Have you thought about the children?

August 27, 2010

I wonder how the storming rhetoric of fear and hate around the proposed Islamic community center in New York is impacting Muslim-American children. What are they experiencing as they hear how threatened people are by the building of a place where they can hang out after school and shoot baskets, play games, or say prayers. Do they refuse to go to school fearing the taunting of their peers? How do their parents answer their questions and explain that freedom of religion does not apply to all citizens in this country?

There’s plenty of talk about children bullying each other these days.  How about we admit that a bunch of  adults are using bullying tactics to instill fear and hate towards those who are not Christian or in general, not white. It’s racism dressed up in emperor’s clothes and it’s happening in places beyond New York where people are protesting against the building of mosques in their neighborhoods.  Can you see right through this  hate and bigotry costumed as pain and bereavement around those who died in 9/11? Conflating the genuine grief and horror at the actions of the religious extremists of 9/11 with a religion of reverence practiced by 22% of the world’s population is racism, pure and simple.

We haven’t found it necessary to protest Christian terrorists who have murdered and bombed people  in Atlanta, Spokane, or Chicago  or to protest Christian churches from being built near those atrocities.

Fundamentalists of all persuasions are dangerous for there is no room in their world for any other points of view. Focusing our efforts on eradicating terrorist fundamentalism of all religions would be a much better usage of our fears. That’s my hope for what the children of this country will be learning and valuing in the land of the free.

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