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The glass is half empty: Americans and Civil Rights for Muslims

The Media and Society Research Group of Cornell University conducted a survey in November of Americans with respect to their attitudes towards Muslims. Nearly half (44%) of respondents favored restricting the civil rights of Muslims in some way. The press release, with links to the report, is available at [link]

My next question is, of the 56% of the people who didn't favor restricting the civil rights of Muslims, what percentage are going to do anything about trying to stop this trend?


Me, for one. Hard.

A lot depends on how one defines "Muslim" and "restrict." A lot of Muslims think I should live under their rules. This is unconstitutional and is by law already restricted, and it certainly should be. The lines between "us" and "them" are more harshly defined by the Koran than by American law and to the extent that Muslims in the U.S want to flout U.S. law in order to abide by Sharia there are already clear precendents for restriction.

Few Americans understand Islam and the intentions of Muslims here and before the subject can be intelligently come into public debate much more needs to be clarified

This fear comes from the fact that the media feeds the American public an atrociously biased diet of ignorance and misrepresentation.
All the main organs of the American establishement media, from fringe right all the way to left liberal, are unanimously Anti-Muslim anti-Arab and . Look at the pucile animity of the media during the buildup to the Irak war, When not a single journalist had taken the administration to task for the outrageous lies that were spun off about Irak being a threat to the US. The government propagandists who were pushing for the war are now simply shruggged off or forgoten as irrelevent, they are let off the hook by media heavys in discussing the awful situation for the people of Irak that the US has irresponsably created there.
The assault on Arab and Muslim mentality in the media creates this kind of atmosphere. Its a parody of Hitlerian science, the same publisicits and propagandists who used to argue that Africans have naturaly inferior brains, or that Asians are born for servitude, or that Europeans are a naturaly superior race, are saying now in the media that Arabs and Muslims have no respect for human life, they have no values, are unmodernized, behind the times and deeply reactionary. This is where dignity and critical historical thinking must be mobilized to see what is what, and to disuntangle truth from propaganda.
No culture or civilization exists by itself, None is made up of individuality and enlightnment that are completely exclusive to it. In the end human diversity is rooted in a deep form of coexistence... The American public is deeply influenced by the onslaught of their media on Muslims. so maybe these attitudes will stop once the media becomes an honest broker of information not a propaganda machine.

>>an atrociously biased diet of ignorance and misrepresentation.

Less biased and more free than what comes from the media in Muslim countries where speaking out against the Koran is punishable by death. Many Muslims in this country are indeed sympathetic to that view and the enforcement of Islamic law even when it violates US law.

Islam is not a peaceful religion, transgressors are punished with violence and apostates are condemned to death.

Edmund Burke had both sides of this issue. I agree strongly with both.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
This could refer to standing by and allowing the government to discriminately restrict the rights of Muslims in the US. (i.e., the vast majority of Muslims are spiritually good people)

On the other hand...

"Better to be despised for too anxious apprehensions, than ruined by too confident security."
It is naiave to believe that there is no threat from the some factions in the Muslim world against US security and the world economy. (i.e., there are people being killed in Iraq by Muslims just for helping America and 9/11 was executed by Muslims under guidance from a Muslim spiritual leader)

I personally struggle with this issue. How do we reconcile the deep conflict between the two perspectives?

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So my wife gets invited to the Muslim Public Affairs Council's 4th Annual Convention and gives this speech (pdf), which later gets broadcast on C-SPAN. Apparently lots of people actually watch C-SPAN, including all sorts of racist bigots:Date: Thu, 23 Read More