Aired: Nov 21 2014: The “Good” Muslim: Changing the Narrative

Click image for more on OPIRG Windsor
Click image for more on OPIRG Windsor

Since the killings of Canadian Soldiers in Quebec and Ottawa many in this country are waiting to see what kind of laws and surveillance measures the Harper regime will come up with in order to keep the public “safe” from terror. In the resulting narrative all eyes, at least in the media, shift to Muslim communities where we are supposed to hear condemnations of terrorists and ISIS and so on.

There seems to be pressure to prove one is a “good” Muslim, even as it should be abundantly clear that the killers of the soldiers were misdirected loners who lost their way in the most tragic sense. Then there are the young men and some women according to reports who have left Canada and other countries of the west to fight in Syrian and Iraq. Then the narrative is one of if they come back will they carry out violent acts at home.

On Wednesday, Nov. 19  I met with two University of Windsor students to have a discussion on this topic of the good Muslim and the need to change the dominant narrative that has Muslim communities in Windsor and elsewhere going to great lengths to prove they are good Canadians: Hagar Farag is a graduate student working on her thesis: “The Militarization of North American Police and the Effects on Minorities”, and Mohammed Almoayad is an undergrad student in Political Science.

In the conversation they really challenge not only Muslim communities, but all of us to resist the dominant narrative that forces Muslims to prove they are worthy citizens.

They challenge all Canadians to wake up to the reality of Canadian foreign policy that has directly or indirectly caused massive suffering in Muslim countries, yet Canadians remain surprised that young men and women would go off to fight:

(For an electronic copy of the audio, contact the author in the comment section)

Thursday, November 27th, the Ahmadiyya Muslims Students’ Association Presents: Stop the CrISIS

The association states on the Facebook event page that : “In the wake of the tragedies in Ottawa and Montreal, and with the rise of extremism across the world, we the Ahmadiyya Muslim Students’ Association felt there was a great need to condemn and counteract these horrific and un-Islamic act” Connected to this event is a talk by Faisal Kutty who wrote a column appearing in the Windsor Star and he wrote:

But as experts such as John Horgan, director of the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies at the University of Massachusetts, point out, deradicalization initiatives could be counterproductive if ill-conceived.  He told Rolling Stone last year, “The idea that radicalization causes terrorism is perhaps the greatest myth alive today in terrorism research.”Indeed, radical ideas are not crimes. Imagine a world without Gandhi and Mandela.

Kutty adds that

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s belittling of the role played by his hawkish foreign policies and draconian anti-terror initiatives on radicalization, as well as Muslim defensiveness and denial, are of equal concern. At the same time, blunt generalizations and reductionism hurt more than help.” Violent radicalization must be confronted without undermining social cohesion, violating human rights and deviating from core democratic ideals.”

Faisal Kutty will speak on:

Understanding Violent Radicalization, Wednesday, November 26, 20146 p.m.Ambassador Auditorium, CAW Student Centre, University of Windsor

Hopefully, between the audio conversation above and a chance at dialogue Wednesday and Thursday evenings we will broaden the conversation between the overreaction and hysteria of the State regarding terrorism, and the need for political solutions to the crisis in democracy in Canada brought about by the militaristic Harper regime. (See: Harperism: How Stephen Harper and his think tank colleagues have transformed Canada).



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