My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

American Muslims Aren't that Assimilated....

And, what about Canada?
If only the Muslims in Europe -- with their hearts focused on the Islamic world and their carry-on liquids poised for destruction in the West -- could behave like the well-educated, secular and Americanizing Muslims in the United States, no one would have to worry.

So runs the comforting media narrative that has developed around the approximately 6 million Muslims in the United States, who are often portrayed as well-assimilated and willing to leave their religion and culture behind in pursuit of American values and lifestyle. But over the past two years, I have traveled the country, visiting mosques, interviewing Muslim leaders and speaking to Muslim youths in universities and Islamic centers from New York to Michigan to California -- and I have encountered a different truth. I found few signs of London-style radicalism among Muslims in the United States. At the same time, the real story of American Muslims is one of accelerating alienation from the mainstream of U.S. life, with Muslims in this country choosing their Islamic identity over their American one.

A new generation of American Muslims -- living in the shadow of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks -- is becoming more religious. They are more likely to take comfort in their own communities, and less likely to embrace the nation's fabled melting pot of shared values and common culture.

Part of this is linked to the resurgence of Islam over the past several decades, a growth as visible in Western Europe and the United States as it is in Egypt and Morocco. But the Sept. 11 attacks also had the dual effect of making American Muslims feel isolated in their adopted country, while pushing them to rediscover their faith.

From schools to language to religion, American Muslims are becoming a people apart. Young, first-generation American Muslim women -- whose parents were born in Egypt, Pakistan and other Islamic countries -- are wearing head scarves even if their mothers had left them behind; increasing numbers of young Muslims are attending Islamic schools and lectures; Muslim student associations in high schools and at colleges are proliferating; and the role of the mosque has evolved from strictly a place of worship to a center for socializing and for learning Arabic and Urdu as well as the Koran.
Now, will this lead to more extremism? That is the big question....


Anonymous Heward said...

While I do believe that the majority of the Muslims in Canada, Great Britain, and USA, are law biding and peaceful, I have to wonder “How many people knew of or had an idea that something was being planned?” The general impression is that all the teenagers and young men, living at home with their loving families and relations all kept a perfect secret. No wife, no grandmother, no grandfather, no girlfriend, no son, no daughter, no mother, no father, no brother, no sister, no aunt, no uncle, no cousin, no friend, no buddy, no Imam, ( and all the people they in turn associate with) had any idea? I can picture that some of them could keep such deep, dark secrets, but all of them? Literally hundreds of people came into daily contact with these men and all were oblivious?

It seems as if each member of the family was lived in utter isolation from each other, rather than as the close knit unit as they are portrayed. No mothers wondered were their young sons went for days on end when they went for paramilitary training, or with whom they were spending that time? No father ever looked over his sons shoulder while he was on the internet? No little sister snooped and tattled? No shred of suspicion ever entered the young men’s conversation at dinner, or mosque about what they though about politics, and religion? It’s hard enough to hide a Playboy in ones bedroom, so how do dozens of radical men hide so many plots to kill so many people?

In all the countries where terrorism has been thwarted, only a few ever went to the authorities. By any moral standard, to know of or suspect impending destruction, and to do nothing, is to be as guilty as the perpetrators. A person isn’t innocent because of ones religion, or because someone is ‘just a mother’. One can only be innocent despite that. Guilt isn’t collective, but it is (I believe) wider spread.

Mrs. Khadr has some” ’splainin’ “to do.

1:16 PM  
Blogger KOM said...

You raise an interesting question: Were the 9/11 attacks an excuse, or a reason, to more closely bind by religious/social proximity?

Not to excuse anyone, but if your premise is true, it would seem that the terrorists have in fact won.

4:31 AM  

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