Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ignorance Still Prevails

It still amazes me how many Americans still look at the world through an “us versus them” lens. Aren’t we supposed to emphasize our personal freedoms? When I read recently that a sizable percentage of Americans believe that President Obama is a Muslim, I was shocked. I wonder sometimes if these people realize that we live in the 21st century. With opposition of the building of a mosque near the Ground Zero and news about a Christian pastor in Florida hosting the “International Burn a Koran Day” on September 11, 2010 polluting the news media, I am even more annoyed than ever. I personally like the division of church and state, and I will continue support it, even if fewer people around me do. Sure, the U.S. Constitution protects our right to protest, but can’t we be civil about it all?

I know there is a considerable percentage of us who know that extremist behavior and attitudes from any side usually leads to trouble, but there are also many who don’t know or don’t care about these consequences. Before coming up with the “International Burn a Koran Day,” the Floridian pastor was an unknown and obscure leader of a very small, non-denominational congregation. Now he is internationally infamous for concocting this upcoming publicity stunt. I really wish I never knew anything about this person or his extremist tactics. He seems to want more violence and conflict, and the sad thing is there are many people who agree with him.

I grew up believing that “two wrongs don’t make a right,” and I will continue to hold on to it. I remember knowing that there would be growing anti-Islamic sentiment after the 9/11 attacks happened, but I thought that as a nation we would have worked through some of these feelings and put the tragic events in a proper perspective by now. In retrospect, I realize I was naive to think that way. The years go by, but the scar remains; we will need more time and patience before more progress is made.

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