My heart palpitated with the unnerved feeling I had just from the thought of attending a Republican convention as a veiled Muslim woman.
It is not news that Republicans don’t seem to like Muslims. As close as the city of Keller, and as recently as last week, Trustee Jo Lynn Haussmann wrote on her Facebook page “SOUTH LAKE - Do you realize because SO FEW voters took the time and responsibility to VOTE in the municipal elections - YOU NOW HAVE A ‘MUSLIM’ on the City Council!!! What A SHAME!!!!!”
The comments have since been deleted and referred to Southlake councilman Shahid Shafi.
With influences such as Pamela Gellar and Pat Robertson, it is no wonder that Republicans are so easily associated with Anti-Islam sentiments, the instigation of Islamophobia and outright hatred toward Muslims.
After two days at the convention, the only emotions I could describe were anger and disappointment.
I attended the convention as a reporter hoping to tell readers about the panel discussions I attended, but I discovered a cult-like hatred that is simply disgusting.
As I walked through the halls, people stopped in their tracks and frowned and shook their heads at me. Panelists threw the word “Islamist” around as if it were perfectly OK, and one man even asked if I felt alone at a meeting. I was referred to as “you people” and “y’all Muslims” more times than I can count. The worst part was the way delegates looked at me, as if I were something to fear when I approached them.
The Muslim voter was disregarded completely in discussions on how to tackle politically engaging religious minority groups. So as a reporter, I asked, how the Republican party plans to reach out to the eighth largest Muslim population in the United States. The sheer lack of regard for that population was appalling.
After discussing with one candidate whether there were Muslim outreach plans, I almost didn’t feel like I was allowed to be American, as if what he said stripped me from my American identity. He asked me where I was from. When I responded, “Texas,” he asked me where I was really from, as if there were no way it could possibly be from Texas.
Ted Cruz attended the event and took photos with his supporters. As I waited for him to return from a phone call so that I could grab some photos to tweet out, a police officer nearby came up to me and said hello. I responded hello. A normal interaction, I guess. Shortly after, I found five police officers behind me, hands on holsters watching me intently. Armed with a press badge and an iPhone, I turned to them held up my media credentials and asked if I could help them with something, as my heart tried to escape my chest. They did not respond but broke up into groups of two and continued watching me. If I was the biggest threat at that convention, then I must be seriously underestimating myself.
I cannot believe how a piece of cloth made from cotton and polyester can instill so many misconceptions in people.
I am still angered by the experience. I have the constitutional right to be a Muslim, and no one, not even Ted Cruz or five police officers, has the right to make me feel inferior. They definitely do not have any right to hate not just Muslims, but any race, creed or population. My vote may not be on your agenda, but my vote counts as much as anybody’s who votes in this country.
To the man who followed me into the IHOP bathroom after calling me a terrorist, to the woman who said she would see me in Hell at the grocery store, to the girl who pulled my hijab off my head during a fire drill in ninth grade, and to the hundreds of people who have asked me where I’m really from — I am an American. The question is, are you?
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1forAll's comment was either a carefully planned lie, (and a long, detailed one at that), or she really was there and Heba is intentionally leaving out key parts of her experience. I'm going with the latter, and I will just say this...perhaps the reason many people, whether affiliated with a political party or not, don't welcome a muslim person with open arms is because we do not trust you. We do not trust you to do the right thing, we do not trust you to take a stand against other muslims that do horrific things against people of different faiths. We do not trust that you will not try to subvert our American freedoms when you gain political power. We do not trust that you will not try to squelch free speech, and until the day comes when you do these things, you will always be regarded with suspicion, rightly or wrongly. Americans have been the most welcoming and trusting of any country on earth, but even we have limits. I do not hate you or any muslim who has not harmed or aggrieved me, my family or friends, even though I do have a right to just as you have the same right, but I can't afford to drop my guard whenever there are muslims present because to do so would be foolish. Boston marathon anyone? So just know that we've tried but you can thank your intolerant friends for letting us down over and over and over and over.
Yes, I was really there. The picture she took is on my pintrest page under Wendy Dove and pinned to the board: "I politic". I am not your normal political person. I am patriotic, not political. I am what you call the new breed of politics. OK - so I am affliated with the Republican side, but it's all I have since the other side's values are skewed across the board. My true hope is that more people will look deeper into what they are supporting before making a final decision. Final word: Thank you, Ogre, for reading posts prior to commenting. She really did report a very narrow minded article.
Did you go to the Democratic State Convention?
The worst people I've met in and out of the military aren't Muslims or terrorists but people who called themselves Republicans. Claiming they are for America and bs yet trying to shove what they think is right on other people and being afraid of things they know nothing about. It's sickening that even today in this world there are people out there who have such a ridiculous hate for somebody they have never talked to or met. Makes no sense on any level.
Sorry to hear about this bad experience. Most Republicans aren't this way, but as always the ones that stand out are the ugliest ones, the most shrill, etc. I'm proud to say that here in Minnesota the GOP has endorsed a Somali candidate, who is also Muslim.
Thank you Heba, for your bravery. It's an odd statement that at an American political event supposedly open to all citizens that someone would be made to feel this way. The police behavior was inexcusable. I am atheist and liberal, precisely because of this sort of behavior by Republicans and people who call themselves "Christians". My family however are all 100% Republican, and in general are nice people, family oriented, dedicated to their children, what have you. They are also bigots and homophobes, who use the "N" word like you and I would say "water", This report is disturbing to me as a Texan, but I am not the least bit surprised. In fact, when I saw that the Shorthorn was going to cover the GOP convention I hoped they would send an ethnically diverse group to report on it. Good job to the Shorthorn for doing so. The modern GOP and people like them will in time be consumed by their own hate and fear.
