Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"It's a Bother That Muslims Seem To Expect To Be Accomodated"

On Sunday April 6 I wrote a post entitled "Muslims Graves Desecrated in France" and received a comment from Nunya that pointed out that "This was an ugly thing to do and I am certainly not condoning, or excusing it. Muslims are not the only victims though."

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.



Anonymous said...

As usual Ridwan you can say it so much better than I can. I found her comments shocking. Thank you for teaching me something today.


Ridwan said...

Hello Kim! It is nice to hear from you and thanks for your words.

As I started writing this to you there was a news report on News24 that covers a little boy in France who was kicked off a children's show because he has a Muslim name.

The show's producers explained that his name would offend French viewers because they don't like Islam!

These are treacherous times. Remember the Nazi's believed themselves to be democrats and devout Christians.

Peace to you Kim!

Erica said...

This is a perfect example of the “superiority complex” of most whites. Nuny’s comment could definitely be an advertisement for the never ending racism and bigotry that plagues us. When one is threatened about something that they can’t control they tend to go into tantrum mode. Clinton and Obama are perfect examples. Clinton reeks of racism. The thought of someone other than a “white counterpart” actually wining this election scares the hell out her. I see no difference with the absurd comments that were made.

Ridwan said...

Thank you for your comment Erica.

I am also baffled at how ignorant folks are when it comes to Islam and its contribution to human history.

Some white folks don't want to hear Arabic or people speaking Arabic, for example, yet are quite comfortable using Arabic numerals ... well most bigots would not even know that the numbers they use everyday come via the Arabs and was refined by Islamic civilization.

Most bigots would rather focus on the veil, hijab, to condemn its Muslims and their religion.

If I had a dime for every white American who has raised patriachal abuses among some Muslims I would have a neat sum by now.

Sure some Muslim men abuse Muslim women and other women. This is not, however, a function of Islam. There is no section in the Qur'an that calls on Muslim men to oppress Muslim women.

There is, however, a chapter that stresses the equality of women.

The chapter translates into "The Women" and it was a ground breaking, even revolutionary, manifesto for womans rights during the Prophet's life.

What really pisses me off is that very few of these bigots will lump all Christians together simply because some white man is beating his wife.

White folks who want to lump all Muslims together exempt themselves in a kind of positive erasure.

What I mean is that they conveniently forget the details of their history that make whiteness a brutal oppression.

The lumping together of all Muslims, with markers that point to their dysfunction, is the stuff of racism (no one can deny that Muslims are racialized when Islam is attacked).

I will not spend my time here trying to convince any white person about the substance of racism.

Neither will I withdraw from the challenge to confront racism and its attack on my body.

I also know very well that there are white people who get the sh*t I am pointing to here.

Still, these are times when all of us would do well to note how Islam and Muslims are being demonized.

Thanks for your words Erica.

Peace to you,

Eugene said...

It is also imperialist to the core. Nunya is also saying without saying it outloud, that she belongs to the end all and be all of civilized societies and therefore has the proprietary right to speak down to others. Nunya, it would seem, wants to lord it over others.

Sorry I haven't been to your blog in a while, brother. I've been busy with school and such.

Dione said...

I should stay out of this, but I can't. So I apologise upfront if what I have to say is offensive, it isn't meant to be.

We the people of the world, need tolerance and acceptance, and a deeper understanding of one another. No one, is above this. Human nature causes us to naturally cling to our primitive ways, which causes us to observe in such a way that we go to what we feel is normal for us, thus contributing to issues such as ethnocentrism and racism. People feel that their norm, is the correct norm. I do believe that true racism, does come from a certain un- awareness, an unfortunate one. We expect people to have evolved to the point where true racism should be ridiculous!! but still it exists. I believe that on some level... almost everyone has their prejudices, and if we want to be good people, then we will do everything we can to learn about and appreciate others. I am always explaining to my father, for instance how wrong he is about Islam.(when I bother speaking to him at all) I am always explaining to my mom why the N- word is so offensive to me. There may be a generational gap, but I tend to think that people are responsible for their own short sited ness, much of their ignorance. Especially in this age of information. I hate to tell everyone this, but racism is a CHOICE. We do not have to act upon primitive ways, someone who is different for which ever reason, is not less than.. We can choose to learn and be tolerant, just as we choose to use a restroom instead of relieving ourselves out in public, on the other hand. A conscious state of mind, is what separates ourselves from the animals, and Islam does explain this to us, coincidentaly.

