We Will Not be Silent

I am not a terrorist t-shirt

With the ongoing media bombardment by the US government they have slowly hypnotised all of its citizens to be suspicious of all middle eastern people who may even accidentally walk around the corner. A number of stories have continued to come through of people being harassed by everyone from airport authorities to even some casual citizens in normal daily life. Read the story of a US citizen Raed Jarrar who had travelled to Lebanon to help out in the relief efforts but on the way back he was stopped at JFK for wearing a T-shirt with Arabic lettering “We will not be silent” he was simply prevented from boarding his flight to California and was asked to take off his shirt the only condition with which he could be permitted to travel home. read his entire post.

An effort to raise awareness has been started by a group of people selling shirts loudly proclaiming “I am not a Terrorist” again only in Arabic, all shirts have been marked at $1 above the actual price and proceeds will be going to ACLU. Edited later: I have been informed that ACLU could very well be the wrong organization to support since they are more politically oriented and have a tendency to simply protest against Republicans for the sake of opposition, thay may very well have very little concern for Muslims settled in the US

Its not surprising but I have been noticing that people like me, living outside the US continue to get a very negative image of what is actually happening to Muslims settled there. The significant number of emails and reports circulating around show a very bleak and deteriorating situation, far worse than what I personally witnessed after 9/11. Is it just the media playing havoc with our minds or is it seriously getting worse, would love to get a perspective from Muslims based in North America.

It all starts from this proactive gung ho stance adopted by the United States of America against the Muslim nations and its people, this position has probably pushed even a person like myself, who continues to remain very open-minded and peace advocating individual, to become very strongly opposed to Bush’s designs of ultimate world domination. I shudder to think what would happen to an individual who was already in a leftist frame of mind, he would have surely gone off the edge into no-mans land to become an extremist or more adequately a freedom fighter (only in his thoughts and opinions) but this very same freedom fighter is conveniently labelled because of him being a Muslim as an Al-Qaeda terrorist. That’s the irony which the American people fail to realize, you cant beat the crap out of a nation and expect them to play dead, they will revolt, they will revolt in thought and in every action its literally almost like a knee-jerk reflex, if you hit the knee hard enough you are bound to get a reaction.

Simply don’t hit the knee, and you won’t get a reaction. Is that too hard to digest?



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18 responses to “We Will Not be Silent”

  1. ali raza Avatar
    ali raza

    I have travelled by air and have never even been checked once, some friends however have been through extensive searches. So, I do think the searches are random.

    I also think the media and organizations like CAIR have an agenda of creating mountains out of mole hills. There are also a lot of muslims who provoke those around them. Like groups going to sports events and starting ba-jamat namaz in the stadium aisles, saying namaz or reciting arabic verses in aeroplanes. Trying to carry objectionable items in carry on baggage etc. Muslims acting without regard for the sensitivities of fellow citizens in the west are to blame for these situations arising. One of my friends who travels by air frequently and gets checked everytime says its ok. Not all muslims are terrorists but all recent terrorism seems to come from muslims. Simple deductive reasoning requires closer scrutiny of muslims. He is himself scrutinizing other brown folk on his flights. The environment of fear has been created by the terrorists, not by law enforcement.

  2. rai Avatar

    I have not yet experienced or met anyone who has gone thru any kind of harrasment from non muslim americans.altho much of the hate radio is concentrating on getting ppl afraid of anything muslim and trying to label all muslims terrorists but most ppl are even apologetic abt what has happened in iraq and lebanon.I think what we really need is a muslim radio station here (instead of projects like huge mosques on saudi money) and we need to make a strong statement against all kids of terrorism.pretty much all muslim voice u hear here is of an occasional bearded fellow appearing on tv who looks like he just got out of bed and cant make up his mind wether the ppl blowing up themselves in planes are terrorists or not.

  3. Publia Avatar

    As an American, I am not sure how I could tell a Middle Eastern person from anyone else. If I were to look at skin color, how could I determine a person’s ancestry when I go around the corner? It would be difficult to distinguish between Italian, Indian, Middle Eastern, and someone who has spent too much time on the beach. Perhaps the shirts will help.

  4. Dr.Ali Avatar

    Ali Raza I am sorry but what do you mean by OBEJCTIONALBE ITEMS?? that only muslims carry? Is reading Namaz a objectionable practice and since when reciting verses from Quran were included in that category.

