Book cites danger of U.S. anti-Muslim prejudice
A leading Muslim scholar who holds distinguished academic chairs at the U.S. Naval Academy and American University says prejudice against darker-skinned people in the United States is driving Pakistani youths here into the arms of terrorists.
Akbar Ahmed, who also served as Pakistan’s ambassador to Britain, says in a new book that “homegrown terrorism is the result of a combination of factors.”
“Muslim Americans feel discriminated against and misunderstood by their fellow Americans,” says Ahmed, whose team of five researchers spent over a year interviewing Muslims and non-Muslims in 75 U.S. cities.
His book, “Journey into America: the Challenge of Islam,” will be published in June, according to an announcement from American University.
“There is a definitive lack of understanding about the Muslim culture in the United States,” Ahmed said in a press release from A.U. “This leads to various forms of discrimination, thus leaving many Muslim Americans feeling ostracized and frustrated.”
It is urgent, he maintains, that American leaders, including prominent Muslims, address the issue, “to prevent another 9/11.”
“By ignoring these types of issues, American leaders are turning their backs to the root of what causes such tragedies as 9/11,” Ahmed said.
“If we do not gain a clear understanding as to why these issues continue to persist, the relationship with Muslims living in the United States and their American neighbors will only continue to weaken the already fragile tinder box that exists.”
| May 21, 2010; 6:03 PM ET
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