I know Ridwan knows this, but how many people out there know that while most Arabs are Muslim, most Muslims are not Arabs and do not speak Arabic?? This is why even some Muslims get upset by the Arabic language. In that, the Quran's true meaning can not be truly 100% appreciated when it is transliterated, although you can get the idea of what is being discussed. The information, as revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the last prophet was delivered the message of god in it's original non corrupted form. The stories, and information being told are intended to be simple, strait forward and easy to understand, but it is not always the case due to the language issue. Most of the more religious Muslims I know believe that it is important to recite those versus, and pray in Arabic, because this is in god's message. There for the call to prayer will always be in Arabic, or one would be disrespecting Allah/god. People being given free will, and not having a grasp on the quranic Arabic, have sometimes misinterpreted it's intentions. Either way, the problems of women's treatment in Afghanistan for example are due to people deciding to take their own direction with the Quran, which is fundamentalism, and is most prevalent in converts, or reverts where they take some of what they learn too literally and decide to be violent. This is a mistake people make, and should not reflect on the religion, just as it is unfair that with all the Christian coalition, and militias out there, that all of Christianity isn't judged harshly as a whole. So why stereotype all Muslims to be terrorists in this regard? Muslims and middle eastern people ( whom are also stereotyped and assumed to be Muslim), are right to be offended by this. We also have decided that they must all have a high level of religiosity, so many times Americans will wonder why that Muslim is drinking when it is haram (unlawful), why is that Jewish person eating pork fried rice in the Chinese restaurant, why is this Asmaa Abdol-Hamid not shaking a man's hand, when she has allowed herself to be photographed, the not smiling at a man, and not shaking the hand of a bearded man is mentioned in some of the same places of the Quran. The fact remains, that this has to do with her comfort level, and her relationship with god. This is her religiosity, the same as the Muslim who has decided to drink, the same as the Jewish person eating pork fried rice, the same as Christian people drinking. No one ever condems Christians out at a bar, but if you look deep enough in the bible, it's the same sin. Christian and Jewish women also used to cover themselves. I don't think it is up to us, to condemn other people for their own beliefs, especially when apparently we as people become pretty blind to our own faults.

As a social scientist, the few times I get to hear the call to prayer, or see other kinds of religious activity being carried out here in America, I think its pretty cool because people CAN do that here. People stare, and people may hate, but our law says that you can have freedom of religion. At the same time, Nunya is correct that we have freedom from religion. No one is forced to do anything, it is not mandated by law. I happen to think that since America is a Judeo-Christian society on average, and people are strong enough to cover themselves, or be who they are, that they perhaps have a heightened sense of their own religiosity, in the way that works for them. In a post 911 society, Muslim women are brave when they choose to wear hijab. I have a friend who wears a Niquab, and of course the farther away one is from the American "norm" then the more stares and the more hate, and they are brave. Muslim men, are not as easily identified, and a religious Jewish man who wears a Kippa is fairly well tolerated. Until we walk in someone shoes, we can't appreciate their struggle. I would never say that I understood the discrimination that an African American feels everyday, from my learning I can only come to a consciousness about it. I have been discriminated for my gender, for not being Asian, and also for not being middle eastern in a work place, but I can never truly appreciate being discriminated against for being African American, people who have been treated the worst by colonialism. Lets also not forget that in order to "civilize" African slaves,or Native Americans colonial powers felt that one must Christianize. That wasn't tolerance, but do we condem all christians for this, no we do not. If I were a christian, then I wouldn't be that colonialist elite, just like the Muslim you meet is not Osama Bin Laden.

I'm not sure about the comment on Turtle Island. Frankly it should belong to the Native Americans, like the rest of North America?? It was then taken over by the British, then the French, but maybe that was the point???

Anyways, I am not trying to pick on anyone. You may, or may not agree with what I have to say, but I certainly would never want anyone to feel that I had anything negative to say about Islam. I do want to be clear, that Islam is a religion, not a cult, not a race, not an organization. It is the fastest growing religion in the world, and there are white Muslims out there. Since we know Islam is not a race, then I hope people out there don't assume that white people don't get it... I also find it problematic that religion could subtract from someone's white elitest mentality, but I guess if they don't understand the other details, then anything is possible.

