Fearing the Unknown

On my commute to work this morning, I did what I usually do before I start reading my book – I check out updates on Facebook and Twitter. One coworker had posted a video that the Council for Arabic Islamic Relations (CAIR) compiled of people protesting Muslims at an event last month in Orange County. The hate is quite evident and pretty disgusting (I should probably get a thesaurus and use something a bit more eloquent then that word but it seems to work best).

Since this morning, I’ve seen the same video posted in many places, with everyone displaying the same kind of astonishment/sick feeling that I had. Besides the fact that this group of people are hating on Muslim families (including little kids), which isn’t cool to do anyways, they are protesting at a fundraiser the Muslim group is holding for domestic shelters and for the homeless. Classy.

For me the worst part comes at around the 2 minute mark when Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly, an elected official, talks about her son the Marine and says: “As a matter of fact, I know quite a few marines who would be happy to help these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise.”

Yeah, that’s right, she just advocated mass murder of U.S. Citizens.

Check out the video:

I feel like a lot of this could be ameliorated if the protesters actually took the time to get to know Muslims on a more human level. They say stuff like “Go back to your country” but they can’t seem to realize that this is our home and that we relate more to them than we do with our relatives “back home”. And might I say this? “Go back to your country” is how old of an insult? I mean seriously folks, if you must insult us, come up with some new material. I’ve been hearing that since I was little. I even remember once these two kids were telling me to “Go Back to India” even. My parents are from Pakistan fools! Take that! I mean, my little sister tells me to go back to my country when she’s peeved at me. That phrase has lost all sense of meaning.

*whew* Sorry, I had to get that out.

Back to the task at hand.

A lot of mosques have interfaith events, especially here in the Bay Area where I live, but I guess this doesn’t seem to be enough because some people still can’t grasp the fact that we’re human beings as well. We should probably start a “Meet-A-Muslim” program so people get to know us or something. I’ll tell you what: If you hate and/or are scared of Muslims, let’s hang out and have coffee or something. I’m buying :)

Please note that existing friends can’t pretend to hate Muslims just to get free coffee out of me.


Further reading/listening:
Check out Glenn Greenwald’s article about the Growing anti-Muslim hatred in the U.S.

Also check out this episode of This American Life titled The Devil In Me. The first story is about how an Iraq war veteran got over his hatred of Muslims. You can stream the episode for free from that link.

5 thoughts

  1. Just amazing. Makes my blood curdle just listing to chants of USA and Go Back Home. Really effing juvenile. These people breed little hate mongers. What a vicious cycle.

    Great post. You have been a great friend. Can I get free coffee?

  2. Bushra, You might find it interesting that I have been pondering this same thing but from the opposite side of the spectrum.

    I have to admit, I live in a tiny area with little cultural diversity. But just this week I put a post on my blog about what I decided to do about it. I hope it does not offend but I wore hijab for a day. Since I can’t sit down to coffee with you (though I’d love to!) I think you will hopefully be encouraged that there are those of us who would like to get past our narrow minded notions.

    We will still disagree on things but that doesn’t make either of us less human. I love your blog and I enjoy reading about your insights.

  3. @Tony – I tell you what, just ’cause you read all my stuff I’ll buy you coffee!

    @Jessie – Thanks for the comment! I’m not offended at all that you wore a hijab for the day. On the contrary, that’s pretty cool that you did that. I just read your blog entry on it and have such great respect for you. I think if we (I’m including Muslims in this) all took the time to get to know one another and appreciate each other’s differences, things could be better. I definitely am encouraged :) Thanks for being awesome!!

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