In defense of Muslim Americans

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A handful of Christian Republican Representatives have been calling for governmental persecution of Muslims, for no reasons beyond that A) Muslims aren’t Christians and B) it brings in donations and votes from a certain demographic of Christian Americans who think the end times are a good thing and will be triggered by righteous war by Christians on Muslims.

In response to this call, 42 “religious, secular, interfaith, advocacy, legal and community organizations” have sent a memo to those 5 Republican Representatives. It is very well written, and I recommend reading it, but I have 2 reservations:

The memo starts by listing the Representatives with the address “Honorable” before each. Even putting aside the fact that they are politicians, surely their positions as governmental leaders coupled with their divisive actions stretches such an address as “Honorable” past the point of credibility.

The memo goes on to address them as “Dear Rep.” before each name. Dear to who, other than (possibly) their mothers? My apologies, back to the point.

The United States was founded to be a secular country. This means that everyone has the right to worship or not as their conscience dictates without government interference whether that interference would be hostile or benevolent, desired or not. Ideally that means that nobody has their pocket picked to support another’s church, but at the barest minimum it means you don’t use the government as a club to intimidate those who believe differently than you do.

Muslim Americans have been going through an incredibly rough time in this country since shortly after 9-11, and it is entirely unfair. Do our political leaders suspect every Christian American to be moments away from engaging in shootings or bombings because of attacks on abortion clinics?

No, that would be as ridiculous as… suspecting all Muslims everywhere of being enemies of America. Or a strange cultural belief that equates Arab with Muslim despite there being plenty of Muslims who aren’t of Arab descent and plenty of Arabs who aren’t Muslim.

I can’t believe this even needs saying, but: Muslims are just individuals like any other individuals trying to make their way in the world. Yes, just like other religions, there are extremists:

But the United States does not have a problem within its population with extremists from minority religions. Due to the bill of rights guaranteeing freedom of religion, people of minority religions have tended to be much happier here than in other countries. What we have is a problem with political extremists produced from frightened majorities with feelings of threatened entitlement.

Found through Friendly Atheist.

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