While intensifying anti-Muslim rhetoric in this nation alone is cause for concern, on Wednesday came news of a Muslim cab driver (pictured) in New York City stabbed by a 21-year-old film student. Meanwhile, a drunk man entered a mosque in Queens, shouting at worshippers while urinating on prayer rugs. In times like these, we can’t help but feel threatened. We can’t help but ask, are we even seen as being American in this nation, or are we seen as a foreign threat or, worse, an enemy?
IN THE NEWS: MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, in a more than 12-minute tirade, blasted critics of the “inaccurately described ‘Ground Zero Mosque’” Monday, saying the issue has been blown out of proportion. He argued that efforts to block the community center’s construction are an affront on the United State’s founding principles of freedom and urged viewers to support it.
IN THE NEWS: President Obama welcomed Muslim leaders from across the country Friday to the White House for an annual Ramadan iftar. At the event, the president threw his support behind a proposed Muslim Community Center near ground zero in New York City that has sparked national controversy. “This is America,” the president said said. “Our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable.”
The recent uproar about the construction of a mosque and cultural center near the Ground Zero site is a vivid reminder that the answer to the question of whose side we are on, let alone how disparate we really are from extremists, remains nebulous for many Americans. The most important takeaway is that we have failed as a community to distinguish ourselves from deranged, foreign belligerents misleadingly calling themselves Mujahideen
IN THE NEWS: Self-proclaimed human rights and religious liberty group organizes protest against the building of a mosque near Ground Zero in New York City. The group, called “Stop the Islamicization of America,” sees the mosque as an attempt to impose Sharia on American democracy and culture.
IN THE NEWS: As former ISNA President Sayyid Saeed noted at the Islamic Center of Boston at Wayland on May 15, approximately 95 percent of Islamic centers in the United States were established in the last 30 years. The ICB Wayland was one of them and began celebrating its 30th anniversary this year with a day-long open house to help break stereotypes and barriers.
IN THE NEWS: Polder Mosque in the Netherlands is getting international attention for being progressive in its administration and reach. A woman is its administrator and a non-Muslim is on its board of directors. Is this a signal that women are rising to new levels of leadership in the mosque, or is the position of administrator as high as the ladder goes?
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