Middle East studies in the News
Delaware Muslims, State Officials Discuss Racism, Domestic Terrorism [incl. Muqtedar Khan]
by Alonzo Small
Dr. Muqtedar Khan said the violence that erupted in Charlottesville this past weekend was "not just an act of violence, but also a performance of violence."
"If you looked and read about the old Ku Klux Klan events, the KKK were ashamed of what they were doing and they wore masks," Khan said. "But now in this age of social media, where everyone has a camera, [white supremacists] are not afraid or ashamed of what they're doing.
"That is the scariest thing to me."
After a weekend of violence that claimed the lives of three people and injured others, the Delaware Council on Global and Muslim Affairs held an open forum alongside government representatives and community members.
On the minds of many Wednesday evening was not only the events of Charlottesville. The tragic events that unfolded during the "Unite the Right" rally came days after the bombing of a mosque in Minnesota.
An explosive device damaged the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic center in Bloomington, a suburb of Minneapolis. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton condemned the Aug. 6 attack as an act of terrorism.
President Donald Trump did not escape the wrath of Delaware's Muslim community Wednesday. Many voiced their disappointment in President Trump's initial stance to blame "all sides," following the events at the University of Virginia.
"There is sympathy for this movement in the White House and that is the biggest problem," Khan said.
Inside the Masjid Isa Ibn-e-Maryam in Bear, law enforcement at the local and statewide level joined Delaware Muslims to discuss the effects domestic terrorism and racism.
James Markley, a supervisory special agent with the FBI offices in Wilmington, assured the Delaware Muslin community that law enforcement officials continue to investigate the incidents in Bloomington.
Markley said the FBI remains aware of white nationalist groups locally and nationwide. He did not elaborate on whether groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the neo-Nazis were considered or classified as terrorist groups.
"There's a lot of arguments made on both sides about what the First Amendment protects, what sort of speech does it protect?" Markley said. "That question is being played out right now in Congress and many different levels. So I think the outcome of that debate is really going to tell how society moves forward in addressing groups like the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazi movements, and other white supremacist movements."
Major Daniel Meadows, of Delaware State Police's special operations, assured residents that troopers are dedicated to ensuring the safety and rights of all Delawareans.
"We are all part of a greater community, which are those who have a vested interest in the well-being of Delaware," Meadows said.
Meadows believes the strong relationships and communications can best address threats to Delaware communities.
Still, there's a heightened sense of fear in the Muslim community after white supremacist groups marched in the "Unite the Right," rally over the weekend. Delaware Muslims are unsure if their community will be targeted.
The Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington will host Eid al-Adha Muslim Festival on Sept. 1. The "Festival of Sacrifice," is one of two major holidays celebrated in Islam. Many in the community remain cautious about attending, however.
Asif Kunwal, 42, of New Castle, feels the increasing level of fear and anxiety is the result of the current White House administration.
"Our level of fear is getting to the level of hopelessness," Kunwal said, "where we feel the Constitution cannot save us. We believe we do not have the freedom to practice our religion."Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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