Today's Post-Gazette has an interesting piece by a former intern about his identity as a Muslim-American. I've been thinking a bit as to how it might feel to be a Muslim in the United States TODAY and realize we've made almost no progress in terms of our religious bigotry and prejudice since September 2001.
I have otherwise compassionate and bright friends who absolutely believe there is a plan afoot to build a mosque on Ground Zero. Facts about the 1) location and 2) building's purpose do not move them. They do not want to be moved. They willingly cast aside reason and fidelity to the law they hold so dear to satiate their inner fear and justify what amounts to some of the most ugly abuse our citizens have lauded in recent decades.
We just don't learn. We don't learn that economic hard times stoke our fears and that there are many, many predators cloaked in the American flag ready to use that fear driven anxiety for their own aims, their own power grabs.
I've been thinking quite a bit about my own personal faith and relationship with God. I joined a Bible study. I talk with my friends and I think about visiting some churches. And, yes, some of these friends believe that Islam is a religion of violence and destruction. I don't really understand why because I see so many similarities. I can see the appeal, mind you, of absolutism. I just don't see how it feels good in the long term.