June 25, 2006
Muslim Europe - Silent or Not?
A quick note to draw attention to what struck me as a well written article on Muslims in Europe and silence (or not) with respect to recent radicals terror attacks in Europe: Muslims address silence on Europe attacks.
The core commentary may be summarised as "these Terrorists aren't our folks and we're busy with our lives" with an undercurrent of "speaking out gets one shunned as taking sides."
Overall, I think the arty captures the various streams of reaction in the European Muslim communities (at least those I am familiar with). The seperate question is, are the reactions reasonable. I'd say on some level yes, although there is certainly a weakness in not admitting the "circle the wagons" reaction is not good enough.
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It's quite common to expect Americans to explain and defend their country's policies too. Must be a bit annoying, hence Canadian flags. Is that a myth, btw? But the same grouping of people.
Even if Islam doesn't mean anything to non-practicing muslims, they have been grouped together by the media. PRagmatically, they have to play the game of signal politics. A drag, to be sure, but helps defuse things.
Incidentally, during the Cartoon crisis, 'Democratic Muslims' was formed in Denmark, precisely to that end. They actually got criticised for 'wanting to split up muslims'. Funny in a sad way.
Posted by: Klaus at June 25, 2006 10:52 AM
Interesting article L.
This bit was funny:
I had to do a lot of work to convince them that I saw them as people, rather than as Muslims.
Generally speaking, it should be assumed that European Muslims overwhelmingly oppose the attacks. They shouldn't have to go through "loyalty tests", and this, rather than denouncing terrorism, is what European (and generally Western) Muslims should be more vocal about.
Posted by: Shaheen at June 25, 2006 01:01 PM
Klaus, yes, it's true. many american college students make fools of themselves in europe while adorned with canadian flags. in many places, it's assumed that you're american if you have a canadian flag on your person.
personally, i prefer to be more low-profile than a flag.
Intessting article. I wrote a response to the article on my blog.
Posted by: jamal at June 25, 2006 08:42 PM
How very funny. I just read that same article and had an obection to that same line. Its like being colorblind. You cant be. It suggest that she cant deal with them being Muslim so she sees them as human beings. I wonder if Muslim and human are not mutually exclusive.
Posted by: Bikhair at June 26, 2006 01:58 AM
I agree 100%, while this might be remotly interesting due to the fact the Sears tower is being "targeted" The fact that the media jumped on it so early and called it a muslim terrorist group is outlandish. Interestingly enough however if you read early reports you will see that the F.B.I. stated no link to al-qaeda or any foreign terrorist group. I actually wrote about this myself including a link to one f the first known articles about this story which is extremely contrary to "facts" being touted now. You will find mine titled "child molesting jamaican terrorists".
Posted by: D.B. Shobrawy at June 26, 2006 11:42 AM
"Its like being colorblind. You cant be."
Or maybe *you* can't be. There is nothing in what she said that suggests that 'she cant deal with them being Muslim so she sees them as human beings.' If anything it's the other way round; her patients are the ones who are distressed that she id's them as muslims.
My own objection to the article is on this:
"Seek them out in the neighborhoods where they live and work — in the outdoor markets and butcher shops that sell halal meat, in the book stores that display literature on Islam and the West, in the boutiques that promote Islamic dress codes, in the Turkish restaurants and smoky Tunisian teahouses, in their schools and youth clubs"
Again it seems that most journalists writing on european muslims will go to these 'haunts' as if muslims can't be found anywhere else.
Posted by: Ali K at June 26, 2006 01:59 PM
Don't forget to type "cat" into the anti-spam field, even if you're on the Preview screen. Comments without this passphrase will end up in the Junk folder (where they may or may not be fished out 24h later).
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Posted by: eerie at June 26, 2006 04:39 PM
If it makes you feel any better about the “Muslim terrorists plot to blow up the Sears Tower” angle (which it probably won’t, nor should it necessarily), a couple of years ago INS ran a sting operation in which they raided a number of businesses in the Sears Tower (mostly restaurants) and snatched a bunch of employees without lawful immigration status. Somehow I doubt any significant fraction of the employees arrested were Muslims…your average restaurant kitchen in Chicago would totally shut down if deprived of Mexicans.
Posted by: Eva Luna at June 26, 2006 05:07 PM
I don't know if this is because of the new comments feature, but there have been now two comments about 'the goofy cult' which don't belong here.
Posted by: Ali K at June 27, 2006 01:58 AM
There's been news today of a Mosque Advisory Body in the UK..
Based on initial PR I can see no harm in it, especially that it cannot be seen as a government-backed initiative since they turned it down earlier on.
Posted by: Ali K at June 27, 2006 02:32 PM
I can almost see it now. The loonies are watching over the asylum. Muslims arent mature enough to watch themselves. Perhaps the British National Party can bring in some people to watch over the Mosques. When praying 5 times a day is seen as extreme, the Muslims may have to stop for the safety of Britain.
Posted by: Bikhair at June 27, 2006 11:40 PM
Again you are putting words in people's mouths. Did you even read the article? Where do you get that praying five times is seen as extreme? and the BNP? wtf do they have to do with anything?
As I said I can see no harm in it. It started as a grassroots effort under no pressure from either the government or the BNP. I don't even think mosques are compelled to join. If it doesn't succeed then we'll concede that muslims aren't mature enough to watch over themselves.
Posted by: Ali K at June 28, 2006 03:27 AM
Did anyone hear about this conference in Europe? I didn't realize Qaradawi was head of the European Council for Fatwa and Research. He and Amr Khaled seem to be the Coke and Pepsi of the Muslim Authorities in Global Media Spheres these days.
Posted by: SP at July 5, 2006 10:41 AM
yuck, Qaradawi. What's he doing there anyway? Couldn't they have made a network of European muslim leaders instead.
Posted by: Klaus at July 5, 2006 12:02 PM
I'm with klaus. Qaradawi has been trying for a long time to set himself up as the voice for muslim europe. All this talk about his exceptional 'moderateness' is his own PR no more.
Posted by: Ali K at July 5, 2006 12:26 PM
Tariq Ramadan weighs in with a fairly broad and gneralized "manifesto" for European Muslims:
Posted by: SP at July 7, 2006 10:42 AM