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Islamophobia In The West

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(salam) (bismillah)

This topic has been discussed extensively, but it's still not clear to me what solutions are being proposed. I also believe that the even the causes are not obvious to some.

Make a choice and then explain what you think as a muslim living in the west needs to be done. Add your own answer if not included above.

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I think people in the west are most afraid of Islam's lack of human rights awareness.  until that changes, there will always be Islamophobia.  

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Islamophobia is virtually non-existent in reality in point of fact. Pure, unadulterated, irrational haters are few and far between and the label "Islamophobe" is largely an invention, a rhetorical sledgehammer to make people who disagree with us be silent, for fear of being perceived as "racist" or "politically incorrect."

The correct way to characterize the situation is "disgust at Muslims." Disgust for the murderous inhumanity of the minority. Disgust at the constant whining, at the outrage and insistence on taking offense in the face of the most trivial actions by Westerners and the general silence in the face of brutalities committed by our own people.

Disgust at the general lack of meaningful contribution of Muslims today to global civilization as a whole and to the particular societies in which they live. Disgust at Muslims' insistence on putting the blame for all their problems everywhere except within themselves.

The solution? Muslims take responsibility for themselves and collectively advance themselves by a few centuries in worldview and join the modern world with a commitment to contributing to it. Anything short of that is playing games.

Edited by kadhim

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Islamophobia is virtually non-existent in reality in point of fact. Pure, unadulterated, irrational haters are few and far between and the label "Islamophobe" is largely an invention, a rhetorical sledgehammer to make people who disagree with us be silent, for fear of being perceived as "racist" or "politically incorrect."

The correct way to characterize the situation is "disgust at Muslims." Disgust for the murderous inhumanity of the minority. Disgust at the constant whining, at the outrage and insistence on taking offense in the face of the most trivial actions by Westerners and the general silence in the face of brutalities committed by our own people.

Disgust at the general lack of meaningful contribution of Muslims today to global civilization as a whole and to the particular societies in which they live. Disgust at Muslims' insistence on putting the blame for all their problems everywhere except within themselves.

The solution? Muslims take responsibility for themselves and collectively advance themselves by a few centuries in worldview and join the modern world with a commitment to contributing to it. Anything short of that is playing games.

the west is at war with Islam. This is a fact. The people leading this war have followers, the ignorant and the 'intellectual'. They are islamo-phobic. They hate Islam, they hate what it stands for and what it is against and what it represents. It's irrelevant what the perception of that word is to those who can't rationally defend their religion.

the fact is that we are not united. we don't have a united voice to respond . we've been chopped up, divided and diced into hundreds of factions. why is the jewish community so strong? you really believe that western powers have not contributed to brutalities you mention? this is all self-inflicted? western influence in our dis-unity is a myth?

what do you say about modern day Iran's contributions to civilization?

what are the practical steps we can take at grass-roots level to rise to the cause?

Edited by thecontentedself

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the west is at war with Islam. This is a fact.

No it's not. This is a delusion, and the faster you get over it, the better.

They hate Islam, they hate what it stands for and what it is against and what it represents.

What is "Islam?" What is a "Muslim?" How any nominal "Muslims" understand this "Islam" as you comprehend it, how many of them are "Muslims" by this textbook rosy definition we like to hold up? Westerners naturally know "Islam" only through what "Muslims" do. Can we fault them for basing their perceptions of us on what we do rather than on some theoretical construct in old books that most of us don't have knowledge about and don't live up to in our daily lives?

And all in all, for the most part, what "Muslims" do and represent is backwards depravity. What's not to be disgusted about in that? It is perfectly legitimate to be disgusted at a group of people for what they do, say, and fail to say and do.

the fact is that we are not united. we don't have a united voice to respond . we've been chopped up, divided and diced into hundreds of factions.

And we have only ourselves to blame for that. Internal disintegration is the inevitable consequence of a mindset that continually attributes the responsibility for its shortcomings on external factors rather than looking inwards for ways to self-improvement.

why is the jewish community so strong?

Well, first of all, they have their divisions as well.

But if the question is why are they respected, the reasons are many, but one would be that they get things done.

They contribute. They raise money for general charities, build hospitals, build schools, build places for the arts, etc. They value education, thinking, learning, and active involvement. They read.

