Mon, 6 May 2013
In the days after the Boston Marathon bombings, it was as predictable as the sunset: a wave of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim outrage swept through parts of America. But then the Tsarnaev brothers were caught: Muslim, yes, but white, literally Caucusian, from the Caucuses. A pothead... and a boxer.
What's a bigot supposed to do with that?
The truth is, life could be very confusing for those who think all Arabs are Muslims, all Muslims are Arabs, and all of them are terrorists... because all three of those things are wildly untrue. But that kind of confusion has created a lot of havoc in a lot of people's lives. On this episode of the Flaming Sword of Justice, author and professor Moustafa Bayoumi brings us into the lives of two young Arab-Americans, as chronicled in his award-winning book, How does it feel to be a problem? Being young and Arab in America. One is a Christian Arab US Marine who boarded the bus to the base on September 10, 2001. The other is a teenager born in Syria who was arrested in the middle of the night, released 80 days later with no charges and no apology, and had to explain to her professors why she'd missed so much class. In their stories, and in the larger history of Arabs in America, you'll learn how regular people navigate America's crazy tangles of race, religion, fear, and foreign policy... and you'll emerge more hopeful than you started.