Posts Tagged ‘fear’

Rainbows and ponies.

August 23, 2010

Now today, dear ones, I want to show you a lovely littl

[STATIC]

Mwahahaha. Mwahahahhahahhaha. Mwahahahhahahahahahahha. Do not adjust your monitors, America. Your so-called rainbows and ponies have been hijacked. BY DR. HORRIBLE. I have hacked into your internetz to tell you that intelligence is dead. That’s right, sofa monkeys, no more “book-larnin’.” The future of rational thought? Is not. Why pay attention to silly little things like FACTS when you can just reject people out of hand for not being like wonderful you?

I give you, “We’ve Got to Stop the Mosque at Ground Zero” by Trade Martin.


(ps, the blogger who alerted me to this piece of crazy, a cute non-sequitur, commentated, “oh god. i am sick of hearing about GROUND ZERO MOSQUE HURRR but oh my god. they’ve gone and turned their arguments against it into a used car jingle.” RIGHT ON, CUTE. RIGHT ON.)

Not so long ago, I would’ve just kept my mouth shut.

August 16, 2010

Particularly since all of the people involved in this piece of nonsense are church friends of my parents. Look how far a few “You are a wonderful person. Keep sharing your opinion!”s have pushed me! Actually it’s quite nice to finally speak a bit of my mind on Facebook. One of my post-Nicaragua goals, as you’ll be able to read about in my journals (which I’m posting soon).

In the following exchange (which will probably get longer tomorrow..ha), I’ve dropped last names to protect the individuals’ privacy and retained first names to distinguish the commenters involved. I’ve left all comments completely unedited and uncut. Enjoy!

(Initial post) Chris: OUTRAGE! [along with this, “President Backs Ground Zero Mosque,” courtesy of Fox News, yeah]

Chris: …but no surprise.

Buddy: President Obama’s actions show a complete disrespect toward the families of three thousand victims that died at Ground Zero. Shame on him!

Donna: We saw it coming and yet we are so unable to do anything but watch the take over of our country. If we protest, then they will take the Baptist rights to building their place of worship according to what the people want. It would be stifling our rights also. So what do we do?

Buddy: This is not about the right to worship. It’s about protecting our country from a riligous fanatic that wants to distroy our country. By building this mosque it would encourage further actions toward us from muslum terrorist. It’s also about the three thousaand that died at the hand of these muslum terrorist, respecting the victims and thier families.

Ree: We’ve got to vote very carefully this election, write/email our representatives because it does make a difference (learned a couple of weeks ago that many ask ‘how many emails/calls/letters did we get on this’ before they vote on something)…find our voices…it’s past time…

Wes: There are currently over 20 mosques already in New York City. So why does another one have to be there? Again, not about religious freedom.

Juletta: Well Donna, we stop thinking like that…that is why we Christians are in the position we are in. It is time to take a stand and return our country to the people. Patch the screen doors and find our voices!!!!

Steve: Since when does Obama care about what the constitution says? We are under attack from an enemy within. You all should watch this movie, it will open your eyes to who Obama really is.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAaQNACwaLw

Chris: Dude, I had no idea there are videos this long on youtube! I don’t have time to watch it now, but just watching the first 5 minutes has be really anxious to watch the whole thing!

Me [Talia]: a) It’s not “a mosque.” It’s a community center that will have many features..among them, a swimming pool, an auditorium, and a mosque. b) It won’t be at Ground Zero. It will be two blocks north of Ground Zero. If this is the “Ground Zero mosque,” then shouldn’t every other building in the vicinity be judged the same way? The Ground Zero hair salon. The Ground Zero post office. The Ground Zero Baptist church. c) It’s not a monument to violence, and saying it is is attacking the vast majority of Muslims who are peaceful along with the few who are fanatical and violent.

Sandra: He didn’t exactly back it, he just said they could put one there. We are the land of the free, right? everyone equal? Do we automatically eye every Muslim with suspicion and distrust? How many horrendous crimes have been committed by Caucasians? I know it is a sensitive topic, but not everything is Obama’s fault!

Steve: USA is under attack of radical Islamist. They will stop at nothing to further their radical beliefs, including cutting you and your children’s heads off. Their goal is to demoralize and covert our nation by force to Islam. I believe they have an Ali in the White House. They are using our wonderful constitution against us. We need to look at these actions as a act of war!

Buddy: Talia is right . It isn’t at ground zero and it is a community center. However, we need to take a look at the man behind it all. A rdical, Christian and Untided States hating rdical on a mission to destroy this country. As for the “community Center” it is simply a tool used to introduce people to his views and build a stornger radical muslem following. I’m not fooled!

