Chapel Hill, Dean Obeidallah, Zorav Darisiro, the Oslo Peace Ring, and the Conundrum of Religious Chauvinism
Soon after the Chapel Hill shooting, an editor at the Express Tribune queried if I’d be interested in writing on topic. He suggested that I could focus on the disproportionate coverage in the U.S. media compared to other shootings. Time zones perhaps explained the discrepancy, by the time I received his email my Facebook news feed had dozens of posts linking to the murders from all venues. The narrative switched to the politicization of death.
My take at the Express Tribune: “Almost 13 and a half years ago, 9/11 set in motion US involvement in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and escalated tension between fundamentalists and the world. Despite this, the United States, with a population of 300 million, including roughly two percent or six million Muslims, has seen relatively few domestic attacks against or by Muslims…more”
“Islamophobia is as real and as much to be dreaded as it propounds to be.” – Aalia Suleman (Express Tribune)
Religious Chauvinism: Of all forms of bigotry, RC is as bad as any, a gateway bigotry leading to racism, sexism, and homophobia. We see it first hand in the U.S. with Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and the Westboro Baptist Church. And now the tragic death of three young Muslims inspire the perpendicular analogies of other religious chauvinists. Aalia Suleman exemplifies this and follows Reza Aslan, Arsalan Iftikhar, Rula Jebreal, and rising star Dean Obeidallah.
Dean Obeidallah Is a Strange Fella: Just as PC demagogues trivialize racism, Obeidallah obsesses over “Islamophobia” to the point where he cannot separate legitimate criticism from hate speech, rendering the word meaningless. He rightly praises the good (Muslim saves Jews in Paris deli), but when faced with atrocity (Daesh), he frets about Islamophobia. This dehumanizes the victims, a common trope for “apologists.” When radicals desecrate faith, defensive reaction is understandable, but Obeidallah’s bias is indicative of religious chauvinism.
Zorav Darisiro & the Oslo Peace Ring: As to what happened in Oslo, Kurd Zorav Darisiro’s take exemplifies the difference of what really happened and how the media portrays it.
Qatar and Denmark: Egregious examples of RC can be seen in Qatar as hundreds protest the Chapel Hill tragedy instead of, say, the 21 Christians killed in Libya by Daesh. In Denmark hundreds attend the funeral of the terrorist who killed two people in Copenhagen on February 13th. Were these attendees all lone wolfs? Meanwhile, Dean Obeidallah takes a great story about a Muslim peace ring to protect a synagogue in Norway and twists it. He trivializes 17 dead to make a self-serving point and joins the Qatari protestors, the Denmark murderer-lovers, and other religious chauvinists by saying: “The lives that matter most are Muslim lives.”
“Islamism is the desire to impose Islam over society…obviously, ‘a desire to impose Islam’ cannot reasonably be said to have ‘nothing to do with Islam’.” Maajid Nawaz
A quote by Kunwar Khuldune Shahid at The Telegraph bears repeating: “Muslims can fight both anti-Muslim bigotry and Islamist terrorism by calling out the radicals.” Maajid Nawaz gets it. Obeidallah? Dude, don’t worry about defending Islam and start worrying about reforming it, for it’s time to exercise extreme fairness and not religious chauvinism. Dig?