Magazine article Islamic Horizons

Everyone Needs to Do More

Magazine article Islamic Horizons

Everyone Needs to Do More

Article excerpt

THE WEEKS PRECEDING THE PUBLICAtion of this issue, five young Muslims, including three North Carolina Muslims, became victims of hate crimes, or more precisely Islamophobia.

The Chapel Hill murders have evoked much media coverage. But beyond that what else? The youngest victim was a 15-year-old hafiz.

Muslim Americans are mourning the loss of these five exceptional people. And one cannot tell what the future holds, if the level of Islamophobia continues to rise. Two days after the Chapel Hill murders, a Houston mosque was set on fire deliberately, and few days later, a Washington, D.C., mosque was vandalized. The attacks continue: Ahmed Al-Jumaili, 36, was shot dead March 5 in Dallas while his hijab-clad wife was taking pictures of their first snow experience.

The disease is not confined to some illiterate or semi-literate people, but rather hate is being promoted and supported by ostensibly educated people within the clergy, policymaking circles, and among public officials.

President Obama has appealed for ending abusive rhetoric against Muslims. Is that enough? No.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking during a Feb. 15 visit to Mexico, reminded President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden: "If you stay silent when faced with an incident [Chapel Hill] like this, and don't make a statement, the world will stay silent towards you."

"As politicians, we are responsible for everything that happens in our countries and we have to show our positions," he added.

President Obama had appointed Rashad Hussain, a hafiz born in Wyoming and raised in Plano, Texas, and a graduate of Yale Law School, as United States Special Envoy and coordinator for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications to counter violent extremism and to develop strategic counterterrorism communications around the world. …

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