Murfreesboro has become an epicenter for Islamophobia. This allows us to see close up just what kind of thinking goes into turning people against one another. The following is taken from a letter to the editor in today’s The Daily News Journal.
“When making decisions,” the author of this letter tells us, “we all have been taught to make decisions based on facts.” The implication is that there is nothing emotional or biased in her thinking. Her remarks are logical and hence in her mind irrefutable.
She begins with a fact: “911 did happen.” True, but the only way 9/11 would be relevant to the building of a new mosque in the Boro is if she could link M’boro Muslims to Al Qaeda. She can’t. The invocation of 9/11 is all about emotion, not fact.
“It is a fact how Muslim men treat their wives.” First, this is not a meaningful sentence, let alone a fact. It cannot be proven or disproven because it doesn’t say anything. It is as meaningless as “how Christian men treat their wives.” OK, how? Some Christian men honor their wives, others beat the crap out of them. The same can be said of Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, and secular men as well. If she wants us to believe that all married Muslim men in the Boro mistreat their wives, then say so and back it up with facts. She can’t because they don’t.
“It is a fact how Muslims are hostile toward anyone who is not a Muslim.” This is a better statement. It can be proven or disproven. If any of you who are not Muslims have a Muslim friend, you have just disproven her point. Of course there are some Muslims who despise nonMuslims and will have nothing to do with them, just as there are some Christians who feel the same way about Jews. Should I condemn all Christians because of the anti-Semites among them?
“We all know about their training centers.” True, but so what? We all know about Christian militias as well, but are we to assume all churches are militia camps?
“Do you think if we were in their country they would allow us to build a Baptist Church?” What is “their country”? Many of the people I know from the mosque were born in America, and most if not all of the rest are American citizens. The Imam’s kids are Texans, and Texas is, at least for the moment, still part of the United States of America. Yes, the chances of getting a permit to build a Baptist church in Saudi Arabia are nil, but since when do we Americans look to the Saudis for our moral standards?
Her solution? Let the people vote. Not all the people of course, only “[t]he people that have worked hard to build Murfreesboro for what it is today should have a right to deny this Islamic Center.” Poor grammar aside (Tennessee public education ranks 42nd in the nation), the author of this letter wants to limit voting rights only to those who will deny Muslims a place to worship in Murfreesboro! In other words the only people who can vote are those who will vote her way! Which makes her closing sentence all the more poignant: “Have we forgotten what America was built on?”
I think she has. And, sadly, she is not alone.