Muslim Dopers in Western countries: Do you feel safe?

On the heels of the Paris bombings, I started to think about how I would feel if I was an American Muslim. This incident is the latest, and unfortunately one of the largest, of a series of attacks upon western targets by Islamic extremists. I’m sure there will be retaliation, both at a state-sponsored level, and at a community/individual level (i.e. Muslims will be socially ostracized, mosques may be defaced, etc).

I have many, many Muslim friends (2nd generation) who are observant but otherwise very, very westernized and all-around awesome people. I can’t imagine how rough it would be to be lumped into this group of murderers by many members of society.

I am an Indian, technically Hindu but not really observant. I was thinking today that if this wave of global terror was perpetrated by Hindus, I would just up and leave and go back to India because honestly, I wouldn’t feel safe here (“here” being the US). I would worry that ultimately there would be some type of major reaction against Hindus. Now granted, that is easy for me to say as I have family in India that would take me in, and India is a pretty okay place to live overall.

So some questions:

  1. Do you think about this at all? Do you worry that your community or perhaps your government will turn against you? Or am I totally paranoid and insane?
    Do you have any type of contingency plan if things do start looking rough?

  2. Do you think it’s easier to be a Muslim from a country less associated with terrorism? Like maybe Indonesia, as opposed to Saudi Arabia?

  3. Do you think non-Muslim Middle Easterners are also scared?

I am really trying not to be offensive with this post. I’m just curious about how this situation looks from another perspective.

I think had this attack happened in the U.S. then maybe there would be some reason to fear reprisals. In France, not so much.

Huh? There is tons of Hindu-Muslim violence (both directions) in India. Recent, even.

Yes we think about it and it is something that worries
my family in France is very upset, both by the horror of these horrible criminal attacks by the takfiri criminal and the expectation of the backlash and the blame on all the community.

if you are a someone who looks middle eastern or “arabe” yes you can get worried. an armenian friend, theoretically christian, was cursed as a “dirty arab” in a super market after the incidents some years back.

the hatred and the bigotry I see on this board expressed towards the religion also has sensitized me over the years of the risk of the minorities always face

Hating the religion is not the same as hating the people who follow it. It is an important distinction to make.

I think the Catholic Church is a terrible organisation and much of the dogma is deplorable.

I don’t hate any individual catholic just for being catholic though.

Sadly though, I suspect some muslims will face persecution due to others performing atrocities in the name of their religion. Unavoidable. However, seeing as the majority of Islamic fundamentalist deaths occur in majority Islamic countries, you are probably safer in a western country overall, even taking into account any reprisal attacks.

yes of course it made such a difference to the Jews in europe these pretended distinctions.

“Pretended distinctions”? Between a religion and the individuals who practice it?? Do you really want others to FAIL to make that distinction?

I would agree with you if you had said that condoning the “hatred” of a religion is a little strong. Even an atheist who bemoans religious hierarchies, delusions of gods, etc. should appreciate, even celebrate, the diversity of human cultures (including most expressions of religious beliefs). So, “hate Islam but don’t hate individual Muslims” could be critiqued – but only because the first “hate” is a little too strong a word. The overall distinction is still very much valid.

I very much dislike Islam, but generally don’t hate individual Muslims. If you want me to erase that distinction, okay…but then, logically, I’ll have to very much dislike you, and I’d prefer to not have to do that! :slight_smile:

Or maybe I’m misunderstanding you.

Yes pretended distinctions. just as the jews in europe learned that the pretension that they as the individual were accepted even if their religion was not ended badly. The acceptability of the hatred and then action on the hatred is built this way.

I think that the hatred for Jews in Europe in modern times (especially during the Nazi persecution) was based on considering the Jews as some sort of “racial group”, irrespective of religion.

In Nazi Germany you were a Jew if one of your grandparents was a Jew… Quite a few people who were killed in the camps for being Jews were actually not followers of the Jewish religion – in spite of those people being Christians, for the Nazis they were Jews. The Nazis considered “Jewishness” to be some kind of inherited genetic characteristic, independent from whatever religion that person happened to follow.

