Sunday, 24 January 2010

I HATE YOU, NOW GET IN LINE

“100 per cent of the Islamic terrorists are Muslims, and that is our main enemy today. So why we should not be profiling people because of their religion?”

“You could say that 80-85 per cent of mosques in this country are controlled by Islamic fundamentalists”

“We’re just living in a politically correct world to say we should be screening a Scandinavian grandmother the same as we do a middle-eastern male”

These hateful, outrageous and highly insulting generalisations are but a few of the hundreds that Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican, who is currently serving his ninth term in the US House of Representatives, is spitting out to the media at every given opportunity.

As a member of the Homeland Security Committee King has used the terrorism angle to spread his obvious and unwitheld hatred for Islam. He went as far as criticising the Obama administration for not using the word ‘terrorism’ enough.

In 2008 he protested against an Islam awareness ad campaign aimed at educating people and demanded it be rejected. The ads were simple black and white panels with words such as “Head Scarf?” or “Prophet Mohammad?” and the words “You deserve to know” along with a Web site address.

His latest endeavour is to promote what he describes as a “half truth and half fiction” novel, “Vale of Tears,” which tells a story about future terrorist attacks by so-called Muslim extremists in Nassau County, N.Y.

After the recent foiled bomb attack on a trans-Atlantic airliner, bound for Detroit, King has opted for higher security measures in US airports. This is a predictable reaction considering he is a veteran of the Bush administration. Although if this strategy was ever successful in more than inconveniencing the general public this recent incident would have never been possible.

King’s proposed form of higher security measure is not only shocking but also demeaning to every Muslim and to the Americans themselves. He blatantly proposed on a radio show a Muslims-only screening protocol, which involves a full-body-see-through screening for any person carrying a middle-eastern name (basically full X-ray images recorded on film). His other suggestion is to have Muslims-only checkpoint lines at US airports.

This makes me wonder have they not learned anything from their past? Is this King’s way of going back to the segregated schools and water fountains when it was white versus black?

The mere suggestion of such an absurd broad-based ethnic profiling scheme is clearly nothing but a modern day witch-hunt.

Although this suggestion will not be adopted anytime soon, the sheer thought of it churns my insides. How is it in this day and age, after all that has been done by the Americans themselves to fight bigotry and prejudices, that a man like King and his followers are able to blurt out statements such as “It’s time to have a Muslim checkpoint line in America’s airports and have Muslims be scrutinised. You better believe it, it’s time.”

I wonder if the word Muslim was replaced by the word black or Jew would America have reacted differently to Peter King? This has gone beyond political correctness. This is what Americans must view as illegal, unethical and unconstitutional. The first amendment to the US constitution professes the freedom of religion and the fourth, “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”

King has many followers urging him to run for the 2012 presidential nomination. If King has his way it would be shameful for any Muslim, let alone middle-eastern, to accept this insult. To willingly stand in Muslims-only queues, herded from the rest and happily be frisked and screened for no reason than our religion, that would be the end of Arab pride, and Islamic dignity.

How long are we going to remain silent and bow down to the barrage of insults that come in the form of France banning the Hijab (Islamic head dress) in schools, Denmark releasing shameful caricatures about Prophet Mohammed, Switzerland approving a constitutional ban on mosque minarets, Jewish soldiers invading Al-Aqsa mosque during Friday prayers and now Peter King. Our political strength lies in our solidarity. Muslim nations should find one united voice in which to speak with. Stand up to this tyranny, injustice and ongoing condemnation. Demand that we are given our rights and respected for we are no less deserving than any other nation or religion.

At last I wish to address my final words to Mr King:

Mr King, bigotry and prejudice are a contagious infliction that spread faster than the swine flu our world was so rattled by. Therefore, for your sake, and the sake of the American people, I wish you a full and speedy recovery.





Published in The Gulf Today on Jan 24th, 2010

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