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Ray
21 Aug 06,, 21:43
Pakistanis Find U.S. an Easier Fit Than Britain


By NEIL MacFARQUHAR
Published: August 21, 2006

CHICAGO, Aug. 18 — The stretch of Devon Avenue in North Chicago also named for Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, seems as if it has been transplanted directly from that country. The shops are packed with traditional wedding finery, and the spice mix in the restaurants’ kebabs is just right.

Similar enclaves in Britain have been under scrutiny since they have proved to be a breeding ground for cells of terrorists, possibly including the 24 men arrested recently as suspects in a plot to blow up airliners flying out of London.

Yet Devon Avenue is in many ways different. Although heavily Pakistani, the street is far more exposed to other cultures than are similar communities in Britain.

Indian Hindus have a significant presence along the roughly one-and-a-half-mile strip of boutiques, whose other half is named for Gandhi. What was a heavily Jewish neighborhood some 20 years ago also includes recent immigrants from Colombia, Mexico and Ukraine, among others.

“There is integration even when you have an enclave,” said Nizam Arain, 32, a lawyer of Pakistani descent who was born and raised in Chicago. “You don’t have the same siege mentality.”

Even so, members of the Pakistani immigrant community here find themselves joining the speculation as to whether sinister plots could be hatched in places like Devon (pronounced deh-VAHN) Avenue.

The most common response is no, at least not now, because of differences that have made Pakistanis in the United States far better off economically and more assimilated culturally than their counterparts in Britain. But some Pakistani-Americans do not rule out the possibility, given how little is understood about the exact tipping point that pushes angry young Muslim men to accept an ideology that endorses suicide and mass murder.

The idea of a relatively smaller, more prosperous, more striving immigrant community inoculating against terror cells goes only so far, they say.

“It makes it sound like it couldn’t happen here because we are the good immigrants: hard-working, close-knit, educated,” said Junaid Rana, an assistant professor of Asian-American studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an American-born son of Pakistani immigrants. “But we are talking about a cult mind-set, how a cult does its brainwashing.”

Yet one major difference between the United States and Britain, some say, is the United States’ historical ideal of being a melting-pot meritocracy.

“You can keep the flavor of your ethnicity, but you are expected to become an American,” said Omer Mozaffar, 34, a Pakistani-American raised here who is working toward a doctorate in Islamic studies at the University of Chicago.

Britain remains far more rigid. In the United States, for example, Pakistani physicians are more likely to lead departments at hospitals or universities than they are in Britain, said Dr. Tariq H. Butt, a 52-year-old family physician who arrived in the United States 25 years ago for his residency.

Nationwide, Pakistanis appear to be prospering. The census calculated that mean household income in the United States in 2002 was $57,852 annually, while that for Asian households, which includes Pakistanis, was $70,047. By contrast, about one-fifth of young British-born Muslims are jobless, and many subsist on welfare.

Hard numbers on how many people of Pakistani descent live in the United States do not exist, but a forthcoming book from Harvard University Press on charitable donations among Pakistani-Americans, “Portrait of a Giving Community,” puts the number around 500,000, with some 35 percent or more of them in the New York metropolitan area. Chicago has fewer than 100,000, while other significant clusters exist in California, Texas and Washington, D.C.

Pakistani immigration to the United States surged after laws in the 1960’s made it easier for Asians to enter the country. Most were drawn by jobs in academia, medicine and engineering. It was only in the late 1980’s and 90’s that Pakistanis arrived to work blue-collar jobs as taxi drivers or shopkeepers, said Adil Najam, the author of the book on donations and an international relations professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

In Britain, by comparison, the first Pakistanis arrived after World War II to work in factories. Many were fleeing sectarian strife in Kashmir — a lingering source of resentment — and entire communities picked up and resettled together. This created Pakistani ghettos in cities like Bradford and Birmingham, whereas in the United States immigrants tended to be scattered and newcomers forced to assimilate. The trends intensified with time.

