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+ 1
Anonymous inquired: "Hi, is it possible to be ethnically white but not white passing? I'm of Mediterranean and spanish-Jewish ancestry as well as Northern European. But I don't look white at all and I don't know how to identify."

I am not the best person to ask.

You can still be white but have non-eurocentric features i.e. like Mila Kunis. 

But idk what that has to do with your identification at all? You are still white.



+ 20
Anonymous inquired: "I personally think that being Arab is a large ethnic group with many different sub divisions within country and clan and simply proclaiming Arabs white or black is not only incorrect but a means of separation. It's almost like pitting us against each other and growing the already tense atmosphere of colorism in our community."

^^READ THIS EVERYONE!!!

I wholeheartedly agree with your statement. Colorism is starting to become a widespread issue and is started to become a means of segregating large ethnic groups into smaller groups.  On applications and such, Arabs are being labeled as “White” which is becoming an issue because not all Arabs identify themselves as “White/Caucasian” or have the characteristics of white individuals. It does not matter what your skin color is. If you identify yourself as Arab, you are Arab. Sadly, this option does not exist because the world is unaware of this.

~Faisal



+ 10
Anonymous inquired: "I'm an Arab from Algeria and I have very dark skin so at first glance people tend to simply classify me as Black or Indian. Yet as an Arab from Algeria being forced to put Black or African American on my forms while my sister places White or Caucasian makes no sense to me and I think is a major problem. My Arab friends from Sudan also have similar problems where they are all Arab and Sudanese yet some are classified Black and others White."

I understand the issue in how you should identify yourself on a application, but I personally don’t like to involve myself and become a victim the societies system of labels. Lately, I have been just checking the “other” box and am still waiting for the day that Arabs will have a box so that we can correctly identify ourselves. 

I know on some applications it will say that being Arab is a subsection to the “White/Caucasian” check-box which perplexes me. I personally don’t know what advice to give you regarding your African roots, but I would just identify yourself as “other” on applications.

When it comes down to it, it’s whatever you feel most comfortable identifying yourself as just never lose sight of your true identity. I wish you the best of luck in this journey to self-discovery. 

~Faisal 



+ 21
Anonymous inquired: "What do you think about Arabs being classified as white?"

Personally, being of Arab descent and having to conform to societies labels, and put myself down as “White/Caucasian” is infuriating. I lived my entire life struggling in the Unites States because I am from Saudi Arabia and as a result of Islamophobia existing in the U.S. (but that’s a whole different topic…).

Being labeled as “White/Caucasian”, it becomes troublesome for Arab-Americans who are in the process of identifying themselves. For an Arab-American, there is a double-spectrum and it becomes difficult to establish themselves in society because you are not accepted in America because one is of Arab descent and vice-versa. Many Arab-Americans become lost in the system and don’t know how to identify themselves. Whites/Caucasians have been the ones to oppress people of Arab descent so Arabs who associate themselves with those labels is when it starts to become detrimental.

I personally believe if you are going to label me as white, I expect the privilege that comes with that label.

Are there any other Arabs that could possibly contribute their perspectives?

~Faisal



+ 29

The Portrayal of Islam in Social Media  

Islamophobia is truly disgusting and social media continues to perpetuate such ignorance by blanketing Islam and the Islamic culture with statements that Islam is “a religion promoting extreme acts of terrorism” and that Muslim parents are “disciplining their children to sacrifice their lives in the name of Islam” and are “strapping bombs to their children” in the name of Allah swt.

If people could separate themselves from social media and immerse themselves in the Islamic culture for just one day, one will realize that Islam is a religion that promotes peace and tolerance towards others. Islamophobia continues to be fueled with immeasurable amounts of ignorance and hate. Organizations such as EDL are inciting fear in order to influence the opinions of others through the display of extreme acts of terrorism committed by Muslims (9/11) and false accusations. When one’s primary source happens to be a television or computer screen, the viewers are being educated a distorted portrayal of the Islamic faith creating false perceptions on what Islam truly is. After all, society has conditioned people to believe whatever they see on T.V. and online.

 Why is it that media only portrays the negatives of Islam and Middle-Eastern culture, but the endless slaughter of Muslims in countries like Africa, and the famine and war in areas of Gaza, Palestine, etc… continues to remain undiscussed or covered in media? Why is Islam being described as the equivalent to extreme-Fascism, but we are never given concrete examples or information to truly back up these arguments?

 Coming to the United States, a country that promotes the freedom of faith/religion, I often hear disparaging remarks towards Muslims as a result of their beliefs and most often are persecuted by their peers. When one usually thinks about the United States, the word “freedom” comes to mind as it is something that is promised when one comes to the Unites States. The promise of religious freedom is one of the primary reasons that immigrants move to the United States to build a new life for themselves and their families. Religious freedom is a core American value protected by the Constitution, and ensures that people of all faiths are allowed to “practice their faith free from intimidation and discrimination”. As human beings, we need to promote not only religious freedom, but freedom to believe. Once we are able to accomplish this, we could finally grow as a country.

 ~Faisal 



+ 13
cocoa020 inquired: "I was browsing Your Fave Is Problematic and I saw the Selena Gomez post. I was just wondering, why was it bad that she had a henna tattoo? I think they referred to it as 'mehndi'. I was just wondering if it's really bad/racist or why it is called appropriation. I've gotten two henna tattoos before and I don't see it as racist, because it was just a beautiful flower design and a wolf. Selena's (I'm not a big fan of hers, it just caught my eye.) was just as presumably innocent."

