The Electric Commentary

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

I am from the race of lawyers

This guy needs some language lessons.
Islam is not a race. There are Muslims of all races, just as there are Christians, Jews, Hindus, Atheists, Kabbahlists, and Buddhists of all races.

Moreover, Islam is not some quality that a person is born with. It is a philosophy that someone chooses to follow. You are stuck with your race, but you choose to be a Muslim. It may be wrong to profile based on religion, but it's certainly not as wrong as profiling based on race. Confusing the two serves to undercut legitimate claims of racism. All that Mohammed Shafiq, the executive director of the Islamic society of Rochester has accomplished is to make one particular Muslim look foolish.


  • "Mohammed Shafiq, the executive director of the Islamic society of Rochester calls the request [to alert the FBI of terrorist activity in their mostly Muslim neighborhoods]another example of racial profiling."

    Would it be racist to ask a mob informant to alert the FBI of any illeagal activity in his neighborhood? Nope, he chose to be gangsta.

    By Blogger DannyNoonan, at 11:16 AM  

  • in all fairness, while there may be jewish people of many races... many of the jewish people i know do consider themself to be of "jewish" ethnicity.

    By Blogger ahren, at 3:00 PM  

  • I think the context indicates pretty clearly that he meant the Jewish religion (which you can choose to be) and not the race (which you can not).

    By Blogger DannyNoonan, at 3:30 PM  

  • Hi Suds (not to bad for a nickname),

    Yes, most Jews are in fact Jews. But, some Jews(ra) are not practicing Jews(re) (I know a few myself). Some Jews(re) are not Jews(ra). So it is still appropriate, although there it is obviously not a distinction that is easy to make in every day conversation. In my experience, when someone says that they are Jewish, they almost always mean that they are ethnicly Jewish. SO that one may not work as well. But in the context of all of the other religions in my post, I think it makes more sense. There are more non Jewish practicing Jews today then ever before.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 3:33 PM  

  • yeah, i agree. i'm not really trying to poke holes in your statements, just adding a little side discussion, because i think the culture/religion/race distinction is interesting... until i moved out east, i knew very few jewish people, and i remember being flabbergasted the first couple times i asked someone's ethnicity and they responded with "jewish"

    By Blogger ahren, at 4:38 PM  

  • Mmm, my comments don't seem to be working right now, so this is partially a test.

    I actually think the pro-gridlock position works pretty well - especially when both candidats are lack luster at best. I don't like paying people to sit around and do nothing any more than you do, but I'd rather that than paying them to actually do harm, which I feel they do most of the time. And as you refer to them as the "pro-god" party, and the "pro slavery" party, you might want to think about voting for inaction as opposed to not voting for either and allowing them free reign.

    I find the race/culture/religion thing terribly interesting as well, and I'm willing to bet a lot of people just gloss over when "Muslim" is used as a racial connotation.

    I, like you, didn't really know a Jewish person until college as well (Madsion somewhat surprisingly in my opinion, has a very large Jewish population) and had a similar reaction to said question. I couldn't tell Jewish from non-jewish either. One of the first conversations with my firend Jon in college went something like

    Paul: Hey, we don't have 181 this week (That's advanced intro poli sci), I wonder why?

    Jon: It's probably Yom Kippur.

    Paul: How do you know when Yom Kippur is?

    Jon: I'm Jewish.

    Paul: Oh.

    I was totally oblivious to the fact that anybody was Jewish, or that different holidays would come into play, or that last names meant anything. I still don't really care, but it is interesting. Jon is non-practicing, which is why I now make the distinction.

    I learned that he was non-practicing when I was working for the business buildings catering service to earn some extra cash. We set up a booth downstairs at dinner time and sold sandwiches and soup to business students that didn't have enough time to eat because, y'know, they had to get to the bars. Anyway, Jon and my friend Mark were business students and we never sold all of our sandwiches, so I would just split the leftovers with them. Jon ate ham. Hence, I learned that he was at least non-kosher, and probably non-practicing. I now know this for certain.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 7:11 PM  

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