Saturday, December 10, 2016   

  Home     About     Guest Editorials     Advertise     Blog     Site Map     Links     Contact      Subscribe RSS      Subscribe Email  
Home » General

Senator Russ Feingold Takes on Islamophobia

23 April 2012 General 7 Comments Email This Post Email This Post
Senator Russ Feingold

Senator Russ Feingold

by Nayantara MukherjiThe University of Wisconsin, Inside Islam: Dialogues and Debates

Former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold is known for taking on monumental challenges. In 2001 he was the only senator to vote against the Patriot Act. These days, Feingold has turned his attention to another cause—US foreign policy. At a talk in Madison, Wisconsin, about his new book, While America SleepsFeingold argued for increased American engagement with the rest of the world. He said 9/11 highlighted the importance of engaging and understanding the rest of the world, and criticized Democrats and Republicans alike for failing to heed the message.

In making his case, Feingold, a Jewish-American, did not lose sight of domestic issues, pointing out the impact 9/11 had on the lives of Muslim Americans. He likened the situation to Japanese internment during World War II.

In the last couple of years, there have been a number of incidents where people have used the issue of alleged Muslim extremism in this country to justify things like outlawing a mosque in Southern Manhattan, the burning of Qur’ans and most despicably, hearings held by Peter King in Washington specifically focusing on so-called Muslim terrorism, as opposed to the terrorism phenomenon in general.

Feingold bemoaned the fact that the post-9/11 era has made Muslims feel like second-class citizens in their own country.

Their hope is that they can once again someday feel like they’re not strangers in their own country. … Naturally, it must be very frustrating for Muslims to have their religion characterized in a way that is essentially wrong. Islam is not a religion of the kind that’s described by the political opportunists in this country.

Feingold also argued against the characterization of Islamic values as contrary to democratic values. He recounted his experience meeting with the Madison-area Muslim community after 9/11, but long before the Arab Spring.

The thing that really angered them was that we spoke of the virtues of democracy and human rights and women’s rights, and yet we supported despots throughout the Islamic world who did just the opposite. … Even though it’s not specifically about the religious element, it’s a very significant thing in terms of the way American Muslims and Arabs think about our international policy.

Nayantara Mukherji is a journalist, editor, Inside Islam radio producer, and a recent addition to the Inside Islam writing team at the University of Wisconsin.

Original post: Senator Russ Feingold Takes on Islamophobia

Share/Bookmark




7 Comments »

  1. warning nothing to do with this article:

    http://ideas.time.com/2012/04/10/shaima-alawadis-murder-a-hate-crime-against-women/

    marcelo, any comment? how about all the people claiming to know what happened. that it was a hate crime. now of course it may still turn out to be a hate crime. but odds where against it to begin with. so what do you think of the “prophet” marrying a 9 year old?

    didn’t read the above article, but never been a fan of feingold.

  2. were

  3. again, the forced and child marriages are more a cultural thing than religious. In fact, Koranin law concerning women is actually extremely liberating considering what Arab custom was before, which treated women as chattel property of their families and expected them to die with their husbands similar to some Hindu traditions. Arranged marriage is not required in Islam, and certainly neither is child marriage. It is simply an unfortunate result of coming from a nation that is still fairly poor, uneducated, and backward in its traditions.

    So far as the child marriage, that is a case where cultural relativism actually holds up. No one saw anything wrong with chiild marriages at the time, likely not even Aisha, who was said to love Muhammad deeply and was one of his strongest adherents. In addition, there is some speculation that Aisha’s youth was exaggerated in order to make certain to later generations that she was pure and chaste, and that her actual age was likely closer to 13 or 14 upon consumation. Child marriages still occur today in Latin America and the Romani. In the latter case, a 10 year old girl in Spain gave birth, and all interviews with her reported that she was happy and proud of the fact. Expecting people in such cultures, even the so-called “victims” to understand why child marriage is bad is like expecting them to understand what’s so bad about Obamacare.

