Hate - Hatred
by Jeff Siddiqui
How easily we use these words as javelins against those who show us something unpleasant against us!
How readily we deploy our own counter-weapons against those “hate-mongers” who speak out against us…whether they are right or we are, is often lost in the battle for the public moral high ground, even if the “moral high ground” is covered with fig-leaves.
The important thing is the WINNING strategy, not the right one or the just one.
Nobody likes to be painted as the evil one, not even people like Hitler, Milosevic or Pol Pot; they all proclaimed they were fighting the just war, against the enemies of peace and justice. They were not slaughtering uncountable and often, uncounted numbers of people, they were “ridding the Earth of a cancer…a virus…cockroaches” in the constant battle for survival.
One does not have to be as bad as the heroes above, in order to unleash massive slaughter; people who may otherwise be good people, admired by their own, can launch their battleships as a “defensive” move against the “forces of evil”.
The “enemy” must be demonized and must be equated with the worst characteristics we can find in order that when we “eliminate” them, the voices of opposition will remain mute or, will find it difficult to find a platform to voice opposition.
All that is needed is the seed of fear, planted in the soil of ignorance, watered by the fountains of hate.
In the days after 9-11, who in his right mind, would dare to step forward and oppose the righteous reaction of America, to destroy those who would destroy us?
The fact that very few people stood up, showed that most of America was in its “right mind”.
The fact that a few suspected “terrorists” were killed in the “operations” in which we “neutralized” hundreds of thousands of people, showed that it was “worth the price” to keep us safe.
Post 9-11, a “Security” industry has grown in this country at a rate that would make the war-preparation people during WWII envious; From Fatherland Security, to the military, to the Police…right down to transportation companies, “security” budgets have grown to rival almost the entire rest of the budget of the agency.
“Security” training companies have grown at lightening speeds as have private “security” firms; they cannot grow fast enough and their demand from agencies anxious to spend their budget in forms that will look good, is overwhelming.
It is these growing mountains of ignorance, that so many entities have found the opportunity to plant their own seeds of fear against the one, single and most fashionable “enemy” of the day…“Muzlems”!
Muslims, on the other hand, have found solace in circling their wagons and herding together, not realizing that their exclusionary behavior only feeds bigotry among those left outside…and also promotes fear and hate inside, against those “dangerous hordes” outside.
So many organizations from so many different backgrounds and agendas, but with one commons enemy; us Muzlems.
Some of the organization providing their hate-messages disguised as “education” or “security”, were doing it for one simple, eternal reason…money and money they made, lots of it.
Some organizations were in the hate-game because it drew more sheep to their faith-flock…and with it, money.
(Re-)creating the old-new blend of hate and patriotism works as well today, as it used to “back then” when evil was really Evil.
Many Christian Churches are trying hard to attract a larger flock by scaring them about the impending annihilation of this country and the overwhelming of their faith by “Radical Islam”. “Experts” are invited to speak to gullible audiences with false but frightening messages of how the Quran embeds hate and murderous violence in Muslims. The “experts” have no hesitation in providing deliberate misquotes to an audience that will never bother to verify the quotes and the point is driven home.
Many non-Church-related organizations sound the bells of warning against Islam and Muslims by stoking the fears that “sleeper-cell Muzlems” are just waiting to pounce on unsuspecting and overly-trusting Americans; many of these organizations are local Republican Party clubs and Republican Party student clubs trying to promote their political ambitions over the bodies of Muslims.
Many Jewish organizations are rushing blindly into the business of spreading fear and hate towards Islam, Muslims and Arabs in order to promote more sympathy for Israel
Part of the demonizing effort includes the de-humanization of Muslims with statements like:
“They teach children to hate”
“They groom their children to become suicide-bombers”
“They do not love life as we do”
“They have a false god”
Muslim, Jewish and Christian children are being “taught to hate”
The clientele ranges from the ordinary American (usually Christian or Jewish) who know nothing better, the local “law-enforcement” officer who is trying to do his (or her) patriotic best, to defend and protect this country and his locality from criminals and “terrorists” and the local politicians who don’t care who they attack as long as it carry’s no negative consequences and helps their career ambitions…Muslim-bashing fits the bill for all. As John McKay, then-Assistant US Attorney in Seattle said to me at a meeting, “I would rather have a hundred people in jail than be responsible for the next 9-11”. He remained steadfastly oblivious to the fact that those were not the only choices available.
The net result of all this is that Muslims are being delivered blow after institutional blow with deadlier and deadlier results.
Some day, Muslims will emerge from under the heel of bigotry in this country as have other minorities, but like the others before us, at this rate, it may take generations to heal the wounds of fear and suspicion against Muslims in America.
Hate is a corrosive emotion, whether it is acted upon by individuals, groups, or nations; it eats away the soul and leaves behind a vacant, life-sucking monster that demands human sacrifice no matter from which direction.
The tragedy is that hate can destroy entire nations and even civilizations; the greater tragedy is the unattended fact, that hate is ridiculously easy to overcome…IF we can make our decision to move beyond hate.
To get beyond hate, it is imperative for the people to lead the leaders from Churches to nations and force the examination of avenues for peace and brotherhood. Without people behind such movements, hate will continue to rule the day.
In Mosques, Churches and Synagogues, the congregations can and MUST, start to demand change from their leaders. If the changes are slow in coming, then it becomes part of their individual duty to the God the worship and to humanity at large, to abandon those places of worship in favor of other places where the thinking is more embracing of others.
It is NOT our faith-duty to reject others, nor is it our “patriotic” duty. But it is our complete duty to God, Humanity AND our nation, to love one another and I don’t mean the fake “love” with which we are delivering “Democracy” to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Nobody’s holy book teaches them to hate or kill, yet each of our faiths are blighted by people who will misinterpret the holy book to justify all kinds of atrocities over our fellow man…while the rest of us follow like sheep, without a single bleat of protest.
Our Churches, our Mosques and our Temples should be reaching out eagerly to bring in people of other faiths so we can jointly recognize each other’s humanity; we can share each other’s joy and pain without losing our faith or our principles.
So far, the greatest outreach I have seen has been by Christian Churches; dragging behind like sullen children, are our Mosques and our Synagogues…it is a matter of personal grief for me to see our Mosques lagging behind Synagogues.
This is not how it should be; the slower members of each of the three Abrahamic faiths, should wake up to the horrible alternatives that approach just as inexorably as global warming, denials notwithstanding.
It will take more than lip-service, more than the occasional but heralded “Open House”, it will take regular effort to include people of other faiths for the danger to pass us by.
Invite people when you are having birthdays, small observances, large festivities or simply a congregational prayer with someone standing by to interpret what is going on.
Invite people to talk briefly about aspects of their faith that are the same or similar to your own.
Invite children to play with each other.
Why not try it for the next six months and see how it works?
So, who’s on first?
American Muslims of Puget Sound