Me: Who is this mysterious man you keep referring to as being “behind it all”? The President? He’s Christian and it’s not his community center. Or Feisal Abdul-Rauf, the imam who’s actually planning the community center? He’s publicly condemned the 9/11 attacks and Osama bin Laden. Neither of these men qualify as radical Muslims. So should we just stop letting Muslims build anything? Should we round them up and kick them out of the US? Just how far do you think we should go to ensure that Muslims feel Christian hostility? I also feel like I should mention that Islam was actually introduced to the US with the slave trade and has been as foundational here as Christianity.

Chris: Couldn’t have said it better: http://questionablemotives.wordpress.com/2010/07/21/whats-wrong-with-building-a-mosque-near-ground-zero/

Me: How do you feel about the name of the organization Campus Crusade for Christ? Just wonderin’.

Steve: Obama a Christian? You might want to research that one. You know he hasn’t attended church since becoming president. The church he did attend is very questionable. Reverend Jeremiah Wright his pastor of over 20 years say “god F*** America” not God Bless America. He was educated in Muslim schools and goes around the world telling counties we’re not a Christian nation. He’s the first president to not observe the National Day of Prayer. These don’t seem like Christian actions regardless of is words. I don’t think Obama is a Muslim or a Christian. I think he worships and serves himself and is ideology.

Buddy: Campus Crusade for Christ promotes Christianity and tells folks about the freedom found in a life in Christ. Islam has a hatered for any other faith than thier own and calls Christians infidell dogs. Tell me how Islam is a peacfull religon. You as a woman would be considered property with very few if any rights.

Me: ‎[Re: Steve] A person’s church attendance is not an indicator of their Christianity or their religious beliefs, and what Wright ACTUALLY said was “God damn America.” We’re a nation of many peoples, and with that comes being a nation of many religions and belief systems. As long as the First Amendment’s in place, we won’t be a “Christian nation.”

Me: [Re: Buddy] The link Chris just posted was criticizing the community center for its proposed name, because “Cordoba” can be linked to a time of Islamic dominance. By that standard, the “Crusade” in CCC should be seen as a declaration of Christian force and a promotion of violence in the name of Jesus. I think we all know that’s not what Campus Crusade for Christ actually is, but when you look at the language they’re using, that’s the image they project. I see the same hostility in Christianity toward other religions, particularly toward Islam, so I don’t see much difference there. Within most branches of Christianity, I as a woman am still seen as inferior to men and a second-class human. I believe that’s wrong, no matter what religion you practice.

Steve: So your only argument to all my Illustrations of Obama’s unchristian like actions is, church attendance isn’t an indicator on Christianity? What does being able to be whatever religion you want having anything to do with Obama being Christian or not? You said he was a Christian. I pray for this county daily and I wish Obama was a Christian.

Me: No. I just disagree with you that these actions are necessarily “unChristian” and that they void Mr. Obama’s declaration of personal Christianity. You said one reason you know he’s not a Christian is that he’s denied the US is a Christian nation; I think that’s ridiculous.

Steve: I would suggest you do some in-depth research on Obama and his background. I posted a link above to a great informative movie.

Me: It’s okay, I have and will continue to do so. I make it a point to research everything. Thanks for the concern. ;]

Steve: Video of Obama Admitting he is a Muslim.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCAffMSWSzY&feature=player_embedded#!

Amy: Matthew 17:20 says that we should be able to recognize a Christ-follower by his/her fruit…so being involved in a body of believers is just one type of fruit that should be evident in our lives. I don’t know how or when you have seen mass killing from those who are Christ followers, but if you have, they are not getting that from OUR standard (the Bible).

Me: Jesus’s standard is obviously love, I agree, but there’s plenty of violence in the Bible that Christian extremists have drawn inspiration from. To say that Islam is a violent religion because the Qur’an contains injunctions to kill infidels but that Christianity isn’t a violent religion, despite the violence contained and often sanctioned in the Bible, is a double standard in my opinion.

Buddy: Tara, this is an example of why I take a stand against Islam: Ladies, here is how Islam treats it’s women. This is what Sharia Law can BENEFIT you. Oh, and this was just for not dressing like someone thought you should. Imagine what happens if you actually want to speak? Or, they may just want to marry off your 6 to 9 year old Daughters. Remember, Islam is a peaceful Religion. They just want to fit in, RIGHT. When was the last time you saw a woman beaten like that by the Church you go to? Just something to ponder.
74 lashes for women who are “un-Islamically” dressed | Planet-Iran.com

Me: Of course I’m against this kind of treatment of women, but I’m against it in every religion. Because it does exist in most religions. There are some fundamentalist branches of Christianity who advocate horrible treatment of women, and even many of the more moderate denominations are still oppressive..they just wrap it up in a prettier package. And who’s arguing for Sharia law in the US?

