Where have all the Muslims gone?
March 25, 2003 8:00 PM   Subscribe

A teacher in Detroit notes the strange disappearance of an Iraqi student. "Even we are starting to notice that a few of our Middle Eastern students and parents and neighbors are disappearing. Another teacher said that my story made her realize she hasn't seen a certain Palestinian student for three weeks." Mass exodus? Detention? Deportation? Where are these students going?
posted by Hildegarde (23 comments total)
I live in a 34 unit apartment complex in Perth Western Australia and my neighbours are 80% Muslim from all over the world including Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia, Egypt, Oman, Saudi and Syria. All are families.

My neighbours haven't "disappeared" some of them, especially the women, stay indoors because ignorant plebs decide to attack them either verbally or (post Sept 11) physically. Unfortunately being of Arab appearance these days can make you a target.

I for one enjoy getting an Arab perspective on the world to temper my Western perspective.
posted by Civa at 8:21 PM on March 25, 2003

You know what would be nice in this link? Facts.

Let me boil it down for you. The author says one of her students abruptly disappeared. She doesn't know why or how, but assumes that he's being detained by the government. Then she hears from another teacher that a Palestinian student has also disappeared. She doesn't know why or how. IT MUST BE THE GOVERNMENT!

posted by eyeballkid at 8:26 PM on March 25, 2003

Immigration circles have been buzzing for months about Arab and Islamic immigrants bugging out to Canada in advance of both INS special registration programs, which have resulted in thousands of detentions and deportations for various problems (some of them arguably minor, others involving undocumented -- i.e. illegal -- immigrants), and also to avoid FBI interviews being conducted under Congressional directives to increase human intelligence gathering in support of the war on terrorism.

INS is now known as the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, and Special Registration for several groups has been extended into the spring of 2003, but has recently or soon will be ending. Those who wish to avoid special registration are leaving the country in advance of the deadline. (For Iraqi nationals, this deadline was February 7. Failure to register is a violation subject to deportation.)
posted by dhartung at 8:26 PM on March 25, 2003

Foreign exchange students are all being sent back is my understanding. It is unfortunate being a college student and now with this war, and increased anti-american sentiment, there will be a ton of places we can no longer visit. I've heard even foreign exchange students from the UK are being sent back, and Americans studying in the UK are being sent home. This sucks and I imagine that because they were unable to finish the semester (which is almost done) they will probably lose their grades and have a wasted semester. This is my understanding anyway, and correct me if I'm wrong. I never thought the day would come when I couldn't go to Paris without being lynched... that day is coming closer and closer with all of the anti-American sentiment looming around.
posted by banished at 8:32 PM on March 25, 2003

What eyeballkid said. I really need some facts before I can get agitated and hand-wringing about this.
posted by pmurray63 at 8:38 PM on March 25, 2003

eyeballkid, pmurray63: you sound like those who refused to believe what Pinochet (and countless other regimes) have historically done in the name of "security." Unfortunately the worst -- including internment without trial and physical torture -- is all too believable of this administration.

One word: Guantanamo.
posted by cbrody at 9:11 PM on March 25, 2003

banished: Your understanding from what source? The campuses around here are actively trying to make foreign students feel especially welcome, with no indication whatsoever that any group is being asked to leave.
posted by kewms at 9:23 PM on March 25, 2003

You want facts? For those too Caucasian to know what's going on, here's something meatier.
posted by ed at 9:44 PM on March 25, 2003

For those too Caucasian to know what's going on

Actually, for those who are not illegal immigrants.
posted by stbalbach at 9:58 PM on March 25, 2003

Oh, well that's because the US is turning into a facist dictatorship. Didn't she get the memo?
posted by delmoi at 10:01 PM on March 25, 2003

cbrody, and "I'm so less caucasian than you" ed, read my comment again. I said that the link in this post is lame because it provides no information besides some anecdotal paranoid ranting from an unidentified school teacher. dhartung's links after my post are a good example of a well researched post. Now that I've read the links he provided, I have a better understanding of the situation.

One word: research.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:04 PM on March 25, 2003

Oh. Sorry. I reread your post cbrody. It seems that you do get your information from unfounded, paranoid rants. Proceed.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:05 PM on March 25, 2003

Go Bush Administration! Kick Arab Ass! Oh.....sorry. I got carried away by all the enthusiasm of folks commenting on this thread.

eyeballkid - you didn't notice, I suppose, that Dhartung's first link is to a news story in which Muslims trying to leave the US and flee to Canada (leaving homes, friends and jobs behind because of fears of repression in the US) get bounced back by Canadian Customs to the US.......and then back to Canada, by US Customs.....and back to the US again...(?)
posted by troutfishing at 11:00 PM on March 25, 2003

eyeballkid: I have no objection to you calling me paranoid nor a ranter, but my views are most certainly not unfounded.

