Thursday, August 25, 2005

CAIR- my heart could burst with pride.

On his radio show Michael Graham declared Islam a terrorist religion where even normal mainstream Muslims love violence. (wikipedia article). When asked to apologize for his remarks, Mr. Graham refused and has subsequently been fired. He BLAMES CAIR:

"It was only after the Council of American Islamic Relations objected that suddenly my words transformed in the minds of management from completely acceptable to a firing offense. And that's what scares me, a group like CAIR exerting that kind of pressure on free speech and open discourse in the United States."

I'm awed. Did CAIR really do this? Does writing letters work??

Aaron Brown interviewed him. And as my students would have put it, he's my "new best friend." Here was his response to Graham:

"
This isn't a free speech question, it's not. You have every right to say whatever you want. You have absolutely zero right, as do I, frankly, to say anything on television or radio. CAIR has every right to defend its position. That's what it exists for, to try to eliminate bigotry as it defines it."

In college we discussed the "minority's burden." Upon our shoulders rests our entire race. If someone has a bad encounter with us they could very likely say all people of our respective minority are JUST LIKE THAT. One person representing the world. This is the silent burden minorities carry. A burden I don't have a choice in.

Stereotypes are created by the lazy too ignorant to care to see that the world is more than just black and white. Even Republican Congressional nominee Ric Keller didn't flinch when saying "Palestinians are lower than pond scum". I concede stereotyping makes life less complicated but life is complicated. Muslims are over 1 billion the world over... how can you blanketly classify when the actions committed are committed by a negligible percentage of the population? Their actions are actions of INDIVIDUALS... Just as Catholic priets who molest children are not representing their religion by their actions... their representing their own individual sickness. Education goes a long way to help with this problem. (note help... not necessarily solve, as Ric Keller proved). I'm not saying college is the only way to gain an understanding, however, ignorance breeds fear which breeds hatred... Education breeds knowledge which breeds understanding which breeds tolerance which breeds respect.

I'm proud of CAIR if they are truly responsible as Graham insists. All bigotry should be actively advocated against.

Michael Graham- Get your learn on.

11 comments:

Huda said...

Huh. That may well be the first time Aaron Brown has done something I can appreciate (the time he called the AJC out for not listing him on its "Sexiest CNN Anchor" poll notwithstanding because he meant that as a joke and the resulting uproar was indeed hilarious).

The problem, unfortunately, is far too many people share Graham's opinion, and the more Muslims blow things up, the more "right" said people feel. Have you checked out the Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam lately, or the Web site for the author (of that book)? It's http://www.jihadwatch.com.

I don't think you'll be able to read his diatribes for very long.

Jane said...

So wait...you are saying that not every Muslim thinks exactly alike? That one cannot judge an entire race or religion on a few people? Of course I am being sarcastic here. I'm astounded that in this day and age people are not wise enough to know these things. As an American I would not want to be judged by the decisions and actions of my president or some random Hollywood celebrity...one would think that we would be past this sort of thing by now. However as I am of Scandanavian descent feel free to judge me on the actions of the music group ABBA.

ASH said...

Very good article. We all have to be vigilant against the Pat Robertsons and Ric Kellers of the world. If we don't stand up against it, then it gets accepted.

rehtwo said...

All I have to say is -- great points and great post.

Ali said...

I must say, you provided an insight to this situation that I had little to no knowledge of.

When I was in high school, I used to have my head in the papers at all times - I watched in disbelief as the people who reported on Islam became more and more militant in their hate for Islam. It was startling; so I started a letter writing campaign with my friends. Limited success followed; apparently my numbers were too few.

But it's strange how debasing Islam has become a 'norm' which is just passed as 'normal' news. If you say 'militant christianity' that's unheard of.

Good job and thanks for hte insight - it should be worth a great conversation which will enlighten many others.

Aisha said...

I agree Mr. GSJ about how sad it is that it's the norm. Can you imagine flipping the TV on and hearing such comments about any other race or religion? Like if someone on TV said that all black people are violent and want to rob you. OFCOURSE that is absurd... and unfortunately some may believe this in their hearts but for some reason we understand that this type of stereotype is utterly ridiculous and anyone who would utter this on television and radio wouldn't bring up a controversy if he were fired..... It's just OKAY to be a bigot towards Muslims... Like I've said before.. it's our turn to pay our dues I guess.

Aisha said...

As far as your letter writing campaign, I had a friend who did something which he found to be quite effective. Instead of writing letters to the source of the upset (since they probably love the attention), he contacted their advertisers and complained. Trust me they listen a lot more and when they pull their ads out then you'll have the attention of the people you're trying to reach. My friend did ths on the level of local radio stations. I'm sure their advertisors are local enough to really get mad if they get two or three calls only.

Khizzy said...

hey aisha,
i was in chicago for a brief period of time.
grades 1 through 5!
buss!
:)
am in pak now!

Tee said...

I hate when people make generalzations about any culture/religion/race/nation. It's just wrong.

Saadia said...

I think Graham-type comments do not serve to prevent violence. I always thought it would help Americans to be able to quote the verses of the Quran that talk about the correct uses of force in Islam, the rules and conditions. Unfortunately, its even hard for a Muslim to be that learned. But it would do the world a lot better to believe that Islam is a good religion that has been misused, rather than trying to change 1 billion people with cultures that span from China to the United States. Think about how effective it would be if Bush went on TV one day and said: "The Quran says "There shall be no coercion in matters of faith." (Quran 2:256) and it was broadcasted to al-Jazeera.

Saadia said...

Not that al Jazeera promotes coercion of faith - but it was just an example.

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