Monday, June 21, 2010

The Political Moment; On Countering Islamophobia

Fahd Ahmed gave a frank talk on the United States Left’s lack of support for Muslims, and the hypocrisy of historically working with Christian Liberation Theology movements and indigenous religious movements of the Americas, but not Islamic political movements. There is a double standard for Islam on the Left, which takes the form of our political movements basically demanding that Muslim movements should be secular or nationalist, without any aspect of religion on display. Fahd strongly told the crowd that mass movements in the Muslim and Arab worlds, which have internal forms of accountability, should be respected and communicated with- not dictated to with ultimatums.

While state-sponsored action against the Muslim community in the US was a real problem before the 9/11 PATRIOT Act era, the lack of political support for Muslims in this moment is an immediate issue that activists need to take on now. Islamophobia is fueled by US policies in the Middle East, in particular the US relationship with Israel. The active role we can take on in this country as an essential part of the political movement against Israeli apartheid and US imperialism is to support the Muslim community that is still being harassed by the state. Otherwise we are neglecting a community that is organizing without support, and living in fear and isolation.


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