One thing I noted about Anisa Abd el Fattah's statements is their repeated and seemingly amicable reference to "White nationalists" -- e.g., "We also believe that the Jewish Lobby has acted to create an environment in the US that is hostile to Muslims, Arabs, and others, including White nationalists, and Christians ...." This Web page describing a page on which Anisa Abd el Fattah appeared (curiously, alongside Noam Chomsky) suggests that Abd el Fattah is black, and of course we know that she is a Muslim. Why then the specific support for White nationalists? Perhaps from a laudable desire to make sure that free speech is protected for all, including even those who would likely hate her for her race and quite likely for her religion?
I asked Abd el Fattah about this, building on her framing of what exceptions the First Amendment would have (exceptions that she sets forth to justify supressing certain speech from "the Jewish Lobby"):
I notice some references in your message to "White nationalists," but I'm not sure I quite grasp their connection to your argument. I take it that White nationalists tend to try to undermine the equal rights and equal protection of some US citizens. If so, what is exactly your complaint with regard to attempts to create a hostile environment for White nationalists?
She was kind enough to answer:
The point is that every American has equal rights to free speech. That aspect of White nationalist behavior that includes fear mongering, name calling, and intimidation is wrong, yet they argue that their actions result from their frustration that they are stereotyped, and misrepresented by the media and made to appear as enemies of blacks and Jews, and others, when they simply want to preserve the white race, and its majority status. They feel that Jewish supremacism threatens their existence, and that Jewish activism is aimed at limiting their rights, and many Christians feel that same way.
Most of what we are talking about here is how we can colllectively preserve and protect the identies, and rights of groups in the US that have conflicting desires, and sensitivties, while preserving a sense of nationalism, or rather Americanism that can serve as a glue for our society that is strong enough to hold our country togther in spite of some of the stark differences that we represent in race, religion, political outlooks, socio-economic backgrounds etc.
In our opinion, the Bill of Rights is that glue, and a near perfect social contract. I'm not suggesting that we are going to resolve these issues tommorrow, but I am suggesting that we must start. I am praying that the complaint will serve as a first word in a dialogue that will embrace all of the various groups, and that will remove all unfair stigmas, and stereotypes, allowing every group to define itself, and also to set the tone and rules for everyone's co-existence, and participation. The public space is increasingly smaller in my view, making it essential that we begin a dialogue on how 300 million people of different faiths, colors, races, cultures, attitudes, histories, hopes, etc., will share that space as equally and fully entitled American citizens.
Now please correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like she actually thinks the White nationalists have a point. True, she says, "That aspect of White nationalist behavior that includes fear mongering, name calling, and intimidation is wrong."
But then she goes on to explain how she feels their pain: "[Y]et they argue that their actions result from their frustration that they are stereotyped, and misrepresented by the media and made to appear as enemies of blacks and Jews, and others, when they simply want to preserve the white race, and its majority status. They feel that Jewish supremacism threatens their existence, and that Jewish activism is aimed at limiting their rights, and many Christians feel that same way." (She literally just says what "they argue" and "feel," but in context it seems like an endorsement of at least the legitimacy of their arguments.)
How touching! A black Muslim seeing white Nationalists not just as evil racists, but as people who have understandable grievances and simple desires. After all, "they simply want to preserve the white race, and its majority status"; simply that, and what they get out of it is "stereotyp[ing]," and "misrepresent[ation] by the media ... as enemies of blacks and Jews." (See here for a similarly touching story.) Seems hardly fair to the poor White nationalists, and even black Muslims should realize it. I mean, aren't we all brothers and sisters? All good Americans? Shouldn't we all be on the same side? Fighting against "the Jewish Lobby," of course.
Related Posts (on one page):
- A Heartwarming Tale of People Coming Together:
- Anisa Abd el Fattah on the First Amendment:
- Anisa Abd el Fattah Responds:
- Correction Regarding Anisa Abd el Fattah and CAIR:
- Former Member of CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) Board Files Complaint with Justice Department About (Among Others) "the 'Jewish Lobby'":