Last night, as I listened to Rafael “Ted” Cruz double down on his idea to “patrol Muslim neighborhoods,” I was, again, disappointed in the divisive rhetoric used to combat the war on terror. This is not about political correctness. This is not about “telling it like it is.” This is blatant bigotry, playing on our fears by creating an “other,” and cloaking words in easy-to-digest euphemisms. To support such a policy is to be an enemy of the Constitution.
Consider this, since September 11, 2001, the vast majority of domestic acts of terrorism in the United States have been perpetrated by White, Christian men. Imagine a world where a presidential candidate suggests that we “patrol Christian neighborhoods.” What discussions would result then?
It’s easy to identify Muslim Americans as the “other,” the ones that don’t “look” like the rest of us. You can identify Muslims by how they dress, eat, pray, and oftentimes by the color of their skin. Our country has a history of dividing people, conquering citizen’s hearts & minds by labeling a group of people as “others.” The Africans, Italians, Irish, Japanese, Homosexuals, Jews, Mormons, and now the Muslims can attest to this. It’s easy to fall into the trap of labeling anyone identifying with those groups as the “other.”
We must always be alert when our leaders talk about “others” along racial, religious, & ethnic lines, and we have to resist the temptation to turn Muslim Americans into the “other.” We must understand that by singling out a group for disparate treatment, we create the space, opportunity, and motive for that group to radicalize; in this instance, we become what the enemy has proselytized all along. The thing we seek to prevent will be created by our own failure to recognize that there are far more hard-working, patriotic Muslim Americans, than there are radicalized ones. In order to fight domestic terrorism we cannot alienate our Muslim communities.
Your civility and thoughts — in agreement or disagreement — are appreciated, your ignorance, is not.