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View Diary: A Brief History of Modern Islamophobia (70 comments)

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  •  I live in a county with a lot of Muslim immigrants (5+ / 0-)
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    Brit, dizzydean, slksfca, dibsa, Wee Mama

    I live in the Bronx.

    There is a large group from Eastern Europe, mostly Albania. (There are also numerous Albanian Christians and at least one Albanian Jewish family; as in the Old Country the various religions seem to get along.) You can't tell them apart from Italians except for the language. (A lot of Italian-Americans in the Bronx still speak Italian.)

    There is also a large group from Bangladesh. You can't tell them apart from other immigrants from the subcontinent.

    There is a third large group from West Africa. They are the only ones I've ever seen whose women wear the full veil. There have been news reports that they are having difficulty assimilating because of their very conservative social norms -- modest dress, no premarital sex, etc. Given the huge teen pregnancy rate in the Bronx I would suggest that we might want to consider that they might have something to contribute to us.

    Here is a link to a statement by Mohammed Solaiman Ali the founder of one of the mosques in the Bronx, on the death of Osama bin Laden:

    We are very proud of America. We were also afraid you know? We did not want another attack here or in another country. As a Muslim, I feel very proud. Obama is a good president…and today we will pray for our country. Bin Laden is an enemy of Islam we are against what he did. Today we are happy, this is great news. There is nothing in the Quran (or the Holy Book) that says to kill. Islam does not tolerate terrorists. I am very happy to hear this news.

    http://bronxink.org/...

    I can also show you a narrow residential street in the Bronx where a mosque is directly across the street from an orthodox synagogue. My friends at the synagogue report no issues.

    •  Thanks for that... (5+ / 0-)

      ....some real insight from someone who sees reality, rather than the lurid spectres painted in the press.

      "It is only for the sake of those without hope that hope is given to us." Walter Benjamin. More sane debate on the Moose

      by Brit on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 09:06:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      charliehall2, slksfca, Wee Mama
      There have been news reports that they are having difficulty assimilating because of their very conservative social norms -- modest dress, no premarital sex, etc. Given the huge teen pregnancy rate in the Bronx I would suggest that we might want to consider that they might have something to contribute to us.

      ...especially to the second sentence.  The thing that strikes me about this perceived "lack of assimilation" is that often the nature of assimilation conflicts with Islamic beliefs/practices.  For example, an internet friend asked the other day about the problem of British culture and the alcohol-centric nature of British non-Muslims' social lives.  The same can be said for the two social norms you mentioned above, modest dress and no premarital sex.  This "lack of assimilation" really seems, from a Muslim perspective, to be a case of sour grapes on the part of non-Muslims, who don't like that Muslims won't practice the same vices.  If doing so means to assimilate, better then that Muslims should avoid following the same path.

      Muslims and tigers and bears, oh my!

      by JDsg on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 09:30:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That "internet friend" was me (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wee Mama, Brit, JDsg

        I think that Muslim rejection of alcohol would be a greater obstacle to integration than chastity or modesty in dress.  After all, the rejection of the latter two virtues in the West is a 20th century phenomenon, while Anglo cultures have a history of heavy drinking going at least as far back as the Norse invasions.

        Incidentally I read that in some parts of Europe, the wearing of headscarves by women only seriously declined post-WWII, as women wanted to bare their heads to show that they weren't shaved.  (Patriots in many European countries had shaved the heads of women who had slept with Nazi soldiers...)

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