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Letter to the Editor

Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 09:03

 

 Dear Editor,

In response to the paid advertisement that was printed in Monday’s Daily, we condemn the sentiments which were implicitly and explicitly expressed. The advertisement, which attempted to make some ill-conceived comparison between Israeli Apartheid Week and Islam, was offensive, problematic and reinforced damaging images of Muslims and persons from the Middle East.

First and foremost, we are responding to a cultural ignorance that readily conflates Arab bodies with Islam and projects upon both identities the harmful, dangerous and damaging stereotypes published by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, an organization that unabashedly aims to promote these negative images and further reify xenophobia, racism, Islamophobia and hatred against Muslims. Images like this, promoted through mass media or ignorant and assaultive speech, have catalyzed hateful actions and instigated acts of violence against Muslims and individuals identified as having a relation to the Middle East.

These examples of violence perpetrated against Muslims and Middle Easterners should not be news to anyone. By now all should be aware of the daily harassment, accusations of terrorism and the perpetual feeling of constantly being interpreted through a dominant society’s lens, one which associates the bodies of Muslims and other Middle Easterners with violent, irrational and barbaric behavior.

This not only demonstrates and reinforces racist and hateful structures — it also subordinates our fellow students’ voices through invective speech. In just the past year, Muslim students at Tufts have been accused of terrorism, dismissed in the classroom and slandered online. These aggressions and microaggressions feed the larger structures that violently target Arab bodies and Muslim culture. Last year saw rampant Islamophobic violence: the racially-charged shooting at the Sikh Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wis., the murder of a Hindu man (“They brought down the twin towers,” the killer said) in a New York City subway and attacks on mosques in Chicago, New York, California and Mississippi. This violence is intertwined in a culture that has taught us to conflate Muslim and Arab; Muslim and “terrorist;” and Muslim and Hindu or Muslim and Sikh. These forces of oppression are ubiquitous.

After similar xenophobic generalizations were made about Islam at Tufts in 2007, former University President Larry Bacow called on “students [to] hold their fellow students accountable ... When community standards of civility and respect are violated, we should not ask those who have been unfairly attacked to respond on behalf of the community. This responsibility should be borne by all.” We remember Tufts’ legacy of Islamophobia and subsequent student solidarity against hate speech. With this at heart, we raise our voices.

Sincerely,

Alexandra Minter, 2015

Christopher John Ghanny, 2015

Walker Bristol, 2014

Chowdhury Shamsh, 2013

Rebeccah Marrero, 2013

Tabias Wilson, 2013 

Stephen Goeman, 2013 

Duncan MacLaury, 2013

Logan Cotton, 2013 

Jameelah Morris, 2013

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4 comments Log in to Comment

