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Has racism evolved into a more subtle form of prejudice?

Sr. Kaity's Blog


A Union County landlord, William Greda refused to rent an apartment to a woman because she was Muslim.  Anti-Muslim bias has spread quite widely especially since Donald Trump decided to run for President. His remarks about Muslims have lead non-Muslims to fear anyone who might appear to be Muslim. While the main reason for the denial remains unknown, It is hurtful, and discriminate to reject the request of an individual based on their faith, or nationality.  America is a diverse country. When a landlord decides to put a " for rent sign" up, they are expected to see people from all nationalities appear on their door step.

 As Atticus Finch from to Kill a Mockinbird once said, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view until you climb into his skin, and walk around in it."  If the scenario was the other way around, and the man asked from the Muslim woman if he could rent the apartment, and she said, "I do not rent to white people"; you would see all 1.6 billion Muslims blamed for this bigoted act. 

 Ever since the 1400s, people in this country have faced the most severe forms of discrimination. Are we now continuing this tradition by choosing another narrative? Nowadays, there is discrimination against Muslims. Some see it as Islam vs. the West. This view only divides us at a time when we should be looking for points of view that bring us together.

 CAIR NJ welcome the charges brought against the landlord by the Attorney General’s office and we certainly appreciate the efforts by the Division on Civil Rights to investigate the alleged violations.  This kind of blatant bigotry cannot be tolerated.  Anyone in this country should be able to live freely and without discrimination in the housing of their choice.  The blatant disregard for the well-established fair housing laws demonstrated in this case is just further evidence of the increasingly poisonous atmosphere that Muslims face in America today.

Sr. Kaity Assaf is a Freshman at Rutgers University and an Intern at CAIR-NJ

Why there is no correlation between Islam and isis

Sr. Kaity’s Blog


The following is a response to David Neese’s column in The Trentonian of 10/16/16:

Allah. As soon as people hear the word, isis comes to mind. I intentionally lower cased the word isis because it is a non-Islamic terrorist group that does not deserve recognition in any way.

 " isis" isn't an Islamic group. Even though they say phrases that Muslims say, hold the Quran, "claim" to be the believers of Allah and carry a black flag with the name, Allah on it; you can't be for certain that they represent Islam. Looks and actions can be deceiving.  When CNN asked the French journalist, Didier Francois who was held hostage by isis for ten months to describe them, he quoted," It was more hammering what they were believing than teaching us about the Quran. Because it has nothing to do with the Quran. There was never really discussion about texts or-- it was not a religious discussion. It was a political discussion."

isis has killed and beheaded thousands of innocent people from different religions including Muslims. However, given the media’s portrayal you’d find it hard to believe that more Muslims have been the victims of isis than any other religion

As President Obama once said," isis has nothing to do with Islam. This isn't a war between Islam and the West. This is a war against isis."

The Torah, Bible and Quran teach tolerance and Peace.  Dave Nesse mentions," Yes, you can find such nasty stuff among the passages of, say, the Old Testament. But Jews and Christians in large numbers ignore the words as not applicable to today’s world." Muslims also overlook what is said in the Quran as consequences to those who commit the worst sins because  there are many other ways today to fix problems people fall a victim to.

Furthermore, Dave Neese uses  9:14 a verse from the Quran out of context. Instead of trying to explain the beginning of  the passage ( Surat Altawba) or understand why this verse was mentioned,he simply copied and pasted it.  The verse says, " Fight them ( non-believers) and Allah will punish them  by your hands and will disgrace them."  He does that to lure the readers into questioning the Peacefulness of Islam.  Towards the beginning of the passage specifically 9:6 Allah says," And if anyone of the Mushrikin ( disbelievers) seeks your protection so then he may hear the word of Allah and then escort him to where he can be secure."  Muslims here are ordered to protect the non-believers of Allah and take them to a secure place. Allah then proceeds in saying to respect and trust the disbelievers if they are honest. Afterward he says the verse 9:14. He includes it to explain if after everything good Muslims have done to them and the disbelievers insist to attack, then they must fight.

Before you judge a religion or its followers, you need to know the context behind it. Only then will we be able to see how peaceful Islam is.

Sr. Kaity Assaf is a Freshman at Rutgers University and an Intern at CAIR-NJ

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