Thursday, April 25, 2013

Muslim teen has a few words of advice


When Noura von Briesen heard about the Boston bombings, her first reaction was: "Please, God, do not let it be a Muslim who did this."

Von Briesen, 18, grew up in Charlotte. Now she's a freshman at Duke University, studying mechanical engineering. And she's Muslim.



Her initial reaction, she wrote in a letter published in the Duke Chronicle, the campus newspaper, is the same one she's had following "every attack or shooting that has occurred in the United States since 9/11, and I guarantee I’m not the only Muslim who reacts this way."

In her letter, which she sent before the bombing suspects were identified, von Briesen also joined with "the millions of people across the country in praying for the victims of yet another horrible attack on innocents."

We now know that the alleged Boston Marathon bombers were, indeed, Muslims. And on their long list of victims – way below the murdered and maimed, to be sure – I would add Muslims such as von Briesen. They will again have to endure the harassment and suspicion of people who blame every one of the world’s 1.2 billion Muslims for the evil actions of a few hateful extremists.

 In her letter, von Briesen, who wears a hijab, or head covering, counted the ways she has had to pay for the terror committed by those who misrepresent her 1,400-year-old religion: "I cannot walk down a street in rural North Carolina without receiving death glares, as if I am some kind of monster. I cannot stop and pray in public without having the word terrorist yelled at me. I cannot go through airport security without being 'randomly selected' and having my hijab checked for bomb dust. I cannot hear of an incident such as this without the heart-wrenching fear that someone will ask how ‘my people’ could commit such an act."

 Clearly, some young Muslims in the U.S. have become radicalized – including in North Carolina. It was Samir Khan, a Charlottean as recently as 2009, who once edited the al-Qaida magazine that allegedly taught the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston how to build a bomb.

But casting suspicion on all Muslims is like bunching Charlotte Christians with abortion clinic bomber Eric Rudolph or cross-burning Klansmen.

So, how can we replace fear and bigotry with understanding?

Last week, I called von Briesen – I profiled her Charlotte family a few years ago during Ramadan – and she offered some advice:

  • Get to know some Muslims. Her own circle of friends includes Christians in her dorm.
  • Go beyond the lurid headlines and learn something about Islam.
  • And engage in dialogue. "What I wish," she said, "is that if people have questions, they would come and talk with a Muslim about it."


-- Tim Funk

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

They can also help by turning in the nutcases in their midst.

The Muslims in Canada just did that, showing that they DO care more about the general public than their "own".

The Muslims in Boston just tossed the terrorist out of the mosque for being disruptive, but did nothing to alert authorities that he was a potential nutcase.

The people who eventually took down the KKK were white snitches who finally got tired of the BS and were witnesses against the crimes (as in the Birmingham church bombing that killed those girls, but went unsolved for years).

One bomber's niece finally turned in the KKK members and testified against them.

When will the Muslims step up to the occasion and do the same?

Instead, they all seem to come out of the woodwork (where's Jabril?) moaning about how they're being "stereotyped", instead.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering the the CO would publish its obligatory piece telling everyone to not blame the Muslims.

Gosh. Really?

I think we're past that.

But the Muslims sure could help just a little bit more, couldn't they?

I'm glad the mother and father are in the news so everyone can see the kind of delusional denial that sets in when some people are accused of crimes.

I'd like to see some of these Islamic terrorists turned in by Muslims instead of being coached by them.

Where is Misha?

The supposedly red-bearded radical Muslim from Armenia who frequently met with the bomber.

Surely, the bomber isn't the ONLY Muslim who has met this guy?

Who else knows who he is and why haven't they told anyone?

THAT IS THE PROBLEM.

And it is why people will look suspiciously at Muslims.

Especially those who go out of their way to draw attention to their "faith" by wearing head scarves and funky hats.

I have Muslim neighbors (and have had many Muslim co-workers and acquaintances) who don't do that.

So, yes, I am more "suspicious" of those who DO.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't she say "Please, Allah" instead of "Please, God"?

Skippy said...

