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I Islamophobia

US Muslims, Blacks Exposed To Double Standards Of Justice

By Kasim Lleri, For Haberler, On 31 July 2016, Read Original
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As protests denouncing police brutality continue across the U.S., American Muslims have drawn a correlation between the way they are often demonized and how blacks are brutalized by police.
Long before a driver drove a truck into revelers in France, killing scores, the Muslims on this side of the Atlantic say they have been held to a different standard. 

Following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in the U.S., a lot of voices were raised against the entire Muslim community but with subsequent attacks those voices have grown louder. 

Some presidential candidates have suggested bombing entire Muslims countries. Donald Trump has demanded the U.S. ban Muslims from entering the country and said he would not only torture terror suspects but also kill their families. 

American Muslims say they have noticed that those who paint the Muslim community with a broad brush due to the actions of a few individuals, are the same ones who are silent when white police officers brutalize blacks, seemingly occurring on a daily basis. 

"This is exactly a function of power and racism," Hatem Bazian, professor of sociology at University of California Berkeley told Anadolu Agency. "Racism and Islamophobia makes it possible to assign guilt to Muslims as a group while the opposite is not the case." 

Bazian argues that racism played out to collectively blame Muslims also works when those same individuals are silent against police brutality or when they show support for police violence against blacks. 

Bazim's point is illustrated when one considers reactions from some of those who espouse some of the strongest anti-Muslim rhetoric, to the deaths last week of two black men -- Alton Sterling in Louisiana and of Philando Castile in Minnesota -- that were the latest in a string of police shootings that prompted nationwide protests. 

"This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black lives matter punks. Real America is coming after you," former one-term congressman Joe Walsh tweeted after three police officers in Dallas were killed following a peaceful demonstration organized by the Black Lives Matter movement. A total of five officers were killed. While serving as a congressman for Illinois, Walsh told an audience that "Islam is not the peaceful, loving religion we hear about." 

Trump waited days before commenting on the deaths of the black men and did so only after the officers were killed. 

The Black Lives Matter movement itself was born out of the 2012 death of black teen Trayvon Martin at the hands of a white man and it seeks to assert the "validity" of black life in everything from the justice system, humanities, politics and even sexuality. 

The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that 930 - 1,240 people are killed by law enforcement agencies each year. 

Although all of the more than 900 killed in 2015 were not black, when the breakdown of figures are adjusted for the overall population, blacks are several times more likely to be targeted than whites. 

Osama Jammal, President of the U.S. Council for Muslim Associations, agrees that some hold a double standard against Muslims and blacks. 

"Unfortunately they are revealing their true faith of justice that is unbalanced, that comes from hate to certain groups; it shows that they are racist and they are not seeking justice," Jammal said referring to those who force Muslims to denounce violence committed by Muslims but are silent in the face of police brutality toward blacks. 

He noted that American Muslims are forced to denounce acts of violence, regardless of the perpetrators, yet still stand with victims irrespective of religious, social, political and ethnic identities. 

Hassan Shibly, an Islamic scholar and director of the Florida chapter of the Council of American Islam Relations (CAIR) told Anadolu Agency that politicians and the media have a significant role in promoting "the double standard" and "discrepant" attitude toward incidents that involve Muslim and police violence. 

It is "not a natural reaction" to be outraged at Muslims regarding acts by a few Muslims on the one hand yet say nothing when blacks are brutalized by police, he said. 

"Islamophobia in America is not driven by bad things that Muslims do. Rather it is really driven by politicians who demonize the American Muslim community and legitimize anti-Muslim hatred by their anti-Muslim rhetoric," he said. 

Whenever a black man is killed by white police officers, Shibly said, the particularly biased media outlets engage in character assassination by collecting negative information about the individual, including criminal records. 

But the same media entities purport all good things about the police and that serves to "tacitly legitimize" police violence against blacks. 

"Police kill more Americans than even terrorists do," he said, noting the need to address discrimination by police officers against blacks. 

Shibly called for the American Muslim community "to stand arm in arms with the African American community". 

He also suggested that Muslims can contribute to the resolution of racial tensions in the country by simply adhering to an admonition given to Muslims by the prophet of Islam. 

"I do not say this as a Muslim scholar but as an American lawyer: Prophet Mohammed said 1,400 years ago that a black is not better than a white nor is a white better than a black," he said. 

If Americans would really understand these teachings, according to Shibly, a mutual understanding could be developed across racial lines. -

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