Doom of the wedge minorities II

We sometimes complain that the Muslims or the Hispanics aren’t assimilating, but that’s not true.  They’ve picked up their assigned roles of “we’re the new victims of white racism” remarkably quickly.  Case in point:  this article in the Chronicle Review by Muslim academic Moustafa Bayoumi.  Bayoumi is by turns bemused an appalled that ignorant “conservatives” are making a fuss over his forcing all the incoming freshmen at his college to read his Arab self-pity book How does it feel to be a problem?  Being young and Arab in America.  Somehow, they got the idea that students are being propagandized.

Incoming freshmen are always being propagandized, so lets drop that issue.  I’d like to focus on another.  Bayoumi is offende to be labeled an Islamic “radical”, and it is indeed very wrong to call him such.  I would certainly wouldn’t give Bayoumi enough credit to call him a Muslim radical.  It seems more likely that he’s just another sellout who’s willing to trade the integrity of his native religion in order to take his place in the liberal cosmopolis.  So far as one can tell from this essay, he sees Arab Muslims less as servants of Allah than as just one more oppressed American minority in need of majority group affirmation.  Consider the end of the article.

Or maybe there’s another source of the animus against me. Back in May, I published a short essay in The New York Times Magazine describing my experiences as an Arab extra on the set of Sex and the City 2. I was mildly critical of the movie for the way it used the Middle East, yet again, as an exotic stage for American pop-culture fantasies. Maybe that set some people off. After all, the show has a lot of hard-core fans.

So Sex and the City stereotyped Arabs.  One would think that a serious Muslim might have other objections to the show.

2 Responses

  1. Shall we force all freshman to read “How does it feel to be a problem? Being White and male in America”?

  2. Yeah, I just can’t get myself to believe that he can’t see the objection. “What, me propagandize? Heaven forbid. I’m just getting students to empathize (with only one side).” I was thinking of throwing at him something like “Being Christian or Jewish in the Muslim Middle East”, but I like your suggestion better. “A problem” is exactly how white males are thought of.

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