If Muslims really wants to cure "Islamophobia," here is an easy way. They can:
1. Focus their indignation on Muslims committing violent acts in the name of Islam, not on non-Muslims reporting on those acts.
2. Renounce definitively not just "terrorism," but any intention to replace the U.S. Constitution (or the constitutions of any non-Muslim state) with Sharia even by peaceful means. In line with this, clarify what is meant by their condemnations of the killing of innocent people by stating unequivocally that American and Israeli civilians are innocent people.
3. Teach Muslims the imperative of coexisting peacefully as equals with non-Muslims on an indefinite basis.
4. Begin comprehensive international programs in mosques all over the world to teach against the ideas of violent jihad and Islamic supremacism.
5. Actively work with Western law enforcement officials to identify and apprehend jihadists within Western Muslim communities.
If Muslims do those five things, voila! People like me will no longer suffer from the illness of "Islamophobia"!
And Pamela Geller said it best: "Muslims in the U.S. are not the ones living under death threat. People who are standing up to jihad activity and Islamic supremacism are. They are not the ones targeted. We are. They are not getting death threats. We are. They don't have to live with 24/7/365 heavy duty security, Geert Wilders does. Wafa Sultan, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Robert Spencer, Ibn Warraq, Salman Rushdie, the producers from Comedy Central, and accidental counter-jihad tourists like Molly Norris live under death threat. As do I."
Indeed, I have a stalker who has threatened my life and posted private information about me online with the clear intention of inciting Muslims to attack me, who lives in College Park, Maryland. I wonder if he attended this forum -- the Nyumburu Cultural Center is in that city.
"Panel discusses cause and effect of Islamophobia in the U.S.," by Melissa Quijada in the DiamondbackOnline, September 23 (thanks to Tipster):
Scattered views filled a forum yesterday as students and activists addressed the fear of Islam and Muslims that's recently resurfaced in the media, agreeing the term Islamophobia should be discussed emphasizing similarities, not differences.
Last night at the Nyumburu Cultural Center, the Black Male Initiative student group hosted a discussion of about 100 students and activists to address social tensions amid a recent surge of anti-Islamic sentiments. Supported by the Muslim Students' Association and the Muslim Women of Maryland members, the event challenged the word and filled seats.
"It's important for us as engaged citizens and human beings to speak out against these injustices when they rear their ugly heads," said Solomon Comissiong, Nyumburu Cultural Center's assistant director of student involvement and public relations, as he opened the panel.
And when discussing an issue that often creates deep divides, panelists emphasized the importance of unity in tackling such a phenomenon.
"The existence of 'Islamophobia' is a social failure," said Secretary of the Muslim Students' Association Osama Eshera. "This is an issue we all have to deal with together."
Panelists paid specific attention to a string of anti-Islamic events, many of which have recently made national headlines, that led to the discussion held last night.
Dave Zirin, a sports writer and socialist activist who co-monitored the event with Comissiong, referenced the New York City cab driver who was stabbed in the throat, face and arm after disclosing his Muslim faith. Comissiong cited the national unrest earlier this month when Florida pastor Terry Jones threatened to burn copies of the Qur'an in protest of efforts to build a mosque near Ground Zero.
Of course, the New York cabbie stabber worked for a pro-Ground Zero mosque group, so it is hard to pin his actions on "Islamophobia." And it's outstanding moral myopia to tut-tut at the Qur'an-burning but not at the Muslims who murdered innocents because of it.
"We thought it was necessary to do something like this in light of all the anti-Muslim backlash," Comissiong said.
Much of the first half of conversation pointed to the terrorist acts of Sept. 11 as the root of fear and hatred of Islam.
"There's a notion that Muslims rejoiced while Americans suffered," said Eshera, a junior bioengineering major. "The reality is that about 300 Muslims died in the terrorist attacks."
Preposterous. A tenth of the people killed in the Trade Towers were Muslims? A ridiculous lie, but clearly one that Islamic supremacists have agreed upon, as it is oft-repeated lately.
A long line of both students and seasoned social activists stepped forward to ask questions and make comments, causing the event to run longer than expected. Some fundamentally challenged the term Islamophobia and the differences between Americanized fear against Muslims and the Islamic faith.
"You have an entire community calling it Islamophobia and a community of Muslims calling it Islamophobia," said university aluma and panelist Rayyan Ghuma. "It's all about semantics now."
"It takes us labels for us to do anything," said Omnia Joehar, junior government and politics major. "How many have stood up until 'Islamophobia' was made?"
Yesterday's discussion even spurred Elizabeth Rosenberg, co-president of the Interfaith Dialogue Project, to address the same topic with her group members next week.
Comissiong said he hoped the discussion was a start to spreading awareness so others can continue to address the issue on the campus.
"We want people to leave with a heightened consciousness," said Comissiong. "We want them to have a feeling of empowerment."
Oh, no worries, Comissiong. They feel plenty empowered.