A global population of 15 million Jews has won over 100 Nobel prizes. Over 1 billion Muslims have managed something like 2, and at least one of them, Abdus Salam, is widely considered a non-believer in his own country of origin.

you really believe that western powers have not contributed to brutalities you mention? this is all self-inflicted?

The colonial past had an impact on people. but the question is this: Is it more useful for Muslims to whine endlessly about this past, or to look in the mirror and think about how we can improve ourselves today and in the future? The answer is clear, in my mind.

what do you say about modern day Iran's contributions to civilization?

What contributions do you have in mind? They've made some very impressive internal developments in technology, but in terms of "contribution to civilization," they have a ways to go yet before they're making a net surplus.

Their publishing and translation houses have made some excellent books available to the non-Arabic and Farsi speaking world, but that's about as far as it goes.

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I think that "Islamophobia," if it really exists comes from Medieval-Crusader period in European history. Collectively not much has changed in the European-American-White consciousness concerning Islam, Muhammad (pbuh), Muslims, the Middle-East and Arabs ("brown people"). All has been seen as violent, oppressive, evil, profane, uncivilized and so on. If you read works written by Europeans in the Middle Ages, whether they fought in the crusades, were scholars or were a member of the clergy, it's not that much different from what you hear today from conservative, racist, and Christian sources both in the Americas and Europe. I think it's this historical baggage in combination with ignorance and recent events (political, economic, social, etc.) which causes this "Islamophobia." I think the way Muslims can most constructively fight this is through debate, teaching and reasoning. Not violence. If we as a community speak, get out there and spread the real message of Islam and show how real, hard-working, devout, oridinary Muslims live, then all this will just dissolve and will be shown as hollow attacks. It's hard to say Muslims are violent if we don't behave violently. It's hard to criticize Islam if our scholars and clergymen actively debate our opponents and shows that what they are saying is nonsense and inaccurate and wrong. We should use al-Qu'ran, the hadiths, our texts, our history as potent weapons in this ideaological struggle. We need to show that we will not take this and how we will not take this is we get out, speak and spread the truth. We need to engage in what Valdimir Lenin would call an ideological struggle with these European-Christian-Crusaders. It's through this route that we as a community can speak out, be heard and erase this. If we act violently this will only hurt us. Violence can be used but only when necessary, only in self-defense and real, objective oppression.

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No it's not. This is a delusion, and the faster you get over it, the better.

that's a very superficial view. this is not just my view, but it is voiced by many aware individuals and leaders.

What is "Islam?" What is a "Muslim?" How any nominal "Muslims" understand this "Islam" as you comprehend it, how many of them are "Muslims" by this textbook rosy definition we like to hold up? Westerners naturally know "Islam" only through what "Muslims" do. Can we fault them for basing their perceptions of us on what we do rather than on some theoretical construct in old books that most of us don't have knowledge about and don't live up to in our daily lives?

And all in all, for the most part, what "Muslims" do and represent is backwards depravity. What's not to be disgusted about in that? It is perfectly legitimate to be disgusted at a group of people for what they do, say, and fail to say and do.

the Islam that they fear and detest is the Islam that hasn't bowed to their demands and stood up for what they believe in and is willing to sacrifice all that they possess for this cause. Western perception of Islam through muslims is an ignorance on their part, if they cared enough and did their research, they would know that what the media portraits as common occurrences, are in reality 'bad apples' ignorant and easily influenced by foreign ideologies. our duty is to educate those 'backwards deprived', not condemn them. this is one root cause of this problem. you associate yourself more with the western man than your fellow confused muslim brother.

And we have only ourselves to blame for that. Internal disintegration is the inevitable consequence of a mindset that continually attributes the responsibility for its shortcomings on external factors rather than looking inwards for ways to self-improvement.

I agree, not all faults are due to external factors, hence we're on the look out for practical solutions.

Well, first of all, they have their divisions as well.

But if the question is why are they respected, the reasons are many, but one would be that they get things done.

They contribute. They raise money for general charities, build hospitals, build schools, build places for the arts, etc. They value education, thinking, learning, and active involvement. They read.

A global population of 15 million Jews has won over 100 Nobel prizes. Over 1 billion Muslims have managed something like 2, and at least one of them, Abdus Salam, is widely considered a non-believer in his own country of origin.

they are respected because they have influence on governments, that's how they get things done. they raise money for bribes too remember. i don't consider nobel prizes as an indicator of merit. remember shimon perez and obama both received one for peace, who knows what criteria they use to chose potential candidates for the sciences. we both know we have/had the brains in iraq and iran (inside and diaspora) and elsewhere to turn that 2 to a 200.

