Iâ€™ve heard it all and Iâ€™ve even caught myself echoing some of the thoughts myself (mostly after 9/11 when I really believed the official story)â€¦â€Islam is a radical religion and some of the radical Muslims are a danger to the world!â€ The message was readily absorbed by a population with very little knowledge of Islam and even less understanding of its practitioners.
There surely is some validity to the statement. There are radical Islamic people, perhaps even many radical Islamic people. Most people with any rationality were reviled by the extremism they witnessed in the beliefs of the Taliban or the rantings of Osama bin Laden. As westerners, we have no way understanding or accepting anyone radical enough to kill someone for simply expressing critical thoughts about their religion. We have no tolerance for people who treat women as if they were possessions to be owned and fully dominated. And, in fact, rational people should not feel comfortable about sharing a planet with such radical people. But let me remind you that there are other extremist who share our world as wellâ€¦such as the fundamentalist Christians who want to tell everyone how to live their lives and who donâ€™t care what they do or whom they hurt while they force their ways on others. And then there is the segment of Jewish radicals who actually openly admit that they and they alone are God’s chosen people and that Palestinians are not entitled to what they are entitled to; like a small strip of land in the Middle East over which they would gladly destroy the world.
So let me remind my Muslim hating countrymen and women who are being led towards bigotry and intolerance by George W. Bush, that only a generation ago, the Jews of Europe went through a experience similar to one that Americans are creating for the Muslims of the world. All Jews were targeted in an attempt to exterminate them because their actions and beliefs supposedly posed a threat to or offended others. Jews were different. Jews believed in a different God. And, surely, some Jews, as in all groups, were actually extreme in their lifestyle and some surely deserved to be derided. My Jewish grandmother used to say that Jews donâ€™t need enemies because they had each other. By this she meant that every group had its wrongdoers and should look inward at itself, because there were those among her own people who triggered irrational and undeserved prejudices towards all Jews.. She understand that it was not the fault of every Jew that they were targeted collectively, and murdered by the millions.. In the same way, the behavior of those on the extreme fringe of Islam is being used as the excuse for targeting all Muslims around the world. Americans had better start realizing this.
The reality is that members of all radical religions are destroying this world and they all pose a threat to people who are not of their particular cult. Anyone who does not buy into their story automatically becomes one of â€œthemâ€ in this increasingly divided, increasingly radical and increasingly violent world. Maybe some Jews really did trigger Hitlerâ€™s anger and maybe some Muslims really did and still do trigger anger in Americans but letâ€™s learn from history for a change. And using historyâ€™s lessons as a guideline maybe we can learn to take a closer look at events that trigger genocidal reactions. As in the case of the Jews during World War II, maybe the targets of public rage donâ€™t actually warrant that rage at all.
In fact, while you’re at it, my fellow Americans, take a really close look at the most recent event that triggered your rage known as 9/11. You may just discover that your rage has been woefully misdirected by the very people who actually pulled that trigger in the first place! You may very well have been duped into hating an easy target: people who are different, people with a different God, and people who may have extremists among them. And maybe that hatred is so very wrong. Think about it!