Is Anti-Muslim Prejudice Now Acceptable?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Lord Blackadder, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #1
    Excerpetd from this BBC news item:

    Everyone fears terrorism on some level. Islamic terrorist groups are currently the highest profile and perhaps the most feared in the western public consiousness. But does that make it OK to treat all Muslims as guilty until proven innocent, or second-class citizens? Has it truly become socially acceptable to indulge in bigoted views of Islamic people? Is it incumbent on all Muslims to constantly prove they are not terrorists, or do we have a responsiblity to treat them with the same respect as everyone else?

    In the US, we have a bloody history of struggles with racism. "I know he's a [ethnic slur of your choice], but he's really OK." Or "Some of my best friends are [race/creed/sexual orientation]".
     
  2. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #2
    ANY prejudice is NOT acceptable...

    unfortunately, many of us are victims...
     
  3. NickZac macrumors 68000

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    #3
    Anyone who is brown skinned and dressed differently is a terrorist. Every black man is a rapist. Every Jew is cheap. Every gay person is always trying to have sex with straight people. Every white person is an oppressor and a racist...I could go on but you see what I am saying. None of the above has any meaning; assssholes come in all forms and personality varies on the individual person, not the general cohort. Additionally, people are often labeled and stigmatized due to ridiculous generalizations as the above. It makes me quite angry.

    The US Constitution says 'innocent until proven guilty'. The burden of validating someone as a terrorist falls on the prosecution. I know people who are Muslim who are terrified to tell anyone as people who are Muslim are constantly beaten up/threatened/stigmatized/denied basic rights/etc.

    Parts of the United States Patriot Act also make the situation worse. Also, the way we are screwing with Islamic people is also helping the 'terrorists' succeed in their goals, as they are indeed creating and fueling total chaos. So no, there is no justification in treating Muslims differently. Furthermore, even if you eliminate terrorism, but eliminate through acts of evil, have you really done anything good at all? End results are important but you sometimes have to look at the means of achieving those results and question if they are just.
     
  4. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #4
    Muslims, if they seriously want this to stop, need to address the extremists amongst them. Fear of Islam does not only stem from terrorism, but also muslim countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia. It's very hard for many people to look at the world and not see Islam as only these things.

    Islam has a very bad PR problem, and has for centuries. I'm not saying it's right. I'm just explaining it. Muslims have permitted the extremists in their ranks to represent them. If they want it to stop, they are going to have to work at it, not just complain about everyone else.
     
  5. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #5
    It's interesting to see this coming from the Tory party. In US politics, this would be seen as a very "liberal" statement.

    Islamic people need to address extremism in their religion; they are the only ones who can ultimately moderate Islam. But they are far from alone in this problem. Also, we shouldn't put all the responsibility on Muslims. The less accepting western society is, the less other cultures will be inclined to interact with us in a constructive way. Our fear and bigotry makes us just as vulnerable to terrorism as religious extremism against us does.
     
  6. Kauai macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    This is something which I've struggled with and I'm not going to deny it. But I'm also not going to compare the current state of Islamic radicalism to a few bible-thumpers like some apologists do.

    As an Agnostic who is typically critical of all religions, comparing the breadth of Muslim violence resulting from COMICS to anything Christianity has conjured in the past 7 centuries is crazy. Bomb threats, attempts at assassination, full-scale riots around the globe, attempting to murder the creators with an ax. All because of a comic.

    I don't think I'm being intolerant when I say we have to make it clear to Muslims who want to come to the West that this kind of behavior is unacceptable in Western society. They are coming here so they must assimilate to our values. To make matters worse, I'm not even sure most Muslim countries even really disavow these attacks. Even the moderate Muslim countries following this controversy criticized the comic artists and not the chaos perpetrated in their religions name. Some even had the gall to say there should be limits to freedom of speech when it comes to caricaturing Muhammad -- if they want to run their countries like that fine but in the West we believe short of violence free expression must trump even political correctness lest those restrictions be applied to everything.

    I think the comics were insensitive and Muslims may rightfully have had a right to feel insulted but the response was completely out of hand. And when Muslims respond to a comic like this does the average person have the right to feel slightly frightened about the largest minority immigrating to their country? I'm not trying to make it right, because coming from an extremely right-wing Christian family whom has said some pretty despicable things about Muslims I understand that bigotry against Muslims is real. But the average person doesn't understand the geo-political situation like me or you. All they see is millions of people in a foreign country, who look like the immigrants coming to theirs, whom are chanting for death to anyone who disagrees with their religion.

