Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Am I Prejudiced?

New York City, my home, is a great place for people to recognize and to confront their prejudices. I’ve never considered myself a prejudiced person, particularly after having had the mind-opening experiences of serving a mission in Ecuador, studying abroad in London, and living in New York City. But I have come to recognize some disturbing generalizations that I have begun to make, and some unsettling feelings that I’ve had concerning a broad group of people.

My struggle is that I don’t see outrage in the Muslim community at the heinous acts that are purportedly blessed or inspired by religious authority, and am beginning to wonder if these acts are indeed sanctioned by more than just the extremists—a breathtakingly dramatic and dangerous leap to make. Is outrage seething within the Muslim community at the beheading of civilians on television, at the use of young women as suicide bombers, and at the shooting of children in the guise of religious authority? I don’t know. But not having seen a concerted effort by members of the Muslim faith to denounce both the acts and the declarations that accompany the acts, I fear that my open-mindedness and tolerance may be wavering. What an ugly realization this has been for me to make.

Hopefully there is a silent majority in the Muslim community that is as disgusted with these acts--and the obscene use of religious authority to condone these acts--as I am, thus making me a naïve whelp and an absolute pig for allowing some of this negativity in my person.

3 Comments:

At 9/29/2004 10:45:00 AM,

Bryce-
I definately don't think you're a pig. The worst name I could call you is "yankee fan." And that's not so bad, is it?

I wasn't similarly disgusted with the muslim community until you brought it up here. I definately see where you're coming from. I wonder, though, if the problem isn't so much a lack of outrage among american muslims, as much as it is a lack of cohesion. Now, I don't know the particulars, but Islam and its factions aren't as centralized as many of their christian counterparts, and definately not like the LDS Church. Perhaps the lack of outrage is due to the lack of a person who can be "the mouthpiece" for the entire community.

I also wonder how much the media has to do with it. Most people don't hear anything unless the media spotlight hits it.

Just some thoughts.

 
At 9/29/2004 12:09:00 PM,

The Times actually spotlighted this issue a few weeks back (touche Chris):

"Massacre Draws Self-Criticism in Muslim Press"
By JOHN KIFNER (NYT)

FOREIGN DESK | September 9, 2004, Thursday
Late Edition - Final , Section A , Page 8 , Column 4

You can read the text of the article here.

 
At 9/29/2004 07:05:00 PM,

Doug, great article. Thanks for the link.

Chris, you're too kind. I've been called much worse.

 

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