My mom is one of those sorts, like most people’s mom’s these days, that forwards me lots and lots of random, stupid emails that she gets from her friends and family.
Far - FAR - more often than not, I don’t even bother reading more than one line of them before they get deleted. But today she forwarded me This Little Gem and for some reason, I read it. Mind you, the version I’ve linked to there actually doesn’t include the last bit that the email I got had. Someone, at some point, had added a little addendum to the end that was just additionally offensive enough to spark my need to actually respond.
The great thing is that I know my mom will forward it right back to all the people she sends stuff to. My mom is good like that.
But for the sake of propogation of the words I spent a stupid-amount of time on - considering that such ignorance really isn’t worth my time, I’ve opted to post it here as well.
My response to ‘A German’s View on Islam” :
I found that entire email ignorant and offensive. It’s the
propagation of ignorance and fear in the guise of spreading ‘truth’.
It does nothing but grow and lend strength to an already overly
prevalent state of xenophobic fear-mongering.
The ‘silent majority’ doesn’t count, because of the extremists, right?
Well we’re all fucking guilty too, because we live in a country that
has absurd extremists who have been gradually gaining greater and
greater power and strength over the last decade, and what do we do?
Sit here and look overseas and worry about the Terrorists coming to
How many Americans, on American soil, have been killed because of
Islamic extremism? 2,996 people were killed on 9/11. But lets count
more than just that. Since 1972, there have been a total of 70 Terror
Attacks on American soil by Muslim Terrorists and a total of 3,101
people have died.
That’s 39 years. That’s an average of 80 deaths a year - obviously it
wasn’t that evenly spread out, but lets use that for comparison.
Each year, 4.5 Million Firearms are sold in the US, including
approximately 2 million handguns. More than 30 people are shot and
murdered each day. More than 30,000 people are killed by firearms
each year, in this country.
By Americans. Killing Americans. Each year.
30,000 deaths a year.
But we can’t get even the simplest gun control legislation passed in
this country. Why? Because of OUR extremists. American Extremists
who have been growing in strength and volume for more than a decade.
Not that they haven’t been around for decades before that, of course.
Our extremists are xenophobic, fear mongering, paranoid, and
delusional - just like every other extremist from every other group.
Be it religious extremists, political extremists, or whatever.
They’re all the same. And yes - they are the ones that we have to
fear because they’re the ones that do the most damage.
Yes the Islamist Extremists cause a tremendous amount of terror and
damage - although the vast majority of that damage is being done to
their own countries - but it is OUR extremists that are doing the most
Extremists in any region tend to cause the most trouble to their own
countrymen. They gain power using fear - Terror. That is why, they
are by definition, Terrorists. But it’s not just a matter of making
the masses too scared to stand against them - it’s a matter of using
fear to gain followers and sympathy. Using Fear of those who are
different - those that we are less familiar with - to control us. Us
- the ‘Silent Majority.’
Recently a Highschool in Alabama had it’s first Secular Students Club
founded - a Club for Atheists, Agnostics, and other Non-Theists. The
result? Death threats, of course. To a teenager who had the audacity
to start a club.
The Student who founded the club’s father gave an interview and said
'Most religious people don't think they know atheists. And they have
this idea in their head about how they’re horrible people, they’re
immoral, they’re cruel. They just don’t act right. And, it’s just
This is relevant to a point I’d like to make.
I read another article recently about a college student who started a
Atheist club at her University in Georgia. She said that before the
club, she’d always felt like she was the only non-believer there, but
then there ended up being a huge turn-out. Tons of people who she
knew from lots of different classes, and they all had felt the same
way - like they were the only one. Of course this girl was rewarded
with plenty of death threats of her own. In fact, she came back to
her dorm room one day to find it had been smeared with human feces.
All over the walls. All over her things. Her clothes, her books, her
homework. Covered in shit. What a lovely ‘Christian’ thing to do.
This isn’t the work of the ‘good, loving Christain’ but an extremist,
because every group has extremists. Islamists. Liberals.
Conservatives. Christians. Where there is an ideology, there is
isolation, lack of understanding of those on the outside, and
There is this idea among many Christians that they don’t actually know
anyone who is a non-believer, so these non-believers are a foreign
concept to them. In the exact same vein, most Christians don’t
socialize or even know any Muslims. It’s easy to think that these
people who are different are weird or evil, or immoral, because they
aren’t familiar enough with any of these people who realize that
they’re just people. Real, normal, people. Who have real, normal
lives, that are just as valid and just as meaningful as the lives of
people who they do know, who are inside their bubble of reality.
These people from other groups are ‘other’ people. There’s no
tangible personal connection to the concept. These other people are
outsiders. They’re different.
Extremists grab hold of this sense of the unknown and unfamiliarity
and use it to their advantage. It’s human nature to harbor some level
of fear of those things that they don’t understand. Most rational
people can squash this fear to a certain level, but the extremists use
this small smidgin of fear and FEED IT. They take hold of that fear
and feed you all sorts of words to make that fear grow until it’s
Extremists create terror - Fear of an outside, unknown, poorly
understood ‘enemy’ and use this fear to get you to agree to things
that you would never normally agree to, if you were in a rational
state of mind.
