It Takes One to Know One…

via Associated Press

A long-time acquaintance of mine, who happens to be of Persian descent, posted this status on his Facebook yesterday:

The TV at the gym was showing the protests in the middle-east, and a lady on a treadmill says: “They should just drop a bomb right in the middle of all those people” Made me think how much people are alike all over the world 😦

Amen brother…amen.

If I’m completely honest with my innermost self, I can briefly empathize with this lady’s statement…and shame on me for even considering it.  But it’s an honest reaction to something that is so outrageous and hard to comprehend.  But like many things in life that are hard to grasp, we tend to oversimplify and categorize our feelings…like this lady did…like I could if I choose to be lazy…and insensitive.

After all, let’s look at what’s really happening in the Islamic world right now.  Extremists are preying on the fears of the poor, disadvantaged and uneducated among them and providing them with a purpose…a jihad…a call to arms to fight their oppressor’s in the name of the Holy Quran and the almighty Prophet Muhammad.

Except that’s not what happened.  The Holy Quran and the Prophet Muhammad have not called for the destruction of the western world as much as all of us…the jihadist and the housewife, would like to believe.

It’s a byproduct of spin that creates these misunderstandings. No one is willing to challenge the popular assertions, the fear-mongering that makes things easier to define…makes us willing to put people into categories that are comfortable to us, but often mistaken and horribly wrong.

The Islamic religion, indeed Arabs of all faiths, don’t have a market on extremism.  One need merely look at our own breed:  at the sociopathic Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center; at Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, an Egyptian born Coptic Christian,  maker of the incendiary film currently stirring misguided passions and fears overseas; at Pat Robertson and his “down-home” brand of racism and religious intolerance; and finally at the Limbaugh’s, and the Beck’s, and the Hannity’s…all commercial entities that pander to our own uneducated…our lowest common denominator…our lazy.

Extremism knows no religious belief, no skin color and no national boundaries. Extremism cuts its victims down with an impunity that would make Solomon proud.  We are all extremists in the dark corners of our minds.  It’s only through critical thinking and a modicum of education and humanity that we are able to overcome these fearful portions of our hind-brains.

Enough.

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About Conversations With The Moon

Divorced father of two amazing young adults. College student, plodding away at a liberal arts degree. Formerly a Fire Captain and Paramedic. Dabbler in fashion. Liberal. Believer in Karma. View all posts by Conversations With The Moon

2 responses to “It Takes One to Know One…

  • coconutspeak

    Brilliantly said! I couln’t agree more.

  • Lucky Lucy

    In a world where we share the value of life and the respect of culture, this view would float. Unfortunately, a large portion of the world is not like that. In many areas we are hated, just because we are American. Do not be deceived in thinking that some other governments support the Bo.

    I am fortunate to have friends who travel internationally for their business. While I fear for their safety, their context of these events is quite different. One friend who travels to do international trade business informs me that we are viewed as weak and confused. Trade is complicated by these perceptions. No one is writing new contracts until after the elections, and have stated categorically they will not write any long term contracts if the current administration prevails.

    Another friend works for an airline. Where they used to be welcome at hotels and shopping plazas on lay overs, security guards are required for any venture out of the hotel. After leaving Egypt recently, this friend knows she will likely never return.(this was 1 week prior to the riots where the news reporter was raped.) They were very uncomfortable, frequently shoved in the market places.

    Established governments fear some alliances that have developed with our government. Centuries old caution has left their leaders guarded and questioning our policies. The reactionary comment by the lady at the gym is increasingly heard simply because history has shown us time and again that there are certain obstacles to peace that we may never be able to over come. The rise of radical Islam attacks cannot be ignored, any excuse to fuel this incendiary behavior is employed to show us their hate. I do not think this is spin. Not at all. I think they are tempting someone to “drop the proverbial bomb!”

    I could go on and on, I won’t, don’t worry Moon talker, my dinner is burning!

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