Apparently, I was feelin' all of my Sir Edmund Burke-yness. It only took four typed words to set me off.
A friend posted his feelings and a link on the mosque that may, or may not ultimately be built two blocks from Ground Zero. Initially I did not chime in on the matter.
Until I saw the message another person responded with, which was, "Islam is a cult of nutjobs." Leaving my, "all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" eyes seeing red.
Really, stranger dude? "Islam is a cult of nutjobs"?
Forcing me to do sumthin'. Sumthin' exactly like this:
"Islam is no more of a "cult" than Methodist, Baptist, Jewish or any other mainstream religion. The mindset of holding all people of a sub sect accountable for the fanatic fringe is boggling to me. With that thinking, I'm a pedophile because of the dastardly deeds of a small percentage of priests. Muslims do not have the market cornered on small mindedness, intolerance and nut jobs."
Why? Because that's honestly what I feel. Yes, the fanatics who seek, plot and plan to hurt me and my fellow infidels (hollar!) are Muslims. Osama and his misguided, illogical, well funded, eager and committed, irrational, evil spirited, fanatics are indeed devoted to Islam. And if by some magical way, I spied Bin Laden, I would, in as quick of order as possible, strap him down in 4 points and immediately take a potato peeler to every inch of his skin. Layer by layer until he bled out in a pulpy, skinless, painful and lengthy, slow death, while laughing my terrorist torturing ass off. I find him and everything he and his cronies stand for, believe in and practice reprehensible, and beyond my capacity of mercy.
(Note to Bin Laden: Turn yourself into the Allied Forces because if I get my hands on your ass, it's gonna get all kindz a ugly for you up in here. They may have some plans for your ass, but I bet at least they don't involve a potato peeler.)
However, the chasm between Al Qaeda (and other fanatic elements) practicing under the guise of Islam and the overall Muslim population in general, well, it's the fuckin' distance between my toes and the moon.
The Klan, for fuck's sake is a fanatic bastardization of Christianity. I see the Klan and Al Qaeda as kissin' cousins in their mindsets. I don't hate all Christians because some, the Klan, hold fanatic views and performs outrageous actions based on their perception of the one and true path of Christianity. Why? Because that would be stupid of me to think is true.
Name any sub sect or grouping known to humanity and there is some uber fanatical fringe. You know them. You know someone who beliefs are so fervent that they are no longer healthy, moral or ethical. It might be over religion or race or politics or maybe even a sports team or figure, but they've somehow managed to cross over from being committed too or believing in, interested in or backing X to it consuming their every breath and causing them to act in an inappropriate way. I'm not condoning such behavior, I'm sayin' it's a fact. On the contrary, I believe anything that consumes ones life screws ones life up and in all forms and fashions is something to avoid.
As is, in my opinion, painting everyone with the same brush as the worst of their grouping. It's unfair and wrong. And when I saw his words I thought, 'that's unfair and wrong' and instead of scrolling on down to see how the others are fairing with their Farmville fields or whatthefuckever, I decided to, as Sir Edmund Burke suggested, pipe up and not allow, what I consider evil to triumph that day.
At the time I posted my two pennies, I didn't know I was startin' a tussle. But then this appeared:
(Again, not including his name, because I'm a good and nice person. If I was the bitch you think I am I'd be including his name.You're welcome stranger guy.) "Boggling. Every major world conflict involves Muslims killing infidels. Do Jews or baptists murder over cartoons of their prophets?
Www.blahblahblahsmallmindedignoramouswebsite.com (--that's right I reserve the right to censor stupidity in 'da World.)
The problem in this world Is the political correctness and naive people who don't know much about it"
Alright. If it's on, it's on.
Prompting me to reply with:
"HA! (his name here) you do not know me, but anyone who does would never insinuate that I was PC. However, I while I may be naive about some things that go on in the world, why people put ketchup on eggs, how people find magic entertaining and why michigan fans seem proud, I am worldly enough to discern the difference between some and all when it comes to groupings of people and not hold all to the actions and thoughts of some."
