I normally don’t write much about political issues going on in the news because, well, sometimes I just have too much to say and it’s hard to put down in words. But I have several I would like to say now.
During my last few weeks in Illinois, I ventured to downtown Chicago with a few friends to catch the annual Air and Water Show. After enduring long hours at the beach (after which I realized my skin was positively sunburned, a rarity), my friends and I began walking towards Lincoln Park along with a giant group of other show attendees. I remember, quite clearly, walking on the street in an underpass when I overheard a man declaring, “I fucking hate Muslims!”
At this point, I had turned around to glare menacingly at the man, who noticed my stare and continued ranting on about Iraq, Muslims, and 9/11. I was so infuriated by his anti-Muslim sentiments that I stormed off after he began threatening those who would dare defend Muslims (i.e. directly at me), leaving my friends either oblivious or confused about my sudden change of mood.
I say this story now in light of the increasing anti-Muslim rhetoric today in America. What with the controversy surrounding the planned mosque in NYC, plus Bill O’Reilly’s absolutely deplorable comments on The View (I beamed when Whoopi and Joy Behar walked offstage) and the firing of NPR‘s Juan Williams, this is a time when we should be singling out the true terrorists (many of whom are men who happen to be Muslim and are inappropriately using their religion for their own gains) instead of blatantly pursuing prejudice against a very diverse group of people not unlike many others.
Brian Kilmeade of Fox (= complete and utter shit) even went so far as to defend O’Reilly by saying:
“They were outraged that someone was saying that there was a reason, there was a certain group of people that attacked us on 9/11. It wasn’t just one person, it was one religion. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.”
Seriously? All terrorists are Muslims? A terrorist is someone who employs terror tactics in the name of his/her radical beliefs, whether they be political or religious. Nowhere in any dictionary do I see the word “Muslim” next to the definition of a terrorist. When will this total ignorance stop? I don’t know why I feel so heated about this growing Islamophobia, but it just absolutely angers me when conservative nutjobs like O’Reilly and everyone on Fox News continue to advocate anti-Muslim rhetoric in the name of “patriotism.” We live in very troubled times, indeed…