The colonial past had an impact on people. but the question is this: Is it more useful for Muslims to whine endlessly about this past, or to look in the mirror and think about how we can improve ourselves today and in the future? The answer is clear, in my mind.

you think their dominance ended when their troops left? what about cultural genocide? what about social genocide? are you saying we are better off now than we were when under occupation? the decadence in arab countries is purely self-inflicted? who's delusional? We should use the past to learn from it, and neither whine about it or throw it in the bin of history. the thing is we don't.

What contributions do you have in mind? They've made some very impressive internal developments in technology, but in terms of "contribution to civilization," they have a ways to go yet before they're making a net surplus.

Their publishing and translation houses have made some excellent books available to the non-Arabic and Farsi speaking world, but that's about as far as it goes.

they are major players in world politics, as we saw evidence from the last UN NPT conference. they are respected for their self-sufficiency. they are exporting their culture as much as they can within the limits of the sanctions. a town in a southern american state has adopted the iranian system of health houses. the list goes on...

Edited by thecontentedself

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(salam)

(bismillah)

Oh, I confused the poll, I thought it meant tackling Death and terror threats.

I think the blame is on all those listed above, but more so on misguided Muslims and Zionists. I also think that ANY thing that we can do to deter this phobia is good, but the best would be spreading information through leaflets, talks, tv channels, articles, blogs - you name it. Get the word out, its your duty.

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(salam)

(bismillah)

Oh, I confused the poll, I thought it meant tackling Death and terror threats.

I think the blame is on all those listed above, but more so on misguided Muslims and Zionists. I also think that ANY thing that we can do to deter this phobia is good, but the best would be spreading information through leaflets, talks, tv channels, articles, blogs - you name it. Get the word out, its your duty.

non of that is enough. i live in the UK as well, and these things don't have a lasting effect on the general populace.

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that's a very superficial view. this is not just my view, but it is voiced by many aware individuals and leaders.

A lot of people say a lot of silly, delusional things.

the Islam that they fear and detest is the Islam that hasn't bowed to their demands and stood up for what they believe in and is willing to sacrifice all that they possess for this cause. Western perception of Islam through muslims is an ignorance on their part, if they cared enough and did their research, they would know that what the media portraits as common occurrences, are in reality 'bad apples' ignorant and easily influenced by foreign ideologies. our duty is to educate those 'backwards deprived', not condemn them. this is one root cause of this problem. you associate yourself more with the western man than your fellow confused muslim brother.

It's not just a matter of the "bad apples." It goes deeper than that to certain psycho-pathologies of the majority. Certain character flaws that are rampant in the Muslim populations and which, combined with the murderous insanity of the minority, combine to give Muslims the image of the world's worst community. Character flaws like:

-Expecting respect as a religious minority while showing disrespect openly and behind closed doors for everyone else. "The dirty kuffar" etc.

-The victim mentality combined with an utter lack of empathy. Complaining ceaselessly about "Islamophobia" and "persecution of Muslims" while rarely raising a single damned solitary word in opposition to the persecution our own people impose in places where our faith is the majority. You want to kvetch about religious persecution? CLEAN UP YOUR OWN DAMNED BACKYARD FIRST!!!

-A pathological disregard for the concept of the sanctity of one's word. In my travels, people in our community are the least dependable people around. "Insha Allah" has been turned on its head, and translates these days as, "If God wills to take over my body by remote control and whisks me to the right place at the right time and forces my hands and lips, I might just do whatever it is I just pretended to promise to do."

-The previous mentioned insistence on blaming all personal problems on nefarious external conspiracies, invariably traced back to the Americans or the "evil Zionist Jooooz."

-In Europe in particular, our people show a disturbing proclivity to be welfare cheats and criminals.

-A psychotic preference for grand words over small but concrete meaningful actions. Baghdad Bob could only have been taken seriously in the Arab/Muslim world.

Our community is far, far, far beyond the point where soft, gentle reminding. It needs tough love. Straightforward, unmerciful criticism, delivered with a sledgehammer so that it penetrates through the ears and eyes, beyond the defense mechanisms of laziness, lethargy, passivity, and apathy direcly to the cerebral cortex.

they are respected because they have influence on governments, that's how they get things done. they raise money for bribes too remember. i don't consider nobel prizes as an indicator of merit. remember shimon perez and obama both received one for peace, who knows what criteria they use to chose potential candidates for the sciences. we both know we have/had the brains in iraq and iran (inside and diaspora) and elsewhere to turn that 2 to a 200.

