Thursday, July 12, 2012
Jumah in Charlotte
With the Democratic and Republican conventions coming up, an organization known as the Bureau of Indigenous Muslim Affairs has announced that they will be holding events at both. More details are available about the Democratic event in Charlotte, as reported by the blog, "Radical Islam".
Below is the actual announcement by BIMA:
It remains to be seen exactly what will transpire at Charlotte and Tampa, who else will show up to speak, and how they will be received by the respective parties (The BIMA flyer indicates the DNC is involved in the event with them.) . At this point, judging by the known participants and their own flyer, the tone will be one of grievance. There will also be the spectacle of a mass, open prayer in full view of the public. In my view, this is not a good idea. Let me tell you why.
First of all, if the purpose of this is to raise tensions, it will succeed. The last thing either party needs is protesters. Secondly, fairly or unfairly, these mass public prayers are taken by many non-Muslims as an effort to intimidate, to demonstrate that Islam is coming to take over. Let's be honest; that is often the intent. Someone needs to tell these folks that here in this country, while we respect religion, we consider it a private matter, best conducted within the church, synagogue, temple or mosque, not taking over public space and being a distraction to the public.
So my guess is that when it is all said and done, it will be a negative for ordinary American Muslims whom, of course, I cannot speak for. I suspect that many are wishing this event would be cancelled. The reason is clear; given the identity of the participants, the stated purpose, and the mass prayers, it is only going to heighten negative feelings against Muslims in this country.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. It will also be interesting to see who else is involved in this.