05-23-2018  5:23 pm      •     
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Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Lawmakers hold hearing to discuss Oregon dairy's downfall

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers are asking questions about what went wrong with a large dairy that is facing a lawsuit, regulatory problems and bankruptcy in an effort to find ways to prevent a similar situation in the future.The Senate Interim Committee on Environment and Natural...

Editorials from around Oregon

Selected editorials from Oregon newspapers:_____The Oregonian/OregonLive, May 23, on rebuilding faith in police oversight board:Derek Ashton, an attorney representing former Portland Police Chief Larry O'Dea, didn't mince words in criticizing a committee's recommendation that O'Dea lose his police...

Amazon, Starbucks pledge money to repeal Seattle head tax

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon, Starbucks, Vulcan and other companies have pledged a total of more than 0,000 toward an effort to repeal Seattle's newly passed tax on large employers intended to combat homelessness.Just days after the Seattle City Council approved the levy, the No Tax On Jobs...

14 vehicles destroyed in central Washington brush fire

SELAH, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say 14 vehicles were destroyed in a brush fire in central Washington.The Yakima Herald-Republic reports the fire scorched about a half square mile near Selah on Tuesday.Selah Deputy Fire Chief Jim Lange says the fire threatened multiple homes and burned up to...


Racism After Graduation May Just Be What's on the Menu

Dr. Julianne Malveaux says that for our young millennials, racism is inevitable ...

Prime Minister Netanyahu Shows Limits of Israel’s Democracy

Bill Fletcher, Jr. on racial politics in Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s uneven treatment of African immigrants ...

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...


The Latest: Milwaukee NAACP head: No reason to use stun gun

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Latest on Milwaukee police releasing body-camera footage showing the arrest of Bucks guard Sterling Brown (all times local):7:05 p.m.The president of the NAACP in Milwaukee says he doesn't see anything in a newly released police body-camera video that would warrant...

Milwaukee chief apologizes for arrest of Bucks guard Brown

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales apologized to Bucks guard Sterling Brown on Wednesday for a January arrest that started with a parking violation and escalated to include use of a stun gun, and said some officers had been disciplined.Brown responded with a statement...

Offshore worker alleges bias in federal lawsuit

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An African-American offshore oil worker has filed a federal lawsuit saying he was intimidated on the job by a supervisor who drew a picture of him dangling from a high rig structure while surrounded by co-workers in Ku Klux Klan hats.The lawsuit claims the worker was...


Deadliest Catch' star pleads guilty to misdemeanor assault

SEATTLE (AP) — Celebrity crab-boat captain Sig Hansen has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge that he spat on an Uber driver last year in Seattle.The Seattle Times reports (https://bit.ly/2s3scWE) the 52-year-old "Deadliest Catch" star pleaded guilty Wednesday.Under the plea deal, a...

Lawyer: Harvey Weinstein targeted by federal prosecutors

WASHINGTON (AP) — Harvey Weinstein's lawyer said in a court filing that federal prosecutors in New York have launched a criminal investigation into the film producer, in addition to a previously disclosed probe by the Manhattan District Attorney.Attorney Benjamin Brafman said in a...

Comedian Josh Denny not sorry about N-word tweets

NEW YORK (AP) — Comedian and Food Network host Josh Denny has called his tweets using the N-word and comparing use of "straight white male" to the racial slur as "very incendiary," but he said he's not sorry.The host of "Ginormous Food" appeared on Van Lathan's podcast "The Red Pill" on...


Pompeo: Fate of US-NKorea summit rests with Kim Jong Un

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday he's "very hopeful" that a planned...

Teacher's win in Kentucky points to November potential

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Teachers across the country have left their classrooms this spring to protest at...

AP source: Jared Kushner granted security clearance

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has been granted a security clearance...

French government orders evacuation of Paris migrant camps

PARIS (AP) — Police are preparing to dismantle makeshift camps holding close to 2,500 migrants in the...

2 patients who fled Ebola ward among the dead in Congo

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Two infected patients who fled from an Ebola treatment center in a Congo city of 1.2...

Summits give aged North Korean spies hope of returning home

GWANGJU, South Korea (AP) — He's spent nearly six decades trapped on enemy soil, surviving 29 years in a...