**** I AM ONE OF THOSE YOU SPOKE WITH - WHY DIDN"T YOU MENTION ME? Hello, Heba - Do you remember me? I asked you to take a picture of me and my friends in front of the big elephant on Wednesday. I was an elected alt-delegate and have to ask, why wasn't I in your story? I chose you because you had press credentials and I knew you would know what you were doing, besides you took charge the moment I asked your entire group; I didn't single out any one person. First - thank you, it was the best picture taken of my friends and myself. Why didn't you mention me? Why didn't you 'scoop' me for your story? I wasn't rude to you - you didn't even once engage in any type of investigative reporting and you had more than enough time and qualified people in my group to engage in political dialogue,,, plus - we came to you! How easy was that? Was it because I looked too GOP, or was it because I didn't look GOP enough? My convention hat, my shirt, my credentials and my Texas cowgirl attire should have screamed Texas GOP - so, why didn't you ask me anything? I was nervous and excited too. You see, just like yourself, it was my first time also. My background is a story of rising above tough circumstances. I didn't have the money to go to UTA. So - was it that I didn't look interesting at all? I honestly would like an answer, please. I do admit that I sized you up, but it is the same thingI do EVERY TIME I am asking someone to handle my $600 camera . I never, never, never noticed your 'belief' - I saw a person, not a fashion statement. I even looked you straight in the eyes every time we conversed to oblige you respect. From my point of observation you were shy and very nervous girl. My heart actually went out to you because NO ONE was talking to you. You state you received bullying remarks. I have to call BS on that one - I was there and NO ONE was talking to you. When we read articles like the one you've written, the wedge becomes larger between progress and oppression. But, who's oppressing who? Is it not yourself oppressing yourself with the bitterness you harbor against people in your past? My God, woman - rise above your oppressions like I did as a woman construction business owner. Living in a man's world as a woman is tough enough, so why did you report this and not an engaging story of how to bridge the political gap? AND NOW FOR THE REST OF THE STORY: We stayed away from you because we knew that as an islamist you represent anti-GOP, so honestly ask yourself - if I were to be at a muslim mosque with what I was wearing, would I be allowed to stay? I'm an American with the freedoms and rights to believe and worship any way I choose, like you, right? You tell me, how would I be treated? Not American!!! I don't judge people for their dress codes, only their moral code. Just like the rainbow flags outside. Y'all both grossly lied! So, how do you suppose I should judge this? Most importantly, How am I suppose to be friendly with the next muslim woman I come across? I won't be rude, but I will fall back in line with all the other people that stay away from you in public places. KUDOS FOR U Gotta give y'all this>>>>Y'all are rallying the grassroots. Thanks from the bottom of my uber conservative heart!!! We were running out of ideas and were starting to become weary from getting people to unite, but now y'all have gone and got 'r done for us. Priceless!!!(Edited by staff.)
"I have to call BS on that one" Well said. I think your response says it all. "I don't judge people for their dress codes" yet "as an islamist you represent anti-GOP." No, no judgement at all. "When we read articles like the one you've written, the wedge becomes larger." Yes, that is obvious. Instead of reaching out with compassion, you defend your "uber conservative(s)" by stating "I was there and NO ONE was talking to you." Now let's blame the victim: "Who's oppressing who? Is it not yourself oppressing yourself with the bitterness you harbor against people" After all that, let's finish by dimissing any acknowledgement of inequality with statements "My God, woman - rise above your oppressions like I did." Well done. I think you will be a perfect delegate to represent the GOP position. Thank you for providing us a richer perspective on what Heba must have experienced at your convention. Well done.
Thanks for Sharing; it really is Un American to be treated this way. The Republican party has become a party of overt racists. Except, now instead of blacks and Jews being the target, the targets are mainly Muslims and sometimes hispanics.
This is the state of a party which has no solutions to solve America's problems. It only can generate anger and hate amongst the uneducated and ignorant members of society.
Jimmies have been rustled.
Deplorable the way you were treated, but I have one complaint with your narrative; in your next-to-last paragraph, you say, "They definitely do not have any right to hate not just Muslims, but any race, creed or population. "
That is not true - they have the Constitutional right to hate whomever they want for whatever reason, and it's protected by the same amendment that covers your right to be Muslim.
Not to say their behavior was warranted, or appropriate, or anything but ignorant xenophobia brought on by an inability to perform critical thought, just pointing out that yes, people have a right to think whatever they want, stupid though their thoughts may be.
Although the United States tends to *advertise* ourselves as the paragon of a free and open society, we are not insusceptible to intolerance. I am sorry this young woman had to experience first-hand such a despicable--and objectively counterproductive--aspect of our national character. In a strange way, I almost feel more sorry for those who mistreated her: consumed by hatred, blinded by ignorance, insular, constricted, narrow-minded... There are many things that make me proud of my country; this is not one of them.
Heba, don't forget: these people represent themselves first and foremost. You're not only welcome, but invited to my neighborhood any time you please. And if I saw you or any Muslim woman on a U.S. street, in a veil, I would think: "this woman has some courage" and I would beam you a genuine smile.
