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The Muslim Question

  • Sep. 30th, 2008 at 1:19 PM
views_livemint
A good friend back in India just emailed me this link:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-rodda/muslim-children-gassed-at_b_130076.html

In short, a week and a half ago, someone threw a gas irritant into the nursery at a mosque in Dayton, OH, in which small children and babies waited during their mothers' prayers. I asked my well-informed, obssesive news watching parents if they had heard about the Dayton mosque attack. Blank looks. And then creeping horror flashed across their face when they heard the story. I just left a country where Chrisitan churches are being burned to come to a country where Muslim mosques are being gassed.

Neither presidential candidate has come out to condemn the attack. No candidate has even mentioned the attack. Why? In my opinion, they're terrified to come out in support of Muslims. It's been a truly disturbing trend in this election: distance yourself as far as possible from the Muslim community. Obama's had to defend himself against "slurs" that he went to a madrassa. Would I have to do the same for attending a Catholic university? An Obama aide asked two women in head scarves to move out of a television shot (Obama later called them to apologize). But aren't we just further alienating a community we should be reaching out to at all accounts?

What are your thoughts on the subject? And what should the candidates be doing about this?

Hope you're all well (melissa)

Comments

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likethedust wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 08:48 pm (UTC)
While this was definitely a horrible act, I would be very surprised if either of the candidates DID comment on the attack, in any way. I agree that we are further alienating our own Muslim community, but as far as I see it, the candidates are just playing the game, plain and simple. I personally would love to hear a comment from both Obama and McCain about this attack, but the fact is, a lot of Americans are still weary, and any comments could potentially hurt their campaign. It's unfortunate how easily the mind is altered.
takemetothesea wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 09:05 pm (UTC)
I live in Ohio.. and I didn't even hear about it.
Sad, but true.
But I guess that's what happens when you live in one of the highest republican counties. Not that it's a bad thing.. it's just they have a different view on things. And some news is deliberately left out of the newspapers.
I agree with likethedust on this.
Somethings are just meant to be left unsaid...
I'm sure if either one of them said something the press would've changed their words around.
silentinflames wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 09:09 pm (UTC)
Why?

Because Muslims in the US today are what blacks were back in the 60s. Niggers were scum and Muslims equal terrorists. You don't take their side, you kick 'em when they're down on the floor already.

It's for the same reason why it is absolutely vital for a presidential candidate that he be a Christian. Not a Jew, not a Muslim, not a Hindu, not even an Atheist. It's got to be Christian.

The US are remote controlled by Christian churches. They out of all the western democracies have least succeeded in actually separating (Christian) church and state. I can't think of any other western democracy in which it is common for a priest/pastor/minister to tell churchgoers which party to vote for in a Sunday sermon. In no other western democracy are there thus many extremist, downright absurd denominations and sects - often mixed with a weird para-military and white supremacy ideology - at work than in the US. This level of religious extremism can usually be found in Muslim theocracies. Isn't that funny?

That is why a story like this gets next to no coverage.
mefan wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 09:56 pm (UTC)
Erm . . . it wasn't 3 out of 10 Americans who recently voted for one of two ultra far right parties. And by ultra far right I mean that the leader of one party has publically referred to the SS as patriots and questioned the truth behind the Holocaust. The other has ties to neo-nazis and ran on a xenophobic platform that included anti-muslim, anti-foreigner and anti-immigration rhetoric.

Combined, the two parties managed 29% of the vote. The "victors" in the election (if you can call them that) managed to scrape by to victory on a 29.7% vote share.

And it wasn't America. It was Austria. Another western democracy. I find it far more scary that 3 out of 10 Austrians knowingly voted for admitted racists and fascists.

I'm not disagreeing w/what you're saying for the most part, just the part about America being the only western democracy where this crap happens.
(no subject) - silentinflames - Sep. 30th, 2008 10:39 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - mefan - Sep. 30th, 2008 11:21 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - silentinflames - Oct. 1st, 2008 06:18 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - as_she_spoke - Oct. 1st, 2008 12:38 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - silentinflames - Oct. 1st, 2008 06:24 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - as_she_spoke - Oct. 1st, 2008 08:03 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - silentinflames - Oct. 1st, 2008 08:15 am (UTC) Expand
silver_chipmunk wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC)
I suspect that the reason neither has commented is because it hasn't made the major news outlets. I didn't see this on cnn.com, for instance. This is the first I've heard of it. I don't think either candidate is going to risk making a big deal out of a story that's so obscure.

Of course the real question is why _hasn't_ this been played up more by the major media? The answer is, pretty obviously, anti-Muslim bias. I'm sure most of us can agree that if it had been a church, or a synagogue, it would have been heard around the country. Muslims? No one cares.
princekermit wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 09:28 pm (UTC)
I may be a jaded news junkie. Take that at face value first.