Larry A. Singleton
Fri Mar 8 2013 17:53
I'm posting this again as it did not come up when I posted it. Also your print function leaves a lot to be desired. In other words it doesn't work.Letter to Martha Shanahan and Company 3-8-13First of all I'm not a student. I'm 55. I want to tell you youngsters that between the time now and the time it takes you to get to my age will pass in the blink of an eye. And heed my words when I say that one day the signers of this letter are going to one day look in a mirror and ask, "How could I have been so stupid?" I'm not being beligerent or mean spirited. I'm the Poster Boy of bad mistakes believe me. But I'm going to extend an invitation to you; to read what I've submitted below, including the Bible, and then come back singing the praises of the "Palestinians."I just read Martha Shanahan's tirade on David Horowitz's Anti-Apartheid ad. (and Munir Atalla's rant about Israel being an "Apartheid State". I was deeply encouraged by the comments below that reflected the truth of the matter. Truth be told South African Apartheid would be a breath of fresh air compared to what's been happening under Islam i.e. Muslims.) The really dispicable thing is what's not said in her letter and that's her and her paper's promotion of Jew-Hatred and Jew-Genocide which is all this Israel Apartheid business is all about. I'm going to put a list of books at the end of this and some links but what I'd like to do first and foremost is recommend that everybody read "The Haj" by Leon Uris. This book was the "light bulb" that went on in my head when it came to "that Middle East thing".I was practically shaking when I finished Shanahan's "letter". I almost couldn't finish it. It was that difficult to read. This person has not one iota of knowledge when it comes to history otherwise she wouldn't come off sounding like the fascist mouthpiece that she did; Did you notice? Did you notice that she did not detail one single thing in that "blatently defamatory" ad. She did not quote one single thing from the ad as an example of so-called "hate-speech".I've been studying this issue for the last few years and I can tell you right now this gal "fits the pattern"... ...of those I've seen who write on sites like LoonWatch, (Which I'll bet my bottom dollar that Useful Idiot Atalla subscribes to.), and the Huffington Post. Truly, they'll take up pages and pages and pages with their hysterical screeds and, like her "Op-Ed", not say One Single Thing of any substance.Let's look at the ad... ...hell let's just quote from Daniel Greenfield;Daniel Greenfield A Double Standard On Hatehttp://www.huntingtonnews.net/56983"If the advertisement was wrong, then there would have been no need to censor it. False claims can easily be disproven. Five minutes with Google would have told every reader and editor whether there was any truth to the Faces of Islamic Apartheid." "It is never necessary to censor lies. It is only necessary to censor truth.""That is why the majority of campus papers -- ten so far, including Harvard whose editors said they would not print it under any circumstances -- refused to run this paid advertisement. It is why those few who did have begun making ritual apologies while lying about its contents." "It is why the attacks on the advertisement have taken refuge in vague platitudes about offensiveness, without a single attempt at a factual rebuttal." (If this had come out as originally written this sentence would have been in bolder print then the rest of his quote.)"It is why every response to the advertisement has consisted of claiming that speaking about Islamic bigotry is the real bigotry" I'm just a dumb-ass construction worker. I'm not college egecated like Shanahan. But thank God I love to read. It's really to laugh when I read people like Shanahan talk about racism and bigotry. They wouldn't know racism and bigotry if it came up and slapped them in the face. Sometimes I wonder if only people like me, ex nigger-haters and reformed racists can really understand racism. I was about as close to being a member of the Ku Klux Klan as you can be without actually being one. Admitingly even then, I recognized them for the clowns that they were. Maybe that's what inspired me to read "Black Like Me", "Rivers of Blood-Years of Darkness", "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" and "The Man" among about a dozen others like them when I was sixteen and getting jumped on a regular basis by "those fuckin' niggers" at Fremont Junior High School in Muscoy; Affectionately known to all us boys on "The Hill" as the Gladiator School in "Little Africa". Actually, even though he doesn't know it, it was Dennis Overton who inspired me to read those books. (Whose brother was one of those who used to jump me.); I invite those who are inclined to read my work in progress. My "Racism Speech" and "My Thoughts On Jihad" in my Facebook Notes. (It's interesting, I sent my Racism Speech to about half a dozen "Black" newspapers in the spirit of "Human Relations" and only got...
Larry A. Singleton
Fri Mar 8 2013 17:50