Potential is nice and I recognize the brain power potential. But let's see results. Let's see potential put into action.

you think their dominance ended when their troops left? what about cultural genocide? what about social genocide? are you saying we are better off now than we were when under occupation? the decadence in arab countries is purely self-inflicted? who's delusional? We should use the past to learn from it, and neither whine about it or throw it in the bin of history. the thing is we don't.

Blah blah blah. Cultural genocide? What is this? Shame on you and whatever useful idiot leftist ivory tower intellectuals are feeding these useless verbiages that enable us to put blame for our problems on others. Shame on you for belittling real genocide with this nonsense.

Everyone knows folks from outside fiddled with the developing world and have been fiddling with it. It's not news.

The problem is that Arabs and Muslims don't simply "read history to learn from it." They learn it as a crutch. You use that crutch to excuse yourself from doing the basic things that are within your control to shape your own destiny. Implictly, most Muslims and Arabs think of themselves as helpless victims of deterministic movements of history rather than as conscious, free-willed actors able to exercise some control over their own affairs.

The Americans/Jooz are not preventing Muslims around the world from:

-Respecting human rights, including rights of women and rights of non-Muslim minorities

-Keeping their word when they promise to do something

-Being honest in business and other everyday dealings

-Preferring simple concrete actions to grand rhetoric

-Taking learning and hard work seriously

WE are preventing OURSELVES from doing these things. "and surely God does not change the state of a people until they change what is in themselves."

they are major players in world politics, as we saw evidence from the last UN NPT conference. they are respected for their self-sufficiency. they are exporting their culture as much as they can within the limits of the sanctions. a town in a southern american state has adopted the iranian system of health houses. the list goes on...

They're admittedly lightyears ahead of most other Muslim nations, but they're still a bit away from making net contribution to global humanity.

Edited by kadhim

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(salam) ^^

AGREE ! Brother.

As far as I can see our hands are tied from religious leaders to families who live like this....it all seems impenetrable. Iron clad [Edited Out].

Especially if we are non arabic speaking/converts, we have to move up in this stupid framework to just be heard.

It is truly disgusting sight to behold.

I hope brothers /sisters will put aside any bias and really see what brother Khadim is saying, until they can see what HE means before responding.

Sometimes we need to discuss history,conspiricies etc of course but it isnt ALWAYS relevent when the problem is staring you in the face.

--------------------------

To confront it we need to all live upright lives and engage in our societies.

Dont say/do things behind closed doors you wouldnt say/do outside.

this situation is like telling a child it shouldnt beat its mother to pulp... someone should have taught the child that already.. before it grew up and beat its mother to pulp.

*facepalm...sigh*

respect is given where respect is DUE The Prophet (SAW) was always respected. Rejected BUT RESPECTED.

Edited by Mohammed-W

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A lot of people say a lot of silly, delusional things.

indeed they do

It's not just a matter of the "bad apples." It goes deeper than that to certain psycho-pathologies of the majority. Certain character flaws that are rampant in the Muslim populations and which, combined with the murderous insanity of the minority, combine to give Muslims the image of the world's worst community. Character flaws like:

-Expecting respect as a religious minority while showing disrespect openly and behind closed doors for everyone else. "The dirty kuffar" etc.

-The victim mentality combined with an utter lack of empathy. Complaining ceaselessly about "Islamophobia" and "persecution of Muslims" while rarely raising a single damned solitary word in opposition to the persecution our own people impose in places where our faith is the majority. You want to kvetch about religious persecution? CLEAN UP YOUR OWN DAMNED BACKYARD FIRST!!!

-A pathological disregard for the concept of the sanctity of one's word. In my travels, people in our community are the least dependable people around. "Insha Allah" has been turned on its head, and translates these days as, "If God wills to take over my body by remote control and whisks me to the right place at the right time and forces my hands and lips, I might just do whatever it is I just pretended to promise to do."

-The previous mentioned insistence on blaming all personal problems on nefarious external conspiracies, invariably traced back to the Americans or the "evil Zionist Jooooz."

-In Europe in particular, our people show a disturbing proclivity to be welfare cheats and criminals.

-A psychotic preference for grand words over small but concrete meaningful actions. Baghdad Bob could only have been taken seriously in the Arab/Muslim world.

