It's happened again. And again it will happen. And each and every time, the entire Islamic community, especially the community in which it took place, will be painted with the same brush. The brush that says "the Muslims in the US/Canada/Britain/Australia/the world all support terror, and see! Here's our proof! Their own religious leaders in the United States/Canada/Australia/Britain/the world support it and are funding it!
I logged into cnn.com this morning, as I often do, and across the top of the screen, in a great big yellow "breaking news" box at the top of the screen were the words "Two U.S. Imams in Florida arrested and charged with supporting Pakistani Al-Qaeda." My stomach sank, as it so often does, knowing that this would be leading off news casts all day, colouring again so negatively the entire Muslim community for the actions of a few. Allegations of actions that have yet to be proven in court.
Yesterday there was an article on cnn.com about a Bulgarian who decapitated a British subject in a grocery store on the Canary Islands. Yet you don't see everyone jumping on the "Bulgarians are horrible! They'll decapitate people they don't know! They're evil! Stay away from them!" bandwagon.
I posted on my Facebook page the other day (if you want to be on my Facebook page, you'll have to send me a message, as my page is private, for many reasons) that Newt Gingrich is running for president under the "I'm Catholic so you can love me, and I hate Muslims, so you can love me more" platform. The irony is, up to the time, during the time and even after the time, of John F. Kennedy's presidency, the hated religious group in the US was the Catholic Church. And now this man - who I've never really liked and now border on loathing - is running on this platform. Does he not see that, even though he converted to Catholicism, that he is now treating another religious group the same way that his was treated? Using nearly the exact wording that the Protestants used against the Catholics in the run up to when JFK was elected? It's amazing how the hatred comes full circle and the hated now become the haters, only they see it as okay, because the people that they hate are, well, different. A very good, close, friend of mine is Catholic, and posted this on my Facebook, taken from the Vatican website -
"The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, theCreator of heaven and earth,(5) who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.
Since in the course of centuries not a few quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Moslems, this sacred synod urges all to forget the past and to work sincerely for mutual understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom."
If the Vatican teaches that Catholics and Muslims should get along, then maybe, just maybe, Newt Gingrich should abide by his own church's teachings and try and get along. I can only hope that the Catholic church does not endorse his campaign, based on his campaign on hatred and fear.
I'm tired of logging into CNN or picking up a newspaper, or tuning into the nightly news, only to have one of the top stories be "another reason to hate the Islamic community, the faith of Islam, and your Muslim neighbour."
My request is simple - open your mind and learn about our faith. And even if you don't agree with it, be respectful, be polite, and "do unto others as you'd have done unto you."