    Does that mean it’s right to force a child into a marriage with an old man? To me, no, but then that’s assuming that the child has a problem with the entire situation. In of itself, there is nothing inherently “wrong” about the act. It’s just alien to us in a modern world. So you can go ahead repeat your “The Prophet married a 9-year old” speil all you want. While you’re at it, go ahead and discredit Plato’s Republic because of his relations with young boys, and torch the Declaration of Indpendence because Thomas Jefferson slept with two of his slaves. I would argue that Jefferson’s antics were the only one of those actually morally wrong, but it seems by virtue of his whiteness and quasi-christianness, he is allowed to remain a respectable historical figure.

  4. “He said 9/11 highlighted the importance of engaging and understanding the rest of the world”

    What Feingold fails to see is the fact that Islam doesn’t make provisions for “engaging in the rest of the world”. Islam doesn’t recognize engagement, it only recognizes “submission to Islmaic will”.

  5. Oh yes. Just ignore all the consideration in the Koran for peaceful dealing with non-believers, the fact that you are obliged to honor agreements made with others, etc. Just go ahead and throw what doesn’t suit you out the window

  6. siyajkak,

    your awesome. i can’t stop laughing.

    “again, the forced and child marriages are more a cultural thing than religious” ok. so god sent gabe down to talk to muhammad for 23 years and never thought to tell him not to marry little girls?

    “Arranged marriage is not required in Islam” ok. so god in his divine wisdom never thought to say, don’t ask children to give their consent to marry. they probably don’t have the mental capacity to even understand what it is the are agreeing to. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124119468
    so when dad said to aisha, this is a good man he will take good care of you, you should marry him, but only if you want to. what do you think. she replied ok daddy. just a scenerio. lol

    “No one saw anything wrong with chiild marriages at the time” again allah couldn’t speak up? considering muhammad is allah’s last prophet, speak now or forever hold your peace. so doesn’t allah’s silence mean it found it perfectly fine? so it should still be fine, right. allah is the alpha land the omega.

    “Aisha’s youth was exaggerated in order to make certain to later generations that she was pure and chaste, and that her actual age was likely closer to 13 or 14 upon consumation” ok, so if they bleed they breed. how sophmoric of allah. so muhammad wasn’t a pedeophile, just a statuatory rapist. ok sounds like a great example for the ages.

    yes i remeber the gypsies in spain. don’t remember the girl being interviewed. but i do remember the grandmother telling reporters, something to the affect of. what’s the big deal, this is what we do, we have children young. i also remember the self proclaimed gypsy king marring off is 12 year old daughter. she ran out of the church in tears and was dragged back in to finish the ceremony. i think it held up romania’s acceptance into the EU.

    “assuming that the child has a problem with the entire situation. In of itself, there is nothing inherently “wrong” about the act.” are you crazy. so if a 65 year old man hooks up with a 15 year old girl and she has no problem with it, she loves him, it’s all good in your mind???????

    “While you’re at it, go ahead and discredit Plato’s Republic because of his relations with young boys,” haven’t read it. but i don’t remeber plato claiming any “divine revelation”. i’m a wise man for i know nothing. he didn’t claim to know “the truth” did he?

    “torch the Declaration of Indpendence because Thomas Jefferson slept with two of his slaves” again no claims of divinity. and we all know jerreson was a racist. he wrote a book on his racism.

    “I would argue that Jefferson’s antics were the only one of those actually morally wrong” WOW so you’re a fan of the catholic priests who had relationships with young boys as well as your support of child brides. well if they consent. it would be funny if there weren’t like a billion muslims who agree with you.

    “Just ignore all the consideration in the Koran for peaceful dealing with non-believers, the fact that you are obliged to honor agreements” no i understand there maybe several things that were very forward thinking for the 6th century. outlawing female infacide, giving women some inheritance. but it is NOT DIVINE WRIT.

    so comparing plato and jefferson to god’s prophet is apple and oranges.

    so god is ok with women inheriting half as much as men. men having four wives, but women can’t have multiple husbands, lashing people, men raping their wives, killing people for spreading mischief, with grown men marring girls.

    “So you can go ahead repeat your “The Prophet married a 9-year old” speil all you want.” so god’s last prophet married a 9 year old. what a great example to set for the ages……….

Have your say!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>