By Shamso Ahmed Ali

What did 9/11 mean to us? How much do those memories still affect us in our everyday lives? Are we still holding on to those memories and using them to paint all Muslims as potential terrorists? 

When Muslims commit atrocities we have no hesitation in calling those acts terrorism.  So why do we use completely different language when non-Muslim Americans commit those same atrocities.

It begs the question: How do we really define terrorism?

Though it was over a decade ago, America is not far removed from the tragic pain felt on 9/11, which was without a doubt an act of terrorism.  Still, I ponder over this concept of terrorism, because the real definition has yet to hit me. I see terrorist-like acts but they're not defined as terror by the American media. Watching the news I see these horrific events of violence affecting our communities, and even those attacking innocent children, such as the recent Newtown, Connecticut shooting.

As President Barack Obama said, "As a country we have been through this many times, whether it's an elementary school shooting in Newtown, a shopping mall in Oregon, a temple in Wisconsin, a movie theater in Colorado or a street corner in Chicago."

American people are committing terrorist-like acts, and yet the media chooses not to frame them as acts of terrorism.

 As defined in the dictionary, a terrorist is one who, "terrorizes or frightens others." James Holmes, Ryan Lanza, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold are non-Muslim Americans that have devastated many families from their violent crimes, have killed young people, yet have not been labeled as terrorists.  That label, in fact seems to be reserved for the few Muslims who commit similar acts.

Sadly, the image of Islam in the United States has taken a negative turn since 9/11. Islam is defined as one unity. "Salaam" means in peace we come, but why do many Americans find it hard to accept those words and welcome Muslim people with open arms?

 "Salaam" means in peace we come, but why do many Americans find it hard to accept those words and welcome Muslim people with open arms? The word Islam actually means "Peace" or "submission" of one's will, but unfortunately to many Americans it is associated with terrorism. What Muslims need the American public to understand is this:  Just as groups such as the KKK are not representative of Christianity, neither is al-Qaeda representative of Islam.

 According to the definition of terrorism there are many relatable groups which fall into this category. Take the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) for example, a racist, anti-Semitic movement claiming to bring "a message of hope and deliverance to white Christian America."

But just saying they are acting on behalf of Christians doesn't mean it's true.  Are the KKK following the teachings and personal example of Jesus or are they doing the opposite of what he would want his followers to do? Is oppression and bloodshed a religious duty of Christianity? Obviously, the answer is no. The violence done in the name of Christ cannot be laid at his door step. We can't and don't hold Christianity responsible when so called Christians violate the teachings of Christ they claim to follow.

That same concept should be applied to terrorists universally, whether they commit crimes in the name of Christ, Mohammed, Buddha, or even baby giraffes.

As I see it, a terrorist is a terrorist -- one who commits violent acts of terror such as murder and rape, usually in public against large groups to gain attention, plain and simple. As a society we should start calling it what it is, and move beyond using it as an exceptional term for Muslim, Arab and Middle-eastern people.

In my opinion the definition of terrorism, as it is portrayed in the media, has incorrectly resonated in the minds of many non-Muslim Americans as a product of Muslim anger, and affected people so much so that the value of human equality does not apply to Muslims anymore. I'm also convinced the word terrorist has infected the hearts and minds of the Muslim community with un-controllable weaves of fear, and has challenged the innocent voices of many. The fault is neither with the religion nor god, but with those who commit inhuman acts.

Please understand that for Muslims, the attack on the United States was just as devastating and surprising as it was to non-Muslims across the world.  Muslims have long feared governments, due to the corrupt and oppressive governments of their ancestral countries. Now, the nation which many Muslims now call home, America, has become a land of inequality, confusion and hopelessness for many families.

Muslims in America are fearful of injustice and that we will be stereotyped.  The media and society perpetuate that fear by continuing to define acts of terror as committed only by Muslim people.  The 9/11 atrocity was committed by radical Islamic terrorists. The Newtown shooting was an act committed by a terrorist, for reasons we do not yet know.

In order to follow through on America's promise of equality and justice, we should call terror what it is, and leave religion, ethnicity, and culture out of it.

Shamso Ahmed Ali is a college student living in Portland, Oregon

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