#1
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/29/magazine/my-life-as-a-muslim-in-the-wests-gray-zone.html

here's the first bit of the article

Some months ago, I gave a reading from my most recent novel in Scottsdale, Ariz. During the discussion that followed, a woman asked me to talk about my upbringing in Morocco. It’s natural for readers to be curious about a writer they’ve come to hear, I told myself. I continued to tell myself this even after the conversation drifted to Islam, and then to ISIS. Eventually, another woman raised her hand and said that the only Muslims she saw when she turned on the television were extremists. “Why aren’t we hearing more from people like you?” she asked me.

“You are,” I said with a nervous laugh. “Right now.” I wanted to tell her that there were plenty of ordinary Muslims in this country. We come in all races and ethnicities. Some of us are more visible by virtue of beards or head scarves. Others are less conspicuous, unless they give book talks and it becomes clear that they, too, identify as Muslims.

To be fair, I’m not a very good Muslim. I don’t perform daily prayers anymore. I have never been on a pilgrimage to Mecca. I partake of the forbidden drink. I do give to charity whenever I can, but I imagine that this would not be enough to save me were I to have the misfortune, through an accident of birth or migration, to live in a place like Raqqa, Syria, where in the last two years, the group variously known as Daesh, ISIL or ISIS has established a caliphate: a successor to past Islamic empires. Life in Raqqa reportedly follows rules that range from the horrifying to the absurd: The heads of people who have been executed are posted on spikes in the town’s main square; women must wear a niqab and be accompanied by a male companion when they go out; smoking and swearing are not allowed; chemistry is no longer taught in schools and traffic police are not permitted to have whistles because ISIS considers them un-Islamic.

As part of its efforts to spread its message outside the territory it controls, ISIS puts out an English-language magazine, Dabiq, which can be found online. In February, Dabiq featured a 12-page article, complete with high-resolution photos and multiple footnotes, cheering the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 and claiming that they made manifest for the world two camps: the camp of Islam under the caliphate and the camp of the West under the crusaders. The article ran under the title “The Extinction of the Grayzone.” The gray zone is the space inhabited by any Muslim who has not joined the ranks of either ISIS or the crusaders. Throughout the article, these Muslims are called “the grayish,” “the hypocrites” and, for variety, “the grayish hypocrites.”

On Nov. 13, men who had sworn allegiance to ISIS struck the city of Paris, killing 130 people at different locations mostly in the 10th and 11th arrondissements, neighborhoods that are known for their multiculturalism. As soon as I heard about the attacks, I tried to reach a cousin of mine, who is studying in Paris. I couldn’t. I spent the next two hours in a state of crushing fear until he posted on Facebook that he was safe. Relieved, I went back to scrolling through my feed, which is how I found out that my friend Najlae Benmbarek, a Moroccan journalist, lost her cousin. A recently married architect, Mohamed Amine Ibnolmobarak was eating dinner with his wife at the Carillon restaurant when an ISIS terrorist killed him.

It was probably not a coincidence that the Paris attacks were aimed at restaurants, a concert hall and a sports stadium, places of leisure and community, nor that the victims included Muslims. As Dabiq makes clear, ISIS wants to eliminate coexistence between religions and to create a response from the West that will force Muslims to choose sides: either they “apostatize and adopt” the infidel religion of the crusaders or “they perform hijrah to the Islamic State and thereby escape persecution from the crusader governments and citizens.” For ISIS to win, the gray zone must be eliminated.


I'm going to refrain from participating much in this discussion, but I'm interested in hearing your thoughts or experiences.
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#3
How come nobody ever talks about Bosnia and Herzegovina


Gozd in gora poj,
silen ženimo hrup,
uboga gmajna, le vpup, le vkup,
le vkup, le vkup z menoj,
staro pravdo v mrak tulimo,
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#4
Quote by JamSessionFreak
How come nobody ever talks about Bosnia and Herzegovina

are they cousins too?
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
#6
one year my husband and I are gonna go as sterling and lana for halloween
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#7
Quote by vintage x metal
one year my husband and I are gonna go as sterling and lana for halloween

What and make it awkward for everyone else cos of all of that sexual tension? That's just mean.
#8
Quote by vintage x metal
one year my husband and I are gonna go as sterling and lana for halloween


My wife and I did this, but we did a very poor job of it
My God, it's full of stars!
#9
Quote by Hydra150
are they cousins too?

Da


Gozd in gora poj,
silen ženimo hrup,
uboga gmajna, le vpup, le vkup,
le vkup, le vkup z menoj,
staro pravdo v mrak tulimo,
da se pretulimo skozi to zimo
#10
Wasn't there just a big thread about moderate Muslims...
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#11
Quote by ErikLensherr
Wasn't there just a big thread about moderate Muslims...

this thread is specific to the US and Europe

that thread was like "hey even 'moderate muslims' are all homophobic/misogynistic fundamentalists yall"
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#12
I hate to say it, but EVERY GOD DAMN TIME i look at the facts. The statistics. In shows in pretty much every European country that a HUGE portion, and sometimes even the majority of muslims say that they support these kind of lunatics.

