown on Saturday at 12:00 noon Eastern Standard Time (10:00 p.m. in Pakistan) on Pakistani television station AAJ TV on the show Washington Report.
For those not in Pakistan, AAJ will stream the film on the internet at www.justin.tv Then keyword search “AAJ NEWS” and this will give you a few choices, choose AAJ News live streaming telecast.
Check for updates about rebroadcasts on Washington Report’s Facebook page. Washington Report has previously shown an interview with Akbar Ahmed on the project and film. Below are parts of the interview previously aired to publicize the film showing.
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Tagged aaj tv, Akbar Ahmed, America, American University, Islam, jinnah, Journey into America, muslims, Religion, school of international service, washington report
Courtesy of Voice of America Urdu Service
When we were planning our southern leg of the journey, my brother Josh, who lives in Nashville, told me about a small Muslim community in Columbia Tennessee whose mosque was attacked. Frankie, Craig and I immediate decided that we should visit.
We met Daoud Abudiab, Director of the Islamic Center of Columbia, when we arrived in Nashville at the Nashville Islamic center. He invited us down to Columbia to tell us the story of the attack and have lunch with some of the community.
On February 9, at 5:00 a.m., Daoud was awakened by the fire department. His Mosque and the home of the Muslim community was ablaze.
The community of 55 people at the maximum had purchased the building paid it off and was extremely proud that they had a home in the idyllic small town of Columbia in south Tennessee. The mosque was the only one within a wide radius and people from many small towns in the area came to worship there.
Three individuals had broken in, trashed the inside and tossed Molotov cocktails into the Mosque. They had spray painted several swastika and “white power, we run the world”. They were part of something called the Christian Identity Movement. Fortunately, they were arrested immediately and are awaiting sentencing. Continue reading
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Tagged 9/11, arson, Christianity, columbia islamic center, Islam, jonathan hayden, Journey into America, muslims, Religion, swastika, terrorism