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“Islam is a great country” sums up far too many conversations I’ve had about Islam

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This statement Islam is a great country was made by Solicitor General Noel Francisco, the attorney for the U.S. government, right after he made an argument for a Muslim Travel Ban.

This utterly clueless statement, and the hateful ignorance within which it is bathed and contextualized, has amused many observers. But to be honest, this comment epitomizes a lot of conversations about Islam I’ve had – in academia as well as in lay discussions.
These discussions about Islam and Muslims are framed by laughable definitions, stunningly essentializing assumptions, and utterly ridiculous starting points. The questions that guide these discussions are generated by persons of such acumen as the U.S. government’s attorney in the Muslim Ban case.
And then we, Muslim respondents, are expected to come in and represent Islam to to every person who slept through their General Education college courses.
We must not only clear all the rubbish blocking the cognitive pathways, but we must make every single aspect of Islam, Muslims, global cultures, and world politics crystal clear. And we are expected to do all of this in a soundbyte.
The labor is endless.
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