NATIONAL FINALIST - 2011 SAJA AWARDS - OUTSTANDING STORY
When one of the nation's top cops in one of the nation's top cities says members of its Muslim community are potential terror suspects, it puts the Muslim community on edge, and at risk. That's what's happening in San Francisco, where Police Chief George Gascon's alleged comments has caused such an outcry from Muslims and non-Muslims alike, that last Friday he was forced to issue a very public apology.
THANKS FOR THIS STORY!'
wow - there was no mention of this story on the national news - not CNN, not MSNBC, not Jon even John stwart - just on ILLUME!
way to go illume news team.
I can't believe such a comment was made. if Gascon said this about Blacks or Jews or Chinese Americans, it'd be a national story for sure!
I understand the Msulim community has a red flag on them, but this is just racial profiling.
August 20, 2010
Someone tell this guy to move out to Arizona. We don't need police like that here.
May 13, 2010
As a Muslim, I have to confront the issue of terrorism and look at the theological foundations for such atrocities.
The Abrahamic tradition is rather extreme and divides humanity into two basic camps, those who believe and those who reject the theology. To Jews, their equivalence of "kafr" is "goyim." While Judaism is tribal, Islam is triumphal and expansionist.
Unlike Christianity, where Jesus possessed no worldly, temporal power; Muhammad founded an empire and united the Arab tribes of the Peninsula. In medieval Islam, we got the concepts of Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb (House of War) where Islam would be imposed through offensive Jihad, such concepts were openly espoused by the Ottomans, precursors to the secular Turkish republic vying for EU membership.
Even though Islam came to maritime Southeast Asia without Muslim armies, when powerful local principalities switched their religious allegiance from Hinduism and Buddhism, they waged "jihad" against the idolaters.
Same thing happened in Afghanistan recently, Nooristan province only became Muslim recently after "jihad" was waged in that region of Afghanistan.
So though the "jihad of desires" is deemed more noble of a quest, there is certainly a sense of militancy in mainstream Muslim theology which can be used to justify barbarism.
I'm Shia, and Shia are often disparaged even in America for being "Jews who conspire against Islam in Muslim clothing."
For too many of you on here are liberal. You will defend people who do not see eye to eye with you for the sake of multiculturalism.
I'm a gay Muslim, and even though this is a liberal Muslim site, I am not blinded by the tribal superstitions that are used as justification for "world domination."
I will say is, "Masjid, we have a problem!"
April 14, 2010
You can never trust the chief of police in San Francisco. Like "rounding up the usual suspects," it's politically expedient to go after the scapegoats of the day. That will get him "more votes."
April 13, 2010
Ignorance and xenophobia permeate all levels of American society. I'm glad to hear that the incident has generated a response in the form of sensitivity training. Sometimes a thoughtless remark can create an opening for education, dialogue, growth and change.
April 12, 2010
I do not live in San Francisco, but from the reporter's mention of a future town hall meeting, hopefully the ignorance of what it means to be a Muslim in the community will begin to be lifted. I hope the rift is healed and mutual understanding achieved.
April 12, 2010
Hamza van Boom
Considering California's experience with Japanese-Americans being interned during WWII, this was an amazing thing to say.
April 12, 2010
As an elected official, what he said was certainly inappropriate. Considering he specified two specific nationalities in the greater Muslim community is dismaying.
I also think the guy is also Latino. I'm half Latino, so I find it even more distressing because well in California, people always blame Mexicans for our state's budget crisis and the cost of social servvices (aka "illegal immigration").
Unfortunately, even other people of color have biases towards Muslims.
April 12, 2010
Christians in Zaire have some bizarre rituals and 40,000 women there have been raped by Christian militias. However, because Zaire is not on America's foreign policy radar like the Middle East and South Asia, we never hear of this.
The Muslim world, for all its potential, is largely poor, underdeveloped, with alarmingly low literacy rates (the situation tends to be more dire for women), and tribal.
By tribal, look at the Sudan. In 2011, the southern Sudanese (mostly animist and Christian) will vote for independence. Next year, we will see the birth of a non-Muslim country carved out of a Muslim country. Remember Indonesia and the birth of Roman Catholic East Timor.
But for compensation, Kosovo was carved out of Eastern Orthodox Serbia.
In Afghanistan, the Shia Hazara of Bamyan province are subject to prejudice. People do not consider them "Afghan" because of their Mongolian ancestry. However, they have been living in Afghanistan for 7.5 centuries. I think by now, they are Afghan.
This social bias is in the Bay Area. In fact, in the Afghan community there is a divide between Pushtun versus non-Pushtun. Those who speak Farsi/Dari like my family versus those who speak Pashto.
Afghanistan's nationalism is different, it is a tribal society where loyalty to the clan is sometimes more important than loyalty to the nation.
Women and their status in Afghan society differs depending on their social status. The notorious burqa was originally called the chadri and worn only the upper class women. Real Afghan women who have to work in the fields and venture out into the public sphere, can't wear the burqa because it impedes upon freedom of movement and productivity.