    Now that I'm done playing devils advocate, there may very well be a cycle to this. If you compare the situation of Muslim immigrants in America compared to that of Europe the difference is stark. American Muslims are on average affluent, well educated and assimilated into American culture. Compare that to the European Muslim whom often times lives in Muslim ghettos (thus a very low chance of assimilation) on average has an income much lower than the national average and unemployment rates which far exceed the national average. (I'm using France as a bar because they have the fastest growing Muslim population, though this trend is relatively universal.) So it could well be argued that racism prevents Muslims from integrating which inflames radicalism, -- and as history proves poverty is a contributing factor as well.
     
  7. NickZac macrumors 68000

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    #7
    You guys ever think that some of the people doing evil will do it, claim to be or attribute their acts to Islam, with the primary purpose of breeding hate towards Islamic people?

    How does Islam regulate the crazy people that happen to follow it? There is no Islamic court or council, and extremists exist in all religions. Can you really say that Islam has to deal with its extremists while other religions somehow have a lesser obligation? Extreme Christians and Jews, other dominate US religions, have also advocated and caused harm (and death).
     
  8. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #8
    However, it is not our responsibility to adapt to Islam in the West. It is Islam's responsibility to adapt to us.

    The below post sums it up nicely. There is no reason we should tolerate Muslims threatening people with death just because of a few comics or "Draw Mohammed Day". This is a free country, you have no right not to be offended- whether you're Christian, Muslim or whatever else. This is the klnd of thing really making people angry, and it's quite real.

    They have let their image be dominated by these things. Christianity has too. All religions have a responsibility for their image, at least in part.
     
  9. Kauai macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Yes, it is true that in the deep South America has quite a few Christian bible thumpers but even these chest beaters are no where near the massive, street packed riots seen in Cairo, Damascus, Karachi along with basically every major Muslim city after a single comic was posted in an obscure Danish newspaper located thousands of miles away from these people.

    We didn't see "Christian" governments call for Jihad (even though there really isn't such a thing as a "Christian" government like there is Islamic Governments ). We didn't see Christians out in the streets en masse calling for a new crusade (Christian version of Jihad?). We didn't see Christian leaders calling for Muslims to convert or else (Libya). I'm sorry, I understand where you're coming from and yes Christianity has it's radicals (Westboro anyone?) but attempts to compare the scale and breadth of radical Christianity and radical Islam are lost on me. Islam hasn't come very far since it's foundation whereas Christianity has largely adapted to the rise of laicite in the West.

    Btw, I think this comic sums up my point nicely: http://content.cartoonbox.slate.com/?feature=f3791f2eba483bef7537355e24657824

    I'm in an impossible position considering I never thought I'd see myself defending Christianity but attempts to make it seem like Islam and Christianity / other religions are par for par in the radical sector are lunacy.
     
  10. Eraserhead macrumors G4

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    #10
    That's not really true...
     
  11. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #11
    I meant decades. Sorry.
     
  12. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #12
    Anti-Muslim prejudice is alive and well... just check out the posts in this forum when a topic gets going.

    Is it acceptable? Sure seems to be.

    Some people express it without a hint of shame.

    How they can manage it baffles me.
     
  13. Eraserhead macrumors G4

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    #13
    Fair enough, that makes much more sense :).
     
  14. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #14
    People have every right to be offended (that is a form of free speech) - it's behavior that matters, in my opinion.

    A distinction must be made between Muslims who are merely offended with the cartoons, and Muslim terrorists who make a career out of murder and violence, and use incidents like the cartoons as pretexts for crime.

    I agree. Every group has a responsibility for its image (and not just religions). But it is incumbent on the rest of us not to make broad-brushed generalizations about Muslims due to Islamic terrorism. Western culture, with its Christian traditions, is in the minority worldwide. To assume we are the world's cultural baseline is false.
     
  15. leekohler, Jan 20, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011

    leekohler macrumors G5

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    #15
    I gave you reasons why the prejudice exists. The least you can do is address it. For example, what am I supposed to think when I see gay people executed in Muslim countries or imprisoned for life? The what am I supposed to think when Muslims beat and murder gay people in the UK? Then what am I supposed to think when I am yelled at by Muslim cab drivers on three separate occasions IN MY OWN CITY for kissing a guy in their cab and told "You stop! In my country, you go to jail!"? How do you think less open-minded people would react to this?

