Via Memorandum, we get this USA Today story about discrimination against Muslims in America and a Gallup poll showing that many Americans mistrust Muslims. The USA Today article defines discrimination broadly, anything from a rude comment to assault.
And from NPR, a profile of the Lebanese-American community in Dearborn Michigan includes this:
Osama Siblani runs the Arab-American News, America’s largest such newspaper. He says the fighting is fueling anger in his community — not at Hezbollah, but at the Bush administration.
“The anger that you see in the Arab community, you do not see in the eyes of the American community,” says Siblani. “They’re not viewing the same thing. And the perspective you get out of Jazeera or Arabiya, you do not get it out of Fox News or CNN.”
Siblani says many in the community who opposed Hezbollah before the fighting have now changed their minds. The U.S. State Department has designated Hezbollah a terrorist organization. Siblani disagrees.
“The terrorist here is the Bush administration,” he says.
Daily protests occur in Dearborn. At one recent demonstration, organized by the Congress of Arab-Americans, about 1,000 people attended. College-age men asked, in call and response fashion, “Who is your army?” Protestors responded: “Hezbollah.” “Who is your leader?” they were asked. “Nasrallah,” the chanters responded. Many carried placards of the Hezbollah leader. A few days earlier at an even larger demonstration, more than 15,000 turned out, about half of Dearborn’s Arab community.
Those who regularly attend the demonstrations tend to be the most strident.
“Oh, Jews, remember Khaibar,” the marchers chant. “The army of the Prophet will return.”
The line is a reference to Khaibar, a Jewish town north of Medina that, according to Islamic tradition, was overtaken by the Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century. Once defeated, the surviving Jews of Khaibar were forced into serfdom. Two decades later, they were expelled from the Arabian peninsula.
Perhaps there’s a connection between these two stories. Such an open demonstration of support for our Islamic terrorist enemies in an American city is chilling. This is not to suggest that all Muslims in America deserve discrimination because a few seditious idiots in Dearborn decide to go out and rally for Hezbollah (Yes, we do question their patriotism. Anyone who cheers for Hezbollah is not a decent, loyal American). But a certain level of mistrust is not completely irrational either, given the battle we’re in. Maybe it would help if more American Muslims spoke out directly against this sort of demonstration. And we sure hope the FBI is there for those daily pep rallies for Hezbollah.