Buddy: And who’s arguing for Sharia law in the US? Your favorite Imam, that’s who!

Me: I don’t have a favorite imam. I just think it’s ridiculous to suggest that we can and should stop people from building a community center on private property. That’s what this whole thing is about in the first place.

Buddy: You see a community center, I see a recruiting center for radical Islamist.

Me: Guess we better shut down the Westboro Baptist Church then.

Buddy: I don’t have a problem with thqt either. That place is anything but Christ like.

Prayer for Those Living in Fear of Terrorism

January 12, 2009

O God of mercy, bless all who live in the face of acts of terrorism. Grant them courage to go about their daily living. Give them hope that one day the hostility will cease. Guard the defenseless, especially the children and the elderly, the infirm and the weak. Bring peace to their homes and faith in their hearts. Amen. [Vienna Cobb Anderson]

“To Any Would-Be Terrorists:”

January 3, 2008

To Any Would-Be Terrorists:

I am sorry I have to call you that, but I don’t know how else to get your attention.  I hate that word.  Do you know how hard some of us have worked to get rid of that word, to deny its instant connection to the Middle East? And now look.  Look what extra work we have.  Not only did your colleagues kill thousands of innocent, international people in those buildings and scar their families forever, they wounded a huge community of people in the Middle East, in the United States and all over the world.  If that’s what they wanted to do, please know the mission was a terrible success, and you can stop now.

Because I feel a little closer to you than many Americans could possibly feel, or ever want to feel,  I insist that you listen to me.  Sit down and listen.  I know what kinds of foods you like. I would feed them to you if you were right here, because it is very very important that you listen.  I am humble in my country’s pain and I am furious.

My Palestinian father became a refugee in 1948. He came to the United States as a college student. He is 74 years old now and still homesick. He has planted fig trees. He has invited all the Ethiopians in his neighborhood to fill their little paper sacks with his figs. He has written columns and stories saying the Arabs are not terrorists, he has worked all his life to defy that word. Arabs are businessmen and students and kind neighbors.  There is no one like him and there are thousands like him – gentle Arab daddies who make everyone laugh around the dinner table, who have a hard time with headlines, who stand outside in the evenings with their hands in their pockets staring toward the far horizon.

I am sorry if you did not have a father like that.  I wish everyone could have a father like that.

My hard-working American mother has spent 50 years trying to convince her fellow teachers and choir mates not to believe stereotypes about the Middle East. She always told them, there is a much larger story. If you knew the story, you would not jump to conclusions from what you see in the news. But now look at the news. What a mess has been made.  Sometimes I wish everyone could have parents from different countries or ethnic groups so they would be forced to cross boundaries, to believe in mixtures, every day of their lives.   Because this is what the world calls us to do. WAKE UP!

The Palestinian grocer in my Mexican-American neighborhood paints pictures of the Palestinian flag on his empty cartons.  He paints trees and rivers. He gives his paintings away. He says, “Don’t insult me” when I try to pay him for a lemonade. Arabs have always been famous for their generosity. Remember? My half-Arab brother with an Arabic name looks more like an Arab than many full-blooded Arabs do and he has to fly every week.

My Palestinian cousins in Texas have beautiful brown little boys. Many of them haven’t gone to school yet. And now they have this heavy word to carry in their backpacks along with the weight of their papers and books. I repeat, the mission was a terrible success. But it was also a complete, total tragedy and I want you to think about a few things.

1. Many people, thousands of people, perhaps even millions of people, in the United States are very aware of the long unfairness of our country’s policies regarding Israel and Palestine. We talk about this all the time. It exhausts us and we keep talking. We write letters to newspapers, to politicians, to each other.  We speak out in public even when it is uncomfortable to do so, because that is our responsibility. Many of these people aren’t even Arabs. Many happen to be Jews who are equally troubled by the inequity. I promise you this is true. Because I am Arab-American, people always express these views to me and I am amazed how many understand the intricate situation and have strong, caring feelings for Arabs and Palestinians even when they don’t have to. Think of them, please: All those people who have been standing up for Arabs when they didn’t have to. But as ordinary citizens we don’t run the government and don’t get to make all our government’s policies, which makes us sad sometimes.  We believe in the power of the word and we keep using it, even when it seems no one large enough is listening. That is one of the best things about this country: the free power of free words. Maybe we take it for granted too much. Many of the people killed in the World Trade Center probably believed in a free Palestine and were probably talking about it all the time.

