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In the article “Catholics Then, Muslims Now”, the author Doug Sounders has tried to highlight the underlying factors and beliefs behind the release of the current controversial anti-Islamic video which has been termed as highly disrespectful to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) by the Muslim community around the globe. In author’s view, this video is a continuation to the anti-Muslim eruptions in the United States. These outbursts against Muslims are an outcome of post 9/11 scenarios in the context of a scheme to propagate hatred against Muslims among the resident community of the United States specifically and in that of the whole West in general. A highly organized and well framed strategy has been backing these activities as before this project, a mosque was burned few months back in Missouri and similarly an attempt was made to blow up an Islamic school in Illinois with an acid bomb. The author further sheds light upon the doctrines of those who are backing these activities and links their motives against Muslims to those against the Catholics of such extremists in the past.

The Roman Catholics immigrants were targeted severely since the 19th century and a whole way of hatred was tried to create against them. Writings were published to create an environment of deep distrust against them in the United States. Catholics were termed as extremists, disloyal and were blamed for being inclined towards authoritarianism.As the author “Paul Blanshard” who wrote “American Freedom and Catholic Power” which was New York Times best seller in 1950, said “Catholicism was an ideology of conquest, and that its traditions constituted a form of medieval authoritarianism that has no rightful place in the democratic American environment.”And so at the time this text was dominating the ideology of many of their famous scholars and other prominent liberal figures of the society.  

Today, similar is the mind frame of thoseanti-Islamic groupsagainst the Muslims. Muslims are blamed of being terrorists and extremists. The author provides examples for how Muslims are being tortured by involving them undue in various accusations. These accusations comprise, stating Muslim federal officials as loyal to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, alleging Muslims for being part of the terrorist activities in the United States and spying them for years without any sound proofs. This is the same attitude and strategy that was adopted against the Catholics a century back. The tactics that are used to dishonor Muslims are almost no different than those used for defaming the Catholics,here the only change is media sources that are much more advanced today.

Sounders; the authorof the article also gives prominence to the role of the U.S government regarding the whole gimmick against Muslims by emphasizing its reaction in this current situation of the controversial video. To state that the Republican government has provided a platform for such ventures of those anti-Islamic people won’t be wrong because such type of inflammatory rhetoric wasn’t allowed to enter into mainstream politics ever before. President Obama’s government has neither initiated nor does it seem that they intend to take practical steps against those criminals who have released and propagated the blasphemous video. As it is a crime in the International Law to disgrace or try to humiliate any religious figure, book or beliefs of any religious sect, but still there has been no concrete measures taken on part of the U.S government.On the contrary it has been criticizing the protests that are prevailing in the Muslim countries and trying to suppress the governments of those nations in this matter. U.S government is giving it the name of “Freedom of Speech” which indeed is a fundamental right of every human declared by Article 19 of the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” which states, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”But blasphemy isconsidered against this right and so U.S government is depicting double standards in this regard.

In view of the author of this article the main reason for this disgusting attitude of the anti-Islamic groups against the American Muslims is the pace of development and progress of the Muslims residing in U.S. They have achieved stable positions in the various domains such as education, social and economic fields of life. They are in the favor of peaceful lives of all the religious, ethnic and social communities in the U.S. Though the American Muslims are inclined more towards liberalism and highly detest the doctrines of Taliban and other such extremist groups, they have been living under deep distress and dissatisfaction. Probably one of the other main reasons for their misery from the hands of the anti-Islamic groups is because of the aim of those American Muslims to achieve progress and stable positions in the society and to become a part of the mainstream politics of the U.S.

                                                   Works Cited
Saunders, Doug. "OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR; Catholics Then, Muslims Now."The New York Times. The New York Times, 18 Sept. 2012. Web. 23 Sept. 2012. <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/18/opinion/catholics-then-muslims-now.html?_r=1>.
"The Universal Declaration of Human Rights."UN News Center.United Nations, n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2012. <http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml>.

Written By: Muhammad Azhar Khan

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