Move back swine flu, there is a condition that may be feared more than you. And that is the condition of being Muslim.
By the end of this post, some Americans may see me as Muslim. Simply because I am sympathetic to the sufferings of all people, cultures, religions, or races, which would include Muslims. Or because I am willing to see and applaud the positivity of their culture and religion in spite of the bad seeds that also come from the same culture. Or because I simply have the intelligence to deduce that just because some people of a culture or religion subscribe to one type of extreme thinking, it does not
mean it applies to the entire group.
I saw a video of selected clips of President Obama speaking on different topics pertaining to Muslim people and culture. The video is supposed to be a demonstration that Obama is a "closet Muslim" and is fooling America.
Simply because Obama is not willing to say this is a Christian country (our founding father's made separation
of church and state a basis of law - are they Muslim too?)
Simply because he is willing to acknowledge the Muslim culture as one full of wonder that can be admired
and appreciated by those of the Western world? (I guess it's wrong to see the value in a culture that also has people justifying killing Americans with their closely intertwined religion. I guess I should denounce Christianity then, since the Ku Klux Klan has persecuted my people with the "burning cross" bringing the light of "truth" and "God" to a country plagued by my blackness.)
Simply because he has mentioned he has Muslim roots? (Well his father is African, which makes this likely. So I guess that qualifies me to be Anglo-Saxon, since I am quite sure that my roots lie in some white family here who owned my ancestors long ago.)
Simply because a video can be pieced together from a collection of speeches that have him showing Muslim people love? (I can take a copy of the New York Times, cut a word off of each page, and piece together a sentence saying "New York Times Dines With Osama Bin Laden on Saturday Nights", but does it make it true simply because I found all the words in different contexts?)
Simply because he has made an effort to reach out to Muslims not only abroad, but also in our own country? (I guess that whole idea of America being a "melting pot" and "a shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere"(Ronald Reagan) should be amended to say melting pot minus Muslims and freedom-loving people.)
It is disappointing that people are still trying to "prove" this as a means to disqualify Barack Obama from leading the United States of America. This reliance
on "Muslim" as a dirty word feeds into fear which leads to further complicated relationships with Muslim communities, which further fuels disdain and fear. Videos such as the one above make me wonder - do some Americans realize that the war being waged is a war on terror and not a war on Muslims??? I didn't think America
wanted to be the initiators of a 10th Holy Crusade...
What if Barack Obama was Muslim? America voted in a Catholic, a bi-racial man, but I guess Muslim is a step too far?
True, there are Islamic fundamentalists are a thing. There are majority Muslim nations such as Iran that are not exactly in the stands cheering for the U.S. in the 4th quarter. Many American women and men have died at the hands of men and women who give praise to Allah shortly before taking their lives. But if we allow the worst moments
of a religious or cultural group to overshadow anything good that can come from them, then why celebrate the unification of East and West Germany with the fall of the Berlin Wall? Why not assume the worst of all Germans and German descendants because of WWI, WWII and the Holocaust? Why not wage a culture war against all French and British citizens and descendants for having the largest hand in stripping a continent of its
wealth and riches and poorly partitioned a continent into colonies now turned countries that tear themselves apart because these colonies were drawn through historic tribal lands? Why not look down on Americans of today because of the Americans of yesterday yelling "freedom" while telling the Native Americans that were
here first they had no business being free on any of the land except that which was given to them?
My point is, no community is so pure, and so exemplary throughout history that they should be considered above reproach. But it would be illogical to assume these negative things speak to the value of the community as a whole.
And right now, it seems like it is the new fad to dislike Muslims indiscriminately. Osama Bin Laden practices Islam, so that means it is six degrees of separation between himself and every other Muslim. Because Obama seems sympathetic to Muslims, he must be subservient to some greater Islamic puppeteer.
These notions are as ludicrous as the word I am going to use to describe it: poppycock.
I do not believe that this war on terror should translate into a disdain for all things, all people associated with Islam. I focus on the fact that we are waging a war against al-Qaeda, a war against Taliban, terrorists who both happen to practice Islam.
It is sad that drawing a distinction between good and bad individuals belonging to the same faith can be considered unpatriotic, and a danger to America by some people.