Muslims in America

M. Junaid Alam — Foreign Policy in Focus — April 9, 2010

In his Cairo address, President Obama boldly asserted a broad commonality between the United States and a quarter of humanity: “America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles — principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”

Yet the most striking part of Obama’s speech contained not his own words but those of others: “I am also proud to carry with me the goodwill of the American people, and a greeting of peace from Muslim communities in my country: assalaamu alaykum.”

In conveying this salutation of peace from American Muslims, the president did more than link the promise of American ideals to the piety of the Islamic faith. He pointed to the existing reality of a community that he believes exemplifies his message — Muslims living and practicing freely in the citadel of the Western world.

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Writer Misunderstood My Position

Oct. 17, 2001/The Northeastern News/Age, 18

I would like to respond to Mr. Copeland’s comments, which were written in response to my  letter concerning the tragic  terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.

Mr. Copeland’s piece is aimed against a straw man. Not once did I state or imply that  “America deserved to be attacked.” That is slanderous. Taking a class-analysis approach, I argued that the US capitalists have carried out policies of genocide and the country has funded terrorists abroad, thus placing our workers at  risk.

Continue reading “Writer Misunderstood My Position”

Why Do They Hate Us?

M. Junaid Alam – Counterpunch.org, October 7, 2002 – Age, 19

“So, I’m not standing here speaking to you as an American, or a patriot, or a
flag-saluter, or a flag-waver—no, not I. I’m speaking as a victim of this
American system. And I see America through the eyes of the victim. I don’t
see any American dream; I see an American nightmare.” 

Malcolm X, April 3, 1964

“To whom it may concern…we are dying,” a nine-year old Iraqi child once wrote. America, of course, was not concerned. First, it was relieved—fulfilling White Man’s Burden by unburdening its Air Force of 80,000 tons of munitions across Iraq during the Gulf War. Then, it was elated—with Hussein’s forces routed and the heroic defense of ‘our’ oil colony complete, the U.S. had rendered its formerly submissive foreign dictator into a non-submissive but impotent foreign dictator. One who maintains ‘regional stability’ by providing America a convenient means of diverting domestic dissent with the rhetoric of war and complementary fireworks. Naturally, there would be certain secondary consequences. Continue reading “Why Do They Hate Us?”

Why I Am No Longer A Radical?

Lefthook – August 1, 2005 – Age, 22

An air of anger and surprise rises up on the radical Left just about every time it discovers that some “prestigious” right-wing hack was formerly one of its own – a fiery social activist or critic protesting every injustice under the sun. For my part, I never understood this melodramatic response. It seems to me, at the ripe old age of 22, that it’s awful hard to resist the intense social, political, and family pressures piston-pumped into rebel minds. So what’s really remarkable is not when someone “sells out” – that’s par for the course – but rather when someone who starts out a radical stays a radical. Continue reading “Why I Am No Longer A Radical?”