Yasmina Reality

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Is America Islamophobic? Or White Supremacist?

Is America Islamophobic? Or White Supremacist?

By on January 7, 2016 in islamophobia, social issues

This is a guest blogger post. My mentor and friend, Abu Amina Elias, is a blogger at FaithInAllah.org or http://abuaminaelias.com/ where he addresses oft misrepresented elements of the Islamic faith and explains them as well as covers the most intriguing questions regarding Islam.  I’m so blessed to know him. I learn so much from him. We work together on the MyJihad public education campaign and see eye to eye on many contemporary issues.

I find the topic of Islamophobia to be frustrating. I’m not talking about Islamophobes, both ignorant and willfully ignorant. I’m talking about among Muslims ourselves. We don’t all agree on the root causes of Islamophobia, how to fight it and to what degrees it actually exists. I feel like some of us are in denial to a certain degree – others “can’t deal.” They perhaps pray it will improve or that others will fight the good fight instead.  Some even seem to apologize on behalf of Islamophobes- almost seeking their acceptance. Sorry to criticize like this – but I see it as a good thing- to put everything on the table. We need to be realistic about what we are dealing with inside of our communities as well as outside.

That said, my friend Abu Amina Elias shared a perspective that really blew me away. Because I see pure truth in all of this. And by acknowledging it – I am practically saying that my entire blog needs to go away. haha Fighting Islamophobia is sort of like spinning wheels – as it is a symptom of a larger problem of xenophobia steeped in a supremacist mindset. I do understand this and agree with this. I do, however, believe that we still need to fight Islamophobia from a fundamental perspective. We need to “be Muslim” unapologetically if that means a sister wears hijab or we attend mosque or we say “assalamu alaikum” on the street when we greet one another. We must right wrongs that are stated or perceived about Islam and Muslims that further fan the flames of fear and hate.  But picking apart the root causes of the larger issues surrounding bigotry in the United States and in the world today is necessary. It’s a conversation we must continue to have- and that we must push onto the mainstream. It’s a conversation we must have as we build bridges of interfaith solidarity.

Without further ado – the words of my friend follow for this guest post. Food for thought.  Salams. Peace!

~Yasmina

 

“My latest research into the anti-Muslim movement has brought to my attention the alarming resurgence of white supremacy and the ability of its locus, although on the fringe, to influence mainstream discourse. My theory is that the origin of the modern anti-Muslim ideology is at least partially born in white supremacy and that it entered the political mainstream through its principle ideologues whose connections to it and mass media are well-documented. I used to believe that if we could explain this verse was misinterpreted or that tradition was misunderstood, then people would learn to respect the civil rights of American Muslims. But I’ve come to realize that white supremacists, who are the ideological core of Islamophobia, don’t care at all what the Quran actually says. Their ultimate concern is to end immigration in order to avoid an imminent situation in which they would have to share power with what they perceive to be inferior races. They have bypassed the usual social stigma against racism by claiming Islam is not a race or even a religion, but rather an aggressive political ideology, and therefore their prejudice and discrimination is rationally and constitutionally justified. By dishonestly portraying Islam at large as inherently violent, white supremacists have successfully pushed their anti-immigration talking points and segregationist agenda deep into the mainstream. Ordinary Americans who would normally never associate with racism have been fooled by this gimmick.

If you want to solve a big problem, you have to get to the heart of the matter. Explaining verses and traditions will help people on the fence, but this by itself will not beat back Islamophobia. We have to challenge the influence of the ideological core, the dehumanizing pseudo-scientific racism and paranoid fear of the Other that is driving the anti-immigrant movement. I’m no longer going to address Islamophobia, except in the wider context of ideological racism of any flavor. Our struggle isn’t a Muslim struggle; it is the human struggle of everyone who seeks a fair, integrated, and egalitarian society. I believe from the bottom of my heart that the only way forward is to continue Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy of loving non-violent resistance against systemic injustice, as the Quran says, “Repel evil with good.” (41:34) ”

~Abu Amina Elias

http://abuaminaelias.com/

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About the Author

About the Author: I'm a Writer and Muslim Activist. I'm also a Board Member of the #MyJihad Public Education Campaign. Follow my blog at yasminareality.com or follow me on Twitter: @yasmina_reality. I'm also now on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YasminaReality Peace! .

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