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How well are American Muslims fitting in?
Christian Science Monitor ^ | July 19, 2005 | Howard LaFranchi

Posted on 07/19/2005 12:09:51 PM PDT by Graybeard58

The suicide bombings in London raise questions of assimilation for the 3 million Muslims in the US.

WASHINGTON - It's called the "Virginia Jihad" case: Iraqi-American medical researcher Ali al-Yimimi, who preached in northern Virginia mosques and disseminated his radical thinking on the Web, was sentenced to life imprisonment last week. His crime: inciting followers, many of them young American-born Muslims, to a violent defense of Islam and war against the United States and its intervention in Islamic countries.

Mr. Timimi's sentencing in an Alexandria, Va., courtroom came against the backdrop of the London bombings, which British police now say were carried out by young British Muslims - and not foreign terrorists as in the case of the Sept. 11 attacks. They also say that the mastermind may have been a US-educated Egyptian chemist arrested Friday in Cairo.

The London blasts not only brought the phenomenon of terrorists blowing themselves up to Western soil, but they raise new concerns of home-grown terrorism - not to mention a sense of dread about consequences among Britain's predominately peaceful and moderate Muslim population of approximately 1.6 million.

In the US, the attacks and events like the Virginia Jihad case are raising anxieties about immigrants and their allegiances in the midst of a rapidly expanding immigrant population. With a new report finding that births to foreign-born women in the US are at their highest level ever - nearly 1 in 4 - some experts are warning that the traditional rapid assimilation of immigrants risks breaking down - with potentially worrisome consequences.

"Traditionally you had in the US an immigrant child learning to swim in a sea of native children, but increasingly it is the children of natives lost in a sea of children of immigrants," says Steven Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington. His research of US Census figures shows that in 2002, 23 percent of US births were to immigrant mothers - up from 15 percent in 1990.

The figure is closer to 25 percent today, Mr. Camarota adds, and could approach 30 percent by 2010.

The vast majority of those children are born to Mexican and other immigrant Spanish-speaking women - a fact that prominent experts like Harvard's Samuel Huntington, of "clash of civilizations" fame, say presents its own special challenges.

Camarota estimates that the US Muslim population is about 3 million, including converts. Other organizations, such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, put the overall number much higher, at perhaps 6 million. Based on a 2002 study of US immigrants from the broader Middle East, Camarota estimates around 600,000 children of Muslim immigrants in the US.

These facts, set in the context of new twists in Islamic terrorism, are raising questions about how well the children of Muslim immigrants are being assimilated.

In California, the issue arose last month in the Central Valley town of Lodi - with a community of some 3,000 Muslims, mostly Pakistani immigrants or their descendants - where federal agents arrested two residents, a father and a son, for allegedly lying about links to terrorist-training camps in Pakistan, and two local imams.

The Lodi case roiled the city's Muslim community, raising worries about the sudden national spotlight, and drawing professions of allegiance and love for America from the local Muslim residents.

Such cases appear to be feeding a growing sense of concern among Americans about immigration, and about Muslim immigrants in particular. In a new survey published last week by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, Americans joined other Westerners in the perception that Muslims have a strong and growing sense of Islamic identity, and want to remain distinct from the mainstream culture.

"What we're seeing is a relationship between a perception of separatism among Muslims living in these [North American and European] countries and serious concerns about extremism," says Carolyn Funk, senior project director for the international survey of Islamic extremism.

The survey of 17 countries did find that approval of terrorist acts such as suicide bombings is falling in many Muslim countries, with more Muslims expressing concerns about the threat posed by Islamic extremism to their own country. Even Osama bin Laden is losing some of the shine he enjoyed in some countries, such as Morocco and Indonesia, although the survey shows esteem for him actually rising in Jordan and Pakistan.

In Western countries with sizable Muslim minorities, the survey shows, concerns about unassimilating populations run parallelel to worries about extremist violence. In the US, where 70 percent said they worried about Islamic extremism in their country, half said they sensed an increasing interest in Islamic identity, and generally saw that as a bad thing. "The US is on the lower end [when compared to European countries]," says Ms. Funk, "but the same trend is there."

Americans seem to be of two minds about immigration, with a new Gallup poll confirming that ambivalence: It finds that a large majority of Americans think immigration is good for the country, while at the same time feeling that current levels of immigration are too high. For experts like CIS's Camarota and others, those misgivings reflect a concern about the ability - or desire - of some groups to assimilate.

At the same time, many Muslim community representatives say assimilation has become more difficult as Islamic extremism has risen to have an impact on the West. And they add that addressing the isolation and fanaticism that can feed homegrown extremism has to be the work of both the Islamic community and the broader society.

"The challenges for immigrants, and in particular for Muslims, are more formidable in the post-9/11 era; the assimilation process is a much more difficult mountain to climb," says Salam al-Marayati, national director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles. Comparing the assimilation process to something of a two-way street, he says there are essential roles for both the minority Muslim community and the majority society "to make sure that Islam and Muslims play a positive role in American pluralism."

