Open Letter to Anti-Muslim Bigots: In the last few days or weeks several issues have arisen regarding the Muslim community that have convinced a whole bunch of you angry Americans that you have been right all along. You are now positive that every Muslim in the world is extremely violent with an insufferable hatred for the United States, and that every Muslim wants to either forcibly convert every other person on the planet to Islam or kill them. It’s as though you people think that Muslims are so eternally vile that you might as well just annihilate them with nuclear weapons. Okay…if you don’t really think that, then quit painting them all with the same brush!
A few of you angry Americans, perhaps because you can find no other form of entertainment, have whipped yourselves (and are trying to whip others) into a frenzy of hatred for Islam. Recent events regarding Muslims have convinced you people beyond any reasonable doubt (or so you think) that every Muslim is violent, every Muslim hates America with a deathly passion, and that every Muslim wants to forcibly convert you and every other non-Muslim on the planet to their faith—either that or kill you as an infidel.
The two biggest stories in the news lately that seem to confirm your foaming revenge-mindedness are these:
(1) Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, an Iranian student attending the University of North Carolina, recently rented an SUV and used it to attempt to kill as many people as he could on campus. He claimed that the teachings of the Koran commanded him to do this. I agree that Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar is a lunatic bent on destroying as many infidels as possible, but to project this onto the rest of the populace of Iran, let alone the entire Islamic world, is an utter polemic disgrace. Most people in Iran, nearly all of whom are Muslim, dearly love the United States of America, seeing America as a beacon of hope, and wishing that the Bush Administration would do something about the cancer in their midst that calls itself a government. (By the way, I did a quick check on a major internet search engine with the words ‘SUV’, ‘Islam’, and ‘kill’ and found that exactly one person has ever tried to use an SUV to kill non-Muslims, and he wasn’t very successful.)
(2) Recently, upon the release of Christian Abdul Rahman from an Afghanistan prison, hundreds of Muslim clerics demonstrated against the action. Apparently the other 29 million Afghanis were on vacation when the protest took place, because otherwise I’m sure they would have been there, too. Because after all, a statistical sampling of several hundred angry clerics who chose to participate in the demographic study can predict with 100% confidence what every other person in Afghanistan believes…right?
There is no question that currently a higher percentage of Muslims are bigoted against other religions (than are other religions against them) and will do nearly anything to convert or destroy others. But far from all Muslims are so. And it wasn’t always this way: in the Dark Ages, when in Christian lands such things as inquisitions and burnings-at-the-stake were common, another civilization known as the Saracens, flourished. The Saracens were mostly Muslim, but they had no problem allowing Jews, Christians, and peoples of other faiths to live among them. How this all changed, I don’t pretend to know, but suffice it to say that at one point there was a much a higher percentage of Christians than Muslims who subscribed to the convert-or-be-destroyed philosophy. At any rate, at the current incendiary trend perpetrated by you people, there will likely soon be an equal number of Christian and Muslim bigots; and if it gets worse, there will likely be only a small number of either faction.
You people need to read some history. You also need to read some of the blogs that are coming out of Iraq, Iran, and to a lesser extent Afghanistan. For you people who claim that no one gives specifics as to how Islam really is a religion of peace--why do you people demand that Muslims have to be specific? Is it not specific enough when several Muslims state categorically that Mohammed did not intend for Muslims to be violent, wanton killers of infidels? I am supremely grateful that most people do not judge my Mormon faith based on the actions of the polygamist so-called ‘Fundamentalist Mormons’.
Furthermore, some arguments that you people make are so absurd that they can not possibly be dignified with being taken seriously. Apparently Bible bashing has become to you passé (you can get the Bible to mean anything you want it to) so now you people have graduated to Koran bashing, laughably believing that you know more of what the Koran teaches than people who have lived the Muslim religion all of their lives.
At perhaps several points in history, Neanderthal Christians believed that the only good Muslim was a dead Muslim. And it appears that there were a lot of people who thought this way. In a similar manner, Neanderthal Americans once preached (and a few still do) the same diatribes against Native Americans and Blacks. For now, history has seen the tables turn. Now there are more bigoted Muslims than Christians. But that does not in the least mean that all Muslims are bigots. I am afraid that if Christians believe that everything they see and hear in the news is both true and representative of what regularly happens in life, that eventually some may begin calling for pre-emptive nuclear strikes to eradicate ‘all Muslims before they get us.’ For someone who believes that all Muslims hate Americans and want to kill or convert them, this becomes the inescapable conclusion. It would be a travesty for Christian bigotry to be seen as the only means possible to combat Muslim bigotry.
Individuals are insecure about allowing others to practice different religions only when they are, for any number of reasons, insecure about the way they themselves practice their own religion. Confident members of any faith are pleased to allow others to worship how, where or what they may.
You people must learn to separate the perpetrators from the bystanders. The news gives everyone the impression that many more perpetrators exist than there really are, but this cannot possibly be true. If we really were to believe the news as it is reported, then we would have to conclude America were filled with nothing but thieves, murderers, wife beaters, and prostitutes (I almost added corrupt politicians, but…well…).
Nearly everyone in the Islamic world is at heart a good person either simply trying to get by, or in a few cases they have the wherewithal to improve their situation. That is the basis for all they worry about. The three things that most Muslims crave are (1) Liberty (2) free, burgeoning markets, and an open and honest dialog with the West. Do you think they hate America? Of course not—they dream of having everything that we have! They dream of being just like us!
If you polemic Americans have your way, Muslims will undoubtedly have a lot of reasons to hate us. Or…will there still be any Muslims around…if you really had your way? Hmmm? Tell the truth. To paraphrase a popular saying: You have met the enemy, and the real enemy is yourselves.