For Muslims, Benevolence Is Prevailing Over Backlash
October 6, 2001 1:18 AM   Subscribe

For Muslims, Benevolence Is Prevailing Over Backlash "The people in the neighborhood were so nice you don't believe," said Barakat, 44, who runs the store for the American Muslim Foundation. "This is like another family I have. This is my big family. I want to thank everybody."
posted by NortonDC (3 comments total)
It's great to read stuff like this once in a while. Thanks, NortonDC.

I don't mean to hijack the thread here, but even with the backlash and all in America and Australia and elsewhere after the events of the 11th, I find it hard to believe that the daily lives of immigrants from Islamic countries who live in the West can be much worse than they are here in Korea.

There are large but little-known communities of South/Central Asian illegal workers here, who are paid next to nothing, treated abysmally, and shunned by the determinedly monocultural Korean people, and must live lives of quiet desperation to make a pittance to send home to their families, in constant fear of deportation.

Most Koreans are unwilling to take what are called the '3-D jobs' here (dirty, difficult, dangerous) and these factory jobs are often taken by illegal immigrants from Central Asia. Every morning I walk through a factory district to the University where I teach, and see groups of these folks on their way to work. They are otherwise invisible - it's one of the myriad untold stories about this country.

I'm not sure what my point is, entirely...I guess that in a lot of ways, despite the fact that I like to rag on the Great Satan as much as anyone (*joke*), it's still a beacon, and rightly so, for folks around the world whose lives are truly impoverished, and is, if not full of, at least not devoid of kind, tolerant people.

Stories like this remind us of that. Aww, shucks.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:36 AM on October 6, 2001

Wow. I woke up in a crabby mood with a toothache, grabbed some breakfast, plopped myself down in front of the computer and read that article. Crabby mood? What crabby mood? Thanks for posting that. It's lovely to hear about the things that are going right.

Here in the Twin Cities we've been getting reports about women and girls who wear the hijab being glared and muttered at when they go out in public. I noticed one Somali woman who was shopping with her children had assigned her youngest boy the task of carrying around a small American flag. It was cute to look at, but she and her family shouldn't have to prove their loyalty. Reading this article gave me some ideas as to what more I could do to help out during these hard times.
posted by Sibyl at 8:09 AM on October 6, 2001

"Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty." Perhaps we need this now more than ever. Or perhaps the kindness and beauty doesn't have to be random or senseless, so long as it happens.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:42 PM on October 6, 2001

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