He also says that public officials must do more to acknowledge the cooperation they are getting from and relationships they are building with the Muslim community. He notes for example that his organization is working with the Department of Justice and the FBI on an antiterrorism campaign that has resulted in community forums and training in 20 cities. But he says officials have never held the press conference acknowledging the program as promised.

"All I can think is that there are political calculations that keep them from doing it," Mr. Marayati says.

If true, that would run counter to what many experts say is a key factor in preventing another attack on US soil: the cooperation and allegiance of American Muslims. Clearly many have played key roles in cases where law enforcement has been able to target activities with potentially violent designs.

But some Muslims say more encouragement is needed. "There's a lack of space for Muslims to contribute to the political and social spheres," Marayati says, "and you end up with an exclusion of the American Muslim voice."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alialtimimi; alialyimimi; altimimi; anthrax; assimilation; gwot; iraqiamericans; iraqiscientists; lodicell; muslimamericans; paintballcell; salamalmarayati; vajihad; virginiajihad; wmd; yimimi

1 posted on 07/19/2005 12:09:51 PM PDT by Graybeard58
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To: Graybeard58
How well are American Muslims fitting in?

Think square peg, round hole.

2 posted on 07/19/2005 12:13:59 PM PDT by softwarecreator (Facts are to liberals as holy water is to vampires)
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To: Graybeard58

A young Muslim man, who refused to give his name, shows his feelings toward the media outside the Federal Court House in Buffalo, New York September 18, 2002 where he sat to show his support for the six local suspected al Qaeda supporters who appeared inside the court, September 18, 2002. The six men have been charged with providing material support to al Qaeda from nearby Lackwanna, New York. Reuters/Mark Dye

3 posted on 07/19/2005 12:16:11 PM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: Graybeard58
First of all, there's likely no where near 3 million muslims.  You only get near that number if you include all those in prison who see islam as an excuse for a cool hat and a new name, and possibly, a way to pi$$ off whitey.  Their commitment to islam tends to last just until the ribs start smelling good at the "Welcome Home Malik" party.
 
The real hard core muslims are fitting in quite nicely though.  Aided by their suicidal friends in the MSM and W telling us that islam is "a religion of peace", their sleeper cells remain undisturbed.
 
Owl_Eagle

(If what I just wrote makes you sad or angry,

 it was probably sarcasm)

4 posted on 07/19/2005 12:17:04 PM PDT by South Hawthorne (In Memory of my Dear Friend Henry Lee II)
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To: softwarecreator

Isnt it interesting how the muslims have gained "power" as a political group post 9/11? Attack america and you gain political power in the eyes of the media!! These sick f*cks....

No one ever cared about the who they were going to vote for, but in the 2004 election the media continually said things like
"who are the muslims going to vote for?"
"what do the political parties have to do to get the muslim vote?"
"they're not voting for george bush because he started an unjust war in iraq"


5 posted on 07/19/2005 12:17:15 PM PDT by Stellar Dendrite (Support George Allen in 08!)
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To: softwarecreator

Still, and I don't want to tempt fate here, but one would hope they're too intimidated to try anything. I know they certainly haven't done much up here yet, perhaps they are waiting to be emboldened by bigger numbers. There's about 500,000 up here, but I don't really see them as much of a group - yet. Then again, they all live in the outskirts, and I never go there.


6 posted on 07/19/2005 12:17:31 PM PDT by Ashamed Canadian (America - please invade us now!)
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To: Owl_Eagle

" W telling us that islam is "a religion of peace""

Don't forget celebrating Ramadan!!
Barf....


7 posted on 07/19/2005 12:18:14 PM PDT by Stellar Dendrite (Support George Allen in 08!)
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To: AntiGuv
A young Muslim man, who refused to give his name, shows his feelings toward the media

That pretty well sums up my feelings for the media too.

For different reasons though.

8 posted on 07/19/2005 12:18:30 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for Sgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: Graybeard58
"There's a lack of space for Muslims to contribute to the political and social spheres," Marayati says, "and you end up with an exclusion of the American Muslim voice."

The bloodcurdling "Muslim voice" is not only anathema to ANY other "voice" in American political/social spheres, but incompatible with the entire Founders' Constitution and premise of "freedom." Period.

IF they can't get elected and don't like it, then let 'em hump the next camel to...Europe.

9 posted on 07/19/2005 12:20:37 PM PDT by F16Fighter
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To: Stellar Dendrite
Very good point.  Only in America!
10 posted on 07/19/2005 12:22:14 PM PDT by softwarecreator (Facts are to liberals as holy water is to vampires)
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: Ashamed Canadian
There's about 500,000 up here, but I don't really see them as much of a group - yet

It only took 19 of them, only about 4 of whom were willing participants, to cause 9-11 and kill thousands.

12 posted on 07/19/2005 12:24:44 PM PDT by softwarecreator (Facts are to liberals as holy water is to vampires)
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To: Graybeard58

Conflicting to say the least.

13 posted on 07/19/2005 12:27:27 PM PDT by OB1kNOb (Liberal sensitivities offend me.)
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To: Graybeard58

Escort the 3 million muslims to any muslim country and let them continue their religion with others of their own kind.