It's important to know who you are, and to be comfortable with your own indentity. This is one of my many problems with Obama. Is it funny, I will now read your link to Obama's Hebrew blog? :)

I read your words of hurt and frustration. I know I have offended you with my comments on Islam in the past, when all I meant was good. It's hard to convey enough of what I do know, so that my comments don't seem completely ignorant, and for sure I would apologise as soon as I would know that they did.



GiGi - The Shy Giraffe said...

sigh.. i don't know how many times i had someone said to me.. muslim are nothing but terrorist. to this i always replied no religion teaches its followers to be terrorist/fanatics/radicals/extremist. a twisted individual will used religion as a form of personal agenda than the goodness of religion.

its like me saying.. all white are redneck or KKK.. all blacks are thugs or ghetto..hmmm wonder how the folks feels about that.

ps:... breathe ridwan.. whoo sahhh.. hee hee. hope you in good health always =:O)

Ridwan said...

*Eugene thanks for looking in here. I expect you are crazy busy. Best wishes brother. I do think that there is a lot of entitlement contained in the Western attack on Islam, and it is as mistaken as it is historically inaccurate.

**Dione it is always good to hear from you here. Thanks for taking so much time to comment here. I appreciate your insight very much. I think that all Muslims accept that the Qur'an is in Arabic. Those of us who are not well versed in classical Arabic or contemporary Arabic find it useful to read the Qur'an in English or our mother tongues.

You are right to point out that Islam is not a race. Race did not exist as it does now in the time of the Prophet.

Still, Islam has not escaped the tyranny of race and racism. Some Muslims look down on other Muslims in racial terms.

The Azaan was created by Bilal an African who was freed from slavery by the prophet. That act was a revolutionary one, it demonstrated Islam's prohibition of slavery.

And when the Prophet elevated Bilal to decide how Muslims would gather to pray it was a political demonstration of equality among all Muslims.

Bilal lived on to be one of the closest companions and commanding soldiers in the early revolution of Islam.

Each time the Azaan is sounded it serves to remind Muslims of their equality and it evokes the revolution of Islam against man made bigotry and discrimination.

My point, as you know, is that Islam is a lot more complex than the issues that 'grate the nerves' of Nunya or folks who share her knee-jerk and superficial understanding of what Islam means inside the construction of the West.

Where would the West be today were it not for the concept of the university that originated inside of Islam? And where would Europe be if they could not turn to Islamic intellectuals after the Dark Ages in Europe?

Plato's philosophy, for example, was lost in the Dark Ages. It Islamic scholars who preserved Plato during the Dark Ages while Europe slept.

***Gigi I am breathing OK now my sista :0) I know you appreciate how much this kind nonsense hits to close.

I do, however, think we spend too much time making room for those who would lump as together.

For example, some Muslim bloggers put up an explanation that they do not support terrorists or that they condemn 9/11.

In my mind, doing so is accepting the crap that all Muslims are terrorists and that the day those planes killed indiscriminately they did so with our universal consent.


Thank you for looking in Gigi. Be well.

Peace and struggle,

nunya said...

Ridwan cut the crap.

This can be thrown right back at you with only a color change:

"You are being spuriously selective in your thinking and you do so inside of a myopic historical view that centers blackness as the substantive foundation...."

Jeeezus Christ, you and your ditto-heads and your "KILL WHITEY" crap. Go ahead. SA is getting rid of most of it's whites. Is it in better shape? Or does white flight also mean capital flight? Damnit Ridwan, I didn't create the economic systems, I didn't do it. I didn't create the caste system in India either.

Did I miss your response to this?

dar al-Islam, the house of Islam and dar al-Harb, the house of war.

Is it common teaching or only prevalent in the radicalized mosques that Europe is trying to get a handle on?

I can be thrown in jail for shaking hands with a Muslim man in a Muslim country. Would I do that in a Muslim country? Hell no. Would I wear the hijab? Hell yes. If a better economic opportunity presented itself in a Muslim country would I adapt to what was customary there? Hmmmmm, HELL YES.

If that woman can't deal with things that are customary in the country she lives in then what is she doing there? Trying to change it to fit her customs? By demanding that her customs are respected she is disrespecting the customs in the WESTERN country that she lives in.

