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Changing the Direction of Muslims
by Shireen Qudosi
Upon Obama's succession, the majority of the public believed that tensions between Muslim and non-Muslims were a thing of the past. Since his election, Obama has already appointed a U.S. envoy to the Muslim world, pulled an unknown deputy mayor of Los Angeles for an assistant director position with the Department of Homeland Security, and hired a Muslim woman as an interfaith advisor. Between this and the growing number of Muslims on Capitol Hill, it would be easy to imagine that America's traveling a golden path toward Muslim American relations.
Yet the past several months have witnessed a rise in tensions between Muslims and non-Muslims. Between demonstrations against building a mosque on Ground Zero, a renewed interesting in defying threats against depicting the prophet Muhammad, and (mostly recently) rising domestic tension between Israeli and Arab groups on the Flotilla attack, it is clear that American Muslim relations are deteriorating at a rapid pace.
As with the "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day," what we now see is a public reaction to the acts or attitudes held by a wider Muslim community. The same shift of action and reaction is what ultimately caused the New York public bus ads offering Muslim apostates refuge from a potentially hostile Muslim community – a move made in response to Islamic Circle of North America [ICNA].
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