Sunday, September 12, 2010

Burn This Blog

I usually stick to the fun side of blogging, but I've seen one too many stories that glorify hate-mongering this week and I'm sick of it.

I'm tired of people blaming all Muslims for the actions of fanatics. The family I saw last weekend in the airport, the young adults I've known since they were born who converted to and practice Sufi, and the doctor who just treated your mother in the E.R. are no more responsible for the attacks on this country than you or I.

Yet, for no reason other than their faith, they are the target of hate, scorn, bigotry, vitriol, and violence.

The same acts that we decry when they are directed at Americans in foreign countries now occur with increasing frequency in this country, where we're supposed to be the land of the free and home of the brave. Where we're supposed to welcome the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

The attacks of 9/11 struck at our hearts. Amid the almost overwhelming national shock and mourning, we grew more united in our resolve. We would not be defeated by extremists. The American spirit would not be crushed. We would rise from the ashes, remember those who died, and not give victory to those who attacked us.

Yet today I feel like we are letting them win. If the Muslim center had been built near the World Trade Center before 09/11/01, there would not have been national protests.

We do not battle our enemies by fighting over that center. It isn't a victory over fanaticism to burn the Quran.

Instead, these actions give them what they want -- fuel for their argument that Americans hate all those connected to Islam.

How many of us grew up with the Golden Rule of treat others as you would like to be treated? At work these days we're learning the Platinum Rule -- treat others as they would like to be treated.

I get that people are angry at Al Qaida, at the people who seek to tear us down. So am I. But I refuse to let that anger poison me to the point where I treat all Muslims as enemies.

I will not allow fanatics to convert me to their politics of hate.


Sarahv2000 said...

Thank you. You said this perfectly.

I too have many Muslim friends and it hurts horribly to see how they are all painted with the brush of fanaticism.

I hope that our tolerance has positive impact somewhere.

Sue G said...

Well said, Mary Stella. It makes me sad and angry to see a bunch of American fanatics fail to realize they are acting just like Al Qaida and the Muslim fanatics they are condemning. These are the same people who will also condemn in the name of God, Wiccans, Mormons, and anyone else who doesn't believe as the do.

Blue Betty said...

Well said!

lora96 said...

People who are confident in their own beliefs seldom show the sort of hate and intolerance toward others like the rampant Muslim-fear that has permeated the Western world since 9/11.

As part of my student teaching curriculum, I had a cultural diversity class in 2000. I attended an Islamic Center's service and interviewed several of the gentlemen who were members.

They were respectful, informative, and kind. I have been boundlessly grateful for this opportunity ever since 9/11 when so much propaganda burst forth about that religion. While I do not pretend to know a great deal, I could refer to my memory of the five pillars and recognize that many of the claims in the news were patently false.

Nowhere in my limited knowledge of that religion is there any reference to intolerance, cruelty, or terrorism as acts endorsed by adherents.

Plus, who thought it would be a great way to honor the innocent dead of 9.11 by committing hate crimes???

Sheryl (Betty Magic) said...

Hear Hear, Mary Stella! Finally a rational voice amidst all of the yelling. Two wrongs do not make a right. how does burning the sacred book uncrash the towers?

GK said...