Opposing Views

Posted by Opposing Views on September 24, 2014 in News Clips

Here we go again with a new round of bombings and missile strikes in the Middle East. More of a chance for our anti-Islamic bent in America to be watered. I must say though I am certainly glad we have some Arab nations also involved. It gives us cover and disguises the fact that America for the most part is filled with Islamophobia.

We simply have an easier time making the decision to drop bombs on Muslim countries than we do any other. Of course we justify that with our Islamophobia and belief that Muslims are out to get us. Not some Muslims, which would be a more accurate way of looking at that. No, we use a wider brush and paint the whole religion, which is the definition of the malady. According to Wikipedia, “Islamophobia is a term for prejudice against, hatred towards, or fear of Muslims or of ethnic groups perceived to be Muslim.”

Yeah that’s the American general attitude. The sad thing is that it is so bad here that people feel they can be open about the affliction. Even proud about it. It is why the worst charge opponents could lob at President Obama is that he is a closet Muslim. Like that is the worst thing he could be. For that to be such an open charge says a lot about how we feel about Muslims. The charge is thrown out like he is being called a pedophile or something very very bad. And many people could not see why even having that conversation was a sign of Islamopobia. So much for freedom of religion.

One Oklahoma State Representative, John Bennett (R), an elected government official no less, has proudly proclaimed at many rallies, and repeated again this week, his belief that Islam is not even a religion. Here is what he said in one interview a few days ago regarding Islam:

“It's a social political system that uses a deity to advance its agenda of global conquest. That's exactly what ISIS is doing now, and people that follow Islam are and will do the same thing."

In a rally not long ago in Oklahoma he said this:

“More than 90 percent of the Quran is about violence and the violence necessary to overtake non-believers...Their goal is the destruction of Western civilization from within...Muslims have worked their way into the government at every level. Their teachings give them permission to lie to unbelievers to gain their trust...”

If he isn’t the walking definition of anti-Islam then who is? But he is not the only one. In survey after survey, by Pew, Gallup and others, the trend in America toward a negative view of Islam and Muslims continues to get higher and higher, even many years after 9-11. The Arab American Institute released the results of one poll just a couple of months ago that showed favorable attitudes about Arab-Americans and American Muslims have declined from 35% in 2010 to 27% in 2014.That means about 73% of Americans did not have a favorable opinion. That’s incredible. Of course incidents like the Boston Marathon bombing and the ISIS beheading videos don’t help. But the ease with which we expand the actions of extremists to a whole religion and to the many millions of other Muslims is scary.

I’m not sure how we’ll get over this. It is so deeply rooted. And so publicly accepted and espoused, like that State Representative and others have done. But what I know is this, as much as we blame Islam and Muslims for their hatred of America, we should also be looking at our own attitudes and actions as people and a nation to understand why this back and forth is getting us absolutely nowhere.

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