Filed under Fanaticism Knows no Religion, Uncategorized
Hey there. I saw your posts in the comment section of the CNN article about the Congressional hearings on American Muslim radicalization. I was impressed enough with your comments (specifically your calm, measured and logical tone, as well as your citation of the 2010 EU report regarding terrorism) that I figured I’d check out your blog, and I just wanted to write to let you know that I hope this blog is a great success.
I have pretty much no personal connection to American Muslims; I’m a hardcore atheist and my area of the US does not have a sizable American Muslim population. Yes, believe it or not, Oregon is not a very diverse state. At any rate, there’s nothing to stir my convictions other than a strong belief in the most righteous of American principles, namely the necessity of a pluralistic society where the freedom to pursue one’s religious convictions is as important as the right to free speech or a freedom from self-incrimination. Again, as an atheist, I am very skeptical of organized religion in general, but I cannot abide fanatics hypocritically attacking alleged extremism, which is exactly what is going on in the “Hate Comes To Orange County” video you’ve linked to. I’m particularly appalled by the outcry over Sharia law which originates from many of those same groups who would try to encode skewed Christian theology into local, statewide, or federal law. The vitriol coming from the religious right in the US seems to be ever-escalating, but this video is an especially chilling example of the sort of religious extremism I find to be, far and away, most harmful to the fabric of America.
It seems obvious to me that American Muslims are unfair targets of resentment (and, again, that most of these attacks are originating from extremist Christian organizations). As you pointed out on CNN, many foiled terrorist attacks in the US were uncovered because of tips from Muslim Americans, and Muslim Americans have even pointed out the suspicious activities of several people who were later revealed to be undercover informants. This is a strong rebuttal to the people who might argue that the Muslim American community needs to do more to show that they disapprove of extremism; it turns out they are doing more than many other Americans to combat extremism, but media recognition of this fact is difficult to find. For that matter, media recognition of faulty assumptions about Muslims in general is hard to come by. As a matter of fact, I’d never even seen the results of the EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report, even though it is a strong refutation of the commonly-held misconceptions regarding the sources of terrorism in a multi-cultural society.
I have quite literally never gone out of my way to comment on a complete stranger’s blog, but I believe so strongly in your mission that I wanted to send you some words of support. My most sincere hope, I suppose, is that this blog becomes totally unnecessary in short order, but it seems an unfortunate inevitability that there is a long fight ahead of us for true equality for believers (and non-believers) of all stripes in the United States. I will try to do my part by speaking out against intolerance and hypocrisy and supporting those who are maligned and denigrated while they continue to work hard, contribute greatly to our society, and strengthen the moral fiber of America. Again, I wish you great success on your mission and give you strong thanks for such eloquent advocacy for a group which is truly deserving of greater support.
Thank you, Tom, for your kind remarks. Best regards.
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