Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

Anti-Muslim Rage, a Triumph of Ignorance Over Education

By       Message John Kiriakou       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   3 comments

Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Author 503310
Become a Fan
  (40 fans)
- Advertisement -

Reprinted from Reader Supported News

Anti-Muslim prejudice in the US
Anti-Muslim prejudice in the US
(Image by CAIRtv, Channel: CAIRtv)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

A Washington DC woman was recently threatened with arrest by a DC Public Library police officer (yes, the DC library system has its own police force) because she was wearing a hijab, the head covering worn by millions of Muslim women around the world.

- Advertisement -

An eyewitness and neighborhood activist told a local listserv, "All I heard was he started asking her to take off her hijab. The man next to her spoke up, but the officer continued to harass her. Ultimately, he came toward her in an intimidating way, pulled out his handcuffs, and said if she didn't take off the hijab, she had to leave." She left.

DC Library officials apologized to the woman, who was never identified, and transferred the officer, pending an investigation. The officer later told the Huffington Post that he didn't know what a hijab was. He thought it was a hoodie. "It was not a religious hat that I know [of]. I asked her to take her hoodie off and told her, 'if you're not going to take it off, you have to leave.' So I pulled out my handcuffs and then she got up and she left." This untrained ignoramus has the power to arrest a person because she wouldn't take her "hat" off.

The incident comes on the heels of yet another instance of a Muslim family being removed from a United Airlines flight for, well, being Muslim. That happened on Sunday. Three weeks ago, two other Muslim women were removed from a Jet Blue flight for speaking Arabic to each other. The flight attendant decided that she "wasn't comfortable" with that. Two months earlier, three Muslims and a Sikh -- all American citizens, and one of whom was sound asleep -- were forced off an American Airlines flight from Toronto to New York without explanation. After the flight departed, without them, they were finally told that the captain "felt uneasy and uncomfortable with their presence on the flight and as such, refused to fly unless they were removed from the flight." He just didn't like their "looks."

- Advertisement -

These things seem to happen so routinely nowadays that they barely command the mainstream media's attention. And they almost never warrant much more than a few paragraphs.

On one hand, the problem is obvious. The United States is a country in which anti-Muslim prejudice is rampant. On the other hand, it's a much deeper problem than meets the eye. Americans as a people are, by and large, inexcusably ignorant of other cultures.

I thought in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks, when a Sikh gas station owner, Balbir Singh Sodhi, was murdered by a Boeing mechanic who had told friends that he was going to "go out and shoot some towelheads," that the attack was an anomaly. It wasn't. There have been dozens of attacks on mosques, Muslims, and people confused for Muslims across the country since 2001.

This is a failure of the U.S. education system. Americans, admittedly, are less worldly and less well-traveled than the citizens of many of our European allies. That may be a function of the fact that we're separated from much of the rest of the world by two oceans. But that's no excuse for being ignorant, for being stupid. We learn less about other cultures in our schools. We generally don't delve into other religions at all. I earned a degree in Middle Eastern Studies from a first-tier university and never had to take a single class on Islam. I did so on my own volition.

If we're going to get past this bigoted ignorance of others, other Americans, it has to start in our schools. It has to start when our educations begin. It has to continue through our college years. It must be addressed in the mainstream media. And it should have started years ago.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

- Advertisement -

 

- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

John Kiriakou spent 14 years at the CIA and two years in a federal prison for blowing the whistle on the agency's use of torture. He served on John Kerry's Senate Foreign Relations Committee for two years as senior investigator into the Middle (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Forcing the Innocent to Plead Guilty, an American Disgrace

An Incompetent FBI Dropped the Ball on Syed Farook

If Hillary Clinton Gets a Pass on Espionage From President Obama, So Should Whistleblowers

The US Postal Service Is Spying On Us

Kathleen Kane: Another Whistleblower Goes to Prison in America

I Went to Prison for Disclosing CIA Torture. Gina Haspel Helped Cover It Up.