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Inexplicably, we are suspicious of Muslims

October 5, 2010
tags: ,

In his op-ed for the Boston Globe today, H.D.S. Greenway chastises us Americans for not living up to our ideals.  He questions the concept of American exceptionalism expressing we can only achieve that moniker if we “become the first new global society made up of all world religions and civilizations”.  Preventing us from this goal is our fear of Islam.

In his piece he quotes Aeschylus, shames ground zero mosque protesters, calls silly, Texas Board of Education members who are concerned textbooks are Islam biased, rightly names the would be koran burning pastor as outrageous, and dismisses the Wellesley school children who participated in Muslim prayers as a mere flap.  What he doesn’t do is suggest there might be reasons for this islamophobia that is preventing our country from being exceptional.

Having grown up in the 80’s, my biggest fear was communism and the Soviet Union.  I don’t think I even heard about Muslims until the World Trade Center bombings.  That’s not accurate, there was always something going on in Palestine, but that was removed, not going on in the largest city in America.  Mr. Greenway conveniently refuses to see a possible causation between islamic terrorist attacks on our country and our fear of Islam.

He blames the forces of intolerance and the internet for this spreading anti-islam sentiment.  My question is, were the forces of intolerance always there, and just focused on the Soviet Union?  Is islam just a poor Orwellian bogeyman who filled the large empty shoes of intolerance when the USSR collapsed?  Again, to believe this you would also have to believe there is no force of causation at effect.  We don’t fear islam because they are different, we fear them because they blow stuff up, chop people’s heads off, force cartoonists into hiding and cheer when Israeli children get killed on buses.  These are facts.  Perhaps we shouldn’t blame a whole religion for the acts of a buttload of Muslims, but perhaps Mr. Greenway shouldn’t blame America for a fear that is quite correctly understandable.

A nation of immigrants must include Muslims – The Boston Globe.

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