There’s a new, threatening shadow slowly creeping over North America.
With every halal Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut; with the building of every new minaret and establishment of Islamic seminaries and schools; with every Muslim convert and sister who takes on the hijab – or heaven forbid, the niqab; with every judge who allows Islamic law into their court; for every worker who takes their lunch to go to the mosque or who takes unpaid leave to go on Hajj; for every Juan Williams who looses his job, for every left-wing politician who panders to the Muslim minority and for every President who’s “not at war with Islam” and who may very well be a Muslim himself – Creepy Muslims come that much closer to creating the Islamic States of America.
If Muslims have lived, loved, worked, struggled, fought and died in North America since the 1500s, and wanted to take over, you’d think we would have succeeded by now.
There is a growing trend of Islamophobia, which goes far beyond an authentic and justified reaction toward the actions of select extremists. Media sources, conservative voices and even Chuck Norris have succeeded in completely vilifying Islam, and creating and blurring the lines between good Muslims and bad Muslims. Good Muslims look normal like “everyone else.” Bad Muslims wear “authentic-[insert appropriate cultural garb here].”
In an irrational fear that foreign-based, extremist interpretations of Islam are creeping into America, a growing number of states are trying to ban Islamic religious law. Islamic law guides the daily activities of religiously motivated Muslims, from prayer to food to giving in charity. So this means that a ban on Islamic law is a direct attack on how Muslims live, and is justified under the guise of safeguarding hard working Americans from what they do over there.
In the past two weeks, anti-Muslim incidents have dominated media reports:
- There was an “anti-Sharia/anti-jihad in Dearborn ” rally.
- Two American imams dressed in Arab and Indian “garb” were taken off a flight because the pilot thought passengers felt threatened.
- Two black American imams, a father and son team, were denied access to their flight after being cleared by the TSA, because the father’s name was spelled differently on two pieces of identification (‘Abdul’ on one, ‘A’ on the other).
- An American woman in niqab was asked to leave a casino restaurant when she refused to take off her veil.
- Neighbours of a local mosque in Amherst erected an offensive sign that reads, “Bomb Making: Next Driveway.”
- People have vandalized mosques, given death-threats to community leaders, and have intimidated school children (source).
And then I walked into work on Friday and saw this:
As proof that McGuinty, the Liberal Premier of Ontario, supports “creeping jihad” the protester handed out an article discussing a recent $100,000 grant that the provincial government awarded to the organizers of the Toronto Pride parade.
Stay with me for a minute.
The Liberal government of Ontario has given Pride Toronto a “no strings attached” grant as part of the province’s Celebrate Ontario program. Before the grant, Pride organizers were worried about funding because Conservative Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford, has absolutely refused to provide funding. His reason? Queers Against Israeli Apartheid. Ford does not believe in providing funding that will “promote a hateful agenda and hijack an important event.”
Ford has a terrible anti-Pride, anti-LGBTQ and homophobic track record and it’s believed that he’s using QuAIA as his excuse not to provide funding to Pride Toronto. In order to uncover this, QuAIA has voluntarily pulled out from this year’s parade — and asks Ford to put his money where his mouth is.
The debate continues as to whether or not Pride should be used as a political platform, and it’s easy to assume that pro-Palestine also equals anti-Israel or even anti-Semitic – but how on earth do we make the jump to “creeping jihad”?
Obviously this individual believes that pro-Palestine also means pro-Islam. Therefore, when the provincial government gave money to Pride Toronto, it also gave money to help support the growing threat of Islamic extremism in Ontario. Really? There is no emoticon to illustrate my disbelief.
All of these incidents unfairly link individuals, the Muslim American community as a whole, political ideologies, and even clothing to terrorism and a constructed idea of what extremist Islam looks like. But this fear of Islam and “Creepy Muslim” henchmen dominating, tainting, and poisoning American freedoms because Islam is inherently evil, is really based on prejudice, plays on fearmongering, and relies on convenient political posturing.
It really boggles my mind that a hot-button topic in the 2012 presidential election will somehow involve Islam, Muslims or Islamic law. But I really can’t believe that the anti-shariah/anti-jihad” movement has made it’s way to Canada.