I just stumbled across a really neat piece from a Muslim American author and activist named Melody Moezzi, where she takes the position that, despite the crap that’s being slung at Muslims by low-information Americans from coast to coast, she’s still in a better position as a Muslim American than her gay friends are:
Lately I’ve been hearing a lot about how much my people are under attack in America today. The thing is, though, as an American Muslim, I don’t really feel under attack. Annoyed? Sure. But attacked? No.
Despite all the controversy surrounding the construction of the Park51 Center in downtown Manhattan, for example, the fact remains that it will still be built. Mayor Bloomberg and President Obama have both staunchly defended our right to build it and most of the center’s most vociferous opponents have either never set foot in Manhattan or belong to some extremist political or religious group — the exact same kind of group from which they claim to be “protecting” Americans by protesting the construction of the center. In short, no matter how loudly these bigots protest or how viciously they insult us, we still have the law and our leaders on our side.
Meanwhile, I just had lunch with a friend who can’t even get married or serve openly in the military in this country, who has nowhere near the same 14th Amendment equal protection rights that I do as a Muslim American woman, and who can no longer afford his HIV medications because his social security payments are too high for him to qualify for Medicaid. Just like me, my friend is an American citizen, but unlike me, he doesn’t share the same rights and privileges that said citizenship ought to guarantee.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that it’s easy being a Muslim American today. Far from it. What I am saying, however, is that as a Muslim American, my obligation is to defend the rights of the most marginalized and persecuted citizens living in my great country — and as it stands, despite all the nasty name-calling, I’m not one of those citizens.
Awesome. Read the whole thing, please. And follow Melody on Twitter.
When we were in the middle of the loudest week of Muslim-bashing over the Park51 center, the writers at Truth Wins Out spoke out strongly about why we supported the building of the center. But quite simply, the above piece is why. Because any time one minority is being attacked in this country, simply for who they are, we all are being attacked.
Among all minorities in this country, there are, regrettably, people who are uber-concerned about their own minority rights, but who have irrational hatreds against other minorities. I don’t have to give a bunch of examples here; readers know what I’m talking about. What we have to recognize, though, is that any time anyone is not being treated as a full human being, whether legally or socially, by other citizens, for not conforming to the white, male, patriarchal, Christian “ideal” of the “Real ‘Murrikan” espoused by those who are, of course, white, male, patriarchal and Christian, then that’s relevant, even if it’s not your group in the crosshairs. The only way to fight back against that, and to keep the true ideals of the United States alive, is to support each other, and to fight for each other.