I wish to apologize. I am not a Republican, any more. I left for reasons like this. I don't think Ronald Reagan would approve, if he were alive today. I am also not a Democrat, just so you'll know.
This is the US at it's worst. Hatred for the way someone dresses, for their religious values, for their skin color, and all the things that I was taught the US accepted and stood for. It's a slap on the face for every soldier who has died for freedoms that we were taught were our given rights.
I fear you have seen the party in it's truest form, and the democrats aren't that different. They want their own thing and the people, like you and me, do not matter.
The propaganda has brainwashed so many to see all Muslims are terrorists, and worse. They can't see past the stereotypes. You couldn't have been a reporter, a doctor, an attorney, or even just a beautiful woman coming to hear the speeches of the party she favored. No, you had to be a terrorist, covered in bombs and there to destroy the only party that should be in control of the US.
Your clothing, sadly, is the image the media has cultivated of "evil." If you dressed as a Jewess, no one would have cared, at least as much. What about a Catholic Nun? Both wear just as much clothing, but it is the Muslim image that the US has been taught to fear. They have religious views, but it's not the "kill all Americans" that the media has taught us is the Muslim way.
For what it's worth, you're welcome around me. Until you prove otherwise, your dress says you're Muslim, and that means that you have good morals and ethics. I would treat you no different than anyone else. No, I'm not Muslim or Jewish, and most say I'm not christian. Be yourself, and perhaps people will see the good in you, rather than the lies they have been told about you (because of the way you dress).
If everyone would read Ben Carson's latest book "One Nation" and forget PC "political correctness" we could all begin to seek solutions to our differences and dialog instead of making only accusations. I believe we all want to save our country the USA, we all should want to help the less fortunate. Among all the bright minds in the USA, we should be able to find the answers and restore our country. There is room for all of us in the USA to be united. However we should help all to become fluent in English and only speak, teach and vote in English.
I am dismayed on reading Heba's report as well as some of the comments made in reply.
I will make one observation however. If I am in a room with 95 people behaving normally and 5 who are jerks - then I find myself remembering the 5 jerks a lot more than the others. What I also find true is if I am in a room where I am visibly in the minority (e.g. a man in a room almost entirely women, or white in a room almost entirely back), then I also feel much more sensitized to being different.
In the same way, I wouldn't discount Heba's observations or dismiss that as somehow being made up. I do believe she left feeling the way she wrote in the article. I also don't take it as condemnation of all of the GOP but more that this particular venue of the convention somehow had a high enough percentage of jerks in it - that this is what stood out when it was time to write the column.
I have a problem with this being taken at face value. She had a Iphone, did she take pictures, video ,or audio of any of this? Did she get the police officers names, badges od any info? The candidate who was he? He has name. I have worked these kinds of conventions doing sound and we record everything. In the sessions there is a open Micophone for the attendants. There is usually a video being recorded at the same time. She says all this happened so where is the evidence of this. I do not doubt there was probably a few idiots who said something, but she is claiming there were others who did this. All I want is proof. I don't believe anyone who tells me stuff if they don't have the evidence to back it up.
While I usually agree about the preponderance of evidence, I'm reminded of a parable:
The wise sheep does not bleat loudly when walking through a wolf's den.
Said should certainly try the suggested reverse experiment of going to a Muslim political convention unveiled in say Saudi Arabia, and then ask about outreach to other religious groups. It would be interesting reading to hear of the reactions...
I didn't know Saudi Arabian Muslims were part of the American political system.
FYI, saying, "well those guys over there do bad stuff, too!" is not a valid justification for bad behavior. Every time I see someone trying to excuse such childishness by talking about what people in other countries may or may not do, I'm reminded of the words of my mother, and wonder if their mothers failed to impart this little bit of wisdom:
"If all the other kids were jumping off a bridge, would you do it to?"
@ "genius": Have Mom explain how you get "I didn't know Saudi Arabian Muslims were part of the American political system" out of the original comment. F your I, I'm not trying to justify her behavior of that of anyone else, but if she's going attempt such a social experiment and would like to be received with credibility do it objectively from both sides.
WHAT "Social experiment"? She is a journalist, covering a political convention. She is dressed as her religion dictates. Were she a Jewish male wearing a yarmulke, would you refer to this as a 'social experiment' as well. Or a Catholic carrying a rosary visibly?
The point she is making, that you are -- thank you -- making for her even more pointedly -- is that she is just as much an American, just as much a Texan as anyone else at that convention, but they don't accept this.
Republicans are ignorant scum and white texans are in denial racists. News at 11
Let’s give this person the benefit of the doubt that what she claims happened, Said writes, “I discovered a cult-like hatred that is simply disgusting.”
Now I would love to see this same person go to a Muslim gathering while not wearing a burka.
Now I wonder what would be said to her then and would she even have the guts to say that going to a Muslim gather, is cult-like and how disgusting they were to her.
The Progressive mantra is to celebrate diversity, to be inclusive and welcoming, that is unless you have an opinion that is different than them. Then you become an “extreme right wing bigot”. There is no middle ground. And yes I recognize that the Right is almost as bad (key word almost).
A 'burka' or burqa is a full-bodied garment with a bee-keeper's mask on it. It was worn, briefly, by the women of Afghanistan -- and no other Muslim country -- during the rule of the 'ill-educated seminary students' that became the Taliban. What Ms. Said was wearing was the hijab and niqab,(sp?) the veil and headgear worn by some Muslim women. In most countries, other than the totalitarian Saudi Arabia, she would be accepted were she to choose not to wear them, certainly in any 'Western' country.
