I knew that.
Jewish graves have been similarly desecrated in cemetries in France and elsewhere in Europe.
I felt close to this story because I understand the pain that is brought when white racists desecrate the graves of Muslims, Jews, Roma, or other racialized groups.
I responded to the comment saying in part that this was not just one isolated act of racism against Muslims and that the incident was not made any less, or contextualized otherwise, simply because other racialized groups have suffered the same fate.
In the post I said that these kinds of instances speak to waves of anti-Muslim bigotry that is becoming commonplace everywhere where Muslims live.
I am not unique in this observation by any stretch of the imagination.
I pointed out a website called Islamaphobia Watch and made mention of other instances to support my assertion. I also added a comment to tell a little about the times when white racists desecrated graves in my hometown. My sister's grave was also desecrated.
Today I received an updated comment from Nunya that takes exception to some of the examples I used to explain my assertion that Muslims are being discriminated against with greater fervour.
I have decided to put the comment here because I think other readers will miss this exchange on a post that is somewhat hidden by the passage of time.
Here is most of Nunya's updated response:
Ridwan, there were a couple of things I'd like to comment on. I'll start with this one because it has something to do with the other two: You say--
"**During Islam Awareness Week at Harvard white students opposed the call to prayer being said on campus. They claimed Islam discriminated against them."
To which I reply, freedom of religion also means freedom from religion. I personally hate the sound of the call to prayer. It may be soothing to Muslims, but it grates on my last nerve and here is why: I don't speak Arabic, I don't like anyone telling me when to pray, I don't respect sheeple, and it's loud. I don't like to listen to someone else's blaring car stereo either. Nobody in my church has to holler at the whole damn town to get people to go to church. It's a bother that Muslims seem to expect to be accommodated in western societies.
This article is quite reasonable and actually defends this woman, but I have a problem with her refusal to adapt to the society in which she lives:
Caricaturing Danish Muslims
(shaking hands is customary, they're not asking her to wear a bikini to the beach, just not stick out like a sore thumb)
**Alison Ruoff, "A senior lay member of the Church of England's "Parliament" has called for a ban on the building of more mosques in Britain."
(see above comment)
**Anti-Islam Dutch politician Geert Wilders released a short film called Fitna that blatantly attacks Islam and the Qur'an, which he calls false.
(I beleive that this film has already struggled to see the light of day, and it will wither on the vine and die, unless the Islamists, and by that I mean radicals, violently protest it. It makes me wonder if Geert & his ilk are not only testing the limits of free speech, but calling the radicals out?)
This is my reply:
Nunya I appreciate your comments here because most of your interaction has avoided the kind of blatant ignorance and racist sentiment contained in your comment above.
You know that I am a Muslim. I do not hide this fact here or in any of my interactions with anyone in any circumstance.
I am compelled to tell you that when you say to me that "I personally hate the sound of the call to prayer," you offend me as a Muslim.
I cannot convey here how much this part of your comment hits at my being. I am reeling in utter disgust that you would level such a violently crass damnation.
In all of my 43 years I have never encountered anyone, anywhere, who has told me that they "hate" my religion's call to prayer (known as the Azaan).
You are being downright hateful. And you are obviously ignorant of the substantive tenor of liberal democracy, an idealogy you defend tooth and nail on your blog.
I raise this point because you seem particularly deluded that your response is your right inside of the West where Muslims should seek meek integration and be grateful for their presence.
You are being spuriously selective in your thinking and you do so inside of a myopic historical view that centers whiteness as the substantive foundation of what the West represents and expects from Islam and Muslims.
This you do with a racist mentality that is too constrained to recognize that if you and your people lived by decent norms you would be living in Turtle Island and not the genocidal United States.
In these terms you are historically suspect to point out what the context of adaptation should look like. And I say so knowing that you will dismiss my point by claiming that all peoples have been colonizers in the history of the world.
You are wrong and certainly do not reflect the merits of Western democracy as it relates to what is commonly referred to as tolerance.
I think readers should note that you are making a lot of nonsense out of nothing when you talk about the Azaan in America. There is no incessant Azaan anywhere in the US. At the very least, the Azaan is used on Fridays only. In most counties the by-laws prohibit the Azaan being made over a loudspeaker.
In fact, I have never been to a mosque in the US where the Azaan is made over a loudspeaker like they do in India or South Africa.
Church bells on the other hand are sounded on the hour, every hour, across the US in every town and city irrespective of whether Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Mormons, Sikhs, atheists, agnostics, or others, live there.
When I lived in Baltimore (Fells Point) the church bells rang daily on streets filled with European immigrants and I never once came across anyone, including myself, who took offence.
Here in South Africa the Azaan is called five times a day. In our neighborhood the Christians live alongside in peace and respect.
And I guess that is the meat of my reply here. I want you to know that I am offended that your comment is disrespectful to Muslims everywhere. This includes the six million Black, or African American, Muslims who are hardly Eastern enough to "grate your nerves".
In fact, it is disrespectful to all people anywhere, including what you consider the West, who believe that religious accomodation is a democratic virtue and human right.
The same is true of your attack on Asmaa Abdol-Hamid's decision to wear hijab and not to shake the hands of men.
You are representing the racist and sexist view of how a Muslim woman should behave, and look like, in the West.
A Muslim woman, anywhere, has the right to decide who she will shake hands with, and she has the right to wear hijab, or not, as long as it does not interfere with the rights of the people around her.
I cannot see how Ms. Abdol-Hamid eroded the rights of the bigots in the facist Danish People's Party by wearing hijab and keeping her hands to herself.
You, on the other hand, seem to have some Western code that allows you insight into why she should not be free to live as she pleases, even in a democracy.
What I detect in your comment above is a jaundiced bigotry that parades under the guise of Western exceptionalism and is clearly anti-Islam and anti-Muslim. And please don't try to sell bigotry under your democratic right not to be bothered by any religion.
What happened at Harvard was a special week to educate students about Islam. Those students who did not want to hear the Azaan from the steps of the library could have gone to any other place on campus.
Universities are supposed to be places of tolerant inclusion. Your view on what happened there, and what it means, is the exact opposite.
I am similarly dismayed by your reference to mosques and the folks who do not want anymore built in Britain.
Your position reminds me of the liberal multiculturalism bias that wants diversity, but not so much that whiteness is threatened.
I think your overall position above is summed up nicely by this racialized and cluttered bias. What you obviously dislike the most about the Muslims in your midst, and elsewhere, is that they threaten your sense of white entitlement.
And that, Nunya, is the very core of racism.