Our community is far, far, far beyond the point where soft, gentle reminding. It needs tough love. Straightforward, unmerciful criticism, delivered with a sledgehammer so that it penetrates through the ears and eyes, beyond the defense mechanisms of laziness, lethargy, passivity, and apathy direcly to the cerebral cortex.

yes, that's what I concluded after reading this paragraph. you love your grand words don't you. do you put as much effort in educating your fellow muslim brothers and sisters as you do practicing your english? imagine the Holy Prophet applying your approach with the most backward contemporaries of his time. where would that have got him?

which community are you talking about? the iraqi community? that's what you're describing. as an iraqi myself, I would be the first to throw them on boats and send them out of europe. but this is not about iraqis, muslim or otherwise, you're mixing ideological and political matters. these things are cultural defects in their essence. iraqis are beyond hope, and all the calamities that befall them is more than deserved. we have transmitted proof in the form of supplications of the calamities that would befall a people when certain sins become a social norm, and they are reaping the results.

Potential is nice and I recognize the brain power potential. But let's see results. Let's see potential put into action.

Blah blah blah. Cultural genocide? What is this? Shame on you and whatever useful idiot leftist ivory tower intellectuals are feeding these useless verbiages that enable us to put blame for our problems on others. Shame on you for belittling real genocide with this nonsense.

Everyone knows folks from outside fiddled with the developing world and have been fiddling with it. It's not news.

The problem is that Arabs and Muslims don't simply "read history to learn from it." They learn it as a crutch. You use that crutch to excuse yourself from doing the basic things that are within your control to shape your own destiny. Implictly, most Muslims and Arabs think of themselves as helpless victims of deterministic movements of history rather than as conscious, free-willed actors able to exercise some control over their own affairs.

The Americans/Jooz are not preventing Muslims around the world from:

-Respecting human rights, including rights of women and rights of non-Muslim minorities

-Keeping their word when they promise to do something

-Being honest in business and other everyday dealings

-Preferring simple concrete actions to grand rhetoric

-Taking learning and hard work seriously

WE are preventing OURSELVES from doing these things. "and surely God does not change the state of a people until they change what is in themselves."

very mature response. even my daughter is passed the bla bla stage. shame on me for stating the obvious? as an iraqi you should be the first to confirm what i said. yes, cultural genocide. i never stated what the causes of islamophobia are, that's what the poll is for. i never said that all blame should be put on the west. but they are a COLLABORATOR, an they have a goal, and that is to neutralize any cultural or social or technological advancement of the arab/muslim world. there is abundant evidence for that. i agree, it is not ALL them, I emphasize again, I never said that it was, but the tools that the west has put in place to allow for such destruction, whether they have a direct hand in play after that depends on the area they are targeting, is a cause for the arabs/muslims lethargy and hopelessness and retardation. non of this would have happened of course if they would have stuck to what the Holy Prophet advised them to take as secure ship to avoid all this deviation.

They're admittedly lightyears ahead of most other Muslim nations, but they're still a bit away from making net contribution to global humanity.

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People in the west are xenophobic as well as Islamophobic... i blame the Wahhabis, they portray a bad view on Islam but at the end of the day we all need to be united in order to defeat our enemies!

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No, the Muslim community overall. These problems are very widespread.

Not Iraqi. Canadian. Irish Canadian.

so you're an external observer and passing all these judgements against muslim communities. how do you know these problems are wide spread? as a western muslim you haven't been through what they've been through. what do you know about getting weird looks from people because of your skin color or head covering? what do you know about being interrogated for hours for no reason except that your passport says that you're born in a certain country? what do you know about being deported from a country for alleged association with a certain muslim political party? what do you know about being refused work for being muslim?

shame on me? if you were true to your faith, as a western muslim you should be in the front line defending these people.

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so you're an external observer and passing all these judgements against muslim communities.

External observer? Shame on you again. I've been in contact with the community for about 8 years now with people both in person and through the internet. I've had contact with Muslims from all over, been in a few dozen different community centers over this time. Plenty enough time for someone with his eyes and ears open to pick up on a thing or two about pathological patterns of human behaviour.

shame on me? if you were true to your faith, as a western muslim you should be in the front line defending these people.

I've been apologizing for them for years. It quickly becomes a full time job. I already have a full time job. I've had enough. It's time for them to change themselves so that there's nothing for me to be apologizing for in the first place.