Two months ago, a man claiming hatred of "liberals" entered a Unitarian Universalist church in Tennessee and opened fire with a shotgun, killing two and wounding six before being subdued by the congregation. That was in the news for a day, maybe a week in Tennessee or in the blogosphere. These days, no one remembers Jim David Adkisson and that was a witnessed homicide.

This is a suspicious spray that had no lasting effect beyond generating hysteria within the target audience. The pivotal point, I believe, is the fact that the hazmat team could find no evidence of what it was. Meanwhile, everyone is healthy and the attack has not repeated itself.

Was it a horrible thing? Yes. Should the police investigate and try to find who was responsible? Yes. Was it Stop-The-Presses, Breaking-News-on-CNN Newsworthy? No. I say this not because of anti-Muslim sentiments, it is simply a question of scale.

Furthermore, I believe there is quite the difference between something akin to a pepper spray attack and a "gassing." It's hyperbole like that which fans the flames of hysteria.
rspeed wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 09:34 pm (UTC)
Disclaimer: I am in no way condoning this, I'm just naturally suspicious.

Other than the setting, is there any reason to believe that this was a hate crime? It certainly sounds like it, but the reports say that the men didn't say anything at all, which makes me wonder. That doesn't really fit nicely with the stereotypical hate crime.
yellowvalley wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 09:45 pm (UTC)
It was a harmful substance that was purposefully placed in a place of worship. It makes a statement all on it's own.

Not to mention those anti-Muslim DVD's were circulated just last week. Way too much of a coincidence.
(no subject) - rspeed - Sep. 30th, 2008 10:11 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - yellowvalley - Sep. 30th, 2008 11:06 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - mightyafrodite - Oct. 2nd, 2008 06:53 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - yellowvalley - Oct. 2nd, 2008 02:11 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - mightyafrodite - Oct. 2nd, 2008 03:21 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - yellowvalley - Oct. 2nd, 2008 09:34 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - mightyafrodite - Oct. 3rd, 2008 03:52 pm (UTC) Expand
capra124 wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC)
We hear about similar atrocious acts, but if there is any remote tie to the Muslim community, it's not only left out of the news, but almost completely ignored. If anyone says anything, even now, it'll be taken as being anti-patriotic, despite the fact that this attack was against not so much the religion and community, but children. The innocents of this world. They were the ones I thought about first when I read this post. Not that it was an attack on a mosque, but on children. Maybe that's just my perspective on life.

As for what the candidates should do, I'd hope they'd talk about how it's an attack on children. Not necessarily about the fact that it was an attack on a mosque, but on innocent children. Talk about how the cowards, for that's how I see them, chose to attack children who have done nothing more than exist. Attacks such as this should be highlighted as part of the problem with how both sides can't see the harm being inflicted all in the name of being patriotic.
manatees wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 10:18 pm (UTC)
This is really sad :(
(no subject) - mamagaea - Sep. 30th, 2008 11:05 pm (UTC)
silver_chipmunk wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 11:17 pm (UTC)
In case you hadn't noticed, the Huffington article had a link to the exact same article you linked to, and commented on it.
(no subject) - mamagaea - Sep. 30th, 2008 11:33 pm (UTC) Expand
Whoops. - views_livemint - Oct. 1st, 2008 04:29 am (UTC) Expand
ravenrants wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 11:06 pm (UTC)
While I agree with the above that the fact that the thunderous silence is due in part because of the religious orientation of the victims, there could be three reasons why the candidates are staying mum. It's all speculation and probably very cynical, but here goes:

1. The official investigation has barely even started, let alone come to any conclusions. While it's safe to imply that this was a violent act and probably religiously-motivated, no official conclusions have been reached and no charges have been filed. No politician is going to speak out against something they're not sure is "real" or not for fear of looking like a fear-mongering fool when the reports are final - not this close to the election.
Edited to add: details of the on-going investigation and the local Muslim leaders' reactions here: http://tinyurl.com/4osrnf

2. Maybe it goes without saying and the candidates are in agreement? While a public statement would be great, you can't make political points by pointing at your opponent and saying we both condemn this. Right now, all the talk is focused on how the other guy is out of touch, how I'm better than him, and how I'm going to save the world.

3. The, um, elephant in the room. "It's the economy stupid." It's sorry to say, but the economic mess that's affecting the entire country trumps a tragic and vicious crime that's rocking one community, especially since no one died. If/when the economic furor dies down, then there may be statements of sympathy and condemnation, but right now the country isn't listening - so why should they?

Edited at 2008-09-30 11:10 pm (UTC)
mcnellism wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 12:56 am (UTC)
That is sickening.
During 9/11 I was at the University of Connecticut. Shortly after 9/11, some Muslim students were being very heavily harassed and threatened to the point when they wouldn't leave their dorm rooms. Thankfully, the university acted quickly to expel the instigators, but it wasn't quick enough.

