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Common Word, Common Lord

In the Name of God: The Extremely and Eternally Loving and Caring

Today and tomorrow, some of my fellow Americans – possibly armed – plan to hold a “Global Rally for Humanity” at dozens of mosques and other Islamic institutions across the country. Their slogan is “The World is saying No to Islam.” I find this curious because 20% of the world has actually said “Yes” to Islam by choosing to be Muslim. In any event, such rallies and protests are very disturbing.

First, if these Americans are protesting the violence committed in the name of Islam, then it would be understandable. In fact, fellow Americans who are Muslims should join them, because any violence committed in the name of Islam is offensive to Muslims as well. But, these rallies are not that: they are provocative protests – with some people wearing T-shirt saying, “F*** Islam” and ripping pages of the Qur’an – designed to terrorize the American Muslim community, who are innocent of the crimes committed in the name of their faith.

Have there been armed protesters in front of Catholic Churches across the country, decrying the sexual abuse of some Catholic priests? No. Have their been armed protesters in front of Jewish Synagogues protesting the violence in the West Bank? No, although, sadly, there continues to be vandalism and attacks against Jewish institutions across our country. So, how does this “Global Rally for Humanity” even make sense?

It does not. It is nothing more than a hate rally against fellow Americans who are Muslim.

One would think that, in 2015, such things would be unthinkable. Sadly, however, I am mistaken. Hate is still alive and well in America, as manifested by the shooting in Charleston and the continued African-American church burnings. And these armed “patriots” hurling insults to fellow Americans who are Muslim are simply showing their hatred in clear daylight for all in America to see.

If these protesters just stopped to think, for a moment, they would realize that these Muslims to whom they are shouting insults are very much like them: proud, patriotic Americans who love their country and work hard every day to positively contribute to its success. If these protesters just stopped to think, for a moment, they would realize that these Muslims also hate ISIS and other Muslim savages who commit unspeakable crimes in the name of Islam. If these protesters just stopped to think, for a moment, they would understand that such “rallies” in front of mosques are exactly the recruitment fodder savages such as ISIS salivate over, because it propagates their narrative that America is at war with Islam.

But we American Muslims know that America, and fellow Americans, are not at war with Islam. We know that, for every hateful “patriot” insulting Islam, there are scores more Americans who stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the American Muslim community, resisting such blatant racism and hatred. We know that this “Global Rally for Humanity” is not the real America that we love and for which we would gladly die.

Without question, these Americans – however misguided – have a right to peacefully express their hatred for Islam, even in front of a mosque. But, also without question, we American Muslims have a right to live and worship in peace. We American Muslims have a right not to be smeared by the crimes of the tiny fringe of extremist savages who are Muslim, just as all white males shouldn’t be tarnished by the crimes of the Oregon shooter Chris Harper-Mercer.

Hate hurts us all, and make no mistake about it, this “Global Rally for Humanity” is nothing more than a rally for hate, not humanity. I hope and pray it fizzles into nothingness, because I know my country – America – and my people – fellow Americans – are much better than this.

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