Esposito urges Muslims to integrate better to defeat Islamophobia

John L. Esposito (Photo: Today's Zaman, Kamil Arlı)
John L. Esposito (Photo: Today's Zaman, Kamil Arlı)

Date posted: September 15, 2013


A world-renowned scholar who has written numerous books on Islamophobia has urged Muslims living in the West to integrate into mainstream society, which he says is the most effective way to defeat the Islamophobia that is taking hold in the West, particularly in Europe.

John L. Esposito, a professor at Georgetown University, told Sunday’s Zaman that the best way to be effective in beating Islamophobia is for a generation of Muslim youths to make sure that they get the training and the ability to join the mainstream in Western societies.

He said the history of ethnic groups in America and elsewhere clearly shows that these groups are marginalized early on but start to move up when they developed generations that became lawyers, doctors and those who worked in the media. He said this is a long term strategy but that it is important.

At a student level, Esposito said, they could organize speaker forums and responses to the media. He noted that students need to equip themselves to know what they are talking about and not to be merely passionate “but also get off their ‘sitting’ and actually be willing to get involved and put in some work on doing these kind of things.”

Esposito called for dialogue to fight Islamophobia on campuses and said that when students disagree with those they think are Islamophobes, “you have to able to challenge them and show why they are wrong.”

Esposito said that one has to know what’s going on in the world in addition to culture and history and be able to respond intelligently. “It’s not enough, for example, to say Islam believes in democracy,” Esposito said.

For example, Esposito said people in America or Europe will say: “Well, it’s been a century of jihad. Muslims have no history of being open to other groups in a society, they have a real problem with pluralism.” He said Muslims have to be able to talk about Islamic history and even be willing to compare it to Christian history. An argument, he continued, could be made that in Islamic history, Jews and Christians had a place in society, but by modern standards, non-Muslims are second-class citizens. “But by standards then, in Christendom, you don’t have that kind of right,” he added.

In some countries and communities, he said, there are needs for response to radicalism but particularly to the conditions that breed radicalism in their countries. He also pointed to division within the Muslim world “on almost everything.” He cited differences between Iran and Lebanon, and the Gulf.

He then asked a rhetorical question: Why aren’t there more responses from some Muslim societies and countries to the coup in Egypt and the subsequent bloodbath?

Esposito lauded Turkey’s role and efforts in defeating Islamophobia and said Turkey is a very good example of both fighting Islamophobia and its role in international affairs. He said Turkey states its positions clearly and “as we say in America ‘walks the way it talks’,” although one could accuse the West of “not walking the way it talks.” He added that some Muslim governments could be accused of talking about human rights while at the same time quietly increasing their domestic security forces and expelling people from their countries in reaction to the threat of a wave of democracy. “I think Turkey still provides a constructive model,” he concluded.

Source: Today's Zaman , September 15, 2013

Related News

Enes Kanter – A Dervish in the NBA

The first time I went to Oklahoma City, I was wondering, how am I going to do this? I’m a Muslim player, I pray 5 times a day, fast, eat halal food. So when I got to OKC, I told the chefs, the organization, I’m a Muslim, I need to do this, this, this. They were so respectful.

Jews and Muslims Break Their Fasts Together

Romy Zipken On Tuesday night, in a large, floral wallpapered room on the second floor of Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope, about 200 people came together for the Tisha B’Av fast break and the Ramadan iftar. Tired, thirsty, and hungry, they could have just stayed home. But they didn’t. Some brought their families, and some came […]

Elizabeth Munisoglu on Hizmet Movement

Elizabeth Munisoglu is a Commissioner at State of California Superior Court, Los Angeles County. She received her Juris Doctor degree from Pepperdine University School of Law in 1988. Munisoglu specialized in criminal law, and served as the Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney for 18 years.

An ‘impossible’ choice: Leave 5-year-old son in foster care or risk being tortured

Nehir Aydin could be forced to make what she calls an “impossible” decision: either leave her five-year-old son alone in Canada, making him a ward of the state, or return to Turkey with him, where she and her family are at risk of persecution because of their religious beliefs.

First-Ever Comprehensive Biography on Fethullah Gülen

In the first-ever comprehensive biography, Fethullah Gülen: A Life of Hizmet – Why A Muslim Scholar in Pennsylvania Matters to the World, author Jon Pahl gains unprecedented access to Fethullah Gulen’s inner circle as well as to Gülen himself.

Legislators joined Peace Islands Institute to distribute meat during Eid al-Adha

During the Islamic holiday of “Eid al-Adha” from October 15th-18th, 2013, the Peace Islands Institute (PII) paid visits to local Food Pantries with legislators to donate fresh meat to celebrate the eid so as to serve our NJ community, by remembering the poor during this holy season. Asm. Thomas P. Giblin (District 34) underlined the extreme generosity of the PII during the observance of Eid al Adha and noted that this demonstrated great community spirit and willingness to help families in need”

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Kimse Yok Mu to establish two schools in quake-stricken Haiti

Pakistan admits they secretly deported Turkish family wanted by Erdogan govt

Pak–Turk cooperation: Turkish NGO to support free eye surgeries

African Union, Kimse Yok Mu Sign Landmark Agreement

Ultranationalist Columnist Says Turkey Must Get Rid Of Gülen Followers, Hints At Mass Burning

Dissidents of the Turkish government are living in fear in Canada

Mali education minister lauds teachers in nation’s Turkish schools

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News