The Islamic Monthly published the preliminary findings of my research on women and mosque leadership:
How do women fair in American mosques? How do fellow worshipers treat them? Are mosques accommodating the multiple needs of the female community?
In some joke of an attempt to open up dialogue Robert Huber missed the mark with his piece Being White in Philly.
This wasn’t an article on whiteness or the construction of whiteness, but rather an incoherent collection of how whites perceive blacks, largely as criminals. That is no surprise because if you look at comments in any article featuring a person of color, you will see a bunch of racist vitriol. I’d argue that many whites feel comfortable talking about race, just many of the racist assumptions and broad generalizations collapse under scrutiny. So, they don’t survive after peer review. Huber ignores conservative media, blogs, and books such as the Bell Curve, which do put forward views that can be deemed racist.
Huber missed a chance to have a very honest conversation about how white navigates race and class had he actually talked about white working class Philadelphians. That would have to include some unsavory elements of white society, including the meth addicts and petty criminals in South Philly.
Huber doesn’t talk about the every day encounters between whites and blacks, such as going to the doctor’s office and the many Black nurses and medical technicians, the Black bus drivers, the delivery men and women, parking lot attendants, black teachers, office workers, children, black moms on the bus. He doesn’t talk about the reason behind dirty looks and assumptions that some whites give Black mothers who are dropping off their kids on the bus. He doesn’t talk bout the reason why some whites find it hard to find commonality with blacks in those social mixers, in cafes, in restaurants, during the first friday’s art crawl. But maybe, there is something in there. That the main reason why white moms may find it hard to find common ground with me is because deep inside they, like Huber, associate Blackness with criminality. So thank you Philly Mag for an overly simplistic article that frames the discussion in a way that makes it impossible to move forward. I could say more, but I have a bad cold and a lot of work to do, rather than waste my time on this misguided effort.
The Muslim American community is held together with the belief that there is no God but the One True God and that Muhammad is His prophet. Muslims share daily patterns of worship, rituals of birth, marriage, and death. As one of the most diverse faith…