One of my friends said that I was often very critical of Christian groups (for example those who are forwarding the anti-Marriage Amendment in Minnesota) but I don’t level enough criticism against Muslim groups.
It makes sense that he is frustrated. He has witnessed, first hand, acts of visceral and violent misogyny in the name of Islam. To many of us, who have not been to a country where women are treated as sub-human – beaten by gangs of men in the streets – it’s just so incredibly academic.
To him, it’s not.
So, why don’t I (and a few others) criticize Muslim groups and the Muslim religion as much as we criticize Christian groups and the Christian religion?
Reason one: We’re too stupid.
We know about as much about Muslim groups and the Muslim religion and it’s various sects as your average home-schooled 6-year-old knows about evolutionary biology with books from Answers in Genesis.
We’re reduced to playing Mr. Obvious.
You know: Killing girls for being raped is bad – unconscionably, horribly, thinking about it makes us lose faith in humanity – bad.
However, there is absolutely no depth to our criticism: Ah? Is that a Muslim thing, er….ah tribal thing? Is that in the
Qu’ran Koran…how the heck do you spell that anyway? Is that actually legal anywhere? What country did this happen in? Ubekebekestanstan? Where the heck is that?
Yes, we’re that stupid.
Reason two: We don’t wanna look like assholes…and by assholes, we mean Rush Limbaugh.
Fear and hatred are used as political points against Muslims in ways that are so nondescript that the criticisms aren’t even about specific Muslim groups, specific policies of those groups or even Islam, but is just poorly disguised good old fashioned racism.
Much too often, Muslims are not given the basic dignity of being treated as individuals in the U.S. and we don’t want any part in that.
Stupid criticism are just going to look like, well, stupid criticisms. What differentiates enlightened, and nuanced disagreement or even a righteous dignified anger, and vague insults and hatred? Knowledge.
So, I don’t “go there” often.
Reason three: We aren’t just stupid assholes; we’re Americans.
We’re surrounded by Christians. They are the ones with the political power. They are the ones with the numbers and the votes. Only a small handful of politicians in the U.S. are non-Christian and very few are Muslim. No one could even consider becoming President or Vice-president or a Governor, without at least claiming to be some type of Christian.
The most senior Muslim in the highest political office in the United States of America is a Representative from Minnesota named Keith Ellison. I think he’s great. By the way, he is in strong support of legal recognition for same-sex marriages.
…definitely not a theocrat.
Reason four: It’s not about us.
It doesn’t make sense for people like me to be the ones making the criticisms. It does make sense for those that have no former or current personal ties to any Muslim community at any time anywhere on the face of the earth to shut up and listen to what people like Maryam Namazie, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and others are saying and protect their right to say it.
Then, and only then, we might have something to contribute on various topics of interest.
It’s not a revolutionary or courageous statement when a pretentious stupid-asshole-American Christian or atheist talks about burning the Koran. It’s stone-cold bad-ass when a woman in Iraq whose family was killed in a suicide bombing risks being beheaded by screaming it at the top of her lungs.
So yeah, that’s why.