A decade ago, for example, a Pakistani in Chicago who wanted to buy halal meat, from animals butchered in a religiously sanctioned manner, could find it only on Devon Avenue. Now halal butchers dot the city and its suburbs.

Thousands of immigrants and their American-born offspring still flock to Devon Avenue because of its restaurants and traditional goods, including wedding saris for women and long, elaborate shirts and gilded slippers with curled toes for men. The avenue’s half-dozen rudimentary mosques have a reputation for being more conservative than those elsewhere in Chicago, with the imams emphasizing an adherence to Muslim tradition.

“They go to an area where they have a feeling of nostalgia, and even psychologically it is important for immigrant communities to feel that their home country is represented,” said Dr. Butt, an early member of the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America, one of the oldest immigrant organizations here.

But immigrants are not mired in the Devon Avenue neighborhood; many move out once they can afford better. Unlike the situation in Britain, there is no collective history here of frustrated efforts to assimilate into a society where a shortened form of Pakistani is a stinging slur, and there are no centuries-old grievances nursed from British colonial rule over what became Pakistan.

Where such comparisons fail, however, is in providing a model to predict why some young Muslims turn to violence, although no religion is immune. In the United States there have been a few cases of young Pakistani men being arrested or tried in terror plots, in Atlanta and in Lodi, Calif., for example.

Ifti Nasim, a former luxury car salesman turned poet and gay rights advocate, greets a visitor with a slim volume of his works. The cover photograph shows him wearing a bright orange dress, ropes of pearls and a long blond wig. He has been in the United States since 1971.

Some shoppers crowding the sidewalks on Devon Avenue greet Mr. Nasim warmly, telling him they listen to his radio show or read his columns in a local Urdu-language newspaper. In Pakistan, Mr. Nasim says, his flamboyance would not be tolerated, but here he calls his acceptance “the litmus test of the society.”

Like many, however, he has moments of doubt, saying, “Pakistani society in Chicago has made a smooth transition so far, but you never know.”

A more important factor in determining who becomes a militant is most likely the feeling of being stigmatized as less than equal, community activists say, noting that such discrimination remains far more common in Britain. It is probably compounded by the fact that violence against Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Lebanon feels so much closer there, they say.

Overt bigotry is rarer here, but it exists. For instance, Mohamed Hanis, a taxi driver who is a Pakistani immigrant, said that on the Friday night after the terror alert in London, a young white man climbed into his cab. Noticing the name Mohamed, the man threatened to report that Mr. Hanis had admitted to supporting terrorist attacks unless he could get a free ride. Instead, Mr. Hanis hailed a police officer who forced the passenger to pay.

Mr. Mozaffar, the University of Chicago student, said he had grown up with revered Muslim role models like Muhammad Ali and Kareem Abdul-Jabar, but now there were none. He teaches religion classes for young Muslims, and the question inevitably arises whether the creed justifies using violence for political or religious aims. He emphasizes that Islam forbids killing innocent civilians, and community members here have said they will not tolerate a mosque prayer leader advocating violence.

Initial reports about the British suspects quoted neighbors as saying that some of the men had become more religious, adopting Islamic dress and praying five times a day. That kind of transformation happens in Chicago, too, but the idea that any such change should automatically arouse suspicion rather than be considered teenage rebellion or a religious conversion makes community activists bridle.

For the past eight years, Abdul Qadeer Sheikh, 46, has managed Islamic Books N Things on Devon Avenue, which sells items like Korans, prayer rugs and Arabic alphabet books. He says that since Sept. 11, he has seen signs of the bias that has existed in Britain for decades developing here. He describes a distinctive fear of being seen as Muslim, even along Devon Avenue. Before, a good 70 percent of the women who came into his shop were veiled, he said. Now the reverse is true, and far fewer men wear traditional clothes.

The attitude of the American government in adopting terms like “Islamic fascists” and deporting large numbers of immigrants, he said, makes Muslims feel marked, as if they do not belong here. “The society in the United States is much fairer to foreigners than anywhere else,” he said, “but that mood is changing.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/21/us/21devon.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&th&emc=th




This is an interesting article.

