Showing posts from November, 2009

On the fifth anniversary of Arafat's death

Are Hamas and Fateh the new "notables of Palestine"?

November 11 was the fifth anniversary of the death/murder of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, Abu Ammar. Much has been written about Abu Ammar. Those who loved him thought of him as a saint, the very symbol of Palestinian nationalism, Mr. Palestine. Those who disliked him/hated him blamed the setbacks of the Palestinian national movement, unfairly but squarely, on him. In the last stage of his life, the George W. Bush administration adopted the Israeli view that Arafat is the problem and that that he should not be "isolated." Arafat, with the Arab and Islamic world watching, was held as a prisoner in his compound. Israel barged into his compound destroying and wrecking havoc to shake his resolve. He remained steadfast as he always liked to say, "ya jabal ma yhizak reeh," a mountain is not shaken by strong winds. To the very end, the symbol of the Palestinian national movement, remained steadfast t…

Major Hasan and the revival of American exclusionary ideals

Fort Hood shooting and the redefining of American identity

The crimes that Major Hasan stands accused of have rocked the nation. A fellow soldier, a doctor, went on a rampage killing his fellow soldiers. It is not unheard of that a soldier would open fire on fellow soldiers. But this is the country which is fighting a "war on terror" and two external wars in Muslim-majority countries. The nationality, religion and religio-political views of the alleged perpetrator became relevant.

In times like this we Arab and Muslim Americans transform from what Professor Amaney Jamal aptly put it, from invisible citizens to visible subjects. Somehow we are seen as responsible or at least able to explain the behavior of one of us gone bad. If a close friend of mine commits a crime, God forbid, I expect that I would be sought to explain. There is no logic to seeking Arabs and Muslim to explain and account for the behavior of one of more than millions of us. Jamal Dajani, senior director an…