I'm soooooo sorry that the church bells (I've never heard them except for on TV, by the way) bothered you once a week. Five times a day they stop to pray? NO wonder their economies (except for the oil producing countries which have historically been dependent on WESTERN oil dependence) are a train wreck, how do they get any work done?

Nice to know I'll be attacked for stating preferences, opinions and observations. In a western country.

My instructor was right. She said you could have elections in Muslim countries. Once.

Ridwan said...

Nunya you should spend some time developing your own thinking and stop parroting because it is not a credible form of intellectual engagement.

But even if it was, my Black being and those of my people have not oppressed you or any of your white folk anywhere in the world or its history.

The reverse has been the course of racism in the last six or more decades.

It is obvious that you are hardly seeing what has been levelled here.

I have never advocated killing anyone so you "cut the crap" and deal more honestly with what is on the proverbial table.

Please show me my "kill whitey" comment.

I do not advocate the killing of anyone, anywhere.

What offends me about your comments are the hateful and racist implications that others have commented on too.

That you have been roundly criticized has more to do with your ignorant views on Islam and Muslims than it has to do with the caliber of comment here.

Deal with it.

You are so hateful towards Muslims that you can't even discern that I am not responsible for what happens in any Muslim country when it comes to elections.

I guess I would, or should, also be responsible for Zimbabwe and Mugabe then. Or any Black criminal anywhere, I suppose.

I do not benefit from what Mugabe does, but I know who benefits from racism and genocide in the US.

This I know even though you are not personally responsible for racism.

But then again Nunya, this is not about you as a person. It is more complicated than that for sure.

Please note that I have not said that I was bothered by church bells in Baltimore. I said the opposite.

I respect Christianity.

This week we celebrated a wedding here in my community between two people from Christian and Muslim backgrounds.

We live in peace among the many religions that characterize South Africa despite our racist history.

You, on the other hand, sound like a typical white bigot when it comes to Muslims, Islam, immigrants, Blacks and the history of racism in America.

I understand and applaud your efforts to study and pursue a higher education. I have said this here and elsewhere repeatedly.

I would, however, offer you the professional opinion that your community college instructor should be held
responsible for making a generalized, and idiotic, statement like the one you reference.

I wonder how s/he explains the stolen US election that caused so much destruction everywhere?

You should know that you are not merely stating preferences in a democratic coutry ... you are being racist and that is not a democratic right.

If you still think that racism has not benefitted whiteness I suggest you do some reading and thinking beyond your racialized sensitivities.

Also, I do not need to respond to every article you think condemns Islam or Muslims, or branding or thinking among Muslims.

You are also in no position to comment on what white life looks like in South Africa.

I never raised that issue but you find it hard to stick to the
issue(s) for obvious reasons.

White South Africans live here like the rest of us and we all suffer the consequences of apartheid that was supported by the US.

There is no war on white South Africans. There is crime and you know the brutal consequences of crime.

I am also unsure about the context of your comment about India and the caste system.

You know that this blog has been very critical of the caste system. And in my personal capacity I have worked to add my being to fighting caste oppression.

I suppose you are throwing caste dirt at me because you want to make the point that whites, read you, are not the only oppressors (and you may be speaking to my Indian heritage too).

You are right. About caste, that is. The caste system is oppessive and must be destroyed.

But let us not stray too far from the issue of this post.

You ridiculed my religion, my fellow Muslims, and continue to ignore the unfair weight of your comments.

I know the disease of whiteness Nunya.

Therefore, I don't expect that you will see any sense in my thinking here, or anywhere really.

For this reason, I don't expect a heartfelt retraction.

It is enough for me to see your comments looking absolutely ridiculous.

Still, I wish you peace.


Ridwan said...

Nunya I just read (again) your comment about praying five times a day.

How much further do you want to go in terms of offending Muslims.

I have been to Muslim countries that have diverse economies even while the Muslims observe prayer five times a day, and fast in Ramadan.

In the US, Muslims prayer five times a day and still achieve and live functional lives without having to be hateful like you.

As for disrespecting Western customs your thinking is utterly laughable.

A woman who wears hijab and does not shake hands with men is no more disrespectful than Hasidic Jews who wear traditional dress and live in New York, Warsaw, or Joburg.

Hasidic Jews are part of the fabric of life in the US, they have every right under the constitution to observe Judaism as they please.