As a Progressive, I'll proudly state that we ARE accepting and welcoming, to many people who disagree with us -- since we disagree among ourselves so much. We welcome those who disagree with us on many matters, and don't make people uncomfortable for disagreeing with us. (In some cases we might even overdo this. I think of that days when Rachel Maddow called the racist Pat Buchanan "Uncle Pat." Even now, despite his disgusting comments recently, I don't think George Will would be made uncomfortable at most Progressive gatherings.)
But even when we do violate this, if we make it plain that we'd rather not be around a particularly noxious right winger (say, Ted Nugent) it is for what he SAID, not for what he IS -- specifically what ethic, religious, or sexual grouping he is part of. Because the one thing we are not accepting of (ideally, we have our idiots too) is bigotry, is hatred of groups.
I'll give you a challenge. Somewhere in your area, wherever it is, there is almost certain to be a Mosque or Islamic center. Take you wife or girl friend there, dressed ordinarily, dressed casually, and see how you are treated.
Then get a little stage make-up, darken your skin and hers just a little, wear a costume that is still casual, have her wear the head-covering but not the veil, and go to your local megaChurch carrying a small but visible copy of the Qu'ran. Then please write to us how you were treated. And how sure you are still that the right is the less obnoxious.
(I say this despite the fact that I see no reason for considering Islam to be at all 'on the left.' I find their principles and prejudices so similar to those of the Evangelicals that it is only ignorance that keeps them from working together against Progressivism. I defend them against prejudice, against beliefs that they are inherently terroristic, but don't defend their religious stupidity any more than I do that of the other Abrahamic fossils that have survived from the Bronze Age into the present. Their right to hold that stupidity, of course I defend, because every single one of us have stupidities of different types we hold on to. But while defending it, I do have the right to call it stupid.)
Slight side-track, sorry, but figured your inanity at least provided a chance to make a couple of points.
No equivalency here. I would feel comfortable going there, as well as many other diverse events. If you can contradict me, give me evidence where you have done so, and were not welcome. You probably haven't. You need to get out more. Conservative extremists have cornered the market on hate, and the rest of the GOP is not without fault. They have supported and encouraged this type of behavior for years.
These are all quotes taken from previous comments:
1. “Sounds to me like you went with an agenda yourself, and interpreted everything you could to support that agenda”
2. “Who knows what was really said..”
3. “...retrofitted story.”
4. “I call BS”
5. “I do not believe Said’s story at all.”
The problem is that many people, mostly white people, but including many people of color, tend to deny or disregard other people’s experiences with racism, making people who experience the pain of racism feel devalued while simultaneously reinforcing their own beliefs that racism only exists in rare interpersonal situations involving “a few apples.”
As a result, many people of color feel that they cannot even talk about racism for fear that their experiences will be delegitimized, that they will make white people feel uncomfortable, or that they will be seen as a complainer who is overly sensitive.
There is no way to heal from a long history of interpersonal, institutional, and internalized racism in this country when there is a large swath of people that would rather deny its existence, or call someone a liar when they open up about their experiences with it.
Believe it or not Texas has a lot of relationships with Middle Eastern Countries because they are oil people like us. Texas helped countries like Iran and Iraq when they started their oil industry. We also helped train the Shah's air force.
I hope she will try again to attend. It's like going to any party. It doesn't hurt to have formal introductions. Write to a representitive and try to have a GOP introduce you to other people so they know who you are and what you are doing there. Try wearing cowboy boots or belt as a conversation starter. When I was in Jordan, I wore what the locals wore and tried to fit in. Good luck.
It is strange that in your well-meaning and kind advice, you highlight more of what is wrong with the way she was treated than do the haters and doubters. "Wear what the locals wear." But she is a Texan too, she is not a visitor from a foreign country.
She IS a LOCAL, and should have been treated as such.
I do not believe Said's story at all. I think it is a contrived lie engineered to slam Texas in general and the GOP in specific. You want to know why I believe this? I'm from Texas. We are friendly in this state. It's our thing, you know. We are open minded about others. But, you are not welcome to tell us how to live or what to think. You want to dye your hair pink and green? Fine, it's your hair. You want to shave your head or wear a Mohawk? That's fine, too. It's just hair. But, don't try to tell ME how to wear MY hair! Your head shake at my hair is your own racism. I wear my hair long and out, get over it! You think I'm immodest for having my hair uncovered? I don't care. Keep it to yourself. You see, Said, I was in Houston at MD Anderson the first week of June. There were many other people there. Some of the women wore head coverings. No big deal. But, when my husband brushed my hair for me, a trio of women in black head coverings had a fit and a few choice English words for me. My right arm is compromised. Sometimes, I need help with my hair, with dressing, with carrying things. My husband of 35 years is enough of a gentleman to help me in any way he can, even brushing my hair. That is not "obscene," nor is it "rude." It's certainly not a reason for those women to judge me and speak ill of the two of us. Here's an infobit for you and them: It's MY COUNTRY! It's MY CULTURE! It's NONE of YOUR BUSINESS!
Feel free to call me racist, arrogant, uninformed, "loose, obscene or rude" if you wish. I don't care. You see, my tolerance for your religion begs your tolerance for mine. If you don't feel like you can be so tolerant, fine. Show your racism. At least recognize your error and acknowledge it rather than accusing me, my party or my state.
