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Muslim Immigrants

Reader comment on item: Faces of American Islam[: Muslim Immigrants]

Submitted by Rory (United States), Aug 21, 2002 at 04:08

First of all in Reform Judaism online, in an excellent opinion piece on Arafat by Alan Dershowitz. It says that after the US wouldn't release Sirhan Sirhan after Arafat asked for his freedom, Arafat personally ordered the three ambassdors (Americans included) tortured and murdered. How is that for a terrorist connection?

Alas, I am a Jew who likes everybody and doesn't care about anybody's background as long as a that person is nice. I have tried to make friends regardless of views and long as they respect me. But my most anti-Semitic experiences have been from Muslims. I have even gotten even along with Neo Nazis (though on a superficial level) and even though they knew I was Jewish they never tried to provoke me (luckily). They never said the horrible things about the Jews that I have heard from Muslims. The Muslims I experienced that were very rude were mainly from the Muslim Students Assoc. Initially they were very friendly and claimed to like Jews. But when I didn't agree to publicly condemn Israel and Zionism on campus and didn't agree with their views, they became so angry that I would literally be faced by a group Muslim girls screaming and waving fingers at me. The things they thought about Jews were straight out the Protocols and were so outlandish that the Christian kids around would laugh at how ludicrous their statements were. These views I found were straight from their Mosque's Imams, and the horrrible Holocaust denying pro Palestinian books they would try to give me were from the Muslim bookstore. There hatred for America was intense and when I probed their opinions and how they were concluded they showed they knew nothing about American History.

One of the scariest things was that any article of American History, World history or even Islamic history that didnt fit their view was biased Western history. They are able to live in their fantasy world by denying anything they dont agree with by the excuse that it is false western or Zionist propaganda, and if you don't agree with it you can see them burning inside. Those Muslims also said they had a duty to tell me these things because at their Mosque the Imam tells them they are obliged to speak out against falsehood.

Another thing I found was that when I was silent and wouldn't argue with them they would get increasingly provocative. It was like they would try to become so bellicose, in order to provoke a reaction if wasn't forthcoming.

These and other experiences had a profound effect on me that I will not forget and shattered all my previous views of the world. I will always be comforted by the Muslim Persian girls who at that time were very sympathetic and kind towards me and showed me not all Muslims were so preoccupied by dark world views. They were truly tolerant like the Muslims I went to K-12 with, and the Tunisian Arab Muslims I am friends with now.

One thing I learned was these false views have to be dealt with firmly and uncompromisngly in a constructive way. How to that is the struggle freedom loving American Muslims and their non-Muslims neighbors must face.


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