Thank you very much for the message. I’m aware of what happened to Shaima Alawadi and I was very disappointed to hear that she died this morning.
Unfortunately, Shaima’s murder seems to be a product of largely unchecked Xenophobic and anti-Islamic sentiments growing primarily on the far-right. I actually wanted to write a post about this phenomenon yesterday but I didn’t have enough time. This type of bigotry is actually growing into quite a significant issue in the West, especially in Europe.
As the far-right in Europe gains more popularity and becomes less and less a part of the fringe, so do far-right voices in the United States, only, they become incorporated into, primarily, the Republican Party. We’ve been giving these individuals on the far-right more platforms, longer air time, and more column inches and as a result, political rhetoric has shifted quite far to the right. Part of this ideological shift is due to GOP political tactics and another part is due to the utter failure of the mainstream media. In a poor attempt to foster unbiased discussion and show both sides of the debate, the media treats the new “center” position as default, presenting the old center-right position as a the “left” and the old far-right position as center-right. We’ve seen politicians and media outlets give the far-right a platform without any criticism, which only validates their extreme positions.
Really, the Democrats are just as bad, not because some of them are bigoted themselves but because no one properly speaks out against the hysteria. Instead, we have a debate for weeks and weeks about whether a community center can be built two blocks away from Ground Zero and allow hardened Islamophobes to spew their hatred in the mainstream media, we let Rep. Peter King hold multiple Congressional committees on American Muslims, we reinstate the Patriot Act, pass a horrific version of the National Defense Authorization Act, militarize our police forces across the country and train them in anti-terrorism tactics that include racial and ethnic profiling, etc. In the name of fighting terrorism, we’ve demonized over 1 billion people in an attempt to justify an unwinnable war that only breeds more of the people we claim to be fighting.
Our “War on Terror” is so vaguely and broadly defined that we don’t even know who the so-called enemy is. Shaima Alawadi happened to be Iraqi and a Muslim but did you know that most Arabs in the United States aren’t Muslim (they’re Christian) and that most Muslims aren’t Arab (they’re South Asian and Black)? We’ve demonized a very broad group of people and when this gives those on the far-right or fringe a platform to run with to spew their hatred, for the most part, we let them do so unchecked and then wonder why people like Shaima Alawadi are murdered.
You should check your facts so as not to discredit your point, most Muslims aren’t black, Muslims are a minority in most Black African countries (Northern African countries count as Arab and there Muslims are the majority), they’re also a minority in India. They are a majority in Iran and Bangladesh, but most Arab/Gulf countries are Islamic States.
I’m talking about Muslims in the United States only since the topic at hand is the murder of a Muslim woman due to the growing anti-Islamic sentiment in the United States. Only a quarter of Muslims in the United States are Arab, with 26% of them being Black and 35% South Asian. I’ve talked about and documented these numbers many times before on my blog.
It doesn’t make sense to talk about Muslims in other countries if the subject at hand is Islamophobia in the West, more specifically, the United States.