    The News agencies of USA plays a key role in developing the mind set of american public, but when I watch people like “Bill O’Rielly” advocating war crimes on news channels such as FOX I really doubt if they have any intentions of telling the truth but. The questions that americans ask too often is Why the world hates US? Really is this question borned out of AMerican arrogance or ignorance or may be both.

  5. ali raza Avatar
    ali raza

    Doc hum-naam saab salaam. Offering namaz and reciting arabic verses on an airplane in the west is clearly objectionable. To the many people who are living and travelling in a climate of fear of terrorism by muslims, these outward declarations of islam are going to raise alarms. You can’t judge their perceptions. You can however, easily understand their fears. Who is to say the person reciting religious verses in a middle-eastern language sitting next to you is not a terrorist saying his own last rites before he blows self and those around for the love of his god. Every muslim knows that the five obligatory pryers can be offered delayed. Allah will accept the late offering. Might even give sawaab to the musalman for being sensitive to the kafirs around. Dard-e-dil ke liye paida kiya … you know

    One example of objectionable item is liquids in carry-on. After the discovery of the plan by Pakistani terrorists to smuggle gel based explosives onto aircraft, all liquids and gelatinous products are banned from carry-on. Thousands of non-terrorist looking whiteys have had to discard their water, beverages, cosmetics, even medicine at airports before boarding without much protest. But already there are a couple of incidences of muslims suggesting their water bottle was taken away by racist airport security. As a people, we need to grow up and take responcibility for our actions.

    The business of televised NEWS is just that, a business. It is not an information service. News agencies, however are in the business of reporting the news and just that. Then editors can color the comment on them in their publications and productions. Those entities are different.

    Muslims in general are just as ignorant of the motivations, struggles, and hopes of those living in western society. You think American attitudes seem ignorant or/and arrogant regarding Islam/muslims. The same can be said for muslims vis-a-vis their biased and envious views of the western civilization. And in our case those views are not just re-inforced through media and pulpit, but also in text books. You tell me which is worse. Then tell me which can you change from personal effort.

  6. Vince Avatar

    One of the greatest of US authors, Jack London wrote a fantastically foreseeing book, ‘The Iron Heel’, about 1908. 100 years later, it still has relevance, as much as Gerge Orwell’s ‘1984’.

    The societies depicted in both works appear to resemble the modern US polity quite closely. It is simply becoming more and more blatant with each passing week.

    The US has always been a past-master at ethnic division. All the whites could look down and hate the blacks. After all, all the Black men were out to rape white women, weren’t they? And weren’t they less intelligent, close to monkeys, even?

    So the Italians and East-Europeans could forget how the Anglos looked down upon them. The poor whites of the South could forget how the rich Anglos looked down upon them.

    Now the Whites and Blacks can both look down upon and hate the ‘Muslims’, who have a different ‘civilisation’. It matters little that many of the ‘Muslims’ are in fact Lebanese, Palestinian or Syrian Christians; they are all of one stereotype – turban-wearing Arabs, keffiyeh-wearing Pakistanis, with wives in full purdah.

    The Muslims are subhuman: they are ‘dune monkeys’ whose deaths count for little, so why count them? By the same token, they are all terrorists. The Jews were given the same labels by the Tsar’s Black Hundreds, by Hitler’s SS and Gestapo…

  7. wai Avatar

    I don’t know who told you the ACLU is politically oriented. They support civil liberties without regard to party affiliation, nationality, or other group membership. They have provided legal support to every imaginable type of organization including ones almost anyone would find repellant. Do some research, huh?

  8. Jared Avatar

    I think you should look into, at least, the assertions about the ACLU – in my experience, they’ve gone after Democrats who wanted to suppress Republican’s arguably problematic speech just as much as anyone else.

    Either way, I speak as an American. I think that the same kind of logic that says “the American government has hypnotized its people” is being used to say, “the Muslim extremists have hypnotized…” or any other such talk. We are individuals in the sense that we seek to take our experiences and act in a way that makes sense to us, and we are hypnotized in that most of our experiences about the rest of the world come from the same places, like CNN or Fox News or wherever we get them, and yeah, these are places that get ratings by fear-mongering. Just as certain clerics get their audience by hate-mongering.