The NSA was created because of this same fear-mongering control, and
now look at what we’ve ended up with? An agency that has records of
all of our phone calls, all of our emails, all of our text messages.
Full-on Machiavellian citizen-surveillance machine that is
outrageously intrusive of our personal liberties and privacy, but we
agreed to this. Our representatives approved this because it was for
our safety from the big bad scary terrorists.
The ones that have created a whopping 3,000 domestic deaths in 40 years.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statics
(http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=4614) from 2007 to 2011,
an estimated annual average of 259,700 violent and property hate crime
victimizations occurred against persons age 12 or older, residing in
The percentage of hate crimes motivated by religious bias more than
doubled between 2003-06 and 2007-11.
Hate-crimes against LGB increased an alarming 18% from 2006 to 2007.
The FBI reported 1,195 incidents in which the perpetrators’ motivating
factor was the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation. Hate
crimes against LBG people account for 16% of all hate crimes in the
Considerably more people die in the United States each year from our
OWN extremists, than foreign ones. But we hand over our rights and
our liberties to those in control because they use threats and
fear-mongering about the foreign enemies. That we’re protecting our
freedom and our way of life, from those scary terrorists who want to
jihad us all to death.
And yet anyone who dares to talk about LGB equal rights, or gun
control, and they get squashed in legislature by our own wonderful
band of cock-blocking political extremists who only care about their
own personal agenda’s, their gold-lined pockets, and pushing the party
line to grow and extend the xenophobic fear-mongering that’s gotten
them so far, so easily, and so very very rich.
It’s easy for a person, who’s loud enough, and confident enough, to
point a finger at someone you don’t know, who is different from you in
some way, and say ‘they want to destroy your way of life! They hate
freedom, or they hate traditional whatever, or they hate babies, or
they’re gunna take yer guns! God Bless ‘Murica! And rally the
masses, and get a solid enough following that people will blindly take
whatever load of bullcrap they’re fed about protecting their
'Freedoms' and blindly watch as their liberties are scrapped to the
side for the sake of their ‘safety’.
Our rights to privacy have been scrapped to the side because of fear
mongering over foreign Islamic Terrorists who’ve barely caused an
insignificant fraction of the deaths that befall American’s each year
over the last half century.
Equal human rights to people of a different sexual orientation are
ignored because of fear mongering from religious extremists who claim
that somehow letting two total strangers be happy will somehow destroy
'traditional marriage' and corrupt all of our souls with their
'degenerate lack of morals.' Rallying the fears of the average person
by comparing two people in love, to someone who gets off by fucking a
goat, as if that were somehow a valid comparison? It’s trying to
hide their own bigotry, lack of empathy, and inability to accept that
someone different can still be something good, behind a veil of
According to our own Constitution, we all have freedom of religion.
Everyone in this country has the right to believe or not believe, in
whatever religion they want. What you do NOT have the right to do, is
use your religion as an excuse to discriminate against other people.
That’s the honest truth. Religion does not give you the right to
discriminate under our law.
If you own a business, you cannot fire someone for being a muslim. If
you run a catholic school, you cannot fire a teacher for using
artificial insemination and having a child ‘out of wedlock’.
You cannot deny your employees access to contraception.
It is illegal.
Your freedom of religion does not over-rule other people’s inalienable rights.
A Catholic diocese recently sent out a tweet about people not being
tolerant of the Catholic Church’s right to be intolerant to gays. It
was absurdly ironic, but also a sign of the times.
People seem to have gotten it into their heads that the ‘Freedom of
Religion’ means that they not only have the right to be bigots and
homophobes, and xenophobes, but that this right also means that they
have the RIGHT to ignore other groups of people’s inalienable human
and legal rights.
An American who is a Muslim, is still an American. That person still
has all the rights that every other American has.
An American who is gay is still an American and that person should
have all the rights that every other American has.
An American who is a non-believer, is still an American, and just
because you cannot imagine a person who doesn’t believe in a fiery
inferno of eternal suffering ever being moral, doesn’t mean you know
Freedoms and Liberties are chipped away piece by piece, when the
Silent Majority gives those liberties away willingly - because the
vocal minority make them scared enough to sit back and allow it to
Fear is the real enemy of liberty. The propagation of fear and the
propagation of a lack of understanding will forever inhibit progress.
That email was just another tactic for spreading fear. And that last
bit? ”Lastly, anyone who doubts that the issue is serious and just
deletes this email without sending it on, is contributing to the
passiveness that allows the problems to expand. So, extend yourself a
bit and send this on and on and on!” It just propagates it. On and
on and on - spreading the fear. Don’t even get me started on that
little addendum about Islamic prayer being introduced and ‘the Lords
Prayer’ being removed.
One last tactical stab in the gut, for anyone who was still hesitant
to forward the email.
That’s all it is. Playing on fears to propagate hate, lack of
understanding, lack of tolerance, and just make more fear. Always
preying on fear to destroy the rights and liberties of strangers, and
sacrificing what makes us human.
That’s what I believe.
That’s what I would like to go ‘on and on and on’. The idea that
rational thinking is worth more than fearing, and crushing things that
we fear, just because we don’t understand and don’t want to take the
time to understand.