The short answer is that she was appropriating henna and traditional henna desgins. (Henna is called different things in different places. In India, for example, it is called mehndi)

The use of henna itself is not appropriation because it is a type of dye. But the use of designs meant to mimic traditional middle eastern and south asian ones is appropriation.

In the case of Selena Gomez, her entire image for that one song was meant to portray to be ~exotic~ and used a lot of orientalist imagery, like the henna designs. I mean, she wore the bindi and traditional South Asian outfits and used them as props to portray an “ethnic” show,

Because her mimicking of traditional designs and overall appropriation, that is why she was wrong and racist.



+ 19

TN Tea Partiers freak out on TV reporter for covering their effort to block Muslim cemetery | The Raw Story 

Tempers flared in a confrontation between anti-Islamic activists and proponents of a plan to build an Islamic cemetery adjacent to a mosque in Murfreesboro, TN.

WSMV Channel 4 reported that supporters of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro asked the judge presiding over the hearing to recuse himself from today’s hearing about an injunction to stop the ICM’s expansion. The motion was granted, infuriating opponents to the cemetery plan.

Supporters of the Islamic Center said that Judge William Corlew lll ruled against them in the initial fight over whether to allow the mosque to be built at all in 2010. Federal judges overruled Corlew and construction proceeded.

The Islamic Center and its attorney John Green didn’t believe it could get an impartial ruling from Corlew in the matter and he recused himself from the hearing.

“We’ll go to another judge because the Islamic center didn’t think Judge Corlew could give them a fair trial. I think it was sad today for all the people took off work to be here,” said Lou Ann Zelenik, a local Tea Party officialand longtime opponent of the Islamic Center.

Green said that the “degree of hyperbole and misinformation” in the case has reached a point of true “absurdity.”

In the hallway outside the meeting room, mosque opponents turned nasty, jostling and shoving, then insulting a mosque supporter and ordering him not to film them.

One elder gentleman accompanying Zelenik said that Islam is “not a religion” and told ICM supporters, “You’re the ones that’s lying.”

The Murfreesboro Post reportedthat Zelenik’s group even turned on Channel 4 reporter Larry Flowers — who is African-American — barking at him, “Who are you?” and attempting to manhandle him.

“I don’t have a dog in this fight, so you do not touchme,” said Flowers angrily as one Tea Partier shoved him. “You hear me?”

Zelenik ran to represent Tennessee in Congress, challenging freshman Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) in 2012 and losing. Zelenik’s stridently anti-Islamic campaign rhetoric earned the contest the sobriquet“the craziest GOP House Race of the year” as each woman tried to prove that she was more staunchly anti-Muslim than her opponent.

The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro was just the beginning of a sweeping plan for an Islamic takeover of Tennessee and the imposition of “Sharia law,” Zelenik said. She endorsed two conservative legislators to attempt to ban the practice of Islam in Tennessee as a form of treason.



+ 28

Tom Rogan - Alice in Arabia and the Foul Idiocy of Censorship 

This is about the recent cancellation of the “Alice in Arabia” show from the ABC Family line-up due to very reasonable outcry from Arab and Muslim communities. (For more info on the response to the show, click here or here.)

And to put it simply, this article is full of crap! 

It claims that the outcry from concerned Arab and Muslim communities in American should “never have been able to succeed.”

And then goes on to talk about how this show would have benefited American cause it would have shown the lives of women in Saudi Arabia.

But this ignores the fact that the show would have trivialized the experiences of Saudi Arabian women (and Arab women all over the world) and stereotyped all Arabs.

The sheer fact that there were no Arab or Muslim members of the creative team shows that this show was going to be nothing more than a horrible rehash of outdated, imperialistic stereotypes of Arabs.

To say that ABC Family shouldn’t cancel it despite outcry from the community of people that the show was claiming to represent is ridiculous.

It also ignored the COUNTLESS statements written by Arab Americans and organizations representing Arab Americans saying that they wish ABC Family would reach out to Arabs and Muslims to create a nuanced television series that would represent them better. (Where they said they would want to show the lives of actual Muslims while also addressing complicated issues such as treatment of women in some countries). It could show all facets of Arab-American and Arabs in other countries without painting this black-and-white picture of the “Good Muslim who has assimilated to American Life” vs. “The Oppressive Muslims ~Over There~” as the show seemed to suggest.

It is not like Arabs and Muslims do not want to talk about the broader social problems that affect their communities around the world. We just don’t want those stories being told entirely by non-Arabs and non-Muslims.



awaitingmyescape:

h-e-a-v-e-n-s-tears:

uncensoredhijabii:

theblackdalia:

letnoorshine:

Footage I got of being HARASSED by Lou Ann Zelenik and others after a court hearing. Islamaphobia is alive and well in this part of the U.S. I’ve never, ever experienced anything like this in my entire life. Please share this video. Spread awareness.

Notice how they treat her, the black cameraman, the people around them. Notice how they feel they are being put “in the back of the bus”. Notice the raging issue in this video. Stop pretending this is not real. Stop pretending this country is advanced enough to even fathom a future as a post-racial society.

Absolutely sickening.

these people are so disgusting

I’M TRYING EXTREMELY HARD TO FIGHT BACK THE URGE TO FIND THIS BITCH



+ 89

"In this anti-Arab and Islamaphobic society obsessed with the horror of al Qaeda and making movies about the war against jihadists, apparently shwarma, zaatar, and grilled lamb are allowed past the borders. As long as they are served by white people. But then again, that’s how this country likes its hip hop, ramen, tacos, and Harlem Shake. So its par for the course." -

Jerusalem: A study in purpose, pleasure, politics, & perspective

(via ikhsaara)