Countering Islamophobia post-9/11
By DENNIS IGNATIUS
Taking a strong stand against extremism will do more to counter Islamophobia than anything else.
Islamophobia in America will fade quickly when Americans start hearing the voices of moderation rise from within the Islamic world.
That is why Najib’s speech was seen as so significant by his US audience; he didn’t just assert the relevant teachings of Islam concerning peace, fairness and tolerance but he also demanded that Muslims live up to them in their interactions with other nations, faiths and peoples.
The Higher Education Ministry, for its part, can best contribute to this effort not by sending its experts on Islam to America but by sending them to our own schools and institutions of higher learning, and especially into the civil service, to promote the Prime Minister’s message of moderation and tolerance.
Our politicians and senior civil servants also need to take to heart Najib’s exhortation to take the high road when it comes to managing issues of race and religion. They must be the voice of reason that he alluded to, the voice that wants to engage constructively, to cooperate rather than confront and threaten.
Makes me recall two things: How Muslims roundly condemned Geert Wilders but not the Islamic extremists he showed in Fitna, and that self-proclaimed Muslims do more to damage Islam’s reputation than ‘Islamophobes’.
But as I mentioned before, it’s pointless if they just rehash the Bush-did-9/11 and Jews-rule-world shtick that BTN speakers have been spewing for years.
Tags: Dennis Ignatius