Category Archives: Anti-Muslim

The problem with Eltahawy’s argument

A good Muslim is the one who is moderate in his belief and practice. I do agree with this statement. Moderation is actually a key teaching in Islam. But the definition of moderate is different according to Americans and Europeans. A Moderate Muslim is one whose ideology and practice are agreeable to the American and European societies.

For example, Muslim women not wearing hijab and out spoken about how Muslim men are using their women as slaves are considered moderate Muslims. Mona Eltahawy, Ayaan Hirsi Al and Irshad Manji are best examples of how a moderate Muslims should be. The west takes them for granted as how Muslim women should be and urge all Muslim women to take them as role models. According to many Westerners, it is a FACT that Muslim men are selfish, abusing, polygamists, and wives beating. Hence, Muslim women should rebel against their masters.

One good thing about Eltahawy’s article is that many women, Muslims and non-Muslims, even Muslim feminists didn’t accept her argument that Muslim men hate women. There were huge numbers of articles against her argument. For anyone who has the slightest knowledge in conducting research can easily falsify her argument. Eltahawy’s based her article on listing some examples of how Muslim men treat women. Don’t you think we can list some bad examples from any culture and conclude with a result that will support our claim? But of course the western media is not interested in such article unless it is about Muslim weirdos. Since 1975 number of abortion operations in the U.S. never falls under 1 million. The total number of abortions performed in the U.S. since 1973 equals 54,559,615 [source]. Did all Americans participate in terminating the lives of 54 million fetuses? Did all Americans support the killing of 1 million fetuses every year? I always say that every culture has its good and bad practices. To generalize about the entire culture is very condescending and simplistic way of thinking.

While thousands of brave Arab men been savagely killed, jailed, and tortured to secure a better life to their families -ironically this includes mothers, sisters, wives, daughters and female relatives- during this current “Arab Revolution”, Eltahawy chose to climb to the top of the media ladder and secure fame in Western media. She took advantage of an old Western cliché that Muslim men abuse their women and built her argument on that. I believe her article would harms and damages any support Arabs would receive from Americans and Europeans to seek freedom from tyrant regimes. She offered a Carte Blanche to the West to not support any change in the Arab world fearing of monsters taking control of the country.

On behalf of Arab husbands, sons, fathers, and brothers who work very hard to make sure that they can put food on their families table out of LOVE for their wives, daughters, mothers and sisters I say you are wrong Mona Eltahawy and those women who celebrated your article. I would like to ask those women to be fair and answer why millions of Arab men cross the borders far away from their homes? And why thousands of North African men put their lives at risk crossing the Mediterranean Sea on small boats?

Although there are many bad practices by Muslim men but Eltahawy’s article was a cheap way to take advantage of abused Muslim women instead of helping their cause. I don’t think trashing a culture and religion, like Eltahawy’s did, is meant to be a positive criticism rather it was a way to secure many columns in Western newspapers and magazines.

The ideology of suicide bombing I

In the past ten years the number of suicide attacks, executed by Muslims, skyrocketed. The most recent is on Christmas Day 2011 in Nigeria. “The Nigerian Islamist group, Boko Haram, claimed responsibility for the wave of attacks on Sunday, which included bomb explosions at two churches and a suicide attack in the northeast.” [Aljazeera]

Some Muslims deny that these series of Al-Qaeda like suicide bombings, worldwide, could be solely executed by Muslims. Their claim comes from their belief that Islam does not teach Muslims to kill civilians regardless of their belief. Hence, they believe that there is a conspiracy theory revolves around these suicide bombings. The magnitude of these suicide attacks made the majority of Muslims disbelief that such a horrible thing could be masterminded by Muslims. This denial came from the fact that civilians should not be harmed let alone killing children and women. And to their despair and astonishment even places of worship like mosques in Iraq and Pakistan are not been saved from these kind of barbaric attacks.

At the other pole of denial there are the Islamophobic advocates who claim that these attacks have one interpretation only, Islam is evil and teaches its followers to be violent and kill non-Muslims. According to them the statement they keep hearing from Muslims “Islam is a religion of peace” is just a way for Muslims to buy for themselves time while they infiltrate the American society and destroy it from within before they deny Americans  their freedom and execute the Sharia Law.

Both these groups think vertically (it is not a bad thing in science). That is, they are only concerned on finding a solution (i.e., stopping these attacks) without studying the reason behind suicide bombing. Both these two groups are wrong and each live in their own denial box. The first group denies that there could be bad Muslims and the second denies anything good coming from Islam. Such mentality will never solve anything and will never meet at any point.

I am someone who thinks horizontally. I don’t just want to find a solution for such madness but I also want to know how and why this suicide bombing ideology started. Finding a solution is of course a priority but it does not guarantee that such ideology will not appear in the future.

Islamophobia is on the rise in the US. You can watch this video (If you watch the video please read the comments as well. Most Americans are against such mentality) which is one of many about how some people know absolutely nothing of a religion that is been followed by over a billion and is the fastest growing religion, yet they claim they know everything about it. Their misunderstanding of Islam makes it impossible for them to accept anything Islam.

