Friday, September 25, 2009

"Muslim Terrorist"

Just got into another argument on Facebook about the phrase "Muslim Terrorist". As always, it started with someone posting an item and then agonizing about that phrase; "Muslims are not terrorists", the refrain always is. My reaction:
"No Muslims are terrorists? That's like saying no Muslims have brown hair."
And before I get into my main point—and because I know my brothers and sisters in the Muslim world will get all defensive and act as if I am just a self-hating Muslim saying that Muslims are terrorists, you can read my position on what a terrorist is here, and on the use of phrases like "Muslim terrorist" and "Hindu terrorist" here.

But the main point, quite frankly, is that this whole "Muslims are terrorists" ... "No, Muslims are not terrorists" is a great distraction from real issues that we should be discussing. Instead of thinking about and acting about the conditions and issues that face Muslims--and other humans--like neo-imperialism, exploitation, oppression. And those are just the external dangers. Even worse for Muslims are the internal issues like social and cultural attitudes that are backwards and, quite frankly, not even very much in alignment with the spirit of Islam which teaches us to be noble, strive for knowledge, and help make the world a better place for ourselves and for everyone.

And when I talk about oppression above, I am talking about both oppression by outsiders and by people who call themselves Muslims and take advantage of that.
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