And it's god damn consistent. And no, that doesn't mean "all muslims", but it means a huge fucking portion. And this whole pretense that people are putting up that it has nothing to do with Islam is IDIOTIC.

ALL the god-damn muslims that these apologetic types highlight and champion just HAPPEN to be muslims who don't follow the god-damn Qu'Ran. Turns out. The ones that actually do, are fucking lunatics.

It's not like it's anything new. Alot of Christians used to follow their holy books as well. Just ends up in evil shit.

And as long as THAT is not being admitted to, it will never change. Western, secular values ARE better than Islamic values. It's god damn demonstrable. It's a question of human flourishing.

That's the thing, isn't it? Every time we talk about people from any damn religion being good people, they always happen to have embraced secular ideals.

Sorry for ranting. It just makes me mad. It's like you've got all these g'damn people speaking their minds and pretending like they care about suffering, injustice and all these worldly problems, but it's fucking OBVIOUS that they do not. They just have some g'damn political view they want to speak up for or further.

It's sick as hell. How can anyone pretend to care about shit, while they're actively ignoring it?

Fuck any and all religions, and any and all people from these religions, who refuse, in the face of all the evidence we have of what actually makes up a good society, to live in a secular society, when they are IN one.

Really. If you ever want to see a "good" world, ONE of the steps towards it has to be not to encourage people to try and live up to the high and mighty ideals of PRIMITIVE, BRONZE-AGE BARBARIANS.

I mean. It's not technology is constantly moving forward, and things that were hard to produce are getting easier to produce. It's not like it's inevitable that these kind of idiots will eventually get their hands on apocalyptic weaponry, right?

For example it's not true that Pakistan have been openly trying to get a hold of such things, just to be able to stick it right up India's arse, is it?

Wait! IT FUCKING IS.


Blerh. Can't rant anymore now. I needed this lil' bit of catharsis. Bare with me.
FUCK YOU ALL!

666 BLACK METAL HOLOCAUST!!!!!
#13
Oh, and by the way. My above comment isn't really related to the article much or directed at anyone.

I just felt like screaming my frustration into empty space. Shake the dust and grime off the ol' soul. I call it healing ;b
FUCK YOU ALL!

666 BLACK METAL HOLOCAUST!!!!!
#14
As far as I know, we don't have any Muslims in the little community I live in.
There to many damn rednecks in this area for a Muslim to survive in.
We do have one Sikh (I know thats different, but some ignoramuses can't tell the difference) guy and his family (including an incredibly hot daughter) that runs the local mini mart/gas station down the street.
He's pretty chill.
Hes actually one of the few in this community that that I wouldn't mind hanging with for a day and just talking about various shit.
Last edited by CodeMonk at Nov 22, 2015,
#15
To be fair, I’m not a very good Muslim. I don’t perform daily prayers anymore. I have never been on a pilgrimage to Mecca. I partake of the forbidden drink. I do give to charity whenever I can, but I imagine that this would not be enough to save me were I to have the misfortune, through an accident of birth or migration, to live in a place like Raqqa, Syria, where in the last two years, the group variously known as Daesh, ISIL or ISIS has established a caliphate: a successor to past Islamic empires. .

this sounds like most of the muslim people i know / went to school with. almost all of them smoked weed and didn't really give a fuk about their religion. Most of them went to the mosques and stuff because their parents made them. they could care less.

anyone can be an overly-religous zelot, and be considered "radical", and at the same time people like the boston bomber kid (tarsnev)come off as regular guys, but still do the same stupid chit.
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#16
Quote by Northernmight
Oh, and by the way. My above comment isn't really related to the article much or directed at anyone.

I just felt like screaming my frustration into empty space. Shake the dust and grime off the ol' soul. I call it healing ;b

yeah I hear you. I don't like any fundamentalism (especially religious, but hell even if you're fundamentalist about being liberal or any other political leaning)

I think this is less about arguing "Islam is good and okay" (I don't personally think it is, but I don't think Christianity is good/okay either, or Judaism) and more about how people who ARE lax Muslims are targeted both by the Islamic fundamentalists AND people terrified of Islam or those who "look like Muslims" (whatever that means to them, since Muslims come in many ethnicities/races and with many different styles of dress.)


Do I think we should justify actions committed by Muslims that we would not let Christians or atheists get away with? Absolutely not, no.
Do I think a lot of people get stereotyped as crazy terrorists because of a lack of representation of American Muslims in America, as opposed to fundamentalists elsewhere? Yes. I only say that as someone who grew up in a Muslim household but is an atheist. I don't believe in any of that stuff but I was still discriminated against, both by people who saw my name and assumed I was some kind of "sand nigger" who was fine to harass, and by people in my family's community who didn't think I was a good Muslim, and that because I was born Muslim, I didn't have a choice in it.
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#17
Quote by k.lainad
To be fair, I’m not a very good Muslim. I don’t perform daily prayers anymore. I have never been on a pilgrimage to Mecca. I partake of the forbidden drink. I do give to charity whenever I can, but I imagine that this would not be enough to save me were I to have the misfortune, through an accident of birth or migration, to live in a place like Raqqa, Syria, where in the last two years, the group variously known as Daesh, ISIL or ISIS has established a caliphate: a successor to past Islamic empires. .

this sounds like most of the muslim people i know / went to school with. almost all of them smoked weed and didn't really give a fuk about their religion. Most of them went to the mosques and stuff because their parents made them. they could care less.

anyone can be an overly-religous zelot, and be considered "radical", and at the same time people like the boston bomber kid (tarsnev)come off as regular guys, but still do the same stupid chit.



