by Tahir Mahmoud (Special Reports, Crescent International Vol. 36, No. 1, Safar, 1428)
To be a Muslim in North America or Europe these days has become virtually a crime. From a raft of anti-Muslim laws passed since September 2001 (the hypocritical rantings of politicians that these are meant to target “extremists”, not the majority of “moderate” Muslims, notwithstanding) to prime-time television and radio programmes, Muslims are targeted as never before. They are singled out at airports for extra security checks, some are taken off planes and yet others are denied seats on flights altogether. This is raw xenophobia, yet in the so-called civilized West such Islamophobic behaviour is now considered perfectly normal.
Hundreds of Muslims have been imprisoned on mere suspicion and their lives completely ruined. Others have suffered indignities because they are considered expendable in the West’s “war on terror”. Mosques and Islamic schools in the US and Canada have been vandalized and women in hijab frequently taunted. On January 15 an Islamic school in Montreal, the EcoleLes Jeunes Musulmans Canadiens, had its windows smashed and its minibus trashed in the parking lot. Incredibly, the town’s mayor and police said it was not a “hate crime” because the perpetrators had “not left” any hate message! A week earlier, a poll in Quebec found nearly 60 percent of respondents admitted that they hold racist views, especially against Muslims. This was confirmed on January 25 when the town council in the tiny Quebec town of Herouxville passed a law demanding that prospective immigrants must conform to certain “norms” that are demeaning and derogatory to Muslims. In another tiny town in Ontario, Newmarket, while the town council unanimously approved an application for a mosque, some residents denounced the plan because they did not like the “political views” of the president of the Islamic Society! They have made scandalous allegations that border on racism and hate.
At several universities and schools in Canada, Muslim students have been denied facilities for prayer on the pretext that educational institutions are secular and cannot cater to the religious needs of students. To its credit, the Ontario Federation of Students has launched a campaign to confront such Islamophobia on campuses.
Though life in Canada is bad, it is much worse in the US, where zionist groups are busy demonizing Muslims. In 2005, professors at Columbia University were targeted and deemed “anti-semitic” because they taught the Palestinian version of history alongside Israel’s. One group in particular, the David Project founded by Charles Jacobs, targets Muslims both on campuses and in various communities. Jacob’s website puts out poisonous propaganda against Muslims that is then circulated through zionist-owned newspapers and TV stations (such as Fox News) in the US. The zionists’ latest target is the Islamic Society of Boston, which is held to be “guilty” of a heinous crime: arranging an interest-free mortgage for its Mosque Project from the Islamic Development Bank. Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe described this as proof of the “Mosque’s Saudi connection” (January 10).
Some synagogues have also joined this campaign of vilification. Robert Spencer, a well-known Islamophobe with close connections to the neocons and their affiliate organizations, was recently invited to the Temple Emanuel synagogue in Newton, Massachusetts to launch a tirade against the Islamic Society of Boston at the behest of its Israel Action Forum. Spencer is the author of an anti-Islamic polemic titled Islam Unveiled. There is an entire army of such zionist Islamophobes masquerading as academics and journalists.
While most American Muslims have only meekly protested, if at all, about such racism and tried to prove their innocence, there is one group that has decided to take the zionist lobby head-on. The National Association of Muslim American Women (NAMAW) lodged a formal complaint on January 12 with the US Department of Justice about the activities of the pro-Israel lobby against Muslim and Arab Americans. The complaint urges Mark Kappelhoff, the Civil Rights Division chief, to investigate “various organizations and individuals that have provided misleading and highly politicized information, and testimonies to US law enforcement agencies, and also the US Congress that was, and is aimed at creating a political, legal, social, and financial environment that is hostile to Muslims and Arab Americans, and that causes Muslim and Arab-Americans to suffer discrimination, persecution and the deprivation and denial of Constitutional rights, and equal protection under the law.”
NAMAW is not shy of naming individuals as well as organizations that it considers have been involved in anti-Muslim and Arab allegations that have caused great harm. The list of offending organizations and individuals includes “the American-Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC), better known as the ‘Jewish lobby’, American Jewish Committee, Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Congress B’nai Brith, and also the Jewish Council on Public Affairs, along with such individuals as Steve Emerson, Daniel Pipes, Rita Katz, Steven Schwartz, EvanKohlman and others who have made public statements that have contributed to the creation of an environment in the United States that is hostile to Arab Americans and Muslims, leading to numerous acts of deprivation and violation of civil liberties and also civil rights.”
In their submission Dr Anisa Abd el Fattah, chairwoman of NAMAW, has provided detailed supporting evidence from articles, statements and speeches by said individuals “that may reach the level of hate speech in some instances, and in other instances, such statements may reach the level of perjury… to mislead the US Congress and US law enforcement” agencies to carry out overly aggressive legislative and law enforcement campaigns that deprive Arab and Muslim-Americans of their constitutional rights. The complaint makes special reference to a recent article by Daniel Pipes, a former Board member of the United States Institute for Peace, published in the New York Post (December 26, 2006) titled, “After defeating fascists and communists, can the West now defeat the Islamists?” Pipes has a long history of Islam-bashing. In the article he suggests that the war on terrorism is a war against “Islamists”. He defines Islamists as “persons who demand to live by the sacred laws of Islam, known as Sharia.” Dr Fattah writes: “If we accept Pipes’ definition, which nearly every law enforcement, government, and policy making body in the US traditionally does, it means that the US is arguably at war with every Muslim in the world, and also the religion of Islam.” For Pipes, the legal activities of Muslims pose a greater long-term challenge than illegal activities, presumably because the zionist monopoly on political discourse in the US would be undermined.
Leaving nothing to chance, Dr Fattah spells out clearly what she specifically wishes to bring to the attention of the Justice Department:
“1. Jewish organizations and activists have created an ‘enemies’ list that includes Muslims, Arabs and white nationalists’ organizations here in the US. This list is comprised of individuals and groups that are deemed threats or enemies of the State of Israel.
“2. These organizations have used their financial resources and also their formidable political influence to purposefully poison public opinion against Muslims, Arabs, and Islam in an attempt to demonize and vilify the same for political purposes, and to create an environment conducive to the deprivation of and denial of Muslim and Arab constitutional rights and repression of religious freedoms in respect to Islam.”
The NAMAW’s letter calls upon the Justice Department to investigate these complaints and, if they are found to have merit, then to take the steps necessary to end such practices. Because of the zionist lobby’s immense political weight and occupation of key posts in various departments, it is uncertain whether the letter and its contents will receive due consideration. However, regardless of the eventual outcome, NAMAW and its chairwoman deserve credit for taking the initiative to shed light on the nefarious activities of the zionist lobby that has held American policy hostage for decades.
The NAMAW can be contacted at:
Dr Anisa Abd el Fattah, Chairwoman
National Association of Muslim American Women
PO Box 72032, Columbus, Ohio, US.
Tel: (614) 492 847