Regarding Crazy Muslims and Their Crazy ProtestsSubmitted by Flack at 2012-09-20 23:56:27 EDT
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Because of my history of spending the majority of the past 10 years going to and from Muslim countries, I was asked earlier today how I feel about the recent protests in Sudan, Libya, Egypt, Pakistan, etc.
My answer caused a mind to be blown and a brick to be shat:
"Well, as much as I disagree with the idea of violent protest for something as inane as a shitty movie and silly cartoon, I can empathize."
Fair statement, right? I would think so. I mean, its not as if I don't have any semblance of what I'm saying due to my experiences as a young adult.
Apparently, in this country, people tend to hear the word "empathy" and translate it as "sympathy."
At this point I was accused of being a Muslim apologist, an Obama supporter, and an all around bad American. I objected to his accusations, politely I may add, and attempted to alleviate his concerns by explaining my position in more detail:
Its important to note that because you empathize with someone, it does not necessarily mean you sympathize or agree with them for that matter. Empathy is trying to understand where someone is coming from, rather than supporting the actions they take to get their point across.
Let me make this point incredibly clear: I AM NOT A MUSLIM APOLOGIST! I abhor the religion of Islam much in the same way I abhor the religions of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and any other organization that uses fictional text and bullshit concepts like heaven and hell to scare people and control them. I think the Muslims that killed those diplomats, SEALs and Marines are evil, horrible people and I hope they die a slow and painful death if and when they are caught. Much in the same way I think that Christian Serbians who put a whole race of Muslims through a genocidal event in the Balkans just shy of 20 years ago deserve a rotten life in prison only to have their dicks cut off and shoved in their mouths before they're ultimately shot in the face.
Let me make another point clear: I AM NOT AN OBAMA SUPPORTER! I think he's a liar, a con-artist, an idiot and a horrible president. I feel the same way about his Mormon counterpart in the GOP. I, however, do not think he's an:
B. Kenyan- born
E. The most liberal president in the country's history (I'd give that one to FDR)
And for my last point, and this may sound fairly proud and (unintentionally) conceited: I think I'm a great example of what an American should be. Hard-working, tax-paying, open-minded, and generally peaceful. I'm a good neighbor that mows my elderly neighbors' lawns for free. I donate to charity. I try to be informed and listen to all points of view, rather than just my own. I am a veteran, which is something I CANNOT say about most of the people in the personal circle with whom I associate with. I volunteer at the Veterans Treatment Court in my county mentoring veterans who have had to resort to shoplifting and burglary in order to eat because they cannot find work. I play bass in a Bluegrass band and my favorite sport is baseball. I may not wear an OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM hat wherever I go or fly a flag in my front yard but that's my business and in no way, shape, or form constitutes any type of measurement of my dedication or level of patriotism.
That being said, I have also been to the Middle East, MANY times. As a soldier, a private sector employee, and a government appointee. SO I think I have a little credence on where I stand on this issue.
The guy who made that video is, for the lack of a better word, an asshole. He made a crappy movie about a fictional prophet in order to incite a response. Unfortunately, that response included a few innocent fatalities and mass protest along the other side of the world. Still, he has the right to be an asshole. He shouldn't be killed or put in jail for it and we, as Americans, should just let the chips lie where they may in regards to the Coptic Christian asshole that made the dumb fucking movie with horrible cinematography and shitty acting.
You have to understand, these people in Libya, Egypt, etc. have been oppressed by horrible regimes for decades. Their leaders kept the people down and under a tight leash while they reaped all the money, resources, and benefits and left nothing for the citizens under their leadership. And the worst part of it is, the USA had a major hand in the propping of these regimes. SO even if we did take their side in the uprisings, it still doesn't negate the fact that we helped keep them down for a very long time.
So now we've had an Arab spring which is bringing democracy to a land that has never really experienced it. And most of these countries have decided, by will of the people (however naive and or wrong I think they may be) that a conservative Islamic republic is what they want. So is it of any wonder why they get so pissed off so easily? They already hate the US, and this gives them yet another excuse to reinforce their thinking. Most of these people are uneducated and have no real sense of what goes on in the world outside of their immediate surroundings (much like a few Americans I know).
Don't forget that Christianity has had its share of fucked up history: The Crusades, Salem witch hunts, all the way to the present issue of Catholic boys getting buttraped by a Priests and the church hiding it... the only difference is that we have had 200 years of constitutional protections to help us deal with these issues in civil ways. These democratic experiments in the middle east are still in their infancy and they just haven't figured that civility thing out yet.
Plus, the people of Salem and the Crusaders didn't have iPhones with cameras to capture everything on video for the rest of the world to see. It also doesn't help religion's case when Jews treat Palestinians as second-class citizens and then seem to be bewildered by the fact that they want to blow themselves up. And fuck Hare Krishna too.
So while I highly disagree, abhor, and denounce the actions of the violent assholes that have killed innocent people over something as inane as a stupid YouTube clip and a couple of retarded cartoons in a French shit-rag, I CAN tell you that I understand. I see where they are coming from. They're absolutely wrong and even downright evil, but its important that we try, hard as it may be, to put ourselves in their shoes so that we might have a better understanding of the world that we still share with these people.
And once we do that,maybe we can set a new example. Maybe we can finnaly say, "Hey, Bro. We get it. Just chill on the violence. It does nobody any good."
And if we can do that, we come that much closer to a new renaissance of the human spirit.........
...............Or maybe I'm just completely full of shit and I should just go fuck myself.
Thanks for reading,