Thursday, July 21, 2005

Terror

Word this morning there have been more incidents in England.

I can't fathom the desire and willingness to attack innocent people, whether by suicide bombings or not. There is no justification--NO JUSTIFICATION--for such atrocities.

As I said in an earlier post, I've never known any Muslims. I imagine that most of them are good people, and, like me, are horrified by what they're seeing.

That said, they are going to have to face facts: while other religions and peoples have committed terrorist attacks, right now it is members of Islam who are committing the vast majority of such attacks across the world. Muslims everywhere--and everyone everywhere--who oppose such horror must take a stand.

The willful killing of innocent people is a despicable, depraved crime, and everyone who believes that must do what they can to prevent more killing.

No religion, no injustice, no misdeed by another person or country or faith, no amount of desperation for whatever reason can ever justify terrorist attacks.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Ethnic Origins of American Muslims

Here's another surprise. According to the U.S. State Department, only 25% of American Muslims are Arab. Here's the complete breakdown:
South Asian (Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi, Afghani) = 33 percent
African-America = 30 percent
Arab = 25 percent
Sub-Saharan African = 3.4 percent
European (Bosnian, Tartar, Kosovar, etc.) = 2.1 percent
White American = 1.6 percent
Southeast Asian ( Malaysian, Indonesian, Filipino) = 1.3 percent
Caribbean = 1.2 percent
Turkish = 1.1 percent
Iranian = 0.7 percent
Hispanic/Latino = 0.6 percent
Total population numbers are disputed by some. The same government page lists the number of American Muslims "associated with a mosque" at 2 million, though other groups say the number is much higher. Here's a range of articles:

Muslims in America: Profile (allied-media.com)
Number of Muslims in the United States (adherents.com)
Daniel Pipes: How Many U.S. Muslims?
Muslim Population in the United States (University of Georgia)

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Most Arab Americans are Christian

In my first post I mentioned that the majority of Arab Americans are Christian.

In fact, it might be more accurate to say that the vast majority of Arab Americans are Christian, because according to several sources, 75% of Arab Americans are Christian. Some say the percentage is a bit lower, but no one argues that Christians are not the majority religious group.

Question: Are you surprised to learn that the majority of Arab Americans are Christian (or did you already know)? Why do you think so may people don't know this? I'm really interested in your thoughts.

Sources/Additional Reading:
Wikipedia: Arab American
Arab American Institute
Detroit Free Press: 100 Questions and Answers About Arab Americans: A Journalist's Guide
Christianity Today: Lost in America
Christianity Today: Are Most Arab Americans Christian?
Columbia Graduate School of Journalism (Real Audio)

Why this blog?

There's a lot of misconceptions about Arab Americans floating around the blogosphere, the main one being that the terms "Arab" and "Muslim" are virtual synonyms, and it just isn't so. In fact, the majority of Arab Americans in this country are Christian.

I'm part Arab American, from a Christian family who's Arab American members have been in this country for 100 years. I got tired of reading all of the misconceptions about Arab Americans. Often I'd e-mail a writer but receive no response. So I decided to start this blog.

If I can enlighten just a handful of people, this effort will be worth it. My intention is just to provide information and background--some information from other sources, like statistics, and some from my own perspective. I'll try to answer questions as best as I can, so long as they aren't too personal (for now, I'm going to remain anonymous).

Let me make clear, though, that I don't speak for anyone but myself. I couldn't begin to speak for Muslim Americans, because I've never known any. Not proud of that fact, but it's so. But I can't speak for Arab American Christians either, because their views are as diverse as the rest of the people in this country. I only speak for myself.