Local Time

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

US Writer Urges Discrimination Against Muslims, Arabs

By Ahmad Maher, IOL Staff

CAIRO, August 25 (IslamOnline.net) – Michelle Malkin is another American Islamophobic ideologue, who calls for extensive discrimination and racial profiling against Muslims and Arab-Americans in the United States .

A staunch advocate of right-wing extremist agenda, the Philadelphia-born American writer wrote a new book wondering why the US government cannot just imprison Arab Americans and Muslims as it did with tens of thousands of Japanese Americans during World War II on the supposition that their ethnicity made them a national security threat.

In her book entitled 'In Defense of Internment', Malkin argues that after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States , racial profiling is a welcome tactic and even justified.

"If you want to read a book decrying the loss of personal freedom in wartime America , this is the wrong book. If you want to read a book about the history of institutional discrimination against minorities in America , you’re out of luck again. 'In Defense of Internment' provides a radical departure from the predominant literature of civil liberties absolutism," read the book’s prelude.

Oddly enough, Malkin is the daughter of Filipino immigrants herself.

‘Strictest Scrutiny’

Malkin also says it is "unwise" from the US administration to continue allowing Muslims to serve in the US army, particularly in the Middle East hotspots.

She calls for "the strictest scrutiny" and thorough backgrounds checks for Muslim personnel not to mention army preacher on the basis of "race, ethnicity, religion and nationality".

Urging President George W. Bush to follow the footsteps of World War II President Roosevelt, Malkin said she was compelled to write this book after watching ethnic activists, historians, and politicians repeatedly play the World War II internment card after the September 11 attacks.

Malkin was not available for comment as she failed to reply to an IslamOnline.net e-mail.

Nearly 57 percent of American Muslims polled by an Islamic organization in 2002, say they have experienced bias or discrimination since the 9/11 attacks and 87 percent know of a fellow Muslim who experienced discrimination.

Against US Policy

Malkin is known for her right-wing anti-minority viewpoints

But the US government is trying its best to improve its image in the eyes of the Muslim world, especially after National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice admitted the administration’s failure to win hearts and minds of the Muslims.

"The US government does not endorse racial profiling. It is not our policy," John Berry, the Information Officer at the US Embassy in Cairo, told IslamOnline.net over the Phone Wednesday, August 25.

However, the US Constitution, he added, guarantees freedom of expression, does not permit censorship or monitoring on books, and entitles people to speak their minds out.

"But the US government doesn’t agree with such views," Berry, who has not read the book, said emphatically.

Rice said on Thursday, August 19, that the US should do more to get close to the Muslims worldwide.

"Our interaction must be a conversation, not a monologue," she told the US Institute of Peace, noting that the United States wanted to dispel an image that Washington is a "crass" culture.

Rice said in the speech the effort to reach out to Muslims was a crucial part of the fight against terrorism.

The Christian Science Monitor said on August 23 that Bush needs votes of the Muslim community to secure a re-election.

Polls in 2000 showed Muslims favored Bush over Al Gore by a wide margin - some showed support in the 90 percent range - and some groups argued that some 60,000 Muslim votes put Bush over the top in Florida.

The Muslim community and Islam have frequently come under diatribe whether from prominent American figures or officials.

The Chicago-based syndicated radio commentator Paul Harvey, the most listened-to radio personality in the United States, claimed in December that Islam "encourages killing".

But after receiving hundreds of angry messages from Muslims, Harvey backtracked on its defamatory comments, praising Islam as a "religion of peace".

In October, William Boykin, the then deputy undersecretary of Defense for intelligence, had claimed that Muslims’ God "was an idol".

Representative John Conyers Jr. (D-MI) presented a resolution urging President George W. Bush to "clearly censure or reassign" Boykin.

Following intense pressures from Muslim advocacy groups, the general apologized for his provocative remarks, arguing his remarks "had been taken out of context".

Source: http://www.islamonline.net/English/News/2004-08/25/article03.shtml


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