Moo-slime, muzzie, sand-n****r, raghead, ass-lifters, camel jockey, towelhead, goat-f***ers, koranimals, pisslam, i-slime.
I'm seeing words like this in more and more internet discussions. The words slip by without protest.
Also sentences like this: "Get rid of them all," "Wipe them off the face of the earth."
In a recent facbook discussion, someone mentioned Muslim terrorist Doku Umarov's threat against the upcoming 2014 Russian Winter Olympics in Sochi.
I said, "Of course terrorism is wrong, but the Russians should not be holding Olympics in Sochi. Sochi is a site of the Russian genocide of the Circassian people."
The other Facebook poster didn't care about the Circassian genocide. "Muslim troublemakers," was all he said.
I was stunned.
The Circassian genocide is very real. Please learn more about it here.
This genocide is as deserving of our compassion and concern as any other. The perpetrators were Russian Christians. The victims were Muslims.
The other day a Facebook friend posted a link to a youtube video, "Dead Dog Jihad" by a man calling himself "Wild Bill for America." "Guess what's coming to America," Wild Bill said. "Jihad against pet dogs…In every nation where Muslims become more than six percent of the populace, they begin to force their rules on everybody."
It's true that Islam includes significant hostility to dogs. It's true that dogs have been poisoned in Muslim neighborhoods in European countries.
That doesn't prove that Muslims in the US will begin to poison dogs.
Words like "Moo-slime" and "Muzzie" are disgusting. These words don't say anything about Muslims. They say something, rather, about the person using the word. They say that the person allows their lizard brain to speak in public. They allow themselves to be swept away by primitive hatred. They may publicly identify as Christian, but their words place Jesus Christ right back up there on the cross and crucify him all over again. See Matthew 25:40.
Words like "Moo-slime" and "Muzzie" are every bit as disgusting as "Kike" or "Polak" or "N****r" or "Fag" or "C***."
They should arouse the same kind and degree of condemnation.
Comments like "They should be wiped off the face of the earth" are genocidal. Yes, that's right. When you declare that you think all followers of one religion should be murdered, you share strategy with Adolph Hitler.
Believing, without question, someone named "Wild Bill for America" about "Dead Dog Jihad" is not the best path. A better choice: read books by scholars.
In internet discussions of Islam, I have tried to make one simple point over and over.
Muslims are human beings.
Islam is an ideology.
Muslims do not equal Islam.
I give this example.
I have never loved anyone more than I loved my Uncle John. A great man. A great human being.
My Uncle John was an atheist and a Soviet Communist. I reject atheism and have no respect for it, and I loathed the Soviet Empire. I was on the streets in Poland in 1989, actively protesting against the Soviet system, contributing to bringing it down.
I loved my Uncle John. A human being.
I loathed the system he was a part of. Soviet Communism.
A human being.
Two different things.
I feel pain, fear, and hurt for my Muslim friends when I read words like "Muzzie" and "Moo-slime." I recoil when I read sentences like, "They should be wiped off the face of the earth."
I want to introduce the people who write these obscenities to my Muslim friends.
Because Muslims are human beings. Just like those who hate them.
The same. Not different. The exact same: human beings.
Just like all other human beings, some Muslims are handsome, some are ugly, some are kind, some are greedy, some are smart …
Oh, this is all so basic. Why is it so hard to communicate in any way that gets heard.
I used to teach English to foreigners. My female Japanese students were perfect in their written work, and were painstakingly polite. They couldn't converse in English.
My Arab students bathed in language. They kicked up suds, splashed and played with idioms. Their written work was lush, but flawed – I got the sense that there is no tense in Arabic, no concept of time, except the time of the heart and the palate. So different from the English language's careful notation of time: I eat; I am eating; I will have eaten; I had been eating... But my Arab students were such ardent lovers of language that they bent English to their desires and their essays were among the best student essays I've read. We conversed for hours, on every topic.
My car got a flat tire. A Malaysian Muslim student