She is pretty much echoing the liberals, please let's hope this is a angry white guy from wherever who somehow can be connected to the Tea Party.. Sorry, that didn't work out. I feel your paind, I really do..

Wiley Coyote said...

And I say "Please God don't let it be a White male" - ????

If a White male did the same thing, I want them to be caught and face the full punishment that can be handed out by law (also anyone else, no matter where they come from or skin color).

By the same token, don't paint all White males with a broad brush who embrace their Southern heritage, which includes the Confederate Flag, who have no hate towards anyone.

White hate groups are no different than radical Islamic jihadists.

Anonymous said...

Asra Namoni, another Muslim woman, has a different take on the situation in today's Washington Post.
Check out her column, "Muslims have a Problem, Uncle Ruslan may have the answer". Her closing comment: "To me, the answer lies inside a culture shift where we (Muslims) honestly acknowledge the radicalization problems within our communities—so that no Uncle Ruslan has to step outside his home, confessing to something gone very, very wrong."

Anonymous said...

There is definitely a problem amongst muslims. We are our biggest problem in that we do not educate people to the point that they know that people who kill innocent people in the name of Islam are lunatics. People should know by now that wearing a hijab is strongly recommended in Islam and is not radical. Out of culture or ignorance, some people chose not to wear it and that is between them and God (or in arabic, Allah).
There is plenty of innovation in Christianity, Islam and Judaism and people of all faiths do crazy things. I can not stand this nonsense about the Tsarnaev parents stating her children would never do it. It is shameful and may those who kill and hurt the innocent receive justice!

Anonymous said...

i agree that the problem is that we do need to acknowledge the issue with radicalization in Islam. it is a serious issue. i am sickened that people are killing innocent people in the name of islam. i hope that God has mercy on those hurt and i wish the best for the family of the deceased.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
CharlotteObserver said...

Qur'an:9:5 "Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war."

Anonymous said...

Wow, what ignorance. That is not the way of Jesus.
How about the Quran that puts it in context?
Quran:9:4, which comes before what you said.
"However, those treaties that you've made with those idol-worshippers who have been faithful to the terms, and who didn't give aid to any of your enemies, are not cancelled, so fulfill your obligations with them to the end of each treaty's term. Indeed God loves those who are mindful of their obligations."
Now what you said, Quran:9:5 "Now when the truce months have passed, fight the double crossing idol worshippers whereever you find them. Capture them, besiege their settlements and ambush them at every outpost. However, if they repent, establish prayer and give in charity, then leave them to their way, for God is forgiving and merciful."

Anonymous said...

Sorry - tolerance doesn't mean we have to tolerate muslims, the most intolerant breed of people anywhere, anymore. Lets not fake it - they're the problem and everyone knows it. We don't need them here. They're not going to change because we're nice to them. Bye Bye.

Anonymous said...

I hate the carnage, but ship out the "Good" muslims as well?
That's ridiculous.
Let's just ban firearms because people get killed by bad people with guns.
Stupidity is rampant.

Anonymous said...

Actually ignorance is the problem. It is hard to believe what I am reading. Such radical ideas to solve the stupidity of the radicals of a particular group.

Anonymous said...

Yes - all gone. The good will just have to deal with the fact that the bad element got them kicked out of here. Banning firearms will not stop muslim violence - remember they used airplanes, box cutters and pressure cookers? If you want to start stripping constitutional rights, when you cancel the 2nd amendment why don't you also cancel a muslim's right to be in this country. Same process.

Anonymous said...

Ignorance - you must be talking about putting your head in the sand while muslims walk all over you. Yes, that's ignorance.

wfudeacon79 said...

Good Muslims, if that's what they are, are going to have to put up with the "death stares" and threats because their religious zealots, jihadists, have made it plain that they want "death to the USA". They have killed and injured many innocent Americans. I do not feel sorry for the young Duke student. Her fellow Islamists have made Americans feel like we do. Rather than write a letter to a newspaper, she needs to take action against the jihadists. I'll bet she knows some, here in the USA, who wish us all dead.

Anonymous said...

Allah is Arabic for God. It's just a name, nothing more. In fact, Arab Christians say Allah.

Anonymous said...