Edited by kadhim

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External observer? Shame on you again. I've been in contact with the community for about 8 years now with people both in person and through the internet. I've had contact with Muslims from all over, been in a few dozen different community centers over this time. Plenty enough time for someone with his eyes and ears open to pick up on a thing or two about pathological patterns of human behaviour.

if you say shame on you one more time i'll send a leprechaun armed with a bottle of maple syrup after you. being in contact with people of a different cultural background living in a minority community in a western city is hardly the same thing as being profiled for being muslim. you sound more like someone who's been assigned by the government to profile minority community behavior!

I've been apologizing for them for years. It quickly becomes a full time job. I already have a full time job. I've had enough. It's time for them to change themselves so that there's nothing for me to be apologizing for in the first place.

apologizing?? who said anything about apologizing??

anyway, it's obvious from the pol numbers that the issue is anything but clear in people's minds.

the problem is simple. lack of islamic awareness, coupled with lack of leadership and correct guidance, followed by incorrect handling of the issue, and complete disunity, has lead us to where we are.

therefore we need to start to get out from behind our computer screens, and get our hands dirty at grass-roots community level to re-educate our youth (and more importantly community leaders, if they exist), create an umbrella association to unite and give a single voice to all smaller dispersed centers and mosques, find some good leaders with good social and political and religious awareness, and sort our problems one by one.

this would be a step forward from throwing patronizing accusations at each other and disassociating ourselves from our fellow brothers and sisters in faith.

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non of that is enough. i live in the UK as well, and these things don't have a lasting effect on the general populace.

(salam)

They may not have the quickest effect, but they will certainly have the best long term effect. A long term dose of education has produced islamophobia and we need to confront it by the same means. Education can be as simple as showing good akhlaq and discussing these issues with people. Soon you will see non Muslims defending for Islam, I have already seen some.

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you sound more like someone who's been assigned by the government to profile minority community behavior!

Did I mention extreme paranoia as one of the common psychopathologies within the Muslim community? Add that to the list.

apologizing?? who said anything about apologizing??

You said I should defend people. Defending them generally means making excuses and engaging in apologetics.

create an umbrella association to unite and give a single voice to all smaller dispersed centers and mosques

Good idea. Question, though. What are you going to do when the leadership of these dispersed centers work behind the scenes to sabotage your efforts because they are jealous of your success and fearful that Muslims doing things right will expose how much they're doing nothing?

Because, believe me, they will. This is the level at which things are.

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Islamophobia and its practical implementations are simply defense mechanisms of various groups within Western nations, with the key mechanism known as regression. Regression is a return to primitive and childish mannerisms and behaviorism when provoked by fear. Islamophobia comes from the very real perception that the Islamic culture is gaining more relevance and permanence, and that liberal and Western culture is under threat, ie on the decline in terms of global domination. Islamophobia is largely a result of their ignorance and their misunderstandings about the nature of Islamic culture, partly attributed to their own seal on their hearts, but also to some Muslims who seem to fall for the bait and end up in a spiraling dialogue of cliched apologetics, knee jerk irrationality, and propagandistic clientism. They mutually feed off each other, while the sincere, separated from this nonsense, have patience and realize that once the smoke clears, the truth will prevail and falsehood will naturally perish by its own contradictory nature.

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Islamophobia comes from the very real perception that the Islamic culture is gaining more relevance and permanence, and that liberal and Western culture is under threat, ie on the decline in terms of global domination.

Where do you think this is happening? Because everywhere I look, I see Muslim communities in a rapid process of disintegration. Maybe in Iran you're experiencing a different reality, but here in the Americas, our communities are literally falling apart, mostly because the people from the old country running the centers prefer national cultures to Islamic culture. I would agree that Islam is a plant that could grow wondrously well in the Americas and Europe, but the existing community structures show little to no interest in this. The conceptions of what they need to be doing to allow the faith to thrive and grow here are totally absent from their minds - they have their cozy little corner where they have their Pakistani, or Khoja, or Iranian, or Iraqi, or Lebanese, or Afghani culture and language a few times a week, with some random, mechanically ritualized religious activities, and they are perfectly content with this, and actively lash out at real efforts to grow something better.

Example: Here in Montreal a few years ago, a group of youth from different cultural backgrounds and centers who knew each other from school took the initiative to go around about 6 months or more before Muharram, center to center, to encourage the idea of taking ONE night in the first ten nights of Muharram where the individual centers would shut down, and we would rent a big place and have a unified program for ONE frikkin night. Common sense, right? A tiny, easy, no brainer first baby step.

