Sunday, March 18, 2012

Inaccuracies and generalizations increase hatred

A letter writer to The Blade in his irritation with columnist Amjad Hussain paints with a broad brush: “But citing the misdeeds of a few practitioners of Christianity and Judaism relative to the atrocities committed by entire Muslim nations in the name of Islamic jihad, promoting global terrorism, suicide bombings, execution of nonbelievers, mass murder, and the constant threat of genocide against their Israeli neighbors, pales by comparison”.

Which“entire Muslim nations” have committed atrocities, promoted global terrorism, suicide bombings, execution of non-believers and mass murder in the name of jihad? Groups like the Al-Qaeda and the Taliban have hijacked Islam and can be implicated in the above as well as the gross distortion of the most basic teachings of Islam.

The dispossession of the Palestinians and their continued dehumanization by Israel in flagrant violation of international law as well as the Sabra-Shatila massacres by the American tax-payer financed 5th most powerful military in the world, is more reminiscent of a “threat of genocide” than is vaguely possible by minimally armed Palestinian militia and rock-throwing teenagers.

Should the March 11 gun-rampage by a US serviceman in Afghanistan that killed 16 Afghan civilians be blamed on American hegemony or the result of a disturbed mind?

In a world beset by serious and extremely complicated issues, we are in need of the balance and calm of Dr. Amjad Hussain’s articles. As Americans and practitioners of our personal faiths, we must separate the actions of individuals from the practice of entire nations and especially from the teachings of their religion, that many have possibly studied little or not at all. Dr. Hussain skillfully graphs not just these individual actions but also the way they are perceived and how they can be manipulated, distorted and generalized to tar entire religions.

Our national socio-political conversation should be dispassionate and based on evidence and fact rather than wild, blinkered and baseless imaginings. These just serve to marginalize and inflame and conglomerate to become the problem rather than the solution.