It shows that America is different. And it shows that the US Pakistanis are not the stereotyped terrorists.

It does show that things are different in the US. Therefore, one wonders why should there be profiling or Islamophobia when this article clearly indicates that there is no problems as such.

Is teh stereotype Islamophobia being hyped for political hype and mileage?

And this is from a leading US newspaper and not from the Islamic media.

The whole issue appears so paradoxical and it does confuse the non US people wherein it is portrayed at one time that there is a huge threat and then these articles show that there is no threat and the Islamic people are most peaceable as any US citizens.

What is the truth?

gunnut
21 Aug 06,, 22:27
It's NY Times, might as well be a mouthpiece for the muslims as it is an extremely anti-Bush leftist paper.

However things are a bit different here than in Europe. Our welfare is generous, but not to the point of European welfare. People are more likely to be treated as equals here, thanks to the Civil Rights movement. The more people feel included in the process, the less likely they'll turn to radical islam for answer.

Ray
21 Aug 06,, 22:37
It's NY Times, might as well be a mouthpiece for the muslims as it is an extremely anti-Bush leftist paper.

However things are a bit different here than in Europe. Our welfare is generous, but not to the point of European welfare. People are more likely to be treated as equals here, thanks to the Civil Rights movement. The more people feel included in the process, the less likely they'll turn to radical islam for answer.

Therefore, it is a good thing.

And so NYT being anti Bush or a Moslem mouthpiece becomes immaterial.

If people feel that they are in the loop and have not turned to radical Islam, it does appear that the whole environment that was generated after 9/11 a trifle paradoxical, wherein the Patriot act came into being and national eavesdropping was done.

I am not saying that the Patriot Act or eavesdropping was incorrect. Given the circumstances, it is possible the correct measure taken. However, if the environment is so peaceful (let us say as of now, if not before) shouldn't the US ease off a little in curbing individual rights and privacy?

Bill
21 Aug 06,, 22:53
Ray-

All the Pakistani Americans i know seem decent enough, but for all i know it's an act.

I do know two of them have conducted Terrorist attacks in the US in the last year.

One shot several people in seattle, the other ran into a big crowd of people in an SUV on the East coast.


It's NY Times, might as well be a mouthpiece for the muslims as it is an extremely anti-Bush leftist paper.

Agreed. It is extremely fool hardy to take the NYT at face value WRT anything involving the GWOT.

They are stated outright opponents to the cause, and have worked to undermine it at every turn. Even if Pakistani Americans were teeming with hatred and harbouring yet more ideas of murder the NYT would say it was all a big misunderstanding.

Ray
21 Aug 06,, 23:00
And Brutus was an honourable man!

And Pakistan is a front line ally!

Bill
21 Aug 06,, 23:11
And Brutus was an honourable man!

And Pakistan is a front line ally!

Apparently history is not lacking a sense of Irony.

gunnut
22 Aug 06,, 00:05
If people feel that they are in the loop and have not turned to radical Islam, it does appear that the whole environment that was generated after 9/11 a trifle paradoxical, wherein the Patriot act came into being and national eavesdropping was done.

I am not saying that the Patriot Act or eavesdropping was incorrect. Given the circumstances, it is possible the correct measure taken. However, if the environment is so peaceful (let us say as of now, if not before) shouldn't the US ease off a little in curbing individual rights and privacy?

We do have islamonazis here, just not to the extent as the numbers in Europe. The way we keep them in check after they infiltrated us or turned to fundamentalism is to eavesdrop on them.

Also, what Bush ordered isn't exactly eavesdrop on everyday average American. They don't have the resources to do that. They filter out the most likely candidates before tapping them. I have no idea why leftists and stupid (that's right, those who don't agree with me on this one is STUPID) people are against profiling. It's a perfectly good way to use our limited resources to maximum effect.

