Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Loaded for Bear!
Within a week of the Paris bombings, virtually every GOP presidential candidate and Republican leader have called for a ban on Syrian refugees, unless of course they are Christian, as Jeb Bush was quick to distinguish. He's since backtracked on that statement, but the sentiment is clear, no more Muslims in America. They are seen as an existential threat to our Christian society, with many conservative leaders calling for the closure of mosques in this country. Even the Trumpster believes "if the mosque is, you know, loaded for bear," it should be closed.
Twenty-six Republican governors have issued bans on Syrian refugees, claiming security fears. This despite no direct link having yet been made between a Syrian passport found at one of the bombing sites and the terrorists who pulled off these latest crimes against humanity. Just the possibility that an ISIS member could be among the Syrian diaspora is enough to send governors scurrying into their rabbit holes.
President Obama at a press conference in the Philippines singled out this irrational fear, and said it "needs to stop," as it isn't doing anyone any good. Just this week a family of 6 was brutally murdered in Texas and an Illinois man was found hanging from a tree off Lake Shore Drive in Chicago and no one seems to bat an eyelash. Not to mention the scores of school shootings that have occurred since Newton. Acts of extreme violence are being committed every day in the United States, yet somehow we think we will be safer if we keep Syrian refugees out of America.
As the President said, these unwarranted fears are playing right into ISIS's hands. They purposely want to stoke anti-immigrant feelings because it plays into their base of support. We are unwilling to recognize just how politically savvy these radicals have become, knowing how to yank emotional chains even more effectively than Donald Trump. These attacks were well planned and probably took months, if not over a year to coordinate. It is highly unlikely that a person in the most recent wave of Syrian refugees was part of the planning. Worst case scenario, such a person was nothing more than a sacrificial lamb. More likely, the Syrian passport was stolen or forged and planted on the site, which is what some officials are saying.
Of course, it doesn't help when CNN and other leading television news networks jump on this story and run banners for all to see. CNN has been particularly bad in reporting the event, stoking Muslim fears with its spotty news coverage and overt political opinion. Listen to this exchange with Reza Aslan, forced to defend Muslims in response to Bill Maher's most recent obnoxious comments. You would think these bombings took place in New York, the way the American media is reacting to them.
It is difficult enough being Muslim in America, much less having to defend yourself against terrorist acts committed by those who claim to be Muslim. No one is calling the Bible into question each time an act of violence is carried out in the name of the Lord. Yet, the Koran is seen by many as a pernicious text that emboldens persons to commit acts of terrorism. Many states have even gone so far as to ban Sharia Law, even when the basic tenants of Sharia Law are no different than those found in the Old Testament, which the same states want carved into stone on courthouse steps. Most Christians don't even know that Islam stems from the same Books of Abraham that Christianity does.
Instead, we hear all these facile arguments of how Islam is corrupted as a religion and that the great majority of Muslims sympathize with these extremists. Facebook is loaded with memes denigrating Muslims in general for the acts committed by a handful of extremists. When the Alfred P. Murrah federal building was bombed in Oklahoma City, very few persons saw that terrorist act committed by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols as an indictment against Christianity, even though McVeigh specifically said that the attack was carried out in response to the federal raid of the Branch Davidian camp in Waco, Texas, two years before. We dismissed these guys as wackos and moved on. But, woe be it for Muslims that a terrorist act be carried out in the name of Allah, as it becomes a blanket condemnation of their religion and ethnic identity.
Oklahoma City is far enough in the past that many persons don't even remember it. However, Christian terrorism is still very much alive and well. Violent crimes are carried out mostly against unsuspecting individuals, so they don't make front page news until some young wacko, steeped in white supremacy causes, got it into his head to take out a black church congregation in Charleston, South Carolina, earlier this year. We won't even talk about all the death threats leveled at President Obama, far more than any previous president.
Yep, Donald, there are a lot of persons out there "loaded for bear," not just Muslim radicals. The sad part is that your campaign is aimed largely at Nativists, many of whom promote the same white supremacy causes as Dylann Roof, as seen in their memes. Yet, you don't call for the shutdown of twitter and facebook, where much of this hate is disseminated.