But this tragedy could never help the Palestinians. Somehow, miraculously, if other people won’t help them more, they are going to have to help themselves.  And it will be peace, not  violence, that fixes things. You could ask any one of the kids in the Seeds of Peace organization and they would tell you that. Do you ever talk to kids? Please, please, talk to more kids.

2. Have you noticed how many roads there are? Sure you have. You must check out maps and highways and small alternate routes just like anyone else. There is no way everyone on earth could travel on the same road, or believe in exactly the same religion. It would be too crowded, it would be dumb. I don’t believe you want us all to be Muslims. My Palestinian grandmother lived to be 106 years old, and did not read or write, but even she was much smarter than that. The only place she ever went beyond Palestine and Jordan was to Mecca, by bus, and she was very proud to be called a Hajji and to wear white clothes afterwards. She worked very hard to get stains out of everyone’s dresses — scrubbing them with a stone.  I think she would consider the recent tragedies a terrible stain on her religion and her whole part of the world. She would weep. She was scared of airplanes anyway. She wanted people to worship God in whatever ways they felt comfortable. Just worship. Just remember God in every single day and doing. It didn’t matter what they called it.  When people asked her how she felt about the peace talks that were happening right before she died, she puffed up like a proud little bird and said, in Arabic, “I never lost my peace inside.” To her, Islam was a welcoming religion. After her home in Jerusalem was stolen from her, she lived in a small village that contained a Christian shrine. She felt very tender toward the people who would visit it.   A Jewish professor tracked me down a few years ago in Jerusalem to tell me she changed his life after he went to her village to do an oral history project on Arabs. “Don’t think she only mattered to you!” he said. “She gave me a whole different reality to imagine – yet it was amazing how close we became. Arabs could never be just a “project” after that.”

Did you have a grandmother or two?  Mine never wanted people to be pushed around. What did yours want?  Reading about Islam since my grandmother died, I note the “tolerance” that was “typical of Islam” even in the old days. The Muslim leader Khalid ibn al-Walid signed a Jerusalem treaty which declared, “in the name of God, you have complete security for your churches which shall not be occupied by the Muslims or destroyed.” It is the new millenium in which we should be even smarter than we used to be, right? But I think we have fallen behind.

3. Many Americans do not want to kill any more innocent people anywhere in the world. We are extremely worried about military actions killing innocent people. We didn’t like this in Iraq, we never liked it anywhere. We would like no more violence, from us as well as from you. HEAR US!  We would like to stop the terrifying wheel of violence, just stop it, right on the road, and find something more creative to do to fix these huge problems we have. Violence is not creative, it is stupid and scary and many of us hate all those terrible movies and TV shows made in our own country that try to pretend otherwise.  Don’t watch them. Everyone should stop watching them.  An appetite for explosive sounds and toppling buildings is not a healthy thing for anyone in any country. The USA should apologize to the whole world for sending this trash out into the air and for paying people to make it.

But here’s something good you may not know – one of the best-selling books of poetry in the United States in recent years is the Coleman Barks translation of Rumi, a mystical Sufi poet of the 13th century, and Sufism is Islam and doesn’t that make you glad?

Everyone is talking about the suffering that ethnic Americans are going through. Many will no doubt go through more of it, but I would like to thank everyone who has sent me a consolation card. Americans are usually very kind people. Didn’t your colleagues find that out during their time living here? It is hard to imagine they missed it. How could they do what they did, knowing that?

4. We will all die soon enough. Why not take the short time we have on this delicate planet and figure out some really interesting things we might do together?  I promise you, God would be happier. So many people are always trying to speak for God – I know it is a very dangerous thing to do. I tried my whole life not to do it. But this one time is an exception. Because there are so many people crying and scarred and confused and complicated and exhausted right now – it is as if we have all had a giant simultaneous break-down.  I beg you, as your distant Arab cousin, as your American neighbor, listen to me. Our hearts are broken, as yours may also feel broken in some ways we can’t understand, unless you tell us in words.  Killing people won’t tell us. We can’t read that message. Find another way to live.  Don’t expect others to be like you.  Read Rumi.  Read Arabic poetry. Poetry humanizes us in a way that news, or even religion, has a harder time doing. A great Arab scholar, Dr. Salma Jayyusi, said, “If we read one another, we won’t kill one another.”  Read American poetry.   Plant mint.  Find a friend who is so different from you, you can’t believe how much you have in common. Love them. Let them love you. Surprise people in gentle ways, as friends do. The rest of us will try harder too. Make our family proud.

[Naomi Shihab Nye]