In 2008 Islamophobia wasn’t as rampant as it has been in the past few years. That was the year Obama was elected as President. Some have said that Islamophobia is displaced racism due to the election of Obama and the fact that it’s not easy to be racist against African Americans in the past so the bias and stereotypes are diverted to Muslims. Barack Hussein Obama’s name alone makes it a lot easier for those who dislike him being President to ridicule Islam and Muslims. It is fascinating that people still believe that Obama is a Muslim. I remember when Colin Powell said “Is there something wrong with being Muslim?” when he was asked about Obama being a Muslim. I was amazed and shocked this came from a Republican member of the Bush administration.
We are now in 2012 and the past few years we have seen an increase in bias and stereotypes of Islam and Muslims in America. One of the interesting things about the whole “Islam in America” situation is that the vast majority of Americans have not met a Muslim but yet have a negative view of Islam and Muslims. In my opinion the best way to help deter and remove stereotypes is developing personal relationships with Americans without involving Islam. What do I mean? I mean living your normal daily lives and just being a good human being. Being a good neighbor, a good co-worker, a good classmate and a good friend are the best ways of showing the public what a Muslim is. Another aspect that is also a great way to deter and remove stereotypes is to enter into careers that aren’t normally the traditional “Muslim” career such as sport athletes, musicians, TV personalities, movie actors, comedians, etc. Historically one of the ways minorities in America are able to overcome the bias is to integrate into society by becoming part of the American narrative.
This is why I feel it is important to support projects like “The Muslims Are Coming”. I may not like some of the jokes. I may even find it offensive when making jokes with Islam. I may not support or like the way some of the comedians portray themselves. I may not even consider this permissible for me to watch especially when the trailer contained the “f” word. Even with all of my personal beliefs I still donated. I didn’t donate because I liked it. I didn’t donate because I want the gifts (yeah you get some cool gifts when you donate). I didn’t donate to support Muslim comedians. I donated because I want Americans to see Muslims as normal people. I want them to see “halal” label and treat it the same as they treat “kosher”. I want them to see “Ramadan” on the calendar like they see “Passover”. Translations of the Qur’an, Muslim scholars, dawah events, etc. are for calling people to the Truth. This is not what this project is for. I believe this project is simply to normalize Muslims in America.
And Allah and His Messenger ﷺ know best.
You can donate here (they take $1 and up).