Yesterday I found myself briefly (I’m learning) engaged in a FB debate about Islam, reacting and probably not responding, who knows, to someone who put forth a viewpoint about the direct connection between Islam and all sorts of heinous stuff, like, pedophilia (um, Catholic priests?), the main point of the original post, but not entirely, at all, it was about human trafficking and child abused and on and on, but the person to whom I reacted pretty much suggested that all of those ills could be attributed to Islam.
I’m sorry, I reacted, find it really hard not to.
I’ve known all sorts of Muslims in my life, lots and lots of colleagues in the workplace, students, I tried to read the Koran, as I have most religious texts, trying to understand, but couldn’t get through it very easily, gave up quickly, but I have read its predecessors, the Old Testament, and more than one version of it, multiple Christian gospels, even those The Church (the, the one) opted to leave out, and frankly, all of those story books are just that, and the Muslims who I’ve known were all really beautiful and admirable people.
Sufi writings? Sublime.
But since it happened to be a group of Saudis (well, maybe) responsible for 911, and they happen to be Muslim, even if our allies, certainly W.’s allies, certainly not someone we usually look at at least in terms of foreign policy and say “enemy”, well, apparently that made it okay and appropriate to demonize all of Islam, and pretty much blame a good portion on the world’s woes on some kind of fuzzy, but very large, segment of humanity.
How silly is that?
What drives crazy fundamentalism in the Islamic world is the same thing that drives it here, fear, it has always been thus, and believe it or not, the Islamic world is far more justified in fearing the “enemy”, that one that invaded and has been invading for a very long time. Most Muslims are just like most Christians (or used to be) or Jews or Hindus or Buddhists, decent people trying to live decent lives.
But what really just kills me, and I mean blows me away, is that in the last week or so I’ve seen not one but two semi-viral at least posts trying to paint folks from Costa Rica as The Enemy.
That beautiful country, with its beautiful people, the one with no military, the one where people mostly eat fresh fruit and go surfing and protect living things, at least as much as that is possible as the White World enslaves the people and takes over the land there, hires them to build and serve cocktails.
Everyone is looking for the enemy. Folks in the US are arming themselves so heavily I want to LOL, I’d LOL if it wasn’t so freaking tragic, my countrymen arming themselves against an enemy they can’t quite define, when the things they might actually be legitimately afraid of, those fires and floods and that polluted water and those carcinogenic crops, can’t be killed with guns.
I know what my enemy is, and it’s not a person, or group of people, or even self. It’s a way of being, an attitude, some sick and twisted sense of the other, that enemy, the bad guy who is causing all these problems in the world.
Often, the enemy is a lot closer to home than you might think, and not something you can kill with a gun, or a bomb, or a drone.