Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Dialogue- agreeing to disagree

Anonymous- identified as Jewish with Muslim best friend- took some time out to leave a message for us at Muslamics and I felt that the least we can do is highlight the message, and address issues raised. (Unfortunately, I am finding blogger to be problematic in its ability to manage comments so I just caught this message and I apologize that a response took so long to come) I would like to address some very valid points you made and will not be able to address everything in one post.

Apparently, being proud of being a Muslim, per your definition, involves making defamatory statements against conservatives.
History- Being a very informal process began earlier this year by American Muslim bloggers on the west side- Muslamics- really is still in its development stages. With that said I do believe we can work on refining many things including how we define ourselves. However, to get that we are proud to be Muslim and into defaming is a bit unjustified. Often times, the internet does not serve well to carry out sarcasm, wit and just plain frustration.

Your comment was posted on a video I had posted. I can understand where your comment is coming from, where your frustration is coming from and also how you might be repulsed by this and other things posted on this site.

However, as an American, I personally do not see Fox News in good light- I see them as being "Right Wing Nut Jobs" (or however I defined it). If Kaufman took away something else to do something else with what I had posted that is his issue. I only deal with those who sincerely want to dialogue such as yourself. People like Kaufman are beyond dialogue and I do not need to "win them over."

What you get here is our perspective. You, as stated, might not agree with everything- and I respect that- but it is our forum and our space. We appreciate all positive criticism and feedback and knowing that this blog is read by many others I can develop a different style of presenting information because to be honest for a long time I was under the impression that my fellow bloggers and our friends read the blog to fill in some empty time, but obviously this can be better used as a forum- however, I do think this is a good way to let out frustration and my frustration is with the way this Administration is approaching Iran and many other things. We might not agree on it and differ on how to handle this issue, but this might not be a place for me to write about it.

Great way to 'win over' those you think don't like you based on your religion.
I think Muslims in the United States are far from winning over anyone who does not already see us as being American. I feel there is a polarized perspective on Islam and Muslims and at this time Muslims really just need to show themselves as being present and participating and loud (vocal) citizens. The smear campaign against me only reinforced that belief and lead me to quadruple my blog output.

When people can get the drift that you can not just pack away Muslims and ship them back home (nearly 40% of the population is African American, Latino, Caucasian, while a good 50% of the 33% of the immigrant population was born in the United States) I think we can consider strategies on how to "win over" the don't likes. And we can disagree on this approach. I would love to hear on differing opinions, because as a Jew in America I believe your community has faced (faces) many of the challenges we as Muslims face. On Jewcy I had a chance to read about the identity debate and there are many parallels in our community that it surprised me, yet it should have been expected.
I am not afraid of muslims, nor do I hate them.
I AM afraid of fundamentalist islamists who twist their religion to create chaos and promote hate.
I am jewish. My best friend is a muslim.
I am really happy that you have a neutral if not semi-positive view of Islam. You are not alone, there are a few of you out there. I am afraid of fundamentalist as well, not just in my religion but in all forms including the secularists. There are Jewish fundamentalist- Zionist- who are hijacking not only Judaism but also American foreign policy to the detriment of America and stability in the Middle East. I believe the rhetorical war in the media against Iran and Syria are such cases- I do not believe in Iran or Syria's form of government and their policy is questionable at the least- but I am not interested in a war with either and agree to this statement:

But we both also understand that the way towards peace isn't through a bomb or threat, but rather through dialogue untouched by hatred.
As for speaking out-
Start speaking out against terror bombings. Start denouncing radicalism. Start showing the rest of the world that there are two islams - the one based on peace and tolerance and the one based on hate and twisted scripture.
I can not tell you the times how I have spoken out on my blog, in talks to the Muslims and also non-Muslims, and will continue to do so, however if you are looking for blanket condemnations, then I have to disagree on that and hope you can respect this groups perspective, again I might only be speaking for myself and encourage my fellow bloggers to chime in.

(On a side note, I almost feel like- but not as bad as- that this sort of framing is like constantly asking a Catholic to apologize for the deplorable sins of the priests or a Holocaust survivor- or a Jew- to apologize for being Jewish and causing such a horrendous atrocity to be carried out, Muslims did not ask for these extremist to carry these incidents out (we can discuss the issue of did Muslims do enough to curb this ideology), so many Muslims are suffering and dying at the hands of this lunacy so to constantly have to speak out, denounce is like being guilty for being Muslim because being Muslim is associated (or sharing qualities) with these fanatics. (I hope I am not going to extreme on this analogy but I do see it to describe the shear frustration (?) I feel to always address an issue I am disgusted and angered by the actions of the few.)

The last statements on Iran, I have to leave for another post seeing how long this already is. I do want to say that I have an understanding that is different then yours based on my Iranian/Persian friends and our dialogue on this issue. I respect your views and value the fact that you took the time to give me and us such positive feedback. If as you say the way my posts come off is antagonizing and defamatory, then I believe there is no reason for me to not evaluate and think critically on my posts rather then going with my gut/frustrated reactions, however I do want to point out that this has been the case with my most recent posts and is not so for ALL my posts.


Huda Shaka` said...

I like the analogy with the Catholics apologizing for their priests, but you lost me on the Holocaust survivor one.

This is probably another discussion, but there's another attitude towards Muslims that really bugs me: "are you a moderate Muslim?"

Like Dr. M. Hathout once said...what do you mean by moderate? Do I pray moderately? Do I drink moderately?

Then again, with the media bias in the US and the focus on "moderate" vs "extremist" Muslims, I can see where the question comes from...

Yesi King said...

hey affad which post did anonymous leave this particular response to?

Affad Shaikh said...

sorry its to the "lets nuke Iran" video I had posted from Fox News clippings.

I feel lazy and didnt include the link. Sorry.

Rashad said...

The term 'moderate' implies that the intended for of Islam is something other than moderate.. and I'd like to see that term replaced with 'mainstream'.