The question is, at least from my point of view, why the most multicultural and one of the most developed countries in the world have many of its citizens misinformed about other cultures, especially about Muslims and Islam? Why Sharia Law is the most talk about subject in America when it comes to Islam and why this subject causes nightmares to some Americans? Islamophobic advocates claim there is no such thing as “moderate Muslims”, are they right or wrong? What makes one a moderate Muslim according to westerners? Why some Americans don’t believe what many Muslims have been saying for years that Islam is a religion of peace? Is Islam truly a religion of peace or is it what Islamophobic people claim it is, “tuqyah”?

On the other hand, why some Muslims, especially who live in non-Muslim countries, are not very honest when it comes to answering controversial questions? What does Islam say about homosexuality, polygamy, and most important about non-Muslims and ‘Kuffar‘ (disbelievers)?

Ask Google Translate “Who are the Terrorists?”

If you used Google translate to translate from English to Arabic or vice versa you know how bad the translation is, especially when you translate an entire paragraph or article. Google translate might be good to translate a word or a phrase but for more than that don’t expect much.  It seems Google translator caught Arabs attention these days because of a translation it made when asked to translate the following:

  • Jews are terrorists
  • Americans are terrorists
  • Arabs are terrorists

Google translation in Arabic is:

image[Click on picture]

Now, for not Arabic speakers the Arabic translation is as following:

  • Jews are not terrorists
  • Americans are not terrorists
  • Arabs are terrorists

I got to say that was suspicious at first, where the word “not” came from. So before Arabs boycott Google I tried a test to translate based on religion, nationality, and ethnicity:

image[Click on picture]

As you can see from the picture above, Google added the word “ليسوا” which means “not” when translated Jews/Christians/Muslims are terrorists. The same thing happened when translating “Americans are terrorists” but it didn’t consider French not to be terrorists. The last two lines Google translate added the word “ليسوا” (not) for Syrians but not for Jordanians.

When I tried to reverse the translation for the first picture, the translation was correct. See picture below.

image[Click on picture]

So apparently, there is a bug in Google translate. Google is not trying to take a side with Israel or the Jews against Arabs. Or are they? What would be interesting is to try to translate the same statements from English to another language beside Arabic and see what you get.

Computer language translation is one of those very complicated research area called Natural Language Processing (NLP). One comment I read about the cause of this problem is something called “rules for negations” in some languages. But I don’t know NLP and I don’t know Google translate’s algorithm but I am sure there is no conspiracy theory here.

Update: It seems the translation problem does not exist any more.

Update: This post is mentioned in Albawaba.com

The American Right-Wing is No Right

Last week, America’s pinhead Bill O’Reilly said “Muslims killed us on 9/11” while on the TV show “The View”. He followed his remark questioning the hosts’ reaction “Muslims didn’t kill us on 9/11 that’s what you are saying?” This stupid remark led two of the TV program, Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar, to walk off while he repeated his Anti-Muslim comment. When he noticed that the entire audience cheered for the two TV hosts’ courageous action he corrected himself by saying “extremists Muslims killed us on 9/11”. But this is not what I want to talk about. He is known to be a pinhead and let’s leave it to that.

 

My concern though is how insulting and bashing Muslims in American’s media is becoming the new trend. No consequences what so ever to any Anti-Muslim hate speech. Compare for example the magnitude of an Anti-Semitism comment to an Anti-Muslim comment. In the world of America, one Anti-Semitism comment will for sure push whoever said the comment down the drain. The latest of course being Helen Thomas and many like her who ruined their carrier because they were accused of being Anti-Semites. Meanwhile, someone who says an Anti-Muslim comment will be offered a job at the expense of insulting over one billion Muslim.

Juan Williams was fired as news analyst with National Public Radio (NPR) after his interview with Bill Oreilly were he said that Muslims in traditional dress boarding planes made him nervous. Here is what happened:

O’Reilly has been looking for support for his own remarks on a recent episode of ABC’s The View in which he directly blamed Muslims for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Co-hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg walked off the set in the middle of his appearance.

Williams responded: "Look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."

via [NPR]

If Juan Williams’ remark was not enough then wait till you read this:

Prominent rightwing figures, from Sarah Palin to radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, rushed to his defense and Fox offered him a three-year $2m (£1.3m) contract.

via [Guardian]

In a must-read article on the Huffington post by the Comedian Dean  Obeidallah he mentioned another recent Anti-Muslim remark on Fox news:

Fox News anchor and radio host Brian Kilmeade continued the campaign of demonizing Muslims by making the ridiculous and factually inaccurate comment: "All terrorists are Muslims."

via [huff]

He then raises the question:

But what happens when you make comments against Muslims or Arabs in America that incite hatred? You get more ratings. You sell more books. You are defended by people who say that you are brave and courageous for standing up to political correctness.

via [huff]

What is the future of this Anti-Muslim trend in America? Is this new trend the winning card for the right wing to win the election? In a campaign ad last month, North Carolina GOP Congressional candidate Renee Ellmers released an attack against her opponent that attempts to link him to the building of an Islamic community center near Ground Zero. Watch how the ad links between Muslims, “victory mosques” and terrorists.

For the sake of humanity and whatever sanity left I do hope to hear someone from the right-wing speaking up against this Anti-Muslim new trend series. One would ponder how come Fox News Channel is the number one highest rated cable news in America?