You should be a comedy writer, no kidding. I mean - "My heart palpitated with the unnerved feeling I had just from the thought of attending a Republican convention as a veiled Muslim woman." I just had to read what came next - perhaps the punch line, but it sort of fell woefully short of interest and read more like a naïve manifesto of an attention-seeker. When you look at the whole picture and the fact that Obama has possible ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and just traded an alleged American deserter for five Taliban murderers, it seems logical that your ulterior motive is to further sully the GOP. Of course, and whatever. Keep trying, but try to get the editor to at least read your contrived drivel before it's printed.
You were going good there for awhile until you got to the usual canned neocon baloney. Talk about "contrived drivel"...[beam]
Other than the negativity then what information and news did you get at the convention? As a reporter many times you will have a lot of negativity directed at you from your job etc., but you need to still get a story out of it. So please tell us what vibrant political news you obtained from the convention.
Obviously we know you had some issues with religeous persicution, but as you have stated you lived in texas I'm sure this occurs at different times. Either way you still need to be able to cut through the BS to get to your goal of a news piece so please add on the interesting news and facts you obtained from such a grand convention.
I have to shake my "veiled' head at the idiocy of Americans. I know why ignorance is bliss....blissfully unaware that there are millions of people that are not white, republican, and racist! If you want to stereotype, why not discuss the white Christians that go on shooting rampages in schools and Walmarts' throughout America?
Why don't you hate the pedophiles that rape little babies. Spend some time hating that instead of people that fear God more than they fear a bunch of red neck idiots at some political rally. Be real. Some lady wearing a head scarf isn't going to strap on a bomb and blow herself up. How effing obvious is that? Get real. You are not afraid of her. I wear a scarf and people don't stare at me because they are afraid. They stare because they don't understand me. I make them feel stupid. After reading some of the hate filled comments, I know that you are stupid.
I am American. I am Muslim. And there isn't a damn thing you can do about it!
Salma whoevr stated we as americans do NOT have issue with school shootings, pedophiles and rapist has been misinforming you. For some reason, I see no mention of god issues or solely religious doctrine issues even being mentioned or referred to.
It was mentioned people had prejudices about her appearance. Although doing so takes away from her "freedoms", I am guessing if soeone attending the republican convention in a bathing suit(ie a different appearance) a similar experience would be had.
Maybe I misread something, but I did not read anything about her being Jailed, strip searched, detained or otherwise impacted in a similar vein. As well I don't think you make people feel stupid, I think people just do not understand how strong you are to not follow the general trend of american dress.
I am glad that those of the muslim religion continue to love being apart of the american way of life as that is pretty much the purpose, to enjoy oneself in the freedoms given by the constitution so we can all state our own bigoted statements and believe em.
Thank you Ernie for correcting me. I appreciate the fact that you did so in a friendly and intelligent fashion. Ah, a breath of fresh air!
As a fresh-faced foreign student of UT Arlington three decades ago, the one thing I remember distinctly is the friendliness of the people of Texas be it in the big cities or the small towns during my drive through them. Very rarely did I experience discrimination, subtle or otherwise. The new friends I made were appalled when I narrated the one or two times that it happened which led me to believe that it was an aberration rather than systemic like this lady wants us to believe and I soon forgot about it. She obviously has a religious chip on her shoulder. No belief system, however sacred she feels it is, should be above the purview of the human mind. People have the right to be worried about Islam which is disproportionately represented in all the hotspots around the world (the goings-on in Iraq being the latest example). It is disingenuous to ask people to shut their minds off about it just because someone quotes the First Amendment.
Of course the Muslim world is devoid of sociopaths. It's common knowledge.
"Why don't you hate the pedophiles that rape little babies".
Hmm. Mohammed "asked for the hand" of his youngest wife, Ayesha, when she was six. He consummated the marriage when she was nine.
Elizabeth, I think you are a terrible person.
What gives you the right to make accusations against her simply because she believes in another religion and wears different clothes?
"You never speak out against Islamic terrorist... "
What would you suggest she spoke about, which incidents could you reference that would get you to listen.
Please don't go around calling people terrorists just because you don't like them, do your research before you go trying to discredit and hurt peoples feelings.
Congrats on a great story, Ms. Said. Just finished reading the article Jason Sickles wrote about you and your experiences at the Texas Republican Convention, which brought me to your paper. I have no vested interest in this, other than getting your story out to more people, but have you tried contacting msnbc about your experiences? I've found that boorish bigots like you encountered really aren't interested in points of view other than their own, but maybe some in Texas and elsewhere might have their eyes opened.
Muslims have to learn to be sanative to Americans feelings.
Perfect! Not merely the mistake on 'sensitive' -- any of us can be lousy typists -- but the distinction between 'Muslim" and "American."
Can it possibly enter inside the crowded, tiny brains of some of you people that someone can be Muslim, American, Texan, Female, and for all I know, a hockey fan, and none of these contradict the others. Maybe Texans -- at least some Texans like the posters and the convention attendees need to be more sensitive to Americans' feelings, especially if these Americans happen also to be Muslims.
[By the way, I'm new here and have no idea why my comments are duplicating, but my apologies anyway.
All very nice to accept ms said for who/what she is - - a muslim reporter in training. What a lot of folks are overlooking is the fact that MANY woman dressed as she was also have been known to be suicide bombers - - how would anyone know with the clothes she was wearing ? ? . Now who was it that claimed victory for 9/11 ?? No, we cannot judge all by some, but she did put herself (no one MADE her go and no one MADE her feel what she felt - - self induced, both). - - Likewise, if someone were to wear a white sheet in Harlem - - how would they fit in ??
