Friday, December 24, 2004

Executive Director of PMUNA appears on FOX

The Executive Director of PMUNA, Ahmed Nassef, appeared on the right wing Fox Network - and announced that "not all, but many mosques are run by people who have extremist views on women etc..." (emphasis added).

Previously, the Executive Director has used the word "extremist" to identify those who hacked his web site, and sent him death threats. So, now he appears to have lumped "many mosques" in the US with those who sent him death threats (both, according to him, being "extremists").

Earlier, Naasef had stated that the critics of PMUNA are "neo-salafis" - and, as the Living Tradition Blog reported, a member of the board of directors - Tarek Fatah - has also (mis)stated that the critics of PMUNA "desire an Islamic Theocracy as a desirous solution to the world's problems."

There appears to be a pattern appearing in the way PMUNA officials are conducting themselves.

The PMUNA founders in their formal launching stated: “PMU will defend the Muslim community from the calumnies of those who seek to insult and degrade Islam and/or the Muslim community, in particular the relentless campaign of defamation from some evangelical preachers, like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, or from supporters of the extreme right in Israel, like Daniel Pipes.”

If indeed the PMUNA intends to be an organization that will defend Muslims from insults etc. - Then, why would Ahmed Nassef , who is the Executive Director of this organization, use the label "neo-salafi" against his critics? And has now pronounced "many of the mosques run by people with extremist views..." Why would board member, Tarek Fatah hurl such loaded accusations as he did?

While not entirely in agreement with the Living Tradition Blog - they do have a very valid point in their post on the "neo-salafi" comment - the same can be applied to the (mis)use of the word "extremist" - that is often used as a polite substitute for the word "terrorist."

Everyone who hasn't been living under a rock since late 2001 knows what it means to call your opponent (or any Muslim) a Selafi or Wahabi. Lump your critics (or all Muslims) in with the likes of Osama and Zarqawi, and it means you don't have to address their complaints and issues. The accusation that one is financially or ideologically aligned with "Selafi / Wahabi terrorists" has been used to harass, detain, arrest, and deport Muslims in North America and Europe. It's also been used as an excuse to launch a wars and offensives in Iraq, Palestine, and Chechnya. Why would anyone then want to sling such a loaded accusation against someone who professes similar political and social beliefs, let alone common religious beliefs?
Meanwhile, Omid Safi, who is Chair of the Progressive Muslims Union, North America, and teaches Islamic Studies at Colgate University - remains quiet - and does not even bother to distance himself from such atrocious behavior. Why?

Seel also Living Tradition Blog's comment on Nassef's cuddling up with Fox

1 comment:

Irfan said...

assalamu alaykum.

so ahmed nassef said that most muslim mosques are run by extremists.

i wrote an article for MWU! some years back called 'why turks rock'. in that article, i accused sh hisham kabbani of doing the same thing.

ahmed gladly published it. he also gladly published another article about daniel pipes which accused daniel of making up conspiracy theories about muslim communities and institutions.

strange world.

ma salama