I have been away from the news for some days, but have heard something that disturbs me. These thoughts were on my mind on waking, so will set them here. Apparently, the pastor of the ironically-named Dove World Church in Gainesville, Florida, is urging people to burn copies of the Muslim holy book the Qur'an on September 11th.
Sigh. I so cant stand this kind of bigotry, fanaticism and exclusion in the name of "religion."
Thankfully, I also heard that a group of church leaders from many denominations have come together to oppose this act of hatred, and that many pastors will be reading from the Qur'an from their pulpits on September 11th. Ziad Ghanimi, is spokesman for the Gainesville Muslim Initiative, formed to counter the growing anti-Muslim rhetoric.
I believe in the basic human rights of every individual, everywhere, to live in freedom of self and of thought, to believe whatever he believes, and have those rights respected. In "the land of the free" to have this kind of right-wing fundamentalism still occuring is wearying, to say the least.
How can any person or group think anything good could come out of such aggression and hatred? Fundamentalismn and extremism breed more of the same. It is not a way to bridge the divide, or encourage mutual respect and peace, which is what the world needs to be striving for. This act would only encourage more hatred and incite retaliation. Where does this cycle end, if we dont end it with learning what every kindergartner knows: as human beings we are more alike than we are different; in respecting the differences we do have lies the path to harmony.
Such an act, while inciting retaliatory extremism, also ignores the millions of Muslims who also abhor violence and just want to live in peace and brotherhood.
At however many years old our species is, we still arent as smart as a five year old when it comes to getting along.
On September 11, I will be blogging for peace. I am also contacting Mimi Lenox at www.mimilenox.com She began the Blogging for Peace movement. I want to ask if her members are doing anything on that day. Perhaps any of us who long for true peace can post something to do with peace on that day. Maybe it will help a little.
I wish everyone could watch the movie My Name Is Khan - it is a wonderful film about a Muslim man touched by tragedy during the hatred after 9/11, who then tours the USA, telling people: "I am not a terrorist." A sad, haunting and beautiful movie. I cried through the entire last half.
"The true principles of Muslim include freedom of religion and tolerance."
To every person out there who finds the proposed burning of sacred religious books fanatical and offensive to the highest degree, as I do, I apologize on behalf of our species.
In'shallah, one day we will learn to live respectfully and harmoniously together on this planet.
In deepest respect,