I was forwarded an email (and I know a lot of you got the same one) about an upcoming gathering of Muslims in Washington DC (for the close of Ramadan this year). The forward encouraged us to check out the website and "read the last line" in the website which said "Our Time Has Come." The email thought we should be very afraid.
So here's the thing. I remember 9/11 like it was yesterday, too. I can share my story about where I was and what happened just like every other American can (and in fact got a scholarship in college for an essay I wrote about the subject, hehe). And sure, maybe two years ago, I would have read said email and looked through the website, and maybe it would have inspired fear. But not this day. It pains me to even say this, but having live along-side Muslims for this long, I can assure you, they may not have a very good sense of humor, and they may be more reserved than Americans, but they are not terrorists. Not the majority. Just like all of the NRA rednecks in Northern Idaho are not Aryan Nations followers (regardless of how shaved their heads may be).
Stu came home and was talking about how one person in the forward had said we should be terrified of this upcoming gathering, he said, "that's just ignorant". This is the key thing here. Sure, there are bad people in this world, but it isn't one culture or one religion. Just as in illiterate, backwoods Alabama, preachers can convince their followers that the black man is the Devil incarnate and to hate them, so can Imams in Northern illiterate Pakistan convince their followers that the Koran says white people and their ways are inherently evil and they should kill them. But that doesn't mean the majority of either of these religions are evil future killers on the loose.
I do not speak Arabic, so I cannot tell you for sure what the Koran does say, but for the most-part, the Muslims I know, just like the Christians and Pagans I know, are a peaceful people who are just misunderstood. Maybe if everyone else would try to look a bit further than the surface of things, they might feel more comfortable with other people's differences. Life is about balance, not about being right and wrong all the time. I just want to be a bit more balanced.
So here's the thing: I'm still a Republican, Idaho girl at heart. I'm not about to burn my bra or hug a tree, or fly a rainbow flag, but if living here has taught me nothing else, I've realized how dangerous ignorance can be. A little perspective goes a long way. A bunch of Muslims meeting on Capitol Hill is nothing to get worked up over. Seriously. Let them practice their religion in peace.
Me with my favorite Muslim :)