Ray
22 Aug 06,, 11:27
Are you calling me Stupid? ;)

Then the US Courts are stupid too since they have found wire tapping illegal! :)

And one gets the type of democratic institutions they deserve! :eek:

YellowFever
23 Aug 06,, 05:56
Are you calling me Stupid? ;)

Then the US Courts are stupid too since they have found wire tapping illegal! :)

And one gets the type of democratic institutions they deserve! :eek:


It was a (Jimmy Carter appointed) Judge in a District Court in Detroit that found the wiretapping illegal.

An appeal has been filed and the wire tapping will continue.
A long way to go before it reaches the Supreme Court for final determination.


Ray, I don't know how well you know America but our court system is a dumbassed, BS, and a huge abomination.
But sad to say it's the best system on earth right now.

troung
23 Aug 06,, 05:59
Pakistanis Find U.S. an Easier Fit Than Britain

So what is England's problem?

I figure this is not just to do with our right and duty to arm bears...

Ray
23 Aug 06,, 09:30
It was a (Jimmy Carter appointed) Judge in a District Court in Detroit that found the wiretapping illegal.

An appeal has been filed and the wire tapping will continue.
A long way to go before it reaches the Supreme Court for final determination.


Ray, I don't know how well you know America but our court system is a dumbassed, BS, and a huge abomination.
But sad to say it's the best system on earth right now.

I don't know much about the US legal system.

But if a legal system has to function, it has to be non partisan and fair. It should interpret the legal statutes without fear or favour.

That is why I find it rather astonishing that judgement made are attributed to which President appointed the Judge since that is not the system in India or even in the UK from which the Indian system become the legatee.

Since I am not aware of the US system, could it be clarified if the US Judges give judgements based on the policies of the President's party which appointed him?

If so, what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Bill
23 Aug 06,, 15:47
Judges are Dems and Repubs too.

Typically a Dem pres will only appoint Dem judges, and vice-versa.

Once on the bench the judge in question will typically stick to his parties ideals, party message, and party visions.

Hence the Dem judge striking down the wiretaps. Odds are when it gets to SCOTUS it will be re-affirmed.

Ray
23 Aug 06,, 17:19
Judges are Dems and Repubs too.

Typically a Dem pres will only appoint Dem judges, and vice-versa.

Once on the bench the judge in question will typically stick to his parties ideals, party message, and partt visions.

Hence the Dem judge striking down the wiretaps. Odds are when it gets to SCOTUS it will be re-affirmed.

That means that the judgement is partisan.

Therefore, where is the justice?

I believe they are Justices for Life.

Bill
23 Aug 06,, 17:29
There is no justice in this world.

There never has been, there likely never will be.

mich
24 Aug 06,, 19:38
[QUOTE=gunnut] . Our welfare is generous,..QUOTE]

Pakistani community in USA is like any other Asian community in this country. they have their immigrant work ethic. It may be very difficult to Find Welfare recipients from this community

Neo
24 Aug 06,, 19:47
Unlike the UK and ME, Pakistani community in the States has stablished itself and its propering.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Half a million Pakistanis prospering in US

By Khalid Hasan

WASHINGTON: There are 500,000 Pakistanis living in the United States and they are prospering, according to a forthcoming book by Adil Najam, a young Pakistani academic at Tufts University, Boston.

The mean household income in the United States in 2002 was $57,852 annually, while that for Asian households, which includes Pakistanis, was $70,047. By contrast, about one-fifth of young British-born Muslims are jobless, and many subsist on welfare, the book says.

A report on the Pakistani community appearing in the New York Times on Monday notes, “Hard numbers on how many people of Pakistani descent live in the United States do not exist, but a forthcoming book from Harvard University Press on charitable donations among Pakistani-Americans, ‘Portrait of a Giving Community,’ puts the number around 500,000, with some 35 percent or more of them in the New York metropolitan area. Chicago has fewer than 100,000, while other significant clusters exist in California, Texas and Washington DC.”

