Recently, a video emerged on the internet of a protest against the Islamic Center of North America’s (ICNA) charity event in Yorba Linda, California. The event was held on February 13, in order to raise awareness and funds for women shelters and the homeless in the United States. The protest gathered a few hundred individuals and was organized by the Orange County chapter (912) of “We Surround Them,” a local Tea Party group and an array of organizations Appearances were made by Councilwoman Debroah Pauly (R) and Congressman Ed Royce (R) as well.
Almost a decade into the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, you would think the anti-Islamic sentiment would turn down a notch. Especially given the progressive regime changes being made by the people of the Islamic World towards a more democratic based government. Apparently, this is not the case as demonstrated by the video. The emergence of the factions like the Tea Party has only bred the anti-Islamic sentiment on a larger scale.
The video is reminiscent to the earlier days of the Civil Rights movement after Brown vs. The Board of Education. Almost similar to the film about “Little Rock Nine”, a certain type of anger and discomfort is impelled as the protestors yell until their throats run dry. It then you realize the protestors beliefs are not far from one another. I am not making comparisons of the plight of African Americans to Muslim Americans, but just that the struggles are similar in which everyone wants to live in harmony.
The background statistics of the Muslims attending the ICNA’s event, but one can assume they are American Citizens and have rights just like everyone else. Some may even be born in the United States, and their young children definitely must be. This is what confounds me, American was formed by immigrants and for people to appeal to their backgrounds is just not right. Although the protestors have their First Amendment rights, it is important to realize that what these people are doing is hurtful. Not just to the people they are targeting but to our society in general. Have we not learned to move past the damage of September 11?
By coming across as hate mongers or chauvinists – whatever you feel is appropriate to call them – we are only adding fuel to the fire that has given justification to people like Osama Bin Laden and terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda to exist in the first place. They feel that their form of Islam, Wahhabism (This is a very radical and different form of Islam from what the majority practices) is being attacked therefore they feel the need to attack us. I do not justify what they do whatsoever; I am just explaining it in a coherent way to bring about a better comprehension of what is happening.
As we speak, the United States Congress is holding hearings in regards to Islam lead Chairman Peter King (R-New York) and the Homeland Security Committee. Controversy has arisen whether it is right to single out a minority as a security threat or not. According to Representative John Dingell (D-Michigan) believes it may incite hate and violence against Muslim Americans, similar to what Joe McCarthy did in the 1950s to Communists, something we all ought to avoid. Paranoia is a cause of fear, and I find our days of this fear sensory reaction should end with a better understanding of Islam and what the majority of Muslims are all about.
For whatever reason YouTube keeps removing the video known as “Hate Comes to Orange County”. If you cannot find it, search for it on the ICNA’s website, www.icnaorg/.