    Now- whether it's right or not, there are reasons that Muslims are being prejudged in western countries. Muslims are not blameless here.
     
  16. obeygiant macrumors 68040

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    #16
    Is it prejudiced of me to think that woman wearing a burka is being oppressed? I really don't think twice about hajabs, but if I see someone with a head to toe covering burka, I'm thinking who or what is making you wear that.
     
  17. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68030

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    #17
    I think Lee's repsonse to Cit's post hit home a point I always try to make in these conversations. There is a big difference between clear cases of prejudice - hating all people of one race/religion - because of some bs "reasoning" (they are all lazy/criminals/cheap) and being of the opinion that anyone who would follow a religion that is so backwards in their treatment of others (women, gays, other religious people) are, for lack of a better word, evil. I see no problem with being wary of Muslims (or any group of people) if your opinions are based on actual facts. Look at Muslim run countries, see how they treat their women, see how their leaders act, what's wrong with seeing that and honestly saying, I don't want that crap in my country?
     
  18. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #18
    It isn't right. That's my point. I won't pretend I'm without prejudice entirely, but we can't all wait for someone else to set the example.

    Islam, as a whole, is "behind the times", but change won't happen overnight. In the meantime, we havet to try and engage with the moderates and combat extremism. Declaring war on them will only fuel the extremist elements.
     
  19. leekohler macrumors G5

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    #19
    I see no reason to tolerate this kind of behavior toward myself either. And I won't. I have good reasons to be wary of Muslims, even more for being wary of Christians.

    I never said anyone should declare war on anyone. I explained reasons for prejudice- good reasons. And if I am attacked by people of any religion, even just verbally, I'm not gonna sit there and take it. Don't ask me to.
     
  20. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #20
    It goes without saying that you should not tolerate prejudice against yourself. But if you allow their bigotry to generate prejudice in your own opinions or outlook, what good could possibly come of it?
     
  21. Kauai macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    I don't really understand how anyone is declaring war on them. Sure, if we were trying to impose our values on Muslim society then you may have a point. But we aren't. All I've seen is people making it clear that Muslim's whom wish to come to the West must abide by Western values.

    How do you think a Muslim would react if Westerners tried to build a Church in their country? Or how about if a Western woman wanted to drive a car? How about if a priest from any other religion but Islam tried to preach openly? Sorry, I think we're much more tolerant of them than they would ever be of us in their homelands. And I don't think we are being bigoted or irrational in our few requests.
     
  22. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #22
    I can't agree with this.

    Ultimately each side is responsible for adapting to each other.
     
  23. Heilage macrumors 68030

    Heilage

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    #23
    I have to admit, I wonder the same myself.


    I try not to be pejudiced, but I am. For some reason, I can't help it. I live in an area where there is a certain amount of crime, and I notice that I get more scared when I walk by groups of dark-skinned people at night.

    Rationally, I know that I quite frankly haven't got much to be worried about, it's probably a group of friends hanging around and talking, but still my heart races a bit and I try to avoid eye contact.

    That being said, I firmly believe, and will continue to do so until proven otherwise by empirical scientific evidence, that most (the absolute grand majority) of Muslims are extremely boring, normal people who just want to get on with their lives. But I also agree that the Muslim community in general has to deal with extremism in their ranks, just as I think Christians communities should deal with theirs (like Westboro Baptist Church and those loons). Nothing these extreme groups ever do will ever get us any nearer to living in a society where different doesn't equal dangerous.
     
  24. Kauai macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    I'd agree with you if it wasn't for that very important part in Leekohler's quote; "in the West".
     
  25. leekohler macrumors G5

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    #25
    I don't know what you expect, but I'm human too. I don't know if you've ever had to deal with this kind of thing, but it is really scary- especially if you've been fighting for your own civil rights most of your life. To have someone say something like that to you in a cab and actually refuse you service is really quite frightening. I will not tolerate that in my own country. I won't. Don't ask me to.

    You still have not addressed the issues I posted. And no- I do not go to other countries expecting them to adapt to me. I follow whatever their customs are.
     

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