Last year, the Georgetown Universities’ Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs hosted a conference on Muslim Minorities & Religious Freedom, featuring some of my favourite people and teachers such as Sheikh Hamza Yusuf and John Esposito – a true honour to be allowed to speak along those brilliant minds. I enjoyed discussing the situation in Europe with Jocelyne Cesari (Berkley Center) and Maajid Nawaz (former LIB Candidate, UK), moderated by Jennifer Bryson (Zephyr Institute).
It was important to me to point out how not only anti-Muslim racists and Muslim extremists play into the same narrative, but also ex-Muslims and Muslims who serve as “native informants” by building a career on the back of the Muslim community, giving credebility to racists by supporting their views about Muslims, taking advantage of their existing problems and/or misleadingly ascribing social issues to Islam and Muslims. Akif Pirincci, Necla Kelek and others are only a few of the many German examples. I also argued that it – unfortunately – takes damage caused at other minorities for mainstream society to notice racist pushes against the Muslim community as such:
Only then it is revealed that those pushes against Muslims are not based on certain honest and sicere intellectual concerns (as pretended) with certain practices, but are simply symbolic and populist acts.”