We were shocked by the responses. "Oh, gee, that's a nice idea, but that would never work.." "Oh, but those ten days are when we make most of our money..we can't lose 10% of our revenue..." "Oh, sure, 'insha Allah...' (one of the fake insha Allahs mentioned earlier)" "Oh, I'm not sure if the people would like that ..they're used to things in their own language..." "Who are you to be suggesting these things?"

I would tend to agree that when the smoke clears, the Muslim community in the West may well emerge stronger. But my strong feeling is that it's going to be a Phoenix from the ashes sort of thing, scattered survivors of collapsed communities gathering themselves together and starting again from scratch, doing things right.

Edited by kadhim

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^Your general criticism are a way to harsh i would say, but regarding the state of the North American Shia community, what you said is unfortunately pretty much accurate.

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Where do you think this is happening? Because everywhere I look, I see Muslim communities in a rapid process of disintegration. Maybe in Iran you're experiencing a different reality, but here in the Americas, our communities are literally falling apart, mostly because the people from the old country running the centers prefer national cultures to Islamic culture. I would agree that Islam is a plant that could grow wondrously well in the Americas and Europe, but the existing community structures show little to no interest in this. The conceptions of what they need to be doing to allow the faith to thrive and grow here are totally absent from their minds - they have their cozy little corner where they have their Pakistani, or Khoja, or Iranian, or Iraqi, or Lebanese, or Afghani culture and language a few times a week, with some random, mechanically ritualized religious activities, and they are perfectly content with this, and actively lash out at real efforts to grow something better.

Example: Here in Montreal a few years ago, a group of youth from different cultural backgrounds and centers who knew each other from school took the initiative to go around about 6 months or more before Muharram, center to center, to encourage the idea of taking ONE night in the first ten nights of Muharram where the individual centers would shut down, and we would rent a big place and have a unified program for ONE frikkin night. Common sense, right? A tiny, easy, no brainer first baby step.

We were shocked by the responses. "Oh, gee, that's a nice idea, but that would never work.." "Oh, but those ten days are when we make most of our money..we can't lose 10% of our revenue..." "Oh, sure, 'insha Allah...' (one of the fake insha Allahs mentioned earlier)" "Oh, I'm not sure if the people would like that ..they're used to things in their own language..." "Who are you to be suggesting these things?"

I would tend to agree that when the smoke clears, the Muslim community in the West may well emerge stronger. But my strong feeling is that it's going to be a Phoenix from the ashes sort of thing, scattered survivors of collapsed communities gathering themselves together and starting again from scratch, doing things right.

Your frustrations seem well founded and unfortunate, but I think we have to keep in mind that we cannot derive conclusions purely from anecdotal evidence. Sure, it has it's place, but it's not going to give us the full picture on Islamic cultural resergence in the World, and particularly the Western world. A better approach to analyzing the future dominance of Muslims (and by extension Islamic culture), could be by analyzing birth rates, conversation rates, halal stores per capita, mosques per capita, schools by capita, etc. These are quantifiable and verifiable data that can be used as a launching pad towards understanding the sociological effects of these demographic changes. As much as you believe Muslims where you live are falling short in some aspects, you cannot deny that there are many unconscious attitudes and thoughts that are Islamic in nature, that will naturally gain more momentum as Muslim minorities increase. Topics such as alcohol, homosexuality, etc are issues that are relatively unambiguous and uncompromisable, and a larger proportion of Muslims in an area will alter the sociological and psychological trends of that area, even if there are still a majority of non-Muslims, because the cultural counter current will be more forceful. These will be the immediate effects of Muslim resurgences in non-Muslim communities.

If you want my opinion, the Western world is going through a transition phase in terms of its Muslims, where younger generations who are mostly English speakers and natives of these lands are increasingly sharpening their Islamic identity towards one that is clear of cultural contradictions and more towards a pan-Islamic view. Enhance this with an increasing number of indigenous people reverting to Islam, and you will see more diverse and vibrant communities. This is already more prevalent with Sunni communities, but it will happen in Shia communities in due time as well, enshallah, especially since the Islamic Revolution, which has greatly opened up the Shia communities and allowed them a greater opportunity to take part in pan-Islamic discourse and community building, a chance they never really had before.

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