Thursday, October 14, 2010

Anti-Islam movement troubling for country ~ troubling attempt to link Ground Zero protest with terrorism

Since we are dealing with the hypothetical ~ if there is another terrorist attack in the US, that leaves many dead ~ and a Muslim group kindly offers to put a mosque in the immediate area ~ how much support do you think it would have?

The terrorist attack (Aug. 28 arson of construction equipment) at the Islamic center site in Murfreesboro foreshadows the rising anti-Islamic sentiment across the country. The next big question for the country is, how do we prevent protest against the proposed mosque near Ground Zero.

This type of politics is worrying! We are talking about removing the right to protest in a western democracy.

It is similar to the case in Holland ~ which is a blatant attempt to derail the freedom of expression ~ of course which Islam has little or no respect for. It amounts to the creation of an Islamic law ~ just as is practised in the Islamic world where all rights and freedoms are geared to give Islam priority. And because of this all non-Muslims a forced to live under a second class status.

This Hayden Smith should go back to his studies and find out how the Islamic world works ~ namely the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights and why they are not interested in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, Americans have been fearful of another terrorist attack from Islamic extremists. While most experts agree that the United States is highly susceptible to another transnational terrorist attack, I argue that the United States is also likely to experience a higher number of domestic-born terrorist attacks based on anti-Islamic sentiment.

The terrorist attack (Aug. 28 arson of construction equipment) at the Islamic center site in Murfreesboro foreshadows the rising anti-Islamic sentiment across the country. The next big question for the country is, how do we prevent protest against the proposed mosque near Ground Zero.

The big question is, why did this happen in Murfreesboro? It cannot be attributed to a disconnect between Murfreesboro Muslims and the rest of the population, because they were regularly invited to local Christian churches to explain Islam. In addition the Islamic community formed a strong relationship with local and state level politicians.

In my opinion, this event can be attributed to the nation-wide anti-Islamic sentiment and anti-mosque construction at Ground Zero. Unfortunately uneducated politicians fuel the mind-set of the general population and produce extremist actions. The next question is how can Murfreesboro prevent future terrorist attacks targeted at the Islamic community? The first solution to this is to construct the Islamic Center as soon as possible.

Terrorism is a form of expressing political preferences, in this case to prevent the construction of the Islamic Center. If the terrorists succeed in their goal then they are more likely to repeat their actions in the future to express their political preferences. However, when terrorists do not achieve their desired goal the group will lose its support and disband.

Murfreesboro Muslims may be the target of more terrorist attacks or protest in the near future, but will reach the long-term goal of peace if they continue construction. Also, I would like to encourage all Tennessee politicians to support the Islamic community of Murfreesboro. If politicians stand behind the Islamic community and represent them as strong community members to Murfreesboro, then the population will reflect that view.

If action is not taken to mend the relationship with the Islamic community in Murfreesboro, I believe that it could result in actions such as those that had been planned last month in Gainesville, Fla. where a Baptist Church announced (then called off) the burning of the Koran in remembrance of 9/11; and bomb threats targeted the University of Florida for employing a high number of Muslim faculty.

If the relationships in Murfreesboro are not mended, anti-Islamic sentiment could fester in the community and similar actions involving MTSU could be the result. Murfreesboro has a unique chance to set the tone for the rest of the country. If the terrorist events here succeed, we can all expect to see many more like this across the country. We should not treat American Muslims as American Japanese were treated after Pearl Harbor. Instead, we should embrace them as American citizens and come together as one.

If we become broken internally we will then be more susceptible to external attacks.

Hayden Smith is a senior political science major at Western Carolina University with research focus on terrorism and international relations. He is a graduate of Siegel High School.


1 comment:

Julie Volleyball said...

If you are going to reference the Cairo Declaration and the Universal Declaration maybe you should actually note that those who have signed the Cairo Declaration do abide by it. Those who have signed the Universal Declaration do not. The US is one of those such states. At least in the Cairo Declaration, those who were party to it recognized what they were capable of fulfilling. The Universal Declaration, while admirable, is not something attainable by all those who signed it.

Further, your reference to what happened in Holland shows your ignorance of Islam as well. The creation of cartoons depicting Mohammad are considered offensive not because of what the cartoon was showing (Mohammad with bombs). It is offensive because even if it were painting a positive image of Mohammad, it would be considered idolatry.

It appears that you are only angry with Mr. Smith because you assume his political leanings are different from your own. Maybe you should become better informed before you start criticizing him and his work. Better yet, why don't you read his professional work so that you might gain a greater understanding of where some of his statements in this op ed piece come from? You might learn something from him and the others who have research patterns of terrorism since before September 11 and who understand terrorism from more than just the American-centric view of Islamic fundamentalism.