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HoustonPress: 6 Other Times Texans Freaked Out About Islam This Year

Texas_Arabic

By Meagan Flynn, Houston Press

This Monday morning, anti-Muslim protesters hoisting American flags took to the sidewalks outside of Houston’s new Arabic Immersion Magnet School. It was like a scene straight out of 1957 Little Rock.

The protesters were greeted by four- and five-year-olds with their brand new backpacks, some of them going to school for the first time ever. For all of them, though, they were attending the first Arabic immersion school in the country. They’ll learn English and social studies in English and math and science in Arabic. To the protesters outside, however, somehow this equated to teaching a religion (Islam, of course), supporting jihadist terrorism, and denouncing American patriotism and culture.

“Everything I ever cared to know about Islam was taught to me by Muslims on 9-11-2001,” one sign read.

“QATAR OUT OF OUR Schools,” read another.

“It would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic,” Mustafaa Carroll, executive director of the Houston chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations, told the Houston Press this week. “The school is just trying to teach the students Arabic—it’s just learning a language. And I don’t know why someone would protest that. It really doesn’t make any sense whatsoever to me.”

Carroll sees any opportunity to be exposed to Arabic language and culture as a positive step for the community—especially in a city whose primary industry is oil and energy. According to the Houston Chronicle, the Arabic-speaking population in Houston grew by one-third between 2009 and 2013, up to 23,300 people.

And although many Arabic speakers are not even Muslim, that mattered little to the protesters outside HISD’s immersion school this week. “Any time there’s an Arab anything or a Muslim anything, these folks come out of the woodwork,” Carroll said.

Here are six more times that happened in Texas this year.

6. Third grade teacher spews anti-Muslim hate on right-wing TV show

Continue reading…

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  • Just_Stopping_By

    Really good point!

    We should all be against the view that education is some form of Trojan Horse in which these children may *gasp* learn something about Arabic and perhaps Arab and Muslim culture. Because, then, they might *double gasp* find Arabs and Muslims to be normal people just like everyone else, with hopes and fears, and strengths and weaknesses. Why, that could even lead to these children thinking that Arabs and Muslims are “normal” and *triple gasp* worth talking to and *infinite gasp* having as friends!

  • Yausari

    You guys should really talk about aljazeera journalists detained in Egypt.

  • sasboy

    The number of people at this “protest” seems to be around half dozen – a piddling number, if that. So I have reason do doubt these people even reflect public opinion in Texas or elsewhere.

    The local Arab community should not give them one single inch. Educating children in different languages is NOT a crime or an act of terrorism.

    I support attempts to punish terrorists, but sending children to schools to learn Arabic culture is NOT terrorism and standing firm and defiant in the face of these who pretend it is represents the way forward.

  • Yausari

    Well they were protesting against education. So it’s safe to assume that logic doesn’t apply here.

  • Laurent Weppe

    That’s logical: racists view well integrated immigrants as unwanted competition.

  • 1DrM

    Where are the trigger happy cops when you need them….

  • mindy1

    What the hell is in the water? They try to assimilate, they still get condemned.

  • mindy1

    Damned if do, damned if don’t. :/

  • Just_Stopping_By

    Item #5 was interesting. One part involved Islamophobes protesting a Muslim event by carrying signs including “You are NOT American. Don’t fly our flags!”

    So, if American Muslims don’t support the American flag, they are bad. And if they do support the American flag, they are bad. Got it. 🙁

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