Sunday, April 6, 2008

Price of Being Muslim

I hear this a lot from Muslims- "Brother its just the price of being Muslim today"- as if we should accept the discimination, the random acts of hatred, bias and targeting as well as profiling (LAPD Mapping).

I admit I am guilty of using this line. I use the "price of bieng Muslim" quote at work when it comes to issues I know no matter how much I work on for you as a community member it won't change unless the hypocrites in Washington DC are washed out. For instance, those airport delays- I helped in getting TRIPS from DHS off the ground. (MuslimMatters has a good discussion I contributed too) Or it could be issues of obtaining Visa's, here is an article on that on my blog. It could be Citizenship Delay or Greencard Delay, where I tell people its the extra price we have to pay to get or Citizenship and Greencards (about 6000 dollars more then others, in order to file lawsuits against the DHS, FBI and USCIS because the names are caught up in "FBI name checks" here and here for more info)

Those are things that I would say unfortunately, "its the price of being Muslim" in America in 2008. This is our CIVIL RIGHTS struggle. The way I frame it is that each generation, each immigrant group was faced by enfranchised hatred and discimination. We are just the new class, though hatred goes around more freely then it did back then- African Americans (Katrina) and Mexicans (Immigration debate).

However, InFocus did story about Kim Kanan, a mother who faced some staunch opposition from a group of narrow minded, possibly right wing parents after she did a presentation on Eid to her childrens second grade class. She handed out goodie bags, with prayer beads, what she called "worry beads" that her daughter made for all her class mates from plastic beads.

I remember as a kid we would get presentations on world cultures, when it came time for Chunakah I would get dradels and eat latka's and light menorah's. Talk about "crossing the line", how innocent "worry beads" compare to the acctual participation in religious rites. Then there are the carrols we sing for Christmas at the "winter pageant". I honestly believe this was a case of "selective application" of scool board policy to make Islam and Muslims into "secondary citizens".

But at my blog I discuss some other issues kids face in school, all of which I believe are things that I would never consider the "price of being Muslim".

When it comes to our children, their inclusion and their ability to feel accepted in their religious practices and beliefs, then DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, there is no such thing as the "PRICE OF BEING MUSLIM". If they feel inferior, then there is no doubt that late on in life when faced with difficulty they will leave Islam and/or make it cultural.

Lets protect our identity, its in development, but its ours.

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