When Emily was a little kid…she would often tell me things she knew would evoke a swift, strong reaction….like….oh….let’s see..…..
Mom…Beth is painting her name on the side of the van with purple nail polish….
I got an F on my spelling test…
I lost my new ($25) sweatshirt….
Then, after she got the reaction she was going for, she would add…”just joking you.” Since things like the spelling test and the lost sweatshirt actually did, on occasion, occur, it was not hard to get an immediate reaction out of me.
But alas…she was “just joking me”
So before you read the following excerpt, please know that it is from The Onion…gotta’ love The Onion and THEY ARE JUST JOKING YOU. It is satire…a parody. It is a fictional news story. Sad, though, how many times fiction mirrors truth.
SALINA, KS—Local man Scott Gentries told reporters Wednesday that his deliberately limited grasp of Islamic history and culture was still more than sufficient to shape his views of the entire Muslim world.
Gentries, 48, said he had absolutely no interest in exposing himself to further knowledge of Islamic civilization or putting his sweeping opinions into a broader context of any kind, and confirmed he was "perfectly happy" to make a handful of emotionally charged words the basis of his mistrust toward all members of the world's second-largest religion.
"I learned all that really matters about the Muslim faith on 9/11," Gentries said in reference to the terrorist attacks on the United States undertaken by 19 of Islam's approximately 1.6 billion practitioners. "What more do I need to know to stigmatize Muslims everywhere as inherently violent radicals?"
Sometimes it seems that Islam’s most vocal detractors don’t give two diddles about actually reading and learning about Islam. They know all they need to know. I’ve read this sentiment in comments far and wide on the internet. In response to the mosque controversy…and just in general conversations about Muslims. They ALL want to kill us. Even the ones…especially the ones…who are putting on a smiley face to fool us…like the guy from Fort Hood. Beneath the seemingly friendly facade beats the heart of a jihadist.
And back to The Onion’s (just joking you) article….
"All Muslims are at war with America, and I will resist any attempt to challenge that assertion with potentially illuminating facts," said Gentries, who threatened to leave the room if presented with the number of Muslims who live peacefully in the United States, serve in the country's armed forces, or were victims themselves of the 9/11 attacks. "Period."
And what about our own homegrown terrorists? Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols come to mind. And what about the long history of terrorist acts that have been committed in this country…perpetrated by…..us. I saw a bumper sticker that summed it up.…
”Do you know what the Indians called terrorists?
Illustrated by the following picture….
So let’s just call a spade a spade here…the Indians got screwed….royally.
Did Americans ever commit acts of terrorism against other nations? I guess your answer might depend on your paradigm. For instance, during the hey days of the African Slave Trade….it would depend on whether you were the one doing the trading…or the one being traded. I’m pretty sure…the slaves in the belly of those deplorable ships thought an act of terrorism had been perpetrated against them.
And let’s not even get started on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The point of this post is not to bash America. In the words of Lee Greenwood…I’m proud to be an American. It is the greatest nation in the world….but to ignore very violent acts of terrorism committed by some of our forefathers…to whitewash history…sweep it under the rug…shrug it off with a “that was then, this is now” attitude is just not right.
Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
And I have obviously digressed…and even taken the time to illustrate the digression. So let me get down off my soap box and get back to the gist of this post.
The results of a recent CBS News poll showed that 24 percent of those surveyed have a favorable impression of Islam. 39 percent have an unfavorable opinion and many...37 percent...don't have an opinion.
I’m wondering how many of those who hold an unfavorable view really know that much more about Islam than the 37 percent who say they don’t have an opinion. How many are like the fictional Scott Gentries in the tongue in cheek article from The Onion?
"Don't know, don't care to know??"