I'm the Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus here in Texas, and I'd like to apologize for the way you were treated. Apparently some of my fellow Texans seem to have forgotten their manners. You absolutely would have found a warmer welcome at our booth, or at the party we threw the night of the 5th that Dave Nalle mentioned.
Please feel welcome to check us out; we do have an active chapter in the Metroplex area. I think you'll find that not all Republicans are looking for an excuse to display their insecurities, and some of us are looking for practical solutions for a 21st century America.
Jeff, I give you credit for being a gentleman and a peace maker. However, I would like to point out that crying "racism" is an easy way to get attention for many liberals. That tactic was recently used by Ms. Winfrey just before the release of her last movie. My point being, you may have apologized for a slight which never occurred.
Hi Ms. Said, thank you for a thought-provoking article. Please try to ignore the hatred that your article is going to inspire in some of the comments.
Do you have plans to attend the Texas Dem and/or Libertarian Conventions? I think it would be an excellent idea for you to go to both or at least the Dem convention and report back on the behavior of the attendees. Is this just a Texas thing or is it a party-affiliation thing?
I'm sorry you had the experience you did. It erodes our humanity to hate each other based on appearance.
Well Heba, you should have stopped by the Republican Liberty Caucus booth. It was just a few away from Cruz and we would have given you a much warmer reception. Or joined us at our thursday evening party celebrating inclusiveness. It was a big hit.
What you encountered there were not republicans, they were frightened and irrational people whipped into a frenzy by demagogues like Dan Patrick. Nationally these people make up a minority of the GOP and even in Texas they only temporarily have a bare majority.
Most of us believe in religious and cultural tolerance. It's just that were not the loud ones. We prefer our deeds to speak more clearly than our words.
Republican Liberty Caucus
I SMELL BS!! This definitely sounds like ANOTHER sneaky shameful disgusting attempt to demomize republicans. This has been done before. Liberal democrats plant people at republican outings, sometimes even posing as republicans spewing hateful speach to make repubs look bad. anyone with half a brain would not believe there were five guys with hands on their holsters following you around. My fellow Americans, DON'T FALL FOR THIS BS!!
That's exactly what it is because she apparently is the only one who saw it happen. I will never apologize for a muslim like her or any other for what they are supposedly suffering from in this country. THEY HAVE MORE THAN EARNED THE DISDAIN OF ALL AMERICANS.
Good job, Heba! This is how to create awareness. Keep up the good work, keep writing, keep learning, and keep your head high!
Ms. Said: I apologize for the boorish, Anti-American behavior of the Texass GOP convention delegates. These rightwingnuts do not represent Texas or America.
Neither do you left-wing liberal democrats. In fact, you are the reason the country is in trouble.
I am glad there are Americans like you. I am glad there are Texans like you. I am glad there are Muslims like you. I am glad there are women like you. I am glad there are journalist that are like you. Keep up the good work.
Ms. Said, you seem like a strong young woman. Keep reporting your experiences and encouraging positive change!
I read this article with much interest and disappointment, but not much surprise.
Some of the commenters below were very defensive(yes, a stereotypical trait of some political groups), others where equally sure that another political party would have a different reaction (another stereotypical trait). Unfortunately, I believe you would find similar interactions from any large congregation of non-Muslim Americans, not just in Texas, but just about anywhere.
I hope the author will continue to report on her interactions at public events, and elsewhere, as a Muslim American. The rest of us have a lot to learn and stories like this start a dialogue; whether your reaction is fear, hate, depression, indecision, or you are just considering the topic for the first time.
As a teacher, I couldn't be more proud to see our own local kids grow up to show such integrity and intelligence. When confronted with egregious behavior, this reporter responded in a rational and reasoned way with superior ideas. If these are the kinds of students that UTA is producing, then I think the future looks very bright for North Texas. Now the onus is on us to be the kind of community that a smart, motivated, thoughtful young person wants to be around.
She challenges all of us.
Ms. Said, I'm sure your family, teachers and professors must be so proud of you. Stay true to your ideals. Continue to expect the best from your city, your state and your country. You are right to be appalled, and you are right to speak out. Good for you.
teddi- you must not get out much. I work on UTA campus, most of the students are accepting and open minded, curious about other cultures. I am delighted that I have a very diverse student enrollment. I learn more about the world from my foreign students. But off campus, the Americans get ugly. I have seen how people back away from Muslim women in the grocery stores and restaurants. anyone wearing some religious head covering, male or female.
I personally have no doubt that the people at the republican convention treated her this badly. America has followed the Hawks, believing that everyone is our enemy, and we must make war.
Take a walk thru town as her escort, see how long it takes before someone spits on YOU, or calls you an ugly vile name.
the Shorthorn has high standards of Journalism, and these students take their Journalism degree courses & writing very seriously. You pretty much called her a liar. it takes 9 or 10 days to go thru all the levels of proofing and editing that goes into a school paper and website. but, Im guessing you have never worked at a school paper, attended an event where you are the outsider and had to write an objective report about the events.
