“Opening Your Eyes to Other Cultures” was written by online Editor-in-Chief Dalia Zullig about Aya Ali, a hyphenated-American senior from Lebanon. In a high school that has students who enjoy their myriad inherited differences as much as they do their mutual accomplishments, Ali asserts that she is not entirely comfortable among her classmates because she wears the hijab (Muslim headscarf). The school’s ‘Beachcomber’ magazine proudly presents stories and photographs of students of all ethnicities, levels and kinds of achievements, who have found friends and camaraderie from among the substantial school population. And how can we forget two brilliant, famous women from Lebanon – Judge Jeanine Pirro and ACT! for America’s Brigitte Gabriel – who have assimilated, achieved, and are applauded in every setting?
Integration is often slow for new immigrants, particularly when they must master a new language, find employment, and adapt to a new culture. It is the human condition, even for a child who must change to a new school within the same state, but Ali has few of these disadvantages. This country offers the freedoms to reside, to work, to attend school, to worship, to dress, to speak, but there is no right to not be offended, as that would limit another speaker’s freedom. We have all experienced being offended at least once in our lives, but we have the rights to express another opinion, leave the premises, and seek and court new friendship elsewhere, if necessary.
Ali made the revealing suggestion that her scarf may be intimidating others. Surely, the Tignon scarf originally worn by women in the slave era and present and the Tichel scarf worn by orthodox Jewish women are among many kinds of headwear and not intimidating. Ali appears to be projecting her own attitude to the inanimate hijab, or she might be using it to support a complaint of victimization to the school authorities. She did specify that it reminds her of who she is, and I would ask “Who is she?” The hijab (“veil” or “covering” in Arabic) that she has chosen to wear meets the requirements of Sharia, whose harsh, excessive laws come directly from the founder of Islam. Likewise, Mohammed himself laid down the extreme punishments and policies, which, unlike the Judeo-Christian laws, rob people of their dignity. Islam’s brutality is antithetical to the US Constitution, and if Ali believes the Koran to be Allah’s literal words, then its many passages direct her to wage even a non-violent war on non-Muslims. Is the hijab symbolic of her personal jihad (holy war) to intimidate others and bring them to silence and submission?
Dr. Tawfik Hamid, a self-described, former-Islamic extremist and a fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies claims a relationship between wearing the hijab and so-called “passive terrorism.” Does Ali heed the ethic that promotes Islamic supremacy and conquest? Is she learning the commands to wage war against non-Muslims? to be anti-Semitic? to chop hands and feet from thieves? to kill homosexuals? to relegate women to full obedience to their male guardians? Does the hijab help her identify with these doctrines and does she secretly relish the belief that her headwear does indeed “intimidate” others?
It is plausible that Ali agrees with the concept of “Our Mission,” penned by Hassan Al Banna in Egypt, 1928, which declares that Islam is all-embracing to regulate every aspect of life, and that Muslims are obligated to use jihad to combat the decadent West, to control “offensive” language, to control others and make them submissive to Islam. The Muslim Brotherhood has been active in the United States since the 1960s. The movement’s first long-term strategy, crafted in 1975, focuses on proselytizing efforts for youths and newly arrived Muslim immigrants. Seeking state and federal political influence, the Brotherhood formed multiple religious organizations, such as the Muslim Students’ Association (MSA), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), and the Muslim American Society (MAS) (among many others). In 1991, they issued a programmatic memorandum, “The General Strategic Objective for the [Brotherhood] in North America,” highlighting its goal to penetrate the heart of American society – that all Muslims had to “understand that their work in America [was] a grand jihad in eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their hands so that God’s religion [Islam] is victorious over all religions.”
Islamic religious authorities tell us that loyalty to Islam is incompatible with loyalty to America, so that Ali must choose between identifying with her laws or with her fellow students. She may not realize that by wearing the hijab and identifying herself with Islamic scripture, she is displaying her disloyalty to America and offending her classmates.
Ali paints herself as a victimized minority in this land of more than 2,000 mosques and an increasing flood of Muslim immigrants by the tens of thousands. According to FBI statistics, 48.5% of hate crimes are race-based, with 66.2% of those being anti-black; 18.7% of crimes are religion-based biases, of which 62.4% were against Jews and Jewish institutions; 11.6% were anti-Islamic.
Victimization is a recognized, essential strategy of Islam. The best way to justify hate is to assume the role of victim; one cannot hate unless one feels oppressed and victimized. Hitler came to power based on Germany’s defeat in WW I and their victimization. Similarly, Muslims are taught from toddlerhood that their miseries are the fault of Israel, America, and the West, and it is the job of the Council of Islamic-American Relations (CAIR) to identify anything on which to base accusations of hatemongering and villainy.
Islamic terrorism is reality. A review of the past 14 centuries exposes the bloodshed and beheadings begun by their prophet and continued by his followers into the present. Today, the largest persecuted religious group is Christians, but let’s go back in time. Mohammed invaded Medina and Mecca, beheaded the Jewish men, took slaves and booty. Muslims conquered the Indian sub-continent 1400 years ago, and began destroying the world’s greatest of civilizations – every Hindu man, woman and child, for a total of 100 million Hindus. Muslims slaughtered millions of Armenians during World War I. The 3000-year march of terror against Copts continues in Egypt, and 2,000-year-old Syrian-Christian towns are today being destroyed. Boko Haram kidnaps Christian girls and forces them into a life of sexual slavery. Christians and Hindus are persecuted to near annihilation in Pakistan. Buddhists in Thailand, Hindus in India and Jews in Israel are routinely assaulted and murdered.
Muslim men abuse their own wives and daughters with FGM (Female Genital Mutilation), bans on independence, beatings, and forced restrictive clothing. The Madrid attack (3/04), the London trains bombing (7/07), the Fort Hood massacre (11/09), the Boston Marathon bombing (4/13), the Nairobi Mall massacre (9/13), the Charlie Hebdo/Paris attack (1/15), and the recent horrific Orlando massacre (6/16) are honest examples of the 28,634 deadly terror attacks carried out by Muslims since 9/11. Non-Muslims are the real victims.
Aya Ali is safe. She may be offended and she may be conflicted, but she needs to understand what she wants out of life, whether it is religion and strict Sharia law, or a civilized life as an assimilated American. She can’t have both.