I abhor the anti Muslim bigotry that lies behind the entire kerfuffle about some bigoted “pastor” getting his ten minutes of worldwide fame threatening to burn a Koran.
We Catholics put up with this type of ignorance for the last 250 years in the US. In the past, they picketed May processions/fiestas, telling us we are worshipping Satan, or insisting that the Pope is trying to take over the US if we oppose changing laws on divorce/abortion etc. Now the same type is saying Sharia law is taking over the US.
Hint to Muslims: we have our bigot and crazy folks, and you have yours.Most Americans understand that.
The real problem is not anti Muslim bigotry as much as a press that exaggerates these problems to sell newspapers or get TV ratings.
Then there is an underlying political reason for giving this nut case pastor with a tiny following a lot of free publicity:the up coming elections in November.
A lot of Americans worry about intrusive government, and they tend to be Republicans. Unlike the past, when the left could astroturf a huge number of students to prove their point, this quiet hardworking group has organized and has mounted some large protests.
Along with the protests, the Ron Paul types and the usual bigots are trying to latch onto them, but usually are told to go home when the ordinary folks see these troublemakers. But the press is going out of their way to publicize these bigots to try to dampen the anti administration groundswell that threatens the Democratic majority in the government.
So any story about immigration reform or racist/religious bigotry is being promoted by the mainly Democratic reporters as a way to label the growing “teaparty” movement as being somewhat to the right of the Klu Klux Klan.
And here the non Americans, who only get their news from the US mainstream media, might not know the full story.
Unlike the Philippines, were if you loved Gloria, you read the Manila Bulletin, but if you hated her, you read the Inquirer, in the US, you read only one slant on the news, and have to go to the loudmouths on talk radio (e.g. Rush Limbaugh) or FoxNews to hear “the rest of the story”. And since one rarely reads stories from Fox news on our networks or papers, the US press bias is what we read in our local papers.
So lots of the US news reports that report on “Islamophobia” are exaggerated, and are published to demonize the Republican opposition, not to try to promote brotherhood with those of another religion. Why do I say “exaggerated”? Because desecration of churches and synagogues are much, much more common, yet rarely reported.
Alas one side effect of this reporting frenzy will be “copycat” crimes.
None of this changes the fact that the average American Muslim facesÂ bigotry in the US, but the real story is that they face so little bigotry, as compared to the bigotry faced by the average Christian in Gaza, Pakistan, or Saudi Arabia.
Another reality check:
America is not the only place where media bias is fueling the “clash of civilizations”.
Quite a few Middle Eastern/South Asian Muslim countries are dictatorships and plutocracies. People are poor because of corruption, but it is easier for these dictatorships to have their government controlled presses spews out hate speech against infidels than to allow a free press to complain about their corruption.
Corruption is not an Islamic problem (China and the Philippines have plenty), but at least here we have a free press, and China has periodic riots against corrupt politicians, not against Israel as the bogeyman.
Let’s face it: If Israel disappeared tomorrow, and the US pulled back, you’d still have the problem of the Millionaire Mullahs and the “Mr. Ten Per Cents” running certain countries. And you would still have all those Saudi/Middle East funded charities who fund terrorism as a side line, and the Saudi/Middle East funded charities that fund mosques, and the charity funded Madrasses that teach religion instead of skills so their pupils can get jobs.
Don’t expect the US press to tell you the connection between the middle East oil money and the spread of Islamic based terrorism, because if they did so, a lot of folks would notice the Saudi funded think tanks in US universities, or follow how Middle East oil money is being funneled to the elites. (Do you really think that the Islamic center at University of Arkansas is about teaching Islam to hillbillies, and not funneling money to the Clintons? And what about all that money to Ivy League schools?) And this is just the tip of the iceburg.
This, not bigotry, is why a lot of folks are wondering if the money and the agenda behind the “Ground Zero” Mosque is more than having a place for local Muslims to pray.
So, until the US press starts doing some real reporting instead of hewing to the party (!) line, expect more inane and inaccurate stories painting Americans as bigots and all Muslims as saints.
From a CNN report:
The Quran teaches Muslims to respect the sacred books of Christians and Jews as well, says Chris van Gorder, a religion professor at Baylor University in Texas.
â€œTo burn a holy Quran for a Muslim is to throw down a gauntlet,â€ he says. â€œThose who deface any holy book, including the Bible, in many Muslim countries today, will be executed.
â€œHow many Bibles have been burned in the Muslim world in the last nine years? None.â€
OK, Mr. big shot professor, tell me this:
Exactly what do the Saudi police do with all the Bibles, rosaries and Playboy magazines that they confiscate at their airports, or after they raid prayer services in private apartments?
If they didn’t burn then, then my cousin says she wants them to return her bible and her rosary that they confiscated when she arrived to work as a nurse in Saudi.
Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. She blogs at Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.
She is a Democrat.