Thursday, October 23, 2008

St. Louis Muslims - Where Are You?

This week has been a bit busy. Monday evening I received an email about Daniel Pipes, a pseudo-'intellectual' who represents the ugliest face of Islamophobia in the USA. Pipes was coming to speak in front of the 'esteemed' conservative student club of Washington University. This is the same group that hosted the Islamofascism week at WU several months ago.
The email was a 24-hour notice of a gathering of protest outside the conservative students meeting with Daniel Pipes, their prophet of hate and doom. By all measures, the anti-hate gathering was a success attended by 65-70 students, faculty, and non-WU visitors in support of American Muslim. That crowd was similar in size of not a tad larger than those who attended the pro-hate meeting (according to some students who went inside to count the pro-hate attendees).
That sad news is that, despite the circulation of emails to many Muslims with large email lists, and to a lot of friends and relatives of the Muslims involves in organizing the anti-hate meeting, only a handful of Muslims were there.

Yes, it was a short notice.
And, yes, it was a Tuesday evening.
But it was a Tuesday evening and a short notice for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Yet, we ended up with a significant majority of non-Muslims on a cold Tuesday night, protesting against a anti-Muslim hate monger.

An equally frustrating story can be told about Wednesday evening. West county Democrats Club held a showing of an award winning documentary about the torture of Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo bay at the hands of American troops, with implicit approval of the 'higher-ups' in the military and executive chain of command.
The notice was circulated on many emails list for a couple of weeks prior to the event. The event itself was held in a hall that is a 2-minute walk from the largest Islamic center in St. Louis on Weidman Road.
The yield: 25 West County non-Muslim Democrats Club members, and 5 Muslims.

O Muslim brothers and sisters in St. Louis: WHERE ART THOU?
And will you PLEASE expand you comfort zone a little bit so you may show some interest in helping non-Muslims who want to help you?

My gratitude goes to:
  • organizers of the anti-hate rally at WU (The WashU Peace Coalition, The Muslim Student Association, The PRIDE Alliance, Safe Zones, WashU College Dems, Students for a Democratic Society, and Amnesty International)
  • and to West County Democrats for their support of justice for all.

1 comment:

  1. alHamdulillah,

    It's great to see the organizing of the protest and documentary.

    More needs to be done to open the world's eyes to the prevalence of injustice and ignorance.