Listen, I know a guy who's an asshole. But I don't think all guys are assholes based on one. (Fine. I know several assholes.) Same principal. I don't really get when people lump all into the the lowest common denominator of some in any sub sect. I mean, even if we just look at humans as a whole, are we to be thought of as touched in the head serial killers because Richard Rameriz plucked some eyes out? Are all dogs aggressive and should be put down because one bit you when you were a kid? No. Then how do you get to the place where all Muslims are nutjobs because the fanatic fringe is? A rational mind doesn't. Asserting otherwise, I find evil and dangerous.
As for being a "cult", no more so, or less than any other mainstream, organized, recognized religion is a cult. Any and all of them have their peculiarities. You've picked your belief system, or none, in a holy head cheese and if it works for you, rock on. But working for you doesn't any more mean right, than someone else picking another path makes them wrong. I'm not anti any religion that makes a believer feel better about their life path,brings them peace and inspires them to be a better person. To each their own.
I am what I am (Catholic), but I don't think it's somehow superior than any other, it's simply what works for me. In fact, I see religion as, hummm... Pick an object in your room, yeah, that light over there, I see the light as "God", the Catholics see it from the perspective that you see that light from where you sit. The Lutherans are seeing that same light from the other side. Same light/God, but from a slightly different perspective. Maybe Jewish folks see it from the another angle, and Muslims from yet another perspective in the room, but we're all lookin' at the same light. We might describe it differently based on our point of view relative to it, but again, all the same light. If we had to sketch our views they will differ slightly due to where each religion sits in the room lookin' at the light. It's the same light. To say the other guy who draws it from a different area of the room is wrong is short sighted. Do you want him on the other side of the room sayin' your depiction of the light is wrong? No. You want him to acknowledge the difference and allow that yours is not wrong just because it's different than his.
Not seeing this fact is how all kinds of bad things happen in the world based on religious differences. Crusades anyone? The Reconquista, the Muslim Conquests, the French Wars of Religion are just a scant few examples from waaaaaay back in the day, but they continue in varying dynamics and degrees up until, well, tofuckingday. Which is why I took such offense to this guys comments. Being silent seemed like a great way to tacitly condone such sentiments.
The older I get the more unacceptable I find allowing the narrow minded to triumph. I want a better world, not a worse one. The path to that isn't to sit back and allow the lowest denominator to be thought of as the norm or acceptable. It isn't, we are better people than the least of us. We should expect, demand and suggest better behavior out of each other. We are our brothers keeper. Like it or not. We fail or succeed together. All of us. Jews, Hindu's, Unitarians, all of us. Divisive views breed division. Division breeds hate. And I'm not down with that.
Eventually that guy posted this:
"I don't know you. And I don't think all Muslims are bad. I do however believe Islam needs reform. Every religion has had it except Islam. I also believe that the Qu'ran is taught literally in mosques around the globe and until the 3rd world countries educate them that conflicts and murder will continue."
Ohhhhh, so now you don't think all Muslims are "nutjobs"? Huh. Funny. I only responded based on your actual fucking verbatim words. He seemingly comes off of his Muslims are "nutjobs" pretty quickly after being called out on the ridiculous, inaccurate, over generalized, sterotypical statement to they're not "all" bad fairly easily. Well, that's mighty big of ya. Well done. So you're not only bigoted, small minded and intolerant, but you're also a pussy. Got it. Outstanding.
I'm quite confident that my words likely didn't change his mindset at all. Why? Because once someone embraces fanatic views of "all", they are very unlikely to ever be able to see a situation for what it is, as opposed to what they've decided it is. A closed mind is a dangerous one. Which coincidentally, is the same reason we are unable to rationalize with the fanatical folks of Al Qaeda. But at least maybe some Muslim Facebooker saw that just because some of us are fanatics about a stance of anti-Islam, it doesn't mean that we all are. And maybe some other moderate, tolerant, reasonable people who read the exchange saw that it isn't hard to do (as Sir Edmund Burke suggested) sumthin' and will follow suit the next time something is said or written that they find evil and not just stand by and let it dangle out there.
While not nearly as eloquent, but, it's time to start taking the kids who are stirring shit in our playground out to the bike racks after school for a few words so that our playground doesn't get more unruly and we can all enjoy it.