Mainstream Muslim Voices Overwhelmed by Negative Perceptions

We Are Trying To Get The Message Out!

The horrifying events of September 11th have deeply impacted the American
Muslim community and we have suffered terribly because of it.  Many of our
statements against terrorism have not been aired.  My Christian friends keep
asking me why the Muslims are not doing anything.  But the truth is… we are!
Our open houses, public statements, letters to the editors, and
announcements against terrorism are often ignored, overlooked or just not
seen.  While we have continuously denounced these terrible acts committed
against others in the name of our religion; we are a minority struggling to
get the word out.

Over the past fifteen years I have regularly offered presentations to
churches, businesses, and educational institutions on the basics of Islam.
Before the events on September 11th, learning the basics of Islam was the
only concern Americans had.  However, after September 11th,  my
presentations changed.  I spent more time sharing fatwas against terrorism
and trying to educate the public that Muslims worldwide condemned the acts
of September 11th and denounced the actions of the highjackers.  These grass
roots activities are taking place nationwide, but to our dismay our message
is not reaching enough Americans.

In the last two years the media has continued to paint a grim picture of
American Muslims and has gone so far as to insinuate that all of us are
evil, that we have some hidden agenda to Islamicize the world, and that we
seek the death of Christians and Jews.  This is simply not true, and it does
a disservice to the American public.  Often I cringed when I see the
outlandish and bizarre people Fox news and other stations put on to
represent Islam.  As a result Americans are hearing radical views, lies, and
sensationalized stories.  Mainstream Islamic voices are not being heard and
Internet blogs are overflowing in fury against Muslims.

These reports negatively affect the daily lives of Muslims in America.  In
Tulsa we have been chased in our cars, been called “terrorist” at the local
grocery stores, told to “go home,” had our shopping carts rammed, treated
like second class citizens at work, had our head scarves pulled off at the
mall, and had our fill of other hateful comments.  Last week my friend’s son
was told by his classmate that if he played with a Muslim his parents would
ground him for 90 days.  Nationwide Muslims are being killed and beaten in
hate crime incidents.  As we watch the events unfold around us, we are
worried.

Muslims have begun to walk around in fear.  Some of us have become leery
about adventuring out into the public looking Muslim.  When we fly it almost
pans out like a Saturday Night Live sitcom.  We are the ones pulled aside
and given extra special inspection - thanks to the terrorist and radicals
who have high jacked our religion.  To top off our fears, last year
Halliburton was awarded 385 million dollars to build internment camps across
the U.S for “special situations.”  While this is not being spoken about
publicly, you can Google the press releases.  All this adds up to a rather
paranoid group of Muslims who fear we might be living the next Anne Frank
novel.

Last month a California radio station aired a segment suggesting putting a
variation of a Jewish star on all Muslims.  While the suggestion was a ruse,
it was appalling how many callers agreed.

Muslims are living in a time that their every move is being scrutinized,
every mistake reported, and many stories are twisted to vilify them.  While
radicals are represented in every religion, they certainly don’t represent
mainstream Islam.  As you read this please take note that the 7 million
Muslims living in the U.S. are indeed trying to communicate their disgust
and opposition to radical Islam.


Allison Moore is Tulsa Muslim

 


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