Image of Muslims in US very negative: French scholar

Slimane Zeghidour

Karachi– One reason why Muslims in the US are seen very negatively is that they don’t assimilate in host societies, a French scholar said in comments published on Friday.

Journalist and scholar Slimane Zeghidour was addressing students and faculty of the Area Study Centre for Europe (ASCE), University of Karachi, on Thursday, The News International reported.

“Today, we see a picture of the Muslims in the US media which is not at all flattering. They tar Muslims and Arabs with the same brush,” he said.

Slimane Zeghidour

“We must not forget that in the Muslim world, the Arabs are a minority. Besides, many Arabs are not Muslims.”

He said that during the Cold War, the US needed allies against Communism and so had cordial relations with the Muslim population globally.

Things, he said, began to change with the 1979 Iranian Revolution that was visibly anti-West. After the Soviet Union’s collapse, Muslims began to be seen as enemies of the West.

“Muslim clerics are very provincial. When they attack, they use religious arguments, not political ones. For instance, they attack Americans as kafirs (infidels), not as exploiters,” Zeghidour said.

Later, when the condition of Muslims in the UK was pointed out to him, he asked: “Why are only the Pakistani Muslims in the UK ‘discriminated’ against?”

He said there were Muslims in the UK from Bangladesh, India and many African countries too but they weren’t so much affected, the daily said.

He said self-introspection was called for to answer the charges of bias against Pakistani Muslims. (IANS)


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