Arab-Muslim dynamics

March 18, 2015

http://www.pluralism.org/religion/islam/issues/youth

American Muslim Youth (IamY) conference

The American Muslim Youth conference is a conference held with the objective to united the muslim youth in America and allow an outlet for the Muslim youth to explore issues with their identity. Many of the issues that the Muslim youth face in America, especially Arab American muslims, is a society that is inconsistent with Muslim values, interacting with other communities, finding spouses, and how to deal with peer pressure and stereotyping.

Muslim Youth In America

Often times the Arab-American community is portrayed as one cohesive unit; however, there is a startling amount of diversity. As an example, in American society, hijab is often viewed as a symbol of oppression rather than as an act of piety or as a symbol of identity. There are many women who choose to wear hijab and many who don’t, and as is seen in the video, it can have an impact on how people think of them. This ignorant perception of a homogeneous community perpetuates the stereotypes and discrimination that exists today. This video gives different perspectives of various issues that specifically Muslim Americans have to face in terms of how they are treated in American society.

Hijabs in Germany

In the article titled Muslim Women in Germany are Celebrating a Legal Victory, but They Shouldn’t Have to published by World.Mic by John Levine they talk about the issue of religious garment bans across the european countries, particularly in Germany. After many years of battle for equality and many years of islamophobic movements within Europe muslim women have gotten the right to wear religious head garments(Hijabs). With a quote of “Europe can act a little more like America” which within context implies that Europe should follow in example of the United States. The article goes on to say that even though the U.S. has its problems, it seems to keep true to the constitutional freedoms to its people. In the U.S. it is deemed against our constitutional rights to have such a law and wouldn’t even make it past an idea in american society. With the 44 million muslims in Europe, it is getting tougher to keep enforcing these laws. Similar cases are being brought up in France, where they ban headscarves or Hijabs, where many muslim women and men are protesting against such laws. This article is a good example of how arab muslim women do not only have battles in america for assimilation but also in european countries or other first world countries that might seem to not have such problems. This not only shows how far society and the arab muslim society has made it in social progression but also shows how far they and we have left to go.

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Background of Israel

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-v-Tpg9xN5k

 

Background of the PSC

The Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC), an activist organization originally founded in 1982 under the name “Committee for Palestine,” campaigns for equal rights for all Palestinians. The PSC protests the occupation of Israel and the aggression it shows towards it neighbors. They work to spread information and raise awareness throughout college campuses and communities about the Palestinian fight for justice. Today, there are over 80 chapters located in different cities and universities across America.

 

Three goals of the PSC:

  1. to compel Israel to end its ongoing occupation and colonization of Palestinian lands and dismantle the law
  2. to compel Israel to recognize the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinians in Israel to full equality
  3. to respect, protect, and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties

 

PSC Blog

For more information on Palestine Solidarity Committee campaigns, visit their blog!

http://www.stl-psc.org/?page_id=413

 

Tahani Salah

Tahani Salah is Brooklyn, New York based artist and activist who graduated from Columbia University.  She currently works as a youth coordinator for the Urban Word NYC, as well as a high school educator. When the PSC works to spread awareness in local communities, they often bring in artists and lecturers like Salah to give performances. Last May, the St. Louis branch of the PSC invited Salah to their Nakbah Day commemoration. (Nakbah, meaning “catastrophe,” is a day in which Palestinians commemorate their ongoing struggle following the 1948 Israeli Declaration of Independence.) The following is an example of one of Salah’s powerful performances:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdeAE2oGLRY

 

Discussion Questions

  1. Do you think Arab American community groups strengthen ties between Arab American immigrants and their home countries? Why or why not?
  2. Is Tahani Salah speaking to a particular audience? What is her message?