I wonder why the author waited 9 or 10 days to write about the alleged experience. 10 days later, no one at the convention can verify/deny the events she alleges nor even her alleged ´appearance´at the event. There is no way to tell if the author actually attended the events, or wrote about it from another city. The onus is on the author to provide the proof. She says she had her cell phone and a press ID, so where is the video of the 5 police? What aboth the guy who followed her into the IHOP washroom? What year did that happen? If the author has to reach way back to her 9th grade to add to this alleged experience... she leaves a lot of room, even years of misinterpreted and adjusted memories, for fiction to creep into this inordinately delayed, retrofitted story. Something about this article smells, and the onus is on the author to prove the allegations. Fiction is easy and can be done miles away from a convention. Heck, it can even be written in an IHOP bathroom... while in grade 9...
Please consider coming to the democratic convention later this month. I think you'll have a vastly different experience.
Big hugs hon, I applaud your courage and tenacity. Thank you for sharing your experience with the world. Bless you :)
I'm not sure why you're surprised by what you encountered. I live in Texas and I see this sort of uneducated belligerence and cowardice every blessed day of the week. If you don't raise children to understand and respect other cultures, this is what you have: a country full of dumb, reactionary little bigots who fear what they don't understand and hate what they fear. It's as basic as a lack of decent education. Until that changes, nothing else will.
"Reid was wowed by Obama's oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate especially one such as Obama - a 'light-skinned' African American 'with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,' as he later put privately" - Harry Reid 2010 Book 'Game Change'
"She was a typical White person" - Barack Hussein Obama
"I almost forgot he was Black" - Chris Mathews-Liberal Commentator
"We should apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring" - Margaret Sanger - Democratic Progressive
"We should hire three or four colored minister, preferably with social-service background, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is throgh a religious appeal. We don't want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious member" - Margaret Sanger Democratic Progressive
Are we going to hold Democrats to the same standard? Are we going to be consistent or not? If we are not, then the prejudice falls upon the writer who disregards the more aggregious racism in the Democratic Party.
This is obviously a hit piece by a party loyal person. She says she went in to the conference prejuducly beleiving there would be racism, and looked at every instance as a form of racism. The problem with the charges being made is that we only know one side of the story. Who knows what was said by them or her. If you want people to vote for your party, then you should come at people with a more inclusive message.
You are disenfranchising people. People would be more apt to listen if you were more objective. The point you are trying to make is eliminated when you categorize an entire group for the actions of a few. Kind of like how you dislike when people, wrongly, categorize all muslims as terrorists. Do not become the people you hate, or your message will be forgotten.
It is frightening to think that democrats beleive only republicans are racist, because history tells a much different story.
We need to drop these lables of democrat or republican, and focus on what really impacts our lives. We have a president, just like the one before him, who does not beleive in basic human rights, like privacy, who lies over and over again, who taxes the poor, who has litteraly run roughshot over so many desperate people.
We can all see the stock market exploding, but what about the little man? Our wages have dropped while taxes rise, the cost of energy is going up, food inflation, water shortages, on and on. T
Well, lets see. Percentage of hatred and historical racism does not really align to the North as much as to the South. Still they have something to compare.
But you do realize, in the civil war scenario, north v south. The north was Republicans, Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. The party was established on abolishion of slavery. It was racist democrat KKK members who wanted to perpetuate slavery. It was racist democrat president Woodrow Wilson who re-segregated the U.S. military. It was racist democrats that used Jim Crow laws. It was racist Democrats in the 50's 60's 70's fighting against civil rights. History tells a much different story than the one being falsly presented. The problem is that democrats have no message and no platform. They are trying to conquer. They say everything down to a PBnJ is racist, to distract us from other issues where the dems are attacking average people. Instead of being worried about the major tax hikes from them. . .
The funniest thing is, how is the current prez different than bush?
You're not too bright. The north, especially liberal strongholds have the most racists people in the country. Country clubs in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts. They have ZERO minorities.
I admire your courage in taking on this assignment and am sorry that you had such a negative experience. America is better than that. At least, we should aspire to be.
First, I think it is horrible for anyone to experience what you did. Yet, it is also unfair of you to claim that the people who treated you that way, represent all Republicans. If you attended the Democratic convention, might you not have experienced some of the same from the police and others there. Sadly, you might.
Also, it is a common misconception that all people in the Republican Party are not for minorities or immigrants. Most actually are trying to do the constitutionally correct and morally right thing. So, don't condemn an entire political party because of the actions of a few idiots. You are asking the same. You are asking to be treated fairly and not like those whose actions were unspeakable.
I can say that I appreciate the honesty of this article. Racism is clearly (as stated below) very much pondering the streets of modern America. To say that a religion is entitled to hate due to previous actions of others who affiliate with the religion is plain ignorance. I would have expected an opened-minded/positive conclusion of the republican GOP but if from the second you walked in and you were looked at as a threat, or felt stripped of your American title, would your article be about how great it was? I think this article shows a concealed flaw we have as Americans.
You bring up in your closing paragraph at least two incidents from your past. You open by stating you had fears going in, revealing you lack of journalistic neutrality going in. Throughout this piece you reveal your own bias against Republicans. And then you document nothing but suspicious looks and lack of a "Muslim agenda". Sounds to me like you went with an agenda yourself, and interpreted everything you could to support that agenda. The Republicans don't "pander" to groups. Sounds like you got your feelings hurt because they didn't make you feel special.
Mr. Whitson, What do you not understand about opinion. Opinion pieces do not require journalistic neutrality or non-bias. It is allowed to "Pander" to one side, actually it's expected to "Pander" to one side. You know, like FOX NEWS does on every story.