    I think we can do better than this. People should be able to get on a plane with a t-shirt that says any damn thing – but be careful. If they have the right to say “!@#$ Americans” they have the right to say the same about Muslims. The problem is that there can’t be riots in the Arab world about images of the Prophet, and whole wars fought on the idea of cultural hegemony, while at the same time, Muslim speech would be protected above all.

    The people who are on the side of freedom of expression are not on the side of religiously-based exclusion, repression of women, and many of the other things even some mainstream Muslims stand for. Just like our President, who decries religious fundamentalism as Fascist, but is the first President in history to advocate so strongly for state-sponsored religion, you can’t have it both ways. The Christian extremists have a lot in common with the Muslim ones – and both are terribly terribly wrong.

  9. Adnan Siddiqi Avatar
    Adnan Siddiqi

    Every muslim knows that the five obligatory pryers can be offered delayed. Allah

    Yes but there are exceptional cases only like one you mentioned,In journey.Islam does give relaxation of Namaz and Fasting while in journey Only.Otherwise not.

  10. Chris Avatar

    Where can I get a copy of THAT t-shirt from? Any tips welcome!

  11. Mike Hill Avatar

    Where can I purhcase that shirt in both Arabic and English? Thanks!

  12. shobi Avatar

    why is it that the print media is slow to report such incidents? i read about this incident in the paper today.

  13. Publia Avatar

    So much for the shirts helping me tell who is from the Mideast. Looks like they are going to be very popular with the American crowd.

  14. Nijma Avatar

    You can get a sweatshop-free “We will not be silent.” T-shirt in Arabic with English translation underneath here:

  15. Brooke Avatar

    I am surprised that you would pull the contribution to the ACLU based on the reasons you give. The issue here is the Constitutionally protected right to free speech which goes beyond the particular group being targeted at the moment by the government. No, the ACLU does not advocate for a particular ethnic or religious group, but instead has been among the most sucessful in guarding all of our protected freedoms. They have gone to court to fight for the rights of the Ku Klux Klan as well as Communists, atheists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, all of us to be free to say (and wear) what we please. Of course, you are free to do whatever with the money you charge for these shirts. But please do not further polarize this issue by attacking an organization which is fighting for freedom of speech. It sounds as if you just listened to some complaint and didn’t really do any research. As far as being “Political” goes, what do you mean? Don’t you know the root of that word? It is the people. Organizations have to make decisions based on how they can be most effective. The ACLU makes decisiions about which case to take based on the good of the whole country and its body of law. Sometimes, it is not “politic” to bring a case that you might lose and will set a bad precedent. Strategy is important. Thank you for listening, and for making the t-shirts available. It is a good idea. I think (obviously) that your first intuition (to donate to the ACLU) was a good one. Watch out that you don’t let others pursuade you to abandon your Self. (Including me!)
    Best wishes

  16. BILLYBOB Avatar

    Dear Pakistani friends, as an american maybe its time we educate you. First of all it was the united states and England, who saved the world from hitler and the ramifications of world war 2. Alot of your citizens beleive the jews concoted this story so they could steal Israel. Well had the united states not stepped in 60+ years ago, guess who hitler was coming after next, the africans, the middle easterners, the indians, the pakistanis , the orientals etc. Anyone not considered white. As far as the middle easten countries, the united states supports Israel (maybe because they are the only stable country in the region), but keep in mind prior to world war 2, the nato countries were buying their oil through Canada.
    After world war 2 we than stepped in and taught the middle eastern countries to pump and sell their oil and showed them how world markets operated. In america we could care less about what religion you follow, we can care less that all your brothers are trying to buy all the cash producing business’s in our country and rob our tax dollars. We could care less that simple rules and laws are hard for your tribe to follow. We could care less that you look at us as a pathetic society and think were weak. We could care less that your now looking to china as your saviors (GOOD LUCK::: THAT MOVE TAKES REAL INTELLIGENCE). We COULD CARE LESS.
    Truth is you never really understood american history.

  17. Jawad Hafeez Avatar
    Jawad Hafeez

    Aslamo ALikum

    dear sir i wana get this T-Shirt I m Not A Terrorist” in English

    kindly send it or tell me the way to get it

    i will be very thankfull to u