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Saturday, August 12, 2006

What part do you play?

originally composed on March 14 2006 @ 3:22PM


There is a Washington Post poll that is meant to demonstrate the negative attitudes of Americans toward Islam(46%); this includes the American view that Islam promotes violence against non-Muslims(33%), and that there are more extremists within Islam than other religions(58%).

While this is no surprise, it begs the question,"What experiences have they personally had with Muslims in America to back this idea up?". Muslims have been here as a community for almost 80 years or more.

Could it be that Americans have not learned from their past mistakes, yet again? Native Americans, Africans( and later African Americans), Jews, Women, Irish, Chinese, and Japanese peoples have all had to undergo discrimination, racism, terrorist acts, and various other forms of oppression. What positives came out of this?

You could say,"Hey! What does this have to do with Islam and our views of it?".

Well since we are talking about a religion(Islam) which consists of all of the above people( yes, there are Muslim Jews, confusing ain't it!), let us consider the religiosity of the subject.

Most Americans subscribe to Christianity, some are more devout than others. Yet, when a member of this religion commits a crime or terrorist act, there is no mention of the persons religion in most cases. So although Christians commit crimes, and have done some unforgivable things here and abroad, they don't have to endure cold wet blankets of generalization.

Lets even up the perceptions folks.How many Americans who criticized Muslims actually spoke to a Muslim (I mean a real discussion, not treating them like they are less than human, a skill some people have never lost.)

Getting back to race and culture. As stated before, discrimination against Muslims was no surprise after 9/11, and the hate crimes committed against us increased at an alarming rate. Although this was sad, even sadder was the cultural ignorance displayed when Siks, Hispanics and Latinos, and various other caramel colored folk were attacked.

The same ignorant attitude caught on in Muslim countries against Americans and Europeans(mainly White). The problem of racism and bigotry may not go away on either side. Each of the afore mentioned groups have members who unjustly judge others different from them.

But wait, how long has this been going on? Centuries.

Throughout the history of man, there have been groups who underwent oppression and discrimination. Our fault as human beings, is that we don't reach back into the knowledge of what happened in the past, in order to see where we are going. We don't remember our struggles, therefore we commit the same treacherous behaviors we once endured.

In America, White people came here from Europe to escape the trappings of a Monarchy in order to practice their beliefs(among other things). What do we see thereafter? Slaughter and Slavery. Intolerance and bigotry. Witch hunts and oppression of non-Whites.

There are several others who came to America for a better life. There are others who were brought by force. All of the above have experience some type of barriers based on their appearance. Negative propaganda and stereotypical portrayals even added more fuel to the fire.

Fast forward to 2001. At a time when Muslims have lived in the United States for over 70 years as a large group(Muslims have actually been in the US longer than that...), WE witness an attack on OUR country right along with everyone else. YET, hate crimes against those who look Arab/Muzlim increase dramatically. AFTER ALL THIS TIME.

This seems to resonate with Muslims all over the world. Most of them are peaceful. We do, however, have some who are apparently lost. Those who say "Peace", but don't behave peacefully. They cry about justice, yet do not act justly. They cry about oppression, yet continue to oppress.

Here in America, a place where my roots go deep, we also have some lost ones. Ones who say "justice", but don't deal justly. Those who say "Peace", but don't behave peacefully. Those who cry "oppression", yet continue to oppress.

What part do you play?

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