“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven…”
— John Milton, Paradise Lost
What do we achieve as a nation when we reduce an entire group of people to the identity of a handful of outliers? How does a philosophy of universal identity assist in the disabling of a problem? Ultimately, it doesn’t. Such universal application of characteristic only succeeds in reinforcing prejudice. To state that all Muslim’s are inherently violent because of their religion is to state that all black people are inherently violent because of their race, or that all Southerners are inherently stupid because of where they were educated, or that all Mexicans are inherently drug dealers because they are descendent of people who grew up in regions ravaged by drug cartels. Do you hear how stupid all that sounds?
I personally do not care if you choose to believe that Islam is a dangerous, backward, and antagonistic religion. But, there is a fundamental difference between believing in something and acting upon that belief. Ripping a microphone out of a Muslim student’s hand for the purpose of denouncing Islam is not only morally questionable, but is a malicious act of censorship. So, to the woman committed that very act during the Muslim rally in Austin, Texas last week, you violated that student’s First Amendment rights. Leaving orders for your staff to greet Muslim constituents with the Israeli flag and demanding they condemn Islamic terrorism while pledging allegiance to the United States is not only reprehensible, but bigoted and malicious, as well as vehemently unconstitutional. So, Texas Rep. Molly White (R-Benton), congratulations, you violated the First Amendment rights of anyone who may have come into your office.
So, I say to anyone who follows this maladjusted ideology: “fuck you and your false patriotism.” Starting a culture war against Islam doesn’t make you a patriot, nor does it make you an American. It makes you a disgusting human being, a bigot, but more importantly, it makes you a hypocrite. The novelty, nihilism, and naivety of the bigotry exuded by men and women standing in support of the condemnation of Islam is, quite honestly, hilarious to me, as a blatant double-standard exists when it comes to actions committed in the name of the Christian God. There is no venomous appeal to denounce Christianity when the Army of God blows up Olympic Park, or a when a group of men use the Bible to rationalize the lynching of black men and women, or when a Fundamentalist murders a doctor who performs abortions, or when a psychopathic cult leader, who utilizes the Christian Bible, manipulates over 900 people into mass suicide. How nice it must be to have the ability to so easily look away when your own faith is being abused by a few radicals. How nice it must be to have been convinced in some shape, form, or fashion, that your bigoted and oppressive actions are justified.
Of course, as I said above, it is your prerogative to subscribe the notion that Islam is inherently evil. Even I would defend your right to personally affix to that sentiment. But, also as I mentioned above, there is a fundamental difference between believing in something and acting upon it. I wish the men and women who advocated for the denouncement of Islam could understand that. Perhaps then, they could bear witness to the flaw of their actions, instead of bearing witness to their bigotry.