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Making Muslims Justify Their Americanness

There’s no good response to the command “Prove you don’t support Hezbollah.” Acceding to a bad-faith frame is hopeless. That’s why we consider “When did you stop beating your wife?” or “Are you now or have you ever been a Communist?” to be disgraceful locutions. Except, apparently, if you’re an American Muslim.

Adam Serwer does a great job of defending the Muslim American Society, which has been attacked by Islamophobes in the right-wing blogosphere on baseless charges of support for terrorist groups. Those attacks led to community anxiety in Staten Island, where the group seeks to build a new mosque, since that’s what pops up with a quick Google. The shame is that the Muslim American Society is compelled to tell Adam stuff like this:

“The organization we’re part of is not in any way, shape or form linked to, subordinate to, or operating under any alliance with anyone doing anything illegal, we’re a 501(c)(3) organization,” says Ramey. “MAS is not a wing or confederate of Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, we have a legitimate interest in U.S. policy as it relates to Palestine and the Middle East, and we don’t embrace terrorists or people who do.”

Ultimately, the issue is that Ramey is a Muslim. That’s the actual evidence that people like Robert Spencer, MAS’s accuser, marshal against the group, because he doesn’t mind making the offensive conflation between “Muslim” and “terrorist.”

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