The same is true for Coptic Christians and Sunni, Shiite, Druse, or other Muslims.

The subject matter that you have taken on is more complex than your misguided treatment suggests.

Your issue of disrespect to Western norms is nonsense. You feel threatened and it makes you uncomfortable to be in contexts that betray your 'firm' grip of reality.

This betrayal is about whiteness. Whiteness is about racism.

It is the kind of racism that thinks you and yours belong in the US and that the Indians and Mexicans are merely accomodated.

It is also the kind of racism that thinks the whole world can be measured by Western standards of 'progress' even while the US economy depends on Chinese, Japanese, and Arab capital (and technology) to keep it afloat.

I am amused by the kind of racist arrogance that deludes itself into thinking that the West has developed in a vacuum.

Nonsense. Anyone worth their intellectual salt would know this.

You live in a fantasy world Nunya and you should be ashamed of your racist attitude.

There are all kinds of Muslims all over the world. Muslims who work at labour intensive jobs and those who work as professionals, among others.

Life is complex and Muslims are complex just like Jews and Christians are complex too.

The call to prayer, and prayer, is a part of Islam and not a civilizational dysfunction.

Inside of being a Muslim the ability to achieve, and to achieve, is relative to the human condition.

I expect that a distribution of Muslims and success looks exactly like those of any other religion.

In this sense the ability to succeed at anything in life is more about being human than it is about being Muslim or any other religion.

In the world of racism, however, white folk assume they are the standard bearers of everything.

And they assume they can disparage anything with authority even where they are clearly unlettered.

What this suggests is more a dysfunction of power and privilege than it is a marker of sophisticated analysis.

I think most readers here know where you fall.

Peace again,

Erica said...

From one "ditto head" to an ingorant, self-rightous, ass who seemingly can't express her own views, but rather quote information from others I merely say this:

Whether you fail or want to realize it or not, whitey is the very reason why this country (us) and else where is as fucked up as it is now.

If it were not for your ancestor's greed and their wanting to be "superior" above all others, (slave trade) we wouldn't have to have such discussions now would we?

I also suggest that you keep your negative comments regarding the people who read this blog to yourself.

And this is just me being nice!

-Peace and Blessings!

Shus li said...

Last week, I was group-emailed a piece called "I'm Proud to be White".

Within this piece, Whites were made out to be victims in this day and age because other races have some perceived advantages (like scholarships for minorities or Black Entertainment Television).

This came from my very own step mother (who is 100% White).

My response? I emailed the group a photo of the plans for packing captured Africans into slave ships, a photo of the carnage at Wounded Knee, and a photo of lynchings of Black people, and I pointed out to them that THIS is the foundation of racist USA. Whites, for the most part, have not been the victims here (although there were indeed White slaves, who became sharecroppers; they have not been permanently marginalized and disadvantaged by reason of their skin color, though).

There seems to be a palpable uneasiness among supporters of the White-dominated power structure as it is challenged globally. Blaming the victim is part of the propaganda being used to inflame people to do what they can keep this power structure in place.

Another tactic is calling people names in an attempt to discredit whatever it is they may be saying that challenges one's viewpoint. Like, "ditto-head", "towel-head", "n*****", etc.

It is important that intolerance be called by that name. Nunya has revealed a depth of intolerance. Unfortunately, it seems there are many who think and feel the same way that she does.

I would like to see the time when there will not be a group of "others" who are maligned, vilified, misrepresented, persecuted, and murdered. I would like to see a time when we can understand that just because something isn't "right" for someone doesn't make it "wrong" for someone else.

I am sorry, Ridwan, for the insult and injury you received here.

A change of heart and a retraction from Nunya is in order.

Ridwan said...

Shusli thank you kindly for this thought provoking comment.

Here in South Africa we hear the same kind of drivel (reverse racism) from some whites who want the world to know that they are uniquely oppressed.

Folks like Nunya eat this nonsense up in their quest to disprove that whites share a collective responsibilty for apartheid (racism).

Any discussion about white racism is usually thrown back with selected points that seek to disprove that whites have benefitted from racism.

It is a tiring charade but the struggle must persist.

The point is justice.

Thank you sista, I am truly happy that you are back blogging again.

(If you have not looked in on Shusli's blog please do so. It is a treasure of thoughtful reflection and committed struggle.)



