Thursday, August 26, 2010

What Actual Persecution of Muslims Looks Like

A Pakistani-American returned to Pakistan after 20 years in the U.S., only to be murdered. Why? Because he was the wrong type of Muslim. The former native of Germantown, PA, Habib Peer was an Ahmadiyya Muslim, a minority sect that has four million adherents in Pakistan.
That nation's four million Ahmadis are forbidden by law to publicly practice their religion, and they can be jailed for blasphemy if they greet Sunni or Shiite Muslims with the traditional "salaam alaykum" or wear Muslim garb.

Mainstream mullahs and imams denounce Ahmadis, with some blaming their presence for the floods ravaging Pakistan.

Mujeeb Chaudhary, Philadelphia resident, Ahmadiyya Muslim and brother-in-law of the slain Peer, said that some non-Ahmadi Islamic religious leaders even tell their followers that it is their duty to kill Ahmadis. Interestingly, Chaudhary was asked his opinion about the Ground Zero mosque issue.
Although some Muslims are upset by the resistance to a proposed Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero, Chaudhary said he welcomed such debate as "proof of America's freedom of speech and freedom to practice religion."
It's good to see a Muslim speaking out in favor of free speech and debate, instead of demonizing critics as Islamophobes in an attempt to silence them, as with many mosque supporters. Chaudhary also noted that a new mosque will be going up in Philadelphia.
the Philadelphia-area Ahmadi community plans to break ground for a new mosque, with dome and minaret, on West Glenwood Avenue near Temple University. The plan, he said, has encountered no hostility from the neighborhood.
There's been quite a bit of nonsense lately bemoaning how Muslims are treated in America, when in fact most are far better off here than in their own Islamic homelands. There's unfortunately a certain level of bigotry, prejudice, discrimination and harassment of minorities here in the U.S. But it's useful to keep it in perspective. It's nowhere near what those who delight in condemning America would have you believe.


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  2. There's been quite a bit of nonsense lately bemoaning how Muslims are treated in America, when in fact most are far better off here than in their own Islamic homelands.

    I don't miss your larger point about comparing actual conditions in the U.S. versus actual conditions in Pakistan. But this is the wrong standard by which America should evaluate itself. The standard we should judge ourselves by is our own. To claim "We're more tolerant than Saudi Arabia" is not bragging, it is damning ourselves with faint praise.

    Seems to me that the right question is, "Do we live up to our own ideals," and if not, why not and what can we do about that?

  3. I didn't mean to imply that being better than Saudi Arabia or Pakistan is something to brag about, just that we need to keep things in perspective.

    Also, there are of course some American Muslims who are native born citizens. Dealing with any discrimination is probably even more annoying for them wince they didn't come from a country where things are much worse.