By Steven Salaita
A refined account of anti-Arab racism in trendy the United States and its position in supposedly 'liberal' groups, in particular on the grounds that 9-11.
Read Online or Download Anti-Arab Racism in the USA: Where it Comes From and What it Means for Politics Today PDF
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Extra info for Anti-Arab Racism in the USA: Where it Comes From and What it Means for Politics Today
I still have a kuffiyeh he gave me the first time I met him many years ago; it smells of cigarette smoke and his wife’s perfume. Amo died a few months after I returned to the United States. When I heard the news, I mourned silently for days, remembering more than once what he had told me before I left: “Your heart and your history are here. ” He bore out this sentiment repeatedly by providing me, in the best tradition of Arab hospitality, everything I needed to continue loving my origin. You can imagine, then, the heartbreak I felt upon returning to the United States and being reminded of a fundamental truth about Amo: that he was a terrorist.
It was a good idea in theory (and in fact was done at UC-Berkeley and a few other campuses), but immediately people in the group balked. ”, one of the international Salaita 01 intro 23 11/1/06 16:31:27 24 ANTI-ARAB RACISM IN THE USA students asked. “That’s the point,” she responded. ” The meeting wound down with a palpable sense of tension. I tell this story because the White woman had no understanding of the cultural sensibilities with which she was dealing. Like the guest on WORT, she purported to know better than the Arabs what is best for them.
As a result, a handful of terrorists has come to represent 300 million Arabs. In today’s America, which appears to be as stricken by religious fundamentalism as any Islamic nation but Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan (and more than the anti-Islamic regimes in Jordan, Algeria, and Egypt), public debate has become so infantile that most talk programs have resorted to booking a parade of idiots who pontificate about our moral duty to defeat evil. Evil, of course, means Arabs. Or, at the very least, it insinuates that evil is exclusive to the Islamic world while the United States has a divine monopoly on goodness.