But then you'd probably rather believe what Rumsfeld & co want you to.
posted by cbrody at 11:51 PM on March 25, 2003

I never thought the day would come when I couldn't go to Paris without being lynched... that day is coming closer and closer with all of the anti-American sentiment looming around.

Parisians don't lynch--they're French, for thing, they don't hate us, for another. They hate the Bungle Boys. Anyway, it's not that bad...

What's French for French Fries? David Sedaris has been following the diplomatic fiascoes of the last few months from Paris, where he lives. Relations between France and the U.S. have been so horrible these days we asked him how it seemed from over there. He sent us this dispatch. (4 minutes)
posted by y2karl at 11:55 PM on March 25, 2003

Re the above, Sedaris' despatch starts at 27:21 into the programme.
posted by cbrody at 12:26 AM on March 26, 2003

Although there may be innocent explanations to these disappearances, the question is not farfetched. Bush and Ashcroft have made a direct assault on the principle of habeas corpus. Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution forbids the suspension of habeas corpus except "when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it." Lincoln is the only president to attempt to suspend habeas corpus, in much more dire circumstances that faced in America today, and was overruled by the Supreme Court.

The more complete phrase "habeas corpus ad subjiciendum" means bring the person forward for examination, that is, for a judicial hearing. The idea is that a person cannot be arbitrarily arrested by the government and held without a hearing to determine if the arrest is lawful. The Hamdi case which is working its way toward a much more compliant Supreme Court than that faced by Lincoln will determine whether the President, on his own whim, has the authority to imprison an American citizen indefinitely without a hearing or trial.

In fact last week Justice Scalia stated in a speech his opinion that the government has room to scale back individual rights during wartime and that most of the rights currently enjoyed go way beyond what the Constitution requires.
posted by JackFlash at 12:42 AM on March 26, 2003

Wow. I sometimes wonder if I'm typing in English or if anyone is bothering to read what I've posted.

But then you'd probably rather believe what Rumsfeld & co want you to.

Yeah. Right on baby. Because my previous posts to this thread and this site show my support for that fucker, or his fascist buddy Ashcroft. Why is it that everyone assumes that when someone questions the validity of a post (especially one as ass-wiped toliet paper moist and thin as this one) it is taken as some kind of political attack?

I am repeating myself for the dimwitted. The post that initiated this thread is hardly enough to base a debate on. Some teacher that we don't know says that one of her students has stopped coming to class. The student was Iraqi. Then on of her friends mentions that she noticed that one of her students, a Palestinian has also stopped coming to class.

I thank you cbrody for the link, which is all I was asking for. Which is why I complimented dhartung's post (and I still don't see the contradiction in his first link and why that relates to the validity of the post that sparked this thread.) Is it too much to ask that people back up what they are saying with an actual link?
posted by eyeballkid at 1:54 AM on March 26, 2003

That probably could have been clearer, but I really don't give a shit at this point.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:58 AM on March 26, 2003

eyeballkid: Yes, I have now taken the trouble to read some of your other posts and I take back what I said about our good friend Rummy. But the fact the remains that you labelled the post as "lame". I saw this as a troll, to which I should not have risen.

I thought MeFi was about posting interesting links, not about setting the framework for a debate, with the poster providing supporting arguments for a pre-determined ideological viewpoint, thus attracting the ire of those holding opposing viewpoints. This seems to be what MeFi is becoming, unfortunately.

I thought this was a good post that raises valid question s about what Muslim-Americans are having to endure at this difficult time. It's a big unknown to most of us.

In my view the US has become increasingly hysterical about anything and everything that could remotely be construed as a security risk, and this article was further evidence (if any were needed) that many people's human rights may be in serious jeopardy.
posted by cbrody at 5:53 AM on March 26, 2003

Eyeballkid a bush-supporting war monger! Film at 11.
posted by zpousman at 6:10 AM on March 26, 2003

And here - an attempt to fact check...
posted by Karmakaze at 9:03 AM on March 26, 2003

I've heard Americans studying in the UK are being sent home.

From whom? Because while I hate to fall back on anecdotal evidence, I would expect the American student whose desk is approximately 1 metre from mine to be somewhat more agitated about this than he is, rather than him not forseeing getting back home for a while.
Having said that he's not in today so maybe a Marine snatch squad has plucked him from danger.
posted by biffa at 10:01 AM on March 26, 2003

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