Let's deport all of the muslims along with christian nut cases, white supremacists, jews, hispanics, asians, blacks, all of them! But do tell, to where do we send all of these Americans? Stupid people, the like of whom air their ignorant, bigoted opinions, are the ones who should be deported. Further, the thought that ALL Muslims in America know some radical that they can turn in to the FBI is asinine! And to the individual who has damned all Muslims to hell, I hope that you are really secure in your position with your creator...sounds a lot like you're wishing to spend a firey eternity with some folks you hate vehemently and don't even know...good luck with that.

Juan Valdez said...

Eric Rudolph said that he preferred Nietzsche over the Bible. Sorry if that is a bit inconvenient for your narrative.

kantstanzya said...

And when the left heard about the bombings they said "Please God let it be a white member of the Tea Party and the NRA." Both the left and the Muslim community were disappointed.....again.

CharlotteObserver said...

8:19 PM posted

Quran:9:4, which comes before what you said.
"However, those treaties that you've made with those idol-worshippers who have been faithful to the terms, and who didn't give aid to any of your enemies, are not cancelled, so fulfill your obligations with them to the end of each treaty's term. Indeed God loves those who are mindful of their obligations."

This was in response to the quote which comes after it saying to kill and destroy the same folks who you have made a treaty with and I use the term from above, Idol Worshipers.

Now just who makes these treaties and just how often does it say in the Koran to make idol worshipers your slaves, or they must be killed.

Yes folks, just like in the Bible a lot of things are said we do today, however the adherence to exactly what the Koran says is shown everyday in these Muslim Countries.

Actually we see them in our country today, Women are treated like possessions and then again this spreading of the Muslim faith, or true faith all over the world.

So as fellow Idol Worshipers you all should spend some time reading the Koran. It will show you much you need to survive the future and understand any Treaty you will have to make to live.

Keep mindful of our obligation to the Muslim Religion, we are wrong and they are right so the treaty should be easy to negotiate.

Samuel Chapman said...

It's not that I wanted it to be a tea-party right winger, I just wouldn't have been surprised if it was. What would have surprised me would have been a liberal doing it.
As long as people put stock in myths, they will make irrational decisions. Imagine a world where mostly everyone, even adults, believed in Santa Claus and killed each other over whether he actually comes down the chimney, or whether he really punishes the naughty, or whether he really knows when you sleeping or awake.
This is the nonsense we Atheist deal with day to day.

Juan Valdez said...

Mr. Chapman,
Atheists have slaughtered about 148 million innocent people since 1917, in the name of statist ideologies, whether it be Maoism, Communism, Naziism, etc. .
The only other group that has committed such acts in modern times is The Islamic Jihadists.

Anonymous said...

Now I would like to give her a piece of advice. Dont practice a religion of hate and expect love in return

Anonymous said...

Eric Rudolph is NOT a Christian. He has stated he doesn't believe the bible. Timothy McViegh was NOT a Christian. Stop making those comparisons please!

Anonymous said...

Samuel Chapman is a myth...

Anonymous said...

Every religion has its "nut cases". Muslims, Christians, Jews, everyone.

With Christians, let me site Westboro Baptist Church, with its hate mongering, which is totally against the teachings of Christ. Eric Rudolph, Timothy McVeigh. We Christians can't point fingers at ALL MUSLIMS. We could just as easily be linked to theses Christian nut cases.

Anonymous said...

What these commenters fail to realize...as do all White Americans, is that this country was built on the slaughter, enslavement, rape, and theft of EVERY individual that was in their path on their way to this country. Can you say "Slaughter?" you all CONVENIENTLY FORGET THIS LITTLE TIDBIT. How you can form your lips to ACCUSE another faction of people of ANYTHING BEFORE you read the REAL HISTORY OF THIS COUNTRY IS BEYOND ME.

Anonymous said...

