Today I received on of those mass emailings from an old friend going on about Muslims denying the Holocaust and not wanting it taught in schools in the UK. This was my response to him:
“Please think about the messages that you send. This one is denouncing hate and bigotry of one group (Jewish), but promoting it for another group (Muslim). The truth is that no individual represents an entire group. To say that the entire group of Muslims is offended by teaching about the Holocaust because they say it never occurred is just perpetuating stereotypes and hates. “Muslims” do not say that it didn’t occur. Maybe SOME very vocal Muslims may say that, but I can assure you that the entire population of Muslims know very well that this tragedy DID indeed happen and don’t want it repeated. I also know for a fact that as a group Muslims are facing unprecedented amounts of persecution in the US and around the world FOR THEIR FAITH and SKIN COLOR. They seem to make easy targets these days. Of all groups, it seems that Christians have a responsibility to stand up for people being able to believe what they want to and not be persecuted for their faith. Are there bad Muslim ideologies out there that lead to destruction? Sure. But there are also bad Jewish and Christian ideologies out there that lead to destruction. Does that mean that you should spread hate messages for all Jews and Christians as well?
Unfortunately, it is very easy (as you know) to find ignorant Christians, Muslims, Jews, Whites, Blacks, Browns, _______ (fill in the blank). To say that the words of one or a couple of them apply to the entire group is just wrong and leads to hate and separation. Please don’t spread that. I always thought that you were about spreading love and understanding, not this crap.”
I don’t understand why the content in so many of these hate messages either compare a current situation or person to the Holocaust or Hitler or Nazis or evokes 9/11. Instead of dealing with facts, it seems that there is a knee-jerk reaction to pull out the most emotion-inducing tragic situations that we in the western world actually remember. (Because there are many other holocausts and many other dictators from world history and even modern times that could be used, but of course then there would be the risk of people not knowing what was being talked about. Gotta keep it simple.)
Every Muslim that I know (and, yes, I do know quite a few) are so incredibly average and…boring. They shop, they try to follow religious traditions, they raise kids with love, they come to work and get stressed out, they excel & make mistakes, they laugh and joke around, they take the car to the mechanic to get it fixed. They even fart. Just like you. Just like me.
A couple of the girls do wear head scarves, but, oh yeah, I wear neck scarves. It’s a personal preference. So what? One even wears the long black abaya. So what? She still does all of the above (although I’ve never heard her fart). The explanation actually makes sense:
The reason for this strictness is so that the woman is protected from the lustful gaze of men. She should not attract attention to herself in any way. It is permissible for a man to catch the eye of a woman, however it is haram (unlawful) for a man to look twice as this encourages lustful thoughts.
Islam protects the woman; it is for this reason that Allah gave these laws. In today’s society womankind is being exploited, female sexuality is being openly used in advertising, mainly to attract the desires of men and therefore sell the product. Is the woman really free in today’s society? The answer is obviously no. The constant bombardment by the media as to how the ideal woman should look and dress testifies to this.
This makes sense especially considering what one friend who moved to Saudi told me. She said that basically the men over there are pigs: staring, commenting, etc. It seems that sexual control has been placed entirely on the women. That’s not exactly healthy or fair, but given the situation, I can understand why women put such an emphasis on covering themselves.
But before I keep rambling…
My point is: Let’s quit judging and spreading hate and separation of groups. Instead, how about a bit of understanding and acceptance of other cultures and traditions? Isn’t that what Christians have wanted and expected all of these years? So why not extend it out to other groups? Can we hate the actions of those that spread hate? Sure, but sending out these emails is no different, it’s just on another level.
(Stock photos-except WWII photo- from 123RF.)