Couldn't.
#18
Quote by DardySon at #33694260
Didn't read the OP but the thread title made me think of this


Sterling and the gang will always be the real ISIS to me.
#20
Quote by guitarninjaruy
Well yeah ofc the gray zone is hated by ISIS. What's the point of this really?

to point out how Muslims in the West often face a double threat:

- threat from ISIS and other fundamentalist groups that want to kill peaceful Muslims
- threat from Westerners who have no clue that peaceful Muslims exist, so they harass or discriminate against peaceful Muslims living around them


additionally, to talk about how complicated it is to feel like an American and a patriot but not be accepted as one because of your family's religion, even if you are a very progressive person, because of global politics
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#21
they should just stop being muslims and then everybody wins
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#22
Gray? or Grey?
Eat your pheasant
Drink your wine
Your days are numbered, bourgeois swine!
#23
grey zone works too I was thinking bout this earlier

Quote by StewieSwan
they should just stop being muslims and then everybody wins

I did stop being Muslim
it didn't change anything my name is still Saadia and I'm still brown. when we got a threat here to "kill all muslims on 11/11/15" there was no disclaimer that said *we will check first don't worry


honestly, even though I'm an Atheist, I am happy to identify as "Muslim-raised" just so people can see that there are many different types of Muslims and Muslim associates


kinda like Christian gay people in the US. their lives would easily be less complicated if they stopped being Christian but faith doesn't work that way right also a bunch of people specifically moved here for freedom of religion lol


(I know your post was facetious but it was nice to go off of)
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#24
Quote by vintage x metal
grey zone works too I was thinking bout this earlier


I did stop being Muslim
it didn't change anything my name is still Saadia and I'm still brown. when we got a threat here to "kill all muslims on 11/11/15" there was no disclaimer that said *we will check first don't worry


honestly, even though I'm an Atheist, I am happy to identify as "Muslim-raised" just so people can see that there are many different types of Muslims and Muslim associates


kinda like Christian gay people in the US. their lives would easily be less complicated if they stopped being Christian but faith doesn't work that way right also a bunch of people specifically moved here for freedom of religion lol


(I know your post was facetious but it was nice to go off of)



I just prefer people believe things that are actually true is all

it makes them vote smarter
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#25
iirc grey and gray are both the same, its just a cultural thing, like -ise v -ize
Eat your pheasant
Drink your wine
Your days are numbered, bourgeois swine!
#26
Quote by StewieSwan
I just prefer people believe things that are actually true is all

it makes them vote smarter

I agree, hence my own atheism

okay, anecdote time:

growing up, my dad lost his faith after I was born. his mother died when he was young so he grew up with his father and younger brother - only around males. my mother is much younger than him so he doesn't exactly treat her as an equal, also he is kinda crazy and not very nice to her in general. however, when I was born after his first two sons, he was like "shit I don't want my girl to have to pray standing behind all these dudes, what is this nonsense" and it somehow flung him into full-on atheism and rejection of the Qu'ran for a while. this actually made it really shitty for me growing up: my dad was like an internet shitpost atheist but irl. he'd constantly fight with my mom, who is a very very lax Muslim and doesn't even necessarily believe in Allah so much as some divine order, about her faith, and he'd get into several-hour-long arguments at our family friends' houses about their faith, where he'd insult them in the most inappropriate ways and then act like a dick about it for years afterward, even though they were very nice people and didn't use their faith to promote anything morally wrong.

so I grew up in this environment where, even though I was totally behind atheism as a concept, I couldn't stand how much of a dick my dad was about it. I decided I prefer tolerant religious people to intolerant atheists. I respect the Christians in my grad program who actively criticize evil things done in the name of Christianity over the past millennium WAY MORE than my dad being an asshole at dinner parties calling people sons of bitches because they are dumb enough to believe in Allah
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#27
Quote by vintage x metal
I decided I prefer tolerant religious people to intolerant atheists. I respect the Christians in my grad program who actively criticize evil things done in the name of Christianity over the past millennium WAY MORE than my dad being an asshole at dinner parties calling people sons of bitches because they are dumb enough to believe in Allah

yes -- i don't want to sound like a religious apologist (je ne crois pas), but i am skeptical of this attitude -- which i feel like i encounter all the time, at least on the 'net -- that Atheism is the great cure for social & political problems. surely we are not so naive as to think there are not a bunch of right-wing, crypto-fascist Atheists out there embracing the whole might-makes-right, greed-is-good shtick (not accusing yr. dad of such fyi).