As upper class women became modernized and adopted Western fashions popular in Iran and Pakistan, they gave their chadris to the poorer domestics who worked in their homes. In looking at the history of the chadri, it has nothing to do with female modesty or piousness. It is a history laced with male control over the bodies of women.
Even now in Afghanistan, though women enjoy greater freedoms than under the Taliban, the gender roles have not really improved but return to the status quo pre-1979 Soviet Occupation.
I will not apologize for the actions for a Muslim Yemani American cleric who is somewhere on the Arabian peninsula instructing an Army major to go "postal" on Fort Hood. I served my country, having been a sailor. Look, when ever Muslims apologize for the actions of other Muslims, it is almost like we are assuming guilt.
The Qur'an has violent verses, but so does the Old Testament. However, why is it that Christians and Jews tend to read these verses more metaphorically?
Why do we have a small but vocal group of well-financed literalists in Islam?
What is Islam? We have no recognized "Vatican" or center of spiritual and theological authority! We have Cairo, Qom, Medina, Najaf, Karbala, Mecca, etc. All these centers of Muslim spiritual and theological authority speak to only a fraction of the Umma, and generally ignore those who do not recognize their assumed authority.
April 12, 2010
'...rank hatred has already appeared from their mouths: what their hearts conceal is far worse...'Holy Coran
it is so normal he says that because of many reasons:
1-he sees that Muslim's number is growing day after day so he will feel that we 'Muslims' are menacing his existence...
2-the medias "newspapers, TV, cinema..." are always giving a negative idea about Islam and Muslims and nobody protest against them so why not police men...
3-Islam is giving the most clear answers to the most complicated questions moreover people are reverted to Islam because they are convinced not under terror like some of those medias wanted us to believe
4-for Mr.Gustavo i think that you have a very false idea of what really happened in Afghanistan or in Pakistan because you are fooled with those corrupted medias... but let me tell you that when an outsider come to your country to kill civilian people and violate small ladies you will be a terrorist even if you are the most peaceful man in the universe...
5-i wonder how would be the reaction of the white house if that police man was a Muslim who made similar comments about Jews or about Israelites... i am sure they will send him to Guantanamo...
6-to apology is a kind of fooling people he is a big responsible and such ideas will obligatory affect his job and his way treating people and we don't really know if he still believes that we are a treat or not? so he must be sent to a place where there is no Muslim... while Praise to Allah there is no place with no Muslims we are present in all countries and we are growing faster and faster...;)
April 12, 2010
I understand this type of thing is not new to you, Gustavo. (I love the term "Mexighan" by the way) When we stop being outraged, we have to really question why that is and what that means. We also have to think about why all Muslims are expected to speak out against the acts of other Muslims, thereby creating distance between the guilty ones and themselves as if they are seen as guilty until proving themselves innocent by publicly denouncing other Muslims. We would never expect all men to apologize on behalf of and distance themselves from suspected rapists or child molestors. We also don't expect all Christians to distance themselves from those who bomb abortion clinics or are part of militias planning attacks on our soil. So why is there this expectations of Muslims? It is the case of the "stigmatized trying to become "normals" as Erving Goffman might say.
April 11, 2010
@Gustavo- I agree with what you are saying about Muslims hving a double standard when it comes to other Muslims committing acts of violence or speaking extremist views but there is a big difference when an elected official (or an appointed officer in this case with the police chief) of a major bay area city makes stereotypical and racist comments at a major event! We need to hold these people accountable for their speech and actions, especially if they are in charge of the police!
April 11, 2010
I was shocked by the statements made by this police chief, given that he's from the bay area. So I'm glad you've covered the story.
I'm very impressed with the quality of this news clip. You all have come a long way. Congrats to you!
April 11, 2010
Being part Afghan, I've heard Desis say that Afghans are committing terrorism in Pakistan because the Taliban is quite active in Karachi, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, and Lahore in launching civilian attacks in the heartland of Pakistan.
So when I hear this gentleman, I'm not outraged.
Muslims are committing atrocities all over the world. In Darfur, Moscow, Java, Mumbai, etc.
There are people who happen to be Muslim who I know who do not denounce violent resistance to perceived "foreign occupation by Amrika" and these people, though not directly involved with terrorism, have protected speech rights which allow them to espouse ideologies which justify such atrocities.
Some conservative who post on this site happen to espouse some of these sentiments.
But if Gascon knows the Afghan community, many are pretty relaxed, while some are a tad bit outmoded in social norms.
Just the thoughts of a Mexighan American.
April 11, 2010
If he made a similar comment about another ethnic or religious group such as Jews, Blacks or Asians- I'm sure he would be forced to resign, but because it was against Arabs and Muslims, then it's okay in the public's eye. He should be fired in my opinion.
April 10, 2010
Great article. That is not an apology. He needs to says it.
April 9, 2010