Today Yahoo! News is reporting about the number of religious attacks made against Jews and Muslims in 2002. According to the FBI, the number of attacks against Jews greatly outnumbered those against Muslims. More telling are the numbers from 2001, where attacks against Jews outnumbered attacks against Muslims almost 2-1. Now, there very good reasons as to why the numbers of attacks against Muslims might be depressed, particularly in 2001 (see the DRUM website for an immigration angle). However, I still find the numbers telling.
Judeophobia and Islamophobia spring from the same well [see Ali Asani’s excellent speech on the topic]. I’ve mentioned before how I think ignorance is the great bane of the Islamic communities in the US, both within and without the community. Jews remain seen as outsiders, although visually, many can pass easier than Muslims can in a “white” neighborhood.
As a matter of course, we do not look to the Islamic tradition resisting vilification of a people, or the struggle for justice and righteousness to ally ourselves with the Jewish community. We partake in the same vilification, or turn the willful blind eye. It demeans us, weakens us and threatens us. Working off of Ghost Dog’s post below, we are setting up a situation where the chickens will come home and roost for us.
I hate the idea of having to resort to self-interest, because I don’t think it moves us forth as a community, and I don’t think it’s part of the Islamic ideal. However, if I thought we were interested in working towards the ideal of our community, I probably wouldn’t be making this post.