You people don't know "all" Muslims so how in the hell can you make such statements?. When someone says it was "White" people who enslaved Blacks...everybody in the room jumps up and shouts "I had nothing to do with that..don't blame me for slavery". So HOW IN THE HELL IS THIS ANY DIFFERENT THAN THAT????? You people can't even get your own facts straight. You're all just stupid and hypocritical. This country was BUILD on the SLAUGHTER of other races and nationalities of people. EXPLAIN THAT LITTLE TIDBIT TO ME....and before you begin, know that I mean the slaughter of the Irish, Jews, Mexicans, Italians, Blacks, and Lord have mercy, lets not forget the American Indian, the ORIGINAL inhabitants of this "great???" land

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:45.

Don't forget to blame those wretched HISPANICS for a lot of that carnage.

Or do you not consider them WHITE enough?

Columbus was just the start of their continued invasion of what is now The United States of America.

Good thing we're trying to keep MORE of them from illegally invading our country, wouldn't you say?

Anonymous said...

Since we're all a couple of decades into our fight with radical Islam (remember Iran in the 1970's?), the "good" Muslim story is a bit overdone nowadays.

Sure, we all probably know a few by now. I've known many myself.

But it doesn't excuse the radicals or the excuses STILL being made for them as they continue to advance.

Big brother bomber had a "western" wife who "chose" Islam and wore the hijab, etc., etc., and was also abused by her husband.

In a small way, this shows how the radicals come to dominate the moderates.

While that Duke student looks all sweet, innocent, and "western", they are not all like her, either.

The Muslims are individuals, no big surprise there.

But the Quran (and the Bible) can be "interpreted" many ways by many people.

And Muslims are loathe to criticize those who take on more radical interpretations.

It's a lot like the "don't snitch" rule in the ghetto.

They simply will not turn in their own or stand up to them for their errant ways until it's too late.

I've seen it in my world travels.

The moderate Muslims tolerate the radical Muslims until the radicals finally take over.

But the radicals will tolerate no one once they gain power.

So parading the "good" Muslims before the public when the "bad" ones misbehave is a bit of bait and switch.

Keep them separate and identify which is which.

They are NOT the same.

And the "good" Muslims should start ratting out the "bad".

While they still can.

Anonymous said...

you're all idiots

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:45.

Typical uneducated strawman attack against "WHITE" people.

Who, besides yourself, is talking about ALL of any group?

And what kind of fool doesn't think there are WHITE Muslims?

Someone can be WHITE, American, and Muslim.

And guess what?

The Boston Marathon bombers actually fit that description.

Or do you not know what the term "Caucasian" really means and where it originated?

They were about as "Caucasian" as you can get.

Get a map and you'll see.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the "good" Muslims in our midst would like to explain what Dhimmi and Dhimmitude is all about.

And I just love this "context":

"However, those treaties that you've made with those idol-worshippers who have been faithful to the terms, and who didn't give aid to any of your enemies, are not cancelled..."

Yeah, right, bro, and who decides whether the IDOL-WORSHIPPERS didn't give aid to ANY of your ENEMIES, eh?

With loopholes LIKE THAT, why would ANYONE trust Muslims when it comes to their treaties?

All anyone has to do is "aid" an enemy of "Islam" and the treaty is invalid.

Well, isn't that SPECIAL?

Anonymous said...

Sharia Law is incompatible with the US Constitution.

Since Sharia Law is part of Islam, then so is Islam.

Blasphemy, for example, is not against the Constitution, but it is against Islamic Law.

You can't have it both ways.

Ever.

Anonymous said...

The difference between Islam and Christianity is this. M raised the sword to recruit followers, J raised himself from the dead. Islam was born with the sword, Christianity with the cross.

I see a key difference between the two, and in the countries where both are the dominant religions. Islam countries are suppressive of women and certain groups of people without a doubt, even to the point of slavery and extremely harsh punishments that are seen as the norm.

Some major problems loom on the horizon.

CharlotteObserver said...

This has been a very good discussion.

From many of the comments on here we can see we are a bad country and any religion but the religion of peace is bad.

And since back in the past folks in this country acted like animals, it just shows how much more crude we are than those countries which cut off heads and stone to this very day.

We need to be punished from just not outside, but from inside if we are to appease those many who hate our country so and maybe if they are to be believed it should be the will as was written so many eons ago in the one true book.