A complete guide to Hipster racism at Jezebel: http://jezebel.com/5905291/a-complete-guide-to-hipster-racism
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While author Dave Eggers gives readers a lot of insight into what Kathy Zeitoun faces and her incredible character and spirit, there really has been little attention given to her following the book Zeitoun’s release. This lack of interest is a part of a larger problematic trend when it comes to highlighting the power of Muslim women in effecting change and being change agents in their respective societies.
Does Kathy Zeitoun’s experience, as a white convert, “highlight the power of Muslim women,” or the power of white women? Also, do Muslims themselves recognize Kathy Zeitoun’s experience as being representative of anything about Muslims, since she is a white convert?
Here’s something Talk Islam contributor Willow wrote earlier this year about white converts in Islam:
We are guests–protectorates, wards, bit players–in the Islamic narrative. If this was a Shakespearean drama, we’d be Second Spear-Holder From The Left. What we contribute to that narrative will, in all probability, never be of direct benefit to us as individuals. We will always be outliers, both in our birth communities and in our religious communities. Our significance, and more importantly, our relevance, is massively exaggerated.
Neil Nitin Mukesh – Too light to be trusted.
Other Bollywood stars share horror stories of trying to travel in the US after Shah Rukh Khan incident.
Fellow Bollywood stars sprang to Khan’s defence at the weekend and told of their experiences at the hands of U.S. immigration officials.
Irrfan Khan, who played the police inspector in last year’s hit film Slumdog Millionaire, said that U.S. screening staff seemed “threatened by any Muslim passport.”
“I can understand America’s need for caution after 9/11 but they also need to be a little more thoughtful about their methods,” he said, adding he had been detained three times for questioning in various parts of the world.
Neil Nitin Mukesh said he had been detained in New York by an officer who appeared to believe he was too fair-skinned to be Indian and may have a false passport.
Shahrukh Khan’s troubles were “yet another example of American paranoia post-9/11″, director Kabir Khan said. “It saddens me to say this but I don’t think the U.S. will ever be cured of Islamophobia.”
Meanwhile, Obama is being burned in effigy in the city of Allahabad over the Khan flap, while the US Ambassador to India reassures that “Khan is a ‘global icon’ who was a welcome guest in the United States.”
The executive summary?
Being an outlier is not the same as being an outcast. But we should resist the urge to create a communal narrative where none exists.
I find these homosexual fantasies distasteful:
I saw a discussion over at TalkIslam, you know the site full of Muslims and pseudo-Muslims who wont be happy until their is a gay orgy in front of the kabbah, about a debate I had with Bin Gregory over whiteness and Islam in America.
astaghfirullah. Fear Allah!
Brooke, who I gather from her use of the royal “we” in her blog post is white gets it started though with some specious in-group generalizations:
Many white people are not trustworthy.
Many white people are arrogant.
White people are flakey (in comments).
Elsewhere, Bin Gregory weighs in with some further thoughts on an exchange he had a few years ago with Umar Lee, who said that one cannot be Muslim and be white. To convert is to lose your ‘white privilege’ pass. Alienation is widespread in the US, BG says, and Muslim conversion confers no special status.
American culture is fundamentally alienating: there is a huge number of white men who are totally alienated from any sense of community or culture or belonging, without becoming muslim, without having done anything to consciously remove themselves before feeling that way. In other words, the feeling of loss, disconnection and emptiness at the heart of so many young white people isn’t a disconnection from any mythical white brotherhood but a disconnection from the awful shallowness and emptiness that is modern American life.
Not only is alienation widespread, but it is celebrated. From youth culture to Hollywood heroes, the cool kids are always the ‘outsiders.’ Alienation confers status. The insight I would bring to this is that adopting an ‘alienated’ identity – converting to Islam, for example – is a quintessentially Western, American thing to do. It may not be the primary or most important reason, but it is coded into our culture. I’m applying this observation to whites such as Umar, Brooke and myself, but reveling in alienation is a shared culture now to greater and lesser degrees among Americans of many (I’m not prepared to say all) racial and ethnic backgrounds.