I think that this is an important point to keep in mind. The equivalent would be to think that “Islamic-ness” is some kind of genetic marker, independent from the personal beliefs of the person.

Although I am sure that there are some people who actually believe that… :smack:

Well, technically, yes, but there’s a lot of crossover, and one tends to lead to the other.

Also, hating the Catholic Church is different from hating Catholicism, which itself is different from hating Christianity. If nothing else, the people who hate the Church don’t treat Catholics with the same discrimination or scorn that the people who hate Islam – writ large, in aggregate – treat Muslims. Partly this is because Catholics are considered to be part of the mainstream Christian majority. Partly this is because, generally, nobody “looks” Catholic. They’re not immediately recognizable the same way that Muslims in the West tend to be, and it’s hard to give a new person a fair shake if you know (or think you know) literally one thing about them, and that one thing is that their religion is a form of barbarity or whatever.

To sum up: ‘hating Islam’ is problematic.

Her point is that most people don’t. In France at least, Muslim <=> Arab where most people are concerned ; and the historical hatred/oppression/discrimination against French “Arabs” (most are really Berbers and Kabyls with their roots in NW Africa, btw) is quite difficult to dissociate from the more recent trend against Muslims or Islam on a case by case basis.

it began as religious hatred, bigotry against the imagined other and the imagined tenents of the religion. You mistake the Nazis extreme case for the general. And the ethnicisation of the muslim in Europe is not absent.

yes there is irony in most of the French muslims are Maghrebines and not of the arab origin at all.

Okay, thanks.

That distinction was never made for the Jews in europe, nevertheless it is real and most people can manage to wrap their heads around it.
Do some people conflate the religion and the people?..yes, most people?..probably not, all people?..definitely not. We see it all the time in other sphere’s of existence. Politicians will loudly proclaim their distaste and hatred for certain political views. Does that mean that they all hate the people who vote in that direction? of course not.

I’m talking about hating specific tenets of religion. Hate is very much an applicable emotional response to many of the disgusting teachings within some religions.

Happily I can make the distinction between what a religion says and the mostly moderate interpretations that individuals have. That’s one of the few things that distinguish me from the nazi’s. That and my lack of dress sense.

Are you suggesting that Muslims don’t “hate” non-Islamic religions? Because if Muslims don’t in fact hate those religions, they should win an Oscar for pretending like they do. Muslims actively allow non-Islamic proseletyzers in their countries, right? Saudi Arabia allows churches to be built, right? I’m not talking about ISIL, I’m talking about regular Muslims.

Yes ordinary people do not hate the other religions.

Your stupid comments dragging in the Saudis, who are the extreme and small minority in the world of Islam, is the usual hating.

Gotcha. So my pointing out how 32,000,000 Muslim Saudis treat non-Muslims is “the usual hating”? But the 32,000,000 Muslims who criminalize all other faiths don’t “hate” those religions, right?

I have got to say, talking to you is always awesome.

I don’t know, but it seems to me that the Saudi Wahhabis, although possibly minoritary, wield disproportionate influence worldwide thanks to the money being poured by the Saudi government into the international promotion of their brand of Islam.

I know that the biggest mosque in Madrid was paid for by the Saudi government, and that the Saudis appointed their own imams there when it first opened (quite a few years ago).

So Saudi Arabia may represent a minoritary Islamic doctrine, but it sure seems as if they are doing their level best to spread it out and extend their influence in other places. And they seem to be the ones that have most money to do so.

How about Iran? Is it legal to convert a Muslim to Christianity? Or is it hateful of me to ask this question?

You’re painting with a broad brush. There are over a billion Muslims in the world, in many different countries. They’re not all the same. Most of them do allow other religions to be practiced in their countries. A lot of them forbid proselytizing, but with varying degrees of strictness and enforcement.

You should also be aware that proselytizing is illegal in some non-Muslim countries. Greece forbids it, although it doesn’t seem to be strictly enforced.