I recently received another email that I would characterize as showing bigotry against Muslims. I'm not sure how many times I need to say this, but I'll keep doing it as long as I get emails like this - people should not be judge by any one particular label that could be associated with them.
We are all multifaceted. There are good and bad people of any faith, race, color and creed in the world and each of us possesses the ability to be both good and bad at any given times.
The Email In Question
The email was a rebuttal to the speech that President Obama made in Cairo back in June of 2009, so this email must have been circulated many times since then. You can find similar posting on websites to this email by doing a Google search of the title of this editorial (leaving out the "Yes").
In that speech Obama stated that "Islam has always been a part of America's story." The email goes on to question whether Muslims were with the Pilgrims or among the founders of the country, or whether they fought in the Revolutionary or Civil Wars. The email answers all of this with a no. To the last point, regarding the Civil War, it even blames Muslims for slavery and then aligns Muslims with Nazis.
By this standard, many of us cannot claim to be a part of America's story. Were there any Asian or Pacific Islander Pilgrims or founders, of course not! However, this does not mean that we are not a part of the American Story. Even the most recent immigrant to this country is a part of the American Story.
Just because a group or individual can trace their roots to the Pilgrims does not mean they are better Americans or
should be more privileged than other person in this country. Tracing your roots to the founders doesn't even have any bearing on what type of person you are.
Being connected to slave owners or Nazis through religious affiliation does not mean that you or your religion supports slavery or Nazism. If that were the case many of the people with roots from the south would be considered bad people because someone in their past may have supported slavery. I'm sure that most of the more than 51 million Americans with German ancestry don't associate themselves with Nazism.
Last Point that the Email Makes
The email goes on to say that Muslims took part and are in support of the September 11th terrorism attacks and that is their contribution to America's story.
Do I have to say it again - grouping people together in this way is dead wrong!
Should all Christians be blamed whenever a Christian does something wrong or support anti-social acts - of course not. Should Christian living today be blamed fort the 11th-13th Century Crusades - of course not.
The Very Last Part of That Email
That email ends by saying "Be Sure to SEND IT to All ... Even Print it out and Send by Snail Mail!"
Do me and all those that don't subscribe to this email's form of bigotry a favor by not sending it out to others. Bigotry is the best word that I could find to describe that email and it should be seen for what it is - pure and simple hatred.
Let the Muslim greeting of assalamu alaikum be the true message that should be passed around - peace be upon you - may you remain safe from pain, sorrow, or harm!