https://tanenbaum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/TanenbaumLogos_CMYK-Long-Red-Copy-300x39.png 0 0 https://tanenbaum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/TanenbaumLogos_CMYK-Long-Red-Copy-300x39.png 2010-08-26 14:33:562012-12-21 08:46:20Islamophobia: Confined to Park51 or Not? News Roundup
Park51/Cordoba House is without a doubt the biggest topic in the news this week. The PEW Forum polled Americans on their feelings about Islam and mosque-building in general and specifically on the construction of Park51.
According to the report:
- The majority (57%) of Americans are against the Islamic cultural center, but 76% say Muslims should have the right as other religious groups to build houses of worship in their communities.
- Americans have a less favorable view of Islam than they did in 2005, with 30% having a positive view of Islam in 2010 compared to 41% in 2005.
Dr. Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute gives his take on the findings:
“Despite recent stories that seemed to indicate widespread opposition to mosques around the country, our survey shows Americans are making a distinction between the proposed Islamic community center and mosque in New York City and mosques in their local communities. While a majority oppose the building in Manhattan, three-in-four Americans say they would support Muslims in their local communities building a mosque.” (Public Religion Research Institute reports).
Although it’s good news that most Americans say they support mosques being built in their communities, there have been outbreaks of violence and protest against Muslims and mosques nationwide, and the ardent opposition to Park51 has worsened.
In New York:
- A drunken man entered a Queens mosque during evening prayers on Wednesday and urinated on prayer rugs.
- And in the week’s most shocking news, a New York City cab driver was stabbed by a passenger for being Muslim. At around 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Michael Enright, a 21-year-old film student got into Ahmed H. Sharif’s taxi, asked if he was Muslim, and the two had a conversation about Ramadan before Enright yelled, “Assalamu Alaikum. Consider this a checkpoint” and proceeded to slash Sharif in his face, arm and hand. Sharid was able to close the plastic partition, lock Enright in the cab and call the police. Enright faces up to 25-years in prison.
As for Islamophobic incidents outside of New York:
- The Madera Islamic Center in California was vandalized when signs were put up saying, "Wake up America, the enemy is here,” and a brick was thrown through a window.
- Despite be turned down for a fire permit, a church in Florida is going ahead with its plans to hold a “Burn a Koran” day on the anniversary of 9/11.
- In Kentucky, residents cheered as a town rejected the building of a Somali group’s mosque.
NPR lists some of the other Islamophobic incidents happening in Tennessee, Indiana and elsewhere around the country.
And some other stories from the week on Park 51:
- Islamic Center Exposes Mixed Feelings Locally NYTimes
- At Pentagon 9/11 site, Muslims pray without objection Washington Post
- NY Governor Paterson to discuss relocating Muslim center Reuters
Hear what Park51 founders Imam Feisel and Daisy Khan have to say about it all:
- Imam behind controversial New York Islamic center speaks CNN
- Daisy Khan: "When will Muslims be accepted?" Washington Post/On Faith
To finish up, here are some non-Park51 stories:
- World Vision wins right to hire, fire based on religion Religion News Service
- A Discussion with Scott Appleby, Kroc, Notre Dame Berkeley Center (featuring Scott Appleby, Tanenbaum Religion and Conflict Resolution Program Advisory Council member)
- The relevance of a doctor's religion The Guardian