Republicans most certainly do pander: to the rich, to the white with a victim complex, to the Christian with a victim complex, to the fearful
I remember feeling happy a week ago or so after learning that The Shorthorn was sending a hijabi student to the GOP Convention. Why? Because as a Hispanic voter, I have recently felt the momentous shift to the far right and away from "common ground"-center politics that the party is undergoing. Once in a while I still find friends and coworkers that identify themselves as moderate conservatives, but for the most part is seems that the GOP now represents the white, Christian and wealthy Americans (mostly male).
I was looking forward to see what fresh new different opinion Heba Said would learn to show us what the GOP is doing to rid themselves of the hatred and bigotry infesting them. Sad to learn is more of the same.
I then read the subsequent reply by "tFranks". There is nothing wrong with being conservative. You, however cross the line with comments as ignorant as the ones you post here. If you happen to be in college, I hope you take a Sociology class and read up on cultures and world religions. To say that Islam is what those terrorist are doing is to say that being catholic must mean you are or you agree with child molestation. I hope in time you realize the multiple fallacies in your reasoning.
Thank you Miss Said.
Oh really. When was the last time a Catholic beheaded someone for not being Catholic and blew up a building, or kidnapped teenage Christian females and made them recant their religion? Muslims are a scourge upon the earth.
I'm currently working with a person who has strong beliefs about religion and language. I watch how she interacts with guest and other coworkers with complete disregard. As a professional I give this person dignity and respect although she does say hateful and completely unprecedented comments about others in front of and behind our clients faces.
I thank America for allowing me to have different ideas about religion, political, language but it's society who persecutes my values. As I continue to grow into an adult, I have the right to change my views and model them to fit each circumstance I am faced. I learn from mistakes of others as well as my own. So maybe the person who pulled off your hajiab(spelling) has changed their outlook on other Americans culture. It's a shame to have to deal with this hatred on a daily basis.
I support your pride and mission. I have hand written letters from my grandfather who told me stories about his mother coming to America. She was pushed, shoved, requested/ thrown out of eating establishments, required to pay for prayers, and spit on for speaking her Italian language. Any time I hear about prejudice, or watch my coworker disrespect humans, think back to my grandpas stories. Prejudice is alive and looking for a new target each day. Wether it's religion, age, ethnicity, tattoos, clothing, ice cream flavors, anything and everything. Education on empathy is absolutely the only way to reduce this crime from reoccurring, and your story has put this issue into the spotlight.
Thank you for sharing this with me and other students. Keep your motivation and never be afraid to speak your mind and advocate for your rights as an American.
I call BS
And that would be because.....?
Why do people react this way? I can tell you why. Try beheadings, women killed because they dare marry someone not chosen for them by the family, 3,500 killed when airplanes are crashed into two towers in New York, thousands of US soldiers killed in the Iraq war, many killed/injured in the Boston Marathon bombing, etc etc etc. Yes, I admit I question those who wear clothing that identifies them as a member of a religion that says they are for peace but practices barbaric acts toward others.
Thanks you for proving the point Tfranks. People can survive if their brain is not fully developed.
What do you mean "they"? Do you want people to judge the entire US Army based on Sgt. Robert Bales, the soldier who massacred 16 innocent civilians while they were asleep at night? Do you want people to judge the entire USAF based on the video that showed Apache Gunmen who were bombing innocent Iraqis that was released by WikiLeaks? Do you want people to judge the entire US based on the hundreds of thousands of dead innocent people?
You see, your views are not so dissimilar to those who would classify innocent people guilty by association.
Following your logic, the world should REALLY condemn all White Christians, as they are responsible for billion dead people though out history. Do some research instead of relying on Fox non "News"----You might actually learn the truth. What a novel concept
Any evidence for that?
Please disregard, clicked on the wrong reply, stupid page refresh.
Oh, well Einstein, would Iraqis let foreign troops just walk and kill their president because 13 terrorists from a country hundreds of miles away was the reason?
From what you state your opinion has 0 weight because of your low IQ.
Oh, and there are millions of dead Jews, fellow Christians, and Muslims because of many many many people comparable to Hitler, Charles Manson, George Bush Senior, Jefferson Davis (Southern President that waged war against United States of America and killed over hundreds of thousands of true Americans), and you can keep listing millions of others.
Now this is not a fact against one group or people. It is a fact that the world is full of terrible events and atrocities. We can't cherry pick few to hate minorities. We can't always stay a majority.
I don't get it.
When Mr. 666.... er, Mr. 999 Herman Cain began running for the GOP nomination, Black America did not flock to his side on the basis of him being Black. Black people heard what he said and discounted him on that basis alone.
Why can't people do the same when it comes to paid Islamaphobes like Pam Geller and Pat Robertson?
In regards to the savage man calling the Muslimah out of her name while following her into the Women's restroom (I had to read that FOUR times).... had that been a Muslim man attempting to threaten a non-Muslim woman, he'd have been arrested, in jail, he'd have branded as a terrorist and he, his religion (Islam) and his fellow adherents (ALL Muslims) would have been indicted in the court of public opinion!
In regards to the woman who claimed she see the Muslimah in hell.....is she not, then, also condemning herself to hell in the process....??!! [wink] I don't think she gave that babble much thought....!
This is just commonplace, given the rampant Islamaphobia ginned-up by the Islamaphobia Industry which feeds into the public's general lack of knowledge and lack of exposure to Islam and Muslims.
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