Eugene said...

Haven't had much time to read this whole thing, but I wanted to comment on this that Nunya said:

"If that woman can't deal with things that are customary in the country she lives in then what is she doing there?"

When are the folks of this area gonna tear down the damns to respect the folks who lived here before the colonization started? In the Bay area, to respect the folks who were already here, they should start wearing cedar skirts, stop clear cutting, insure the flow of salmon and other fisheries, stop polluting, take part in the actual customs of the area...You see, it isn't that folks of other cultures should respect the cultures they suddenly find themselves immersed in, it is that folks should bow before the colonizers and their "superior" opinions.

Aussie's don't really give a fuck about the Aborigines, the U.S. and Canada don't give a fuck about the Indians. These are occupied territories and the colonizers as a whole didn't think it was worth it to practice the cultures of other folks. However, other folks are to practice what the colonizers demand they practice or "face the sword," as it were.

Ridwan said...

Thanks for making this point Eugene. Some folks are quick to forget that their reality in 'America' is constructed on genocide and not fitting in.

Peace brother,

nunya said...

"Also, I do not need to respond to every article you think condemns Islam or Muslims, or branding or thinking among Muslims."

Yes, and I asked a specific question and it was studiously avoided. Twice.

"The call to prayer, and prayer, is a part of Islam and not a civilizational dysfunction."

Who called it a civilizational dysfunction?

I said I personally hated the sound of it. I don't know if I would get used to the sound of church bells ringing all the time either, I've never experienced it.

The elections comment?

Hmmmm, maybe I missed something. Enlighten me as to where democracy is flourishing in countries with a Muslim majority? Oh, wait, here's something:
Turkey and Indonesia Muslim Success Stories
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Economic Upturn in Egypt

Or is Juan Cole just another example of racist whiteness?

You're right, I have no right to comment on what goes on in S Africa. That's why I asked you.

I do have one story to tell though. My father was a computer programmer and program de-bugger for 25 years. In the 60's he had a friend who worked for IBM. He could have gotten in there and it paid better than where he was working but he found out about the passbook system and declined to apply there.

You want to school me on my morals, go ahead.

Eugene is absolutely correct about the damns. I about got my head shouted off the other day when I mentioned (while buying meat and commenting on the collapse of the fisheries in California and Oregon) by some r-wing asshole who insisted that the protected seals swimming up the rivers did it.

Ridwan, someone else commented on your blog the "Kill Whitey" thing.

I get the distinct impression that you believe my religion bashing is reserved for Islam.

Not so.

"Erica said...

From one "ditto head" to an ingorant, self-rightous, ass who seemingly can't express her own views, but rather quote information from others I merely say this:
Whether you fail or want to realize it or not, whitey is the very reason why this country (us) and else where is as fucked up as it is now.

Ok Erica. Maybe I'm missing something here. You see, in all probability, some of my ancestors entered into indentured servitude contracts to escape starvation in Europe and I can't find any information on whether ANY of them ever owned slaves. There certainly isn't a great abundance of monetary wealth in my family that might indicate that. Some of them did marry some Indian women who had title to farms, though. Yes they did take advantage of expanding European empires at that time. It was happening all over the world at then.
So let's not talk about MY ancestors and YOUR ancestors, eh?

With a burgeoning world population the expansion of Empires is an idea that needs to die. Why don't you contact some
corporate CEO's
and clue them in, eh? I'm not sure what language we should contact them in, though, could you help with that? Chinese? Hindi? Arabic? English? German? French? Spanish? Russian?

I try to be fair, but I won't be dishonest. If that makes me a racist, fine. There. You feel better? You feel vindicated?

Ok then.

Ridwan said...

Nunya I am amused that you think the diatribe you have posted here is an offering of fairness.

I am not avoiding any of your questions, I have just not read the article you linked.

I have no excuses to make and I am not responsible for all Muslims or all Muslim countries anywhere.

Still, I am impressed by the political changes and democratization that has taken place in Malaysia (in just 5 decades mind you).

Muslims there pray five times a day and it is one hot economy.

I won't continue this tiresome exchange anymore. Nothing against you but we are going in circles.

I also don't need to feel anything close to "better" about the racist nonsense you have shovelled here.

That was not my intention, please don't play victim here.

I am done with this interaction and hope you are too.