Positive Muslim News

News about good things Muslims are doing in North America and around the world.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Muslim student defends Jewish riders under attack in NY subway


NEW YORK (AP) — A suspected bias attack on four Jewish subway riders has resulted in a friendship between the Jewish victims and the Muslim college student who came to their aid.
Walter Adler is calling Hassan Askari a hero for intervening when Adler and three friends were assaulted on a subway train in lower Manhattan on Friday night.
The altercation erupted when Adler and his friends said "Happy Chanukah" to a group yelling "Merry Christmas" on the Brooklyn-bound train.

Read the whole article at:


  • At 3:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think he did what was right and I hopw Allah rewards him ameen.. This is what people need to learn these days that Islam is not a bad religion, though all the world seems to think that.. We fallow all that is good not evil. I nothing more to say just that it was very nice of him to do what he did..

  • At 8:24 AM, Blogger Old Dog said…

    Hello there. I did a Google search for "Chicago Muslim Outreach", and your blog was the first thing that came up. I wanted to send you an email, but it looks like there's no option for that on this blog, which makes sense, since I'm sure you'd get a LOT of emails you don't want!

    The reason I'm writing to you is because of an idea that I've had in the back of my head for several years now. There's been a lot I've read about how "America hates Islam". I don't believe that's true, but I do believe that "America", if this country can be distilled down to a single group, is afraid of Islam. Any hatred towards Islam is, in my belief, entirely sprung from this fear. I feel it myself, and sometimes, yes, it turns into hatred.

    I was raised in a Methodist household (my father is a pastor) and I am a student of history, so I know a lot about our past, the good and the bad. I sometimes wish there was a way to talk to people on your side of the fence and maybe do something to create more positive dialog. As they say, every lit candle increases the sum total of light in the universe, so I figure I have to start somewhere!

    A word about me: I am a freelance illustrator and student living in Chicago and I consider myself a radical moderate, a rationalist skeptic and a historical determinist. I have no desire to offend you, but I also don't think there can be any productive dialog if we censor ourselves. I tend to swear, a LOT, but I keep it to a minimum when I'm talking to polite people. I am ex-USAF, and I was in during the first Gulf War, so for me "support the troops" isn't just a bumper sticker. However, I think that the president, vice-president and everyone in the upper echelons of government and military who were involved in making us invade Iraq should be tried for war crimes, and that's not hyperbole. I get very sad sometimes thinking how they've squandered every bit of goodwill the world felt for us after 9/11. I consider losing that opportunity to show our better side to be possibly the greatest failure of my country in its entire history.

    If, knowing this about me, you would like to discuss the state of the world and stuff, I would like that. You can check out my blog to find out more about me at bigroadstudios.com/olddog

    Thanks for your time and Merry Whatever Holiday You Choose to Celebrate! :)

  • At 10:52 AM, Blogger Calm_cool_collected said…

    Dear Old Dog:

    Thank you very much for writing. Your thoughts and comments are truly appreciated.

    I am very interested in your idea and would like to more about it. Please share, if you don't mind, by posting a response on this blog.

    As a Muslim who was born and raised in Canada and has been living in the US for over seven years, I have had more positive encounters with non-Muslims than negative ones. That said, though, there is a crying need for understanding from BOTH sides. I see both Muslims and Christians who are devoted to furthering misunderstanding and worse. But I have also met, wrote to and talked with many more Muslims and non-Muslims who are struggling to bridge the divide, make peace and work together to do good in America and the world in general.

    I agree that more than hatred of Islam, there is fear of Islam in the United States, and there are a lot of reasons for that. Perhaps it's partly because many Americans simply don't know Muslims on a personal level. They don't know that we, like every other American, love this country too. Many of us were born and raised here and are much more American than we are Arab, South Asian, African, Turkish, etc. as our first generation American Muslim parents are. Some of us come from families who have been here for generations. I know of one Muslim woman, a convert, whose ancestors were on the Mayflower. Other Muslims are descendents of the African Muslim slaves brought to this country in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.

    We play sports, we watch football, eat and make American pie (my last one didn't come out too bad) and enjoy watching a lot of the same programs and films that everyone else do.

    We also firmly believe in God, the Supreme Being of the Universe, in His Love, Mercy, Compassion and Justice. We believe in and love Jesus and his mother Mary.

    We love and are committed to our families, as are other Americans. We want our kids to succeed academically and otherwise; we want them to be positive contributors to America and the world.

    One book I'd highly recommend on this topic of fear of Islam if you haven't already read it is Orientalism by the late Edward Said, which discusses the centuries-old biases against Islam that have developed in the Western world.

    I will check out your blog. Thank you for writing and keep doing the same. The more voices like yours that are out there, the better, as people will be exposed to more than the racist, biased misinformation of many news outlets, especially outfits like FOX News and the slew of neo-con blogs, think tanks and experts who promote the same.

    On a final note, I just wanted to let you know why I started this blog about four years ago. I'm a busy mom of three small kids under the age of six. So I didn't have much time to write long or even frequent blog entries. But I know that any type of positive news coverage about Islam and Muslims is scarce, even with all the fluffy stories reporters write about Ramadan (the Islamic month of fasting) and Eid (two Islamic holidays) every year. This is why I wanted to do something simple but that may help show that Muslims are not the one-dimensional violent, misogynist monsters we are shown on the six o' clock news and their online counterparts. So that's why this blog was started. I try to post regularly, but it's not always easy, with my other commitments.

    Thank you again, and please do reply about the idea you've had. I am very interested in learning more about it.

  • At 6:10 PM, Blogger Old Dog said…

    Wow, nice response! Now that I've heard back, I'm actually not sure where to go from here on this. I have a few ideas, but we should maybe take some time to consider what we want to do next. I think it's a good first step to establish some sort of human contact like this, but I don't want to rush in just yet. I'll be busy with my family the next couple of days (you may have heard that it's sort of a holiday for us) but I'll get back to you soon as I have better ideas.

    All the best!

    P.S. You can call me Alan


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