Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature Hamid Dabashi calls upon the world to recognize US Muslims as an integral part of American culture.
In this article, he critiques the polarizing debate between the essentialist discourses that pin Islam as inherently violent religion, and the reactive apologist rhetoric which defends Islam as a faith that preaches peace.
He says violent strains of Hinduism and Christianity plagued humanity at various points throughout history as well, and all faiths contend with radicalism and violence. He urges the world not to forget Malcolm X’s role in American history as a champion of the civil rights movement of the 1960s, arguing that without his presence as a Muslim revolutionary, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “pacifism” could not have been effective.
The Wall Street Journal takes a look at Geert Wilders, controversial Dutch lawmaker and creator of the inflammatory anti-Islam film ‘Fitna.’ It examines the dualistic conceptions of Wilders – as an advocate of free speech and secular values, or an anti-Islam and anti-Muslim provocateur. While Wilders acknowledges that the majority of Muslims in the West are not terrorist or violent people, he believes this “doesn’t matter that much” because Muslims in America and Europe are mostly immigrants, and are unable to leave their own cultures behind, which results in a loss of European and national identity and culture. More about the recent debates about Islam and Muslims in the Netherlands, with particular interest to Mr. Wilders, can be read at the link below.
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