Monday, November 12, 2007

The Story of Hamid Sayadi

I urge everyone to read Chris Collin's moving report of a post-9/11 harrassment case in the US. Chris, who writes a weekly column for the San Francisco chronicle, speaks with a fair amount of empathy, though rightly dispassionate to maintain 'objectivity' in whichever way you may understand the concept or semantic, which is all but missing from journalism these days. Or was virtue ever mainstream?

His story is one of the many that have both nothing and everything to do with 9/11. A witty and eloquent Kurdish-American in his 50s, Sayadi waved the flag of his adopted country and cheered its military for three decades — all to end up stripped to his underwear one day, in the boiler room of his workplace, he says, a ragged and sobbing husk of his former self.

My apologies to Chris and my readers for such a tardy response. I consider this story a people's case of Islamophobia. We know that 'Islamophobia' is in danger of being hijacked by some Muslims who wish to deny their wrong behaviour, just like the supporters of Israel who hurl the charge of 'anti-Semitism' whoever questions their apartheid. And I think we have to watch out for that. I try to allay that fear by having several posts on "introspection" on this blog. However, there is no doubt that there exists a people's case of Islamophobia. What I mean by a "people's case" is that its victims are Muslim individuals, because they are Muslims or even Arab or African Christians. The "people's case" of Islamophobia is affected by the "cultural and religious case" of Islamophobia, which have been concocted from European expeditions to the Orient, purposes of which are/were not merely enlightened curiosity, contrary to what the agent of the Cold and New War Bernard Lewis writes, but which have been a time-honoured excuse for imperialism. I think I may gone a bit off tangent, but that's what I consider this: a people's case of Islamophobia. This can be fought by the media, and salutations to Chris for informing the public in such an eloquent and noble journalistic capacity.

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