American Muslims 2016 election

It’s 2016, and America is going through it’s deepest birthing pains.

America’s legacy is waning. We’re no longer a pioneer nation that breaks ground on new innovations, championing hard questions and pushing boundaries. We’re moving away from a cavalier “pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get on with it” attitude and moving toward a “safe” society heavily dependent on copious amounts of tissues and coated speech. We’ve become soft.

The problem is, nothing is ever achieved in a safe space. Yet that’s what America has become so good at creating – safe spaces. Those guilty of it aren’t just liberals, millennials or social justice warriors; it’s most of us. And it happens each time a conversation is stifled under a banner of political correctness surrounding the three biggest issues afflicting Americans culturally: Islamophobia, sexism, and racism.

As a nation we suppressed the conversation on Islam by denying First Amendment rights — not through government or through lawfare — but by a citizenry armed with words designed to silence speech. Islamists and even well-intentioned Muslims are winning the war on censorship, scheming to limit American access to language including “radicalization” and “Islamic terrorism” by shaming those of us who call a thing by its name. And yet on the other hand, this demographic comprised of liberals and Islamists leverage words that give them the power to continue an assault on free speech. “Islamophobia” is one example of that, now the Orwellian denial of a problem that comes from the problem.

And as Americans we stifle the potential of a real second wave of feminism by allowing faux feminism to decry words and acts as an assault on gender and sexuality, and in doing so crippling femininity into something that cannot stand on its own – something that needs to be defended as if it were a victim with no power. Real feminism is rooted in the subculture belief of the “sacred feminine,” the belief that women have an immense power within them that has been stifled, squandered and given away. Reclaiming that as a woman doesn’t mean self-identifying as a woman in a public sphere as if it were a handicap in need of special accommodation. Being a modern feminist means being tapped into something much more primal than the limitations of a 21st century society that tries to divide a whole identity based on gender.

During the California primaries this week, Bernie Sanders was asked by a reporter whether it was “sexist” to stand in the way of potentially the first female president. Bernie saw through the question as did many others – but to the rest of America, there is little they can see beyond the “sexism.” As a woman, even I am asked if it’s not “sexist” of me to not support Hillary Clinton. That is a totalitarian mentality, the idea that allegiances have to be formed based on a given identity (religion, sex, and race) and not a freely chosen one (American).

And that is the beauty of America – the first nation in the history of nations formed free of any identity politics, free of forced allegiance to religion or race. A free space.

Muslim Reformer Shireen Qudosi

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