Monday, May 6, 2013
When the word radicals and terrorists are mentioned, what is your first thought?
Since the horrific events of 9/11, people of a certain skin tone or religious preference have been stereotyped, profiled, harassed, and pre-judged as being anti-American or terrorist. No one has the ability to identify a terrorist by simply looking at a picture, or based off the spelling of his or her name.
People who behave or believe this way have a phobia against Islam or Muslims, more commonly known as Islamophobia. Islamophobia is prejudice against, hatred towards, or having an irrational fear of Muslims or Islam. We have seen and heard a lot of anti-Islamic talk in the media after the bombing at the Boston Marathon.
Instead of trying to understand and respect other religions, the conservative voices on the radio and television immediately start name-calling, placing labels and demonizing others for choosing to worship the God of their choice. I don’t understand how anyone could group all people of the Islamic faith into one general category, or try to make them out to be a monolithic people.
Some of our fellow Americans either have short memories, or practice a selective style of remembering historical events in relation to present day events when they start making a case to demagogue a religion different than their own.
Just because a person proclaims to be associated with a religion does not mean that they represent the entire faith. For the record, all Muslims are not terrorists and all terrorists are not Muslims.
If we were to use the very conservative approach to analyzing terrorists, every American should be scared to death of young white men. The numbers don’t lie when it comes to who has historically committed acts of terror on American soil against fellow Americans.
The criminal profile of most perpetrators in mass shootings and serial killers has historically been young white men, but there is not a call by the conservative media to stereotype, profile, or harass them. When a non-Arabic person or a person who isn’t a Muslim commits an act of terror, they are called lone wolves, or crazed individuals.
A Feburary 27, 2013 article by Mother Jones, “A Guide to Mass Shootings in America” there have been 62 mass shootings in the last 30 years. A whopping 44 of the terrorist were white males. With that being said, it would be careless and ignorant to stereotype white men the same way people of Arab decent, or Muslims have been treated. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/mass-shootings-map
A wonderful piece of journalism by Soledad O’Brien shined light on this subject in the documentary, “Unwelcome: Muslims Next Door.” The story was based off of a very controversial court case in Rutherford County, Murfreesboro, TN. The nasty court battle was in response to an attempt to block a group of Muslims who wanted to build a huge Mosque in the county.
A majority of the people interviewed claimed that the Muslims who wanted to build the mosque are of the same religion as the people who flew the planes into the building. How soon did they forget that they were of the same religion of the people who enslaved, murdered, and lynched hundreds of thousands of Native Americans and African slaves? I’m sure they forgot about the people who bombed the 16th St. Baptist Church in Birmingham, or burned crosses to intimidate or terrorize fellow Americans.
One of hip hops brightest artists; Jasiri X produced a masterful song about Islamophobia called Wandering Strangers. The video can be viewed by clicking the link below. At a hearing on Muslim Radicalization held by Rep. Peter King a few years ago, you can clearly hear the hatred in the voices of the people screaming, “Go Back Home” and “Muhammad was a terrorist” amongst other nasty and vile obscenities. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8v1Du790HM
How soon we forget the Catholic Church and its long and disturbing history of child molestation, but priests and bishops are often times given a pass or moved to another state where they continue to prey on young, innocent people who do not have the ability to defend themselves against these monsters.
How soon we forget who the terrorist was in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting, or who the terrorist was that shot-up an Arizona Congresswoman’s town hall meeting, or who the terrorist was in the Sikh Temple shooting in Wisconsin, or who the terrorist was in the Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre, or who blew up the building in Oklahoma City.
Radical, religious extremists are all over the world and are bad for humanity. They use religion to justify bigotry and violence against other people. Child molesters, rapists, murderers, and the people hoarding weapons and ammunition in their basements are the people we should really be concerned with. Don’t forget who the real criminals are and the people we definitely have to keep our eyes on.
“If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people being oppressed, and loving the people doing the oppressing.” Malcolm X