It's just disgusting when people cannot see the difference between someone just living their daily life and a fanatical terrorist. During the Crusades, Catholic soldiers were often referred to by others as fanatics. During the Spanish Inquisition, the Roman Catholic Church was referred to as fanatic. Fanatics exist everywhere, and not only in religion.

Personally I am so weary of others not recognizing the difference between the select few who are only using religion as an excuse for their fanaticism, and the general public. The candidates should be addressing the issue and reminding America of what it means to be tolerant. They should lead by example, because just saying it isn't enough.

I'm a supporter of Obama, but I think it would have been better if he publicly apologized to those persons instead of calling them after the fact. That would have been a good start to leading by example...even though it wouldn't quite be there yet.
mightyafrodite wrote:
Oct. 2nd, 2008 06:59 am (UTC)
Re: That is sickening.
That's assuming that the individuals in question wanted it to be public. While it makes the rest of us feel better and possibly makes the candidate be "upstanding", there is something to be said about respecting the privacy of non-public figures.
nederlandergirl wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 03:16 am (UTC)
The nominees distance themselves from anything at all definitive-- such as, y'know, answers to questions. Aks them "Do you believe that a certain amount of Islamaphobia exists in the US?" and they will answer with "Well, I hope to reform the country through positive changes that will welcome people of all stripes into our...um, that is my position on health care reform and the bailout packacke..to all Americans."
silentinflames wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 08:19 am (UTC)
Lols. That would have been Palin, right? Or Tina Fey? The difference is hard to tell these days.
2008newface wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 03:23 am (UTC)
This is the first I've heard of this horrific attack! I'm livid that a CHEMICAL ATTACK occurred on our soil first of all! I don't feel that the Candidates campaigning for President should be held to a higher accord than the sitting President, George W. Bush! President Bush, himself, has chosen to disregard this ATTACK in America! THIS IS WORST THAN A HATE CRIME! IT'S A "TERRORIST HATE CRIME"! I just can't believe this happened! In Dayton, Ohio and NOTHING IS SAID OR DONE ABOUT IT? THE NATION IS NOT AWARE OF THIS AS A WHOLE?

9-11
KATRINA
NOW THIS?

WHEN WILL THE PRESIDENT "ACT" TO UPHOLD THE SAFETY AND SECURITY OF THIS NATION? I THINK PRESIDENT BUSH NEEDS TO "ACT" PRESIDENTIAL OR RESIGN BECAUSE "WE THE PEOPLE" ARE FEELING DISCONNECTED FROM WASHINGTON!
lynneaofheaven wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 03:32 am (UTC)
Poison of All Kinds
This incident was never mentioned in the news where I live (Los Angeles area) but it shoudl have. I remember incidents against my temple and invasions of police into the temple itself to search for "children being ritually slaughtered" for sacrifice. I remember vandalism of property and personal attacks, even mobbings. These things wshould have been noted in the local paper at the time. But a different message was given to me instead..."You deserve it!"

Because we are different, people still think they have the right to conduct pogroms against us in the name of religion, or at least in the name of popular culture. People think they have the right to inflict bodily harm. People think they are justified to rape. I have faced all these things while being told by those in authority that I should just "get over it." Never mind if bones were broken or if I needed other medical treatment. I didn't count. Other religious and sexual minorities don't count either. Not even Muslims like those who were attacked with poison gas.

Because the real poison isn't even the gas. The poison is hatred in the heart, driven by shallow religionism and echoed in the contempt of so many in authority.

What do I say about my countrymen? Welcome to my world. I can't recommend my own as trustworthy any more than others in the world who don't make our grandiose claims of being good and just. The reality is found in every one who is brutalized, just for being different.
fine_clarity wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 03:52 am (UTC)
I have not heard about this incident until now. I wonder what the religious beliefs of the attacker are. I am an atheist myself.

I know that the average muslim, and especially the average middle-eastern desert muslim, is significantly more fanatical than the average United States christian. The real question is: How many offspring are these muslims making?

If the muslims in the United States are making an average of less than 2 offspring per couple, then the attack was unwarranted and should be prosecuted. If however the muslims in the United States are making an average of more than 4 offspring per couple, and particularly the ones that use this mosque, then the gas attack was a justifiable act of genetic self-defense, an act of defense against the spread of the genes of fanaticism, and should therefore not be subject to legal punishment. I'm pretty sure that many a fanatic will utterly hate me for stating this truth, but speaking the truth on controversial matters is rarely an entirely safe venture.
adamwolf wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 11:27 am (UTC)
The truth? You're a little sickening. I suppose the slaughter in Rwanda was genetic self-defense, as well? Because humans, being de facto one species, feel genetically threatened by people with a different faith?

You're the fanatic.
(no subject) - wolfwyndd - Oct. 1st, 2008 06:29 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - takemetothesea - Oct. 1st, 2008 09:24 pm (UTC) Expand
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