Shailja Patel Profile picture
Jun 26, 2018 7 tweets 3 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
If you're about to post an "exceptional Muslim migrant" tale - don't.

Human rights are not a meritocracy.

If you're about to post a harrowing account of suffering that drives Muslim refugees to seek asylum in the US - now's not the time.

Human rights are not an Oppression Olympics.

If you're about to share a portrait of an all-American Muslim family - save it.

Human rights are not contingent on assimilation.

If you have a heartwarming "my Muslim neighbour/friend/colleague/classmate/doctor/teammate" story that you feel this moment urgently calls for - it doesn't.

Human rights don't require character references from members of privileged demographics.

"But it's important to humanize Muslims to the US public."


See how that starts with the premise that Muslims are not already human? However they show up?

See how it buttresses the Good Muslim/Bad Muslim binary?

Every well-meaning attempt to endear Muslims to the US mainstream, to present selected Muslims sympathetically, unintentionally facilitates the denial of human rights to other, less-cuddly Muslims.

It sets the stage for "these Muslims, but not those Muslims."

Every human being is entitled to human rights.

Just for being human.

No further qualification required.


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More from @shailjapatel

May 19, 2018
Dear @shondarhimes,

Please create a new show based on Doria Ragland.

Thank you,
The World
Because: International Woman of Mystery.

*No relatives (apparently).
*Repels paparazzi hordes with a single contemptuous glance.
*Channels regal radiance all alone in a pew at Windsor.

You'll never convince me that single raised eyebrow wasn't a SIGNAL TO HER FORCES. #RoyalWedding
Read 7 tweets

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