To the Bigot this months’ flavor is Muslim. Last month it was the Blacks and the month before it was the Jews. What will it be next month? Who knows. But the pattern is clear. To a Bigot any excuse to hate will do. However, in a free society like ours, there is no excuse for bigotry. Bigotry is another form of terrorism that we must fight against.
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I know of some Americans that are of the Hindu religion who are apprehensive about going out in public even though they are not Muslim. They have a ‘Middle Eastern’ appearance. I know of one who shaved off his mustache so that he would not look Muslim. Another American refuses to wear his turban so that he can blend in better with all of us “White Folk”. Some Americans do not want to be called by their Arabic names as they are afraid of being terrorized by Bigots.
Recently someone thought that I was Arabic given my last name sounded so closely to an Arabic interpretation. They made a racist remark and I took offense to it. I almost replied “I’m not Arabic you idiot I am ……” but I held my tongue. For if I said that I would be deflecting the bigot’s racism to someone else. For a brief moment in time, I felt what it was like being the victim of terror. It was only a verbal abuse and not physically violent. But, it could have been.
Someone described to me an incident where a Hindu had walked into an elevator where there were a few good ol’ boys. They looked at the man and pointed their fingers at him in the shape of a gun, and pulled the finger trigger. The Hindu was terrorized by this. That got me thinking that there are several forms of terrorism. We have seen the violent ones by those that use their religion in a perverse way to kill thousands of people. Another form is when people use our society in a perverse way to terrorize its citizens. Which form of terror do we fight against? Why not fight them all.
Discrimination is easily transferable from one community to the other. That is why we must resist it. A racial attack either verbally or physically on our Muslim Americans is a an attack on every minority group without exception. We are facing a strong test in the ability of Americans to respect one another, and I think that we will pass this test with Flying Colors (no pun intended). To a bigot there is no exclusivity to their hatred. What flavor will the bigot pick on next?