Sometime in 2007, I stopped reading the news.
Before then, I used to read the New York Times front section cover to cover every day. Maybe I thought that if I new enough, I could save the world. Then one day, something snapped, and I got so frustrated with the idiocy of it all, that I stopped reading all together.
Everything I read just seemed to reconfirm what I already knew about the policies of the US government, about anti-Islamic sentiment, about radical Islam, about Gitmo, about how the US is causing even more disaster in war zones it either created or exacerbated.
I just got fed-up.
I live in the Middle East now. I work with Omanis and other Arab nationalities every day. I'm friends with Muslims. I hear the call to prayer 5 times a day. My neighbors are Muslims.
And the news just seems so foreign to me.
It's really hard for me to even read an article about the scandal over the building of a mosque by Ground Zero. I just can't comprehend people who have the ability to twist reality so much in their heads to think that Muslims would consider the Ground Zero mosque another stab at the American people. Like it was rubbing in their triumph of 9/11. (of course the same sort of demonizing, reality-twisting has been happening throughout all of history to different groups of people...)
Whether they are right-wing Republicans, single-issue Democrats who get scared of Muslims, conservative Christians, fundamentalist Jews, westernized Muslims...I don't care....anyone who makes a decision about a group of people without knowing them, or who makes a decision about a group based on a tiny minority, don't deserve my, or anyone's, time.
I did actually read the news today, an article largely about wide-spread American anti-Islamic sentiment.
And the best thing in the article was a quote by Reverend Richard Cizik. My own personal Christian upbringing, and lifetime of being around conservative Christians (often very anti-Muslim) makes me particularly sensitive to and annoyed by Christian denunciation of Islam and Muslims. So I like this quote by Rev. Cizik to people who put down our (meaning humankind's) Muslim brothers:
“Shame on you, you bring dishonor to the name of Jesus Christ. You directly disobey his commandment to love your neighbor.”