Sunday, February 25, 2007


I recently saw "The Bitter Truth" text. It's that list of reasons a good Muslim can't be a good American. I couldn't find the original source of the text, but you can read essentially the whole thing here. I'm not going to reproduce it in this post. You can also read a pretty good point-by-point response here.

I get concerned when I see text that describes a people as fundamentally different and incorrigible. Too many wrongs have followed painting with that kind of broad brush. What's more, this description of Muslims simply doesn't fit my personal experience. The Muslims I've known personally have been as varied as the Christians, the Jews, the agnostics, the atheists, and those following pretty much every other belief system. In fact, none of the Muslims I've known has been as intolerant as, say, the followers of Fred Phelps, but that's probably just because I'm more likely to run into a Christian than a Muslim in this country, so I also have a better chance of bumping into an extremist Christian than an extremist Muslim.

And it seems to me, when you get right down to it, the real problem is extremism. It's people not willing to tolerate other people who don't look like them, or talk like them, or worship like them, or think like them. It's xenophobia. And it's bigotry. It's been with us for longer than recorded history. And neither a Muslim suicide bomber in Iraq nor a white supremacist American with a Ryder truck in Oklahoma City has a monopoly on it.

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