14 posted on 07/19/2005 12:28:35 PM PDT by lilylangtree
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To: AntiGuv
Hopefully the Muslim double-finger man was indicted and joined his friends shortly after that photo was taken.
15 posted on 07/19/2005 12:28:48 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Drug prohibition laws spawned the runaway federal health care monopoly and fund terrorism.)
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To: Graybeard58

I have friends who are second generation Pakastani-Americans. You couldn't find a nicer family. Conservative, family-value types. Perhaps some of the stereotypes posted here aren't quite accurate...


16 posted on 07/19/2005 12:30:35 PM PDT by frankenMonkey
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To: lilylangtree

In Maine they don't fit in & don't try. They're only here for the welfare and, IMHO, as sleepers......


17 posted on 07/19/2005 12:31:23 PM PDT by MrLee
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To: AntiGuv

I think this yellow bellied coc*-sucker should be the first contestant in the new "Reality" gameshow called Sharp Sword. First he sticks one of those fingers in each ear, then a big biker named Scooter removes a hardbound copy of the Quran from a toilet, beats him senseless with it, and whops off his head with a hatchet. We time Muhammad to see how long he can keep his head from hitting the ground. Paradise for the winner.


18 posted on 07/19/2005 12:41:11 PM PDT by WideGlide (That light at the end of the tunnel might be a muzzle flash.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

"Hopefully the Muslim double-finger man was indicted and joined his friends shortly after that photo was taken."

Yea right. He probably is on welfare, has a green card, and is signed up on all kinds of social programs to get freebies.


19 posted on 07/19/2005 12:56:06 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned)
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To: WideGlide
First he sticks one of those fingers in each ear, then a big biker named Scooter removes a hardbound copy of the Quran from a toilet, beats him senseless with it, and whops off his head with a hatchet.

I was in prison with a big biker named Scooter who was a Bandido. He beat a government snitch to death by beating him over the head with a VCR, so your idea is not really that far fetched!

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
With Howard Dean the dems have formally graduated from "disarray" to "debacle", with "irretrievable disaster" just around the corner.
20 posted on 07/19/2005 1:01:00 PM PDT by speed_addiction ( Somethings gnaw on a man worse'n dyin'!)
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To: frankenMonkey; Graybeard58

I know several Muslim Pakistani, Indian, Iranian, and Bangledeshi (Bengali? not sure they left during the wars) families in NJ. All of them are really good people, except for one wayward son, who is the epitomy of the American rebel, drugs sex and rock and roll.

Hell, 2nd generation Pakistani women can get their father's blessing, and even encouragement, to date Jewish guys in NY/NJ. I've had a Pakistani man I know want me to date his daughter.

They all belong to mosques in NJ that would be considered of the older strain of Western-integrated, non Salafi, non Wahhabi Islam, and do participate in cultural, political and social events throughout North NJ.

So, don't be too harsh on Muslim Americans as a group, differentiate their sub groups, like you'd seperate the snake handlers from other Protestant demoninations.

Which means, there coexists dozens of Salafi and Wahhabi sect mosques in NJ, along with the previous generations' gentrified mosques.


21 posted on 07/19/2005 1:07:15 PM PDT by JerseyHighlander
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To: JerseyHighlander
So, don't be too harsh on Muslim Americans as a group, differentiate their sub groups, like you'd seperate the snake handlers from other Protestant demoninations.

The problem is, a certain percentage of muslims want to slaughter the infidels and establish sharia, and are supported by lots of money, imams and mosques. Not to mention the koran, and the bloody example set by their prophet. Snake handlers don't present any threat to western civilization, but islamic terrorists and their supporters most certainly do.

22 posted on 07/19/2005 1:27:30 PM PDT by teawithmisswilliams (Question Diversity)
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To: Stellar Dendrite
Don't forget celebrating Ramadan!!

And Kwanzaa.
23 posted on 07/19/2005 2:29:38 PM PDT by andyk (Go Matt Kenseth!)
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To: Graybeard58
some experts are warning that the traditional rapid assimilation of immigrants risks breaking down

Assimilation? Not in this multi-cultural society.
24 posted on 07/19/2005 2:31:13 PM PDT by andyk (Go Matt Kenseth!)
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To: andyk

Have you ever checked into the history of Kwanzaa? THe guy who invented it was a commie


25 posted on 07/19/2005 2:31:13 PM PDT by Stellar Dendrite (Support George Allen in 08!)
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To: Stellar Dendrite
Have you ever checked into the history of Kwanzaa?

Oh yeah, I bookmarked this Ann Coulter thread a few years back. The last post on the thread has a lot of great links.
26 posted on 07/19/2005 2:36:28 PM PDT by andyk (Go Matt Kenseth!)
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To: andyk

Wow...thanks, FRiend!


27 posted on 07/19/2005 2:39:23 PM PDT by Stellar Dendrite (Support George Allen in 08!)
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To: Stellar Dendrite

the inventor of Kwanzaa also was in prison for torturing and raping a young black girl. Amazing


28 posted on 07/19/2005 6:08:31 PM PDT by Luigi Vasellini (60% of Saudis, 58%of Iraqis, 55%of Kuwaitis,50% of Jordanians married 1st or 2nd cousins. LOL!!!)
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