The newspaper report, filed from Chicago, describes in colourful terms a stretch of the sprawling city’s Devon Avenue, part of which is named for Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and part for Mahatma Gandhi. Comparing Pakistani-Americans with their British counterparts, the report quotes Nizam Arain, a lawyer of Pakistani descent who was born and who grew up in Chicago, “You don’t have the same siege mentality.” Asked whether terror cells like those found in Britain could also spring up here, Junaid Rana, an assistant professor at a local university, said, “It makes it sound like it couldn’t happen here because we are the good immigrants: hard-working, close-knit, educated. But we are talking about a cult mind-set, how a cult does its brainwashing.” Omer Mozaffar, a Pakistani-American working for a doctorate at the University of Chicago, stated, “You can keep the flavour of your ethnicity, but you are expected to become an American.”

The newspaper quotes Pakistani poet, broadcaster and gay rights activist Ifti Nasim as saying that in Pakistan, his “flamboyance” would not be tolerated, but here he calls his acceptance “the litmus test of the society”. Like many, however, he has moments of doubt, saying, “Pakistani society in Chicago has made a smooth transition so far, but you never know”. Outward signs of religious devotion will arouse little suspicion in America compared with how they tend to be now viewed in Britain.

However, a change would appear to have taken place because of recent accusations against Muslims of planning to stage terrorist acts in Europe and elsewhere. According to the New York Times report, “For the past eight years, Abdul Qadeer Sheikh, 46, has managed Islamic Books N Things on Devon Avenue, which sells items like Korans, prayer rugs and Arabic alphabet books. He says that since September 11, he has seen signs of the bias that has existed in Britain for decades developing here. He describes a distinctive fear of being seen as Muslim, even along Devon Avenue. Before, a good 70 percent of the women who came into his shop were veiled, he said. Now the reverse is true, and far fewer men wear traditional clothes.”

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default...-8-2006_pg7_12

lwarmonger
27 Aug 06,, 09:34
That means that the judgement is partisan.

Therefore, where is the justice?


Sir, it is important to remember that this is not necessarily true. The Supreme Court appointments have to be confirmed, and generally the legislature and executive branches are divided (so flaming liberals will have a difficult time getting in during liberal administrations and visa versa). Even in an administration where the president's party has control of both houses a nomination for the Supreme Court was still rejected. Therefore you generally get a nominee that may be of an overall liberal or conservative bent, but not outragously so (and if they are, then they are too respected for the other party to shoot down). And then you get Presidents like Eisenhower, who was a very non-partisan president.



I believe they are Justices for Life.

To prevent tampering by the existing political parties.

Ray
27 Aug 06,, 13:32
L'warmonger

Thanks

GVChamp
27 Aug 06,, 17:41
The last time I checked, there were no Pakistani-American leaders calling out for attacks on America. The last time I checked, there were a couple of Pakistanis in London-stan that were.
This isn't to say that cultural and economic factors don't still play a role, but leadership in the community is, IMO, the most important item. If there are around 100,000 Pakistanis in Chicago, finding 9 disenfranchised youth isn't particularly hard, no matter how tolerant and prosperous the culture is. And putting them in a single mosque where terrorism is advocated is going to end up making terrorists. Given that those same Mosque leaders may be all too willing to provide safe haven (not a big leap of the imagination...the situation assumes they DO say "go kill infidles") and you have a decent chance of a terrorist attack in a couple years if intelligence agencies are sleeping on the job.

Luckily, though, I don't know any of those VERY disenfranchised Pakistanis (or Muslims for that matter), and that's despite going to a high school with a sizable Muslim population AND attending the University of Illinois at Chicago. Most of them are like all young people. The girls care about clothing and boys, and the boys care about cars and girls.
The only thing that does concern me, though, is that the Loose Change video is very popular...but, surprisingly, it seems more popular in the priviliged white kid group than the Muslim community.

Bill
27 Aug 06,, 18:31
Pakistani community in USA is like any other Asian community in this country. they have their immigrant work ethic. It may be very difficult to Find Welfare recipients from this community
I doubt you could even find a pakistani on welfare in the US.

They are all very hard working people. Indians too for that matter.