A Boston Globe reporter sent out a request that turned up on the Islamic Society of Boston/Muslim American Society email list. A moderator of that list sent it on with the comment: “very interesting opportunity and it is IMPORTANT to get positive pieces about Muslims out in the media so do consider volunteering.” The Globe reporter explained:
I am interested in speaking with young Muslim men and women in the Boston area (for transportation and logistical reasons, the closer to Boston proper, the better) about how they see themselves in Boston and American society. As you are aware, governments and news media alike have given a lot of attention to disaffected Muslim youth in Europe (because of last year’s London transit bombings and last week’s foiled terror plot), and I am curious how Muslim youth in America compare.
Questions floating around my head include, do Muslim youths here feel “American”?; do they feel scrutinzed or under suspicion by their general surroundings, especially since the 9/11 attacks five years ago?; are young Muslims here at risk of “radicalization” as they reportedly are in Europe, and if not, why not (what makes America’s Muslims different from those in Europe)? What insight into the mindset of their European counterparts can young Muslims here provide?
I apologize for the generalized phrasing of those sample questions. Obviously, no one Muslim (nor any other single person, for that matter) can speak for an entire group of people, and of course this story cannot fully explore this huge issue all by itself. But I do want to address the nuances as best as possible….
You want nuance? Here’s some nuance. Please feel free to use these additional questions. No charge at all. Don’t even bother to thank me:
Does your mosque have teachers in it who adhere to or sympathize with the goals of the global jihadists? If so, have you contacted authorities? If not, why not?
Does your mosque have a program teaching a peaceful version of Islam and refuting the jihadists’ use of the Qur’an and Sunnah? If not, why not?
Do you support Hamas and/or Hizballah? If so, how do you distinguish the ideology and goals of those organizations from that of Al-Qaeda?
Do you believe that Islamic terrorists were responsible for the 9/11 attacks? If not, who do you think was actually responsible?
Do you believe that Muslims and non-Muslims should live as equals before the law on an indefinite basis in a society in which there is no established religion?
Do you believe that women should enjoy equality of rights before the law with men?