Islam is peace

8 Aug

Reading this post at the Smart Bitches, I have been struck again by the fact that the few loud extremists drown the many silent moderates.

First, of course, allow me to admit to—and apologize for—an instance of kneejerk reaction in direct and violent opposition to what I said here just the other day.**

The fact is that no religion is a monolithic mass of humanity, but that is a very very difficult fact to remember when being faced, again and again, with the fact that the only voices we hear are those of the intolerant fanatics. Moderate individuals of every group need to step up and speak out—loudly, repeatedly—because quiet, moderate voices can’t be heard under the roaring noise of fanaticism.

Just as the squeaky wheel gets the grease, those few loud voices get the lion’s share of media attention—it is the nature of the beast, after all. So the rest of us, those who believe in living our lives on our terms and letting everyone else live their lives on their terms, we need to make noise too.

Because by keeping quiet, by allowing the fanatics (of all stripes—Fred Phelps’ so called church, Warren Jeffs’ fundamentalist LDS splinter cult, etc) to be the only ones who are seen and heard, we are tacitly endorsing their image as the image of any given religious group.

If it’s not us – who? If it’s not now – when?
Daca nu noi, cine? Daca nu, acum, cind?
Si c’est pas nous – qui? Si c’est pas maintenant – quand?

May our hands be unlocked.. someday bringing Peace to all.
Your GOD bless each and everyone of you…
Your GOD bless all our nations…
Your GOD bless the HUMAN RACE…

(AnaB*, flickr Speak up for Peace)

**the ‘hypocrisy’ tag is for my own hypocrisy, in case anyone was wondering.

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Addendum from the comments at Karen’s blog at the time of posting:

Let me put it this way, and hope it makes some sense.

I identify myself as Catholic.

I’m sure plenty of extremist Catholics can come out and quote Bible verses condemning homosexualy, calling for the burning of witches, the stoning of adulterers, what have you.

Me, I don’t really give a shit. I believe that the spirit of Catholicism (and of most religions, ignorant opinionated twit that I am) is this:

Care for your fellow human beings as you would care for yourself.And I further believe that most human beings around the world, regardless of how they identify themselves (Jews, Mormons, Muslim, yellow, transgendered, short, muscular–fill in the blank) feel the same way I do.

Those are the people I’m asking to speak up. Those are the people whose voices must raise over the hatred and intolerance of the few.

Second addendum:

I obviously can’t express myself clearly, but I’m nothing if not bullheaded… stubborn… persistent, so here goes again:

The post is not about the book discussion, but about my uncalled for reaction. I consider myself to be pretty tolerant (for an ignorant Catholic *nodding to Dorothy*), yet my very first comment in the original thread at the SBTBs was intolerant and insulting to the many many millions of Muslims who may consider the books contents offensive but would not call for it not to be published or written.

In other words, that first comment I made proved that my gut reaction was to paint all Muslims as reactionaries, which would be the same as painting all Christians as followers of Fred Phelps brand of religion.

Hence my apology, and hence my plea to those moderate human beings of all religious affiliations to go against the grain and speak up.

No, I don’t think that my post will mobilize millions, but one has to start somewhere.

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