Letter to Martha Shanahan and Company 3-8-13First of all I'm not a student. I'm 55. I want to first off aplogize for not being able to express myself better. I want to tell you youngsters that between the time now and the time it takes you to get to my age will pass in the blink of an eye. And heed my words when I say that one day the signers of this letter are going to one day look in a mirror and ask, "How could I have been so stupid?" I'm not being beligerent or mean spirited. I'm the Poster Boy of bad mistakes, please believe me. But I'm going to extend an invitation to you; to read what I've submitted below, including the Bible, and then come back singing the praises of the "Palestinians."I just read Martha Shanahan's tirade on David Horowitz's Anti-Apartheid ad. (and Munir Atalla's rant about Israel being an "Apartheid State". I was deeply encouraged by the comments below that reflected the truth of the matter. Truth be told South African Apartheid would be a breath of fresh air compared to what's been happening under Islam i.e. Muslims.) The really dispicable thing is what's not said in her letter and that's her and her paper's promotion of Jew-Hatred and Jew-Genocide which is all this Israel Apartheid business is all about. I'm going to put a list of books at the end of this and some links but what I'd like to do first and foremost is recommend that everybody read "The Haj" by Leon Uris. This book was the "light bulb" that went on in my head when it came to "that Middle East thing".I was practically shaking when I finished Shanahan's "letter". I almost couldn't finish it. It was that difficult to read. This person has not one iota of knowledge when it comes to history otherwise she wouldn't come off sounding like the fascist mouthpiece that she did; Did you notice? Did you notice that she did not detail one single thing in that "blatently defamatory" ad. She did not quote one single thing from the ad as an example of so-called "hate-speech".I've been studying this issue for the last few years and I can tell you right now this gal "fits the pattern"... ...of those I've seen who write on sites like LoonWatch, (Which I'll bet my bottom dollar that Useful Idiot Atalla subscribes to.), and the Huffington Post. Truly, they'll take up pages and pages and pages with their hysterical screeds and, like her "Op-Ed", not say One Single Thing of any substance.Let's look at the ad... ...hell let's just quote from Daniel Greenfield;Daniel Greenfield A Double Standard On Hatehttp://www.huntingtonnews.net/56983"If the advertisement was wrong, then there would have been no need to censor it. False claims can easily be disproven. Five minutes with Google would have told every reader and editor whether there was any truth to the Faces of Islamic Apartheid." "It is never necessary to censor lies. It is only necessary to censor truth.""That is why the majority of campus papers -- ten so far, including Harvard whose editors said they would not print it under any circumstances -- refused to run this paid advertisement. It is why those few who did have begun making ritual apologies while lying about its contents." "It is why the attacks on the advertisement have taken refuge in vague platitudes about offensiveness, without a single attempt at a factual rebuttal." (If this had come out as originally written this sentence would have been in bolder print then the rest of his quote.)"It is why every response to the advertisement has consisted of claiming that speaking about Islamic bigotry is the real bigotry" I'm just a dumb-ass construction worker. I'm not college egecated like Shanahan. But thank God I love to read. It's really to laugh when I read people like Shanahan talk about racism and bigotry. (I'm wondering if any of these Jew-Haters have ever had the novel experience of having ten or twelve very healthy dudes trying to turn their bodies into road kill?) They wouldn't know racism and bigotry if it came up and slapped them in the face. Sometimes I wonder if only people like me, ex nigger-haters and reformed racists can really understand racism. I was about as close to being a member of the Ku Klux Klan as you can be without actually being one. Admitingly even then, I recognized them for the clowns that they were. Maybe that's what inspired me to read "Black Like Me", "Rivers of Blood-Years of Darkness", "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" and "The Man" among about a dozen others like them when I was sixteen and getting jumped on a regular basis by "those fuckin' niggers" at Fremont Junior High School in Muscoy; Affectionately known to all us boys on "The Hill" as the Gladiator School in "Little Africa". Actually, even though he doesn't know it, it was Dennis Overton who inspired me to read those books. (Whose brother was one of those who used to jump me.); I invite those who are inclined to read my work in progress. My "Racism Speech" and "My Thoughts On Jihad" in my Facebook Notes. (It's interesting, I sent my...
bk16
Wed Mar 6 2013 15:39
I can hardly say that Israel respects the rights of women and people of color when they force women to take long-acting birth control without even telling them what the drug actually is.
Ron
Wed Mar 6 2013 15:26
Very good op-ed. Casting an untrue accusation against an entire people or religion should not be acceptable. Similarly, Israel Apartheid Week is just as hateful, offensive and racist. I hope all of those who signed this letter also will stand up against the blatant lies spewed against Israel, the only country in the Middle East that respects the rights of women, religious minorities and dissenting political views. Do they?

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