Posted by: silverback | 2010/08/01

open letter to a bigot

Below is my final rebuttal to what I believe was an unfair & foul-mouthed attack on me in a response to my comments on a picture posted on a “friend’s” wall. The first part of the exchange between this person and myself is detailed in the last posting to this blog.  The following “clarification” and near-apology was posted to me by the person to whom my answer is addressed:

“you say “took” the name?? I am not a bigot..I am factual..if we Christians threatened someone for saying something bad about Jesus..we would ALL be investigated..The WHOLE nation of Islam stood behind the murder of a writer who put down Moh…amad.. You served?? You didn’t learn a damn thing. Now all your friends who are just as liberal as you,who want to say sorry to the whole world for defending ourselves,will think I’m terrible. I’m not terrible.Just tired of all those who want to apopogize for all Americas wrong doings.I guess you thought it was right to apologize to Japan for Perl Harbor/Hiroshima? Yeah we do wrong..but we do more right towards all others than anyone else in this world.I realize I was harsh..but you people need to get your head out of your ass and look at what we are doing to oursleves and letting others do to us…all in the name of fairness.. No one else is playing fair..why should we?
I do believe we intrude in other countries affairs..I say..pull out everywhere.. give notice to all..we’re outta here..don’t ask for help..we are gonna mind our own business. But..if you mess with us..we will not play little war games with you..we will destroy you..give ’em what they want,but also let them know where you stand.
There are countries who want our help with their natural disasters..but “keep your military out” Americans are in danger all over the world becasue of your Islamist buddies. So,no military..no help.
I hope you realize that it was your ignorant comment that sent me off the deep end.. If we don’t realize the enemy now..they will be our rulers tommorrow.9-11 was done by Islamist!!! Get that straight..Have you ever met an Islamist that wasn’t on the news and didn’t have a ” Paint a pretty picture” agenda? I have..They want to destroy anything that is not Islam. If you are a Christian..you would know that that is what they are supposed to be doing.. a 4000 year old book said so. We Christians(yeah I know,I didn’t sound like one,hey I’m a christian,not perfect)do NOT order murder,rape and violence.Their belief says kill all those who oppose.
KNOW YOUR FACTS !!!”

My dogmatic friend,

First of all, let me clarify a couple of things in what started you tirade against me. What I originally took issue with is the use of an oversize depiction of the World Trade Center towers in flames after the planes hit on 9/11/01, with the statement “All I need to know about Islam I learned on 9/11.” To me, this is a glorification of a horrible event that killed thousands of innocent people for one man’s (or group of people’s) agenda. The idea that one could judge an entire group of people by the actions of a few goes against everything we in America are supposed to hold sacred: ideas such as all men are created equal, and that they are innocent until proven guilty. To claim one “knows all he needs to know” about the largest & oldest religion on the planet from the events of a single day is pure willful ignorance.

Your first point seems to have something to do with the “WHOLE nation of Islam” standing behind the murder of a writer who put down Muhammed. I’m not sure if you’re talking about Salman Rushdie or the Danish guy who drew that cartoon. As far as I know, they’re both still alive. The only nation who stood behind the “fat’wa” on Rushdie was Iran, led at the time by Ayatollah Khomeni – admittedly a dangerous nutjob, but no moreso than the current nutjob Ahmadinejad, who we haven’t nuked for whatever reason. Most Islamic nations, in fact, rebuked Iran’s call to assassinate Rushdie. Islam, as a matter of fact, specifically forbids a man from claiming his actions to be “Allah’s will,” for doing the judging for God.

Your second point, albeit somewhat disconnected, seems to accuse me of having learned nothing from my time in service to my nation. I disagree – I feel I’ve learned at least two things you seem to have missed: respect for the opinions of others, and restraint of pen and tongue until I understand all the facts.

You go on to say you’re tired of apologizing for America’s wrongdoings. My problem with this is moral. The teachings of Christ, in short, encourage us to forgive our trespassers. I believe there’s even something in there about asking God for our own forgiveness. The minute we start to qualify who is deserving of forgiveness, we have begun to ignore the basis of our own Faith. If we have done wrong, or judged people unfairly because of their faith or skin color or nationality, then we have failed. A man should be judged on the basis of his actions, nothing else. Placing judgement of an entire faith – millions upon millions of innocent people – because of the actions of a few men is plain bigotry, nothing more.

As an interesting side note, and another fact, the group of men who perpetrated the acts of 9/11 have still not been found. Another interesting fact is that the same group of men – led by none other than Osama Bin Laden (who actually claimed responsibility for the act, not the “nation of Islam”) in a previous decade was supplied with money and weapons and intelligence by the United States of America to fight against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. FACT. Do some research. Then ask yourself why on Earth we invaded Iraq before searching for this man in Afghanistan, and furthermore, why has he not been dealt with yet? Surely the richest nation with the best weapons and intel should have been able to track this goatherd down and slaughter him?

You ask me if I’ve met an Islamist (in fact, they generally refer to themselves as “Muslims”) who wasn’t on the news. The answer is yes. I served in the military with more than a few men who considered themselves Muslim. All of them prayed several times per day, even underway, and studied the Koran. None of them ever threatened me or the United States. All of them performed their military duties in an exemplary manner – perhaps better than the average sailor. I would have entrusted my life to any of them.

I am aware there are undoubtedly radical sects of Islam who claim jihad on all us infidels, just as there are radical Christians who bomb abortion clinics. The danger is in participating in the fear-based perception that all who claim that faith are radical. Having done a little research, it seems that the basic tenets of Islam are very similar to the basic tenets of Christianity. Both were established around the same time, many of their saints are the same – Moses, Abraham, Jacob and the Old Testament prophets. Both are monotheistic – holding the belief that One God rules the Universe. Both claim that God will call the human race to the carpet on Judgement Day, and those who are faithful will ascend to Paradise/Heaven, and those who are unworthy will be relegated to Hell. I found no overt references in the Koran (Qu’ran) to destroying the infidels in the name of Allah in the small amount of research I’ve done. Mostly it seems to say that God will have the final say…sound familiar?

Perhaps the most telling phrase in your entire response blames your own “going off the deep end” on “my ignorant comment.” To me, it sounds like the man who has beaten his wife saying, “I’m sorry that I beat your face in baby, but you made me do it with your nagging.” There’s no excuse for inexcusable behavior, and blaming others for our own wrongdoing is the largest problem America has in the world right now.

In closing, I’d like to suggest that divisive, “us versus them,” attitudes such as yours do more harm to America than any imagined Islamic terrorist plot. By splitting the country along lines of race, or religion, or political views, we end up losing sight of the ultimate truth – that we are all Americans, and divided we fall.

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Responses

  1. Which one is your response, Fred? One should be quoted, I can’t tell.

    • edited for clarification, thanks. it was arrogant of me to imagine that my well-thought-out, sensible prose would be easily discernible from the other…


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