Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The enemy isn't Islam

By Chris Ingram | Tampa Tribune | May 15, 2012 | [Original Article]

"...The plight of my ancestors is similar to those of countless immigrants who settled in what would become the United States of America.

Despite the fact that most Americans have stories of their ancestors coming here under less-than-desirable circumstances, a few among us seek to deny those who don't share the same religious beliefs the very rights and privileges that make America the place to be for those looking for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Last Saturday a group of self-described "patriots" assembled in Tampa at what they billed as a "Stop the Cultural Jihad" rally. In an email announcing the event, organizers said the purpose of the rally was to protest the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which met in Tampa over the weekend...

Earlier this year the same bunch of knuckle-draggers were outraged when Hassan Shibly, a Muslim associated with a different group on the government's unindicted co-conspirator list, spoke to Steinbrenner High School students about Islam.

...While the immediate reaction of many Americans after the Sept. 11 attacks was to treat all Muslims with a suspicious eye, today, most of us accept the fact that not all Muslims are terrorists (or have an anti-American agenda), and that not all terrorists are Muslims. Remember Timothy McVeigh? He was a terrorist. He was also a Christian — and a Republican.

During the Crusades of the 11th century, Christians persecuted Muslims and Jews. For their part, Jews were called "Christ-killers" and given the choice of "accepting the cross or die." Needless to say, a lot of Jews chose the latter...
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...For their part, the "patriots" aren't bad people; they are just ignorant. The enemy isn't Islam, and we shouldn't feel threatened by those wearing a turban, any more than Jews should fear Christians or anyone entering a federal court building should fear Christian Republicans.

It is neither Christian nor patriotic to promote all this hate, but when people live in fear, they need an identifiable enemy — whether real or perceived"

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