Muslim: Teach Your Kids It’s Not a Dirty Word

Muslim: Teach Your Kids It’s Not a Dirty Word

Adrienne BoettingerWednesday,23 September 2015

Let’s take an informal poll: can we get a show of hands for who thinks Muslims are more violent and less trustworthy than Christians, Jews, Hindus, other religions or atheists? According to the Pew Research Center, that number is alarmingly high and has been for a while. But here’s the kicker: for those of you who raised your hands, do you actually know any Muslims in real life or are you basing your view solely on what a pack of asshats have told you about one of the world’s oldest major religions? In my own circle of family and friends, there are some individuals who lean a little too closely to the viewpoints of Donald Trump and Ben Carson when it comes to Muslims (and sadly other topics as well). And yet, when I ask them what they actually know about Islam or if they know any Muslims, they have a lot of reasons why that doesn’t matter…but they’re a little light on the facts.

When pundits and politicians were in outraged majesty that The Donald didn’t set his supporter straight that President Obama wasn’t a Muslim, I was pretty damned confused. When did Muslim become a dirty word? When did it become some sort of code for “less than” or “not a real American”? Is it the same way that jackasses flip out if someone thinks they are gay — as if that is some sort of insult? (Also why did anyone actually expect Mr. Trump would be anything less than a bigoted, bombastic bag of bullshit? His whole M.O. is vilifying as many groups as possible to give his supporters more reasons why their lives aren’t idyllic). Why aren’t the same politicians and pundits outraged that Trump didn’t correct his mindless minion who truly believes we need to “get rid” of Muslims?

Muslims aren’t any more or less violent than other religious or demographic groups. We’re all equal in our ability to be total pricks or selfless angels. Muslims don’t hate you or your way of life just because you’re Christian or Jewish. Islam actually reveres Jesus and shares many core tenets with Judaism and Christianity. Are there groups of sadistic, cruel people who murder and torture in the name of Islam? Yes. The same way there are Christians who firebomb abortion clinics and attack transgender people, and Jews who dedicate their lives to destroying every Palestinian they see. People do shitty things and find ways to justify them. Always have and probably always will.

Beware the seeker of higher office whose best qualification for the job is that he stokes your belief that some other group of people is responsible for your unhappiness, plotting against you, or is somehow less worthy of their civil and human rights than you are. This man is a charlatan who will look at any complex problem that took years to develop and offer you a simple and fast solution. We scoff at such men when they’re offering us the latest “lose weight with no effort” pill or tell us that to cure cancer we have only to think positively and take the patented, natural supplements that their company created. Why is it easier to see through those snake oil salesmen than it is to see through the Trumps and Carsons of the world who conveniently have the simplest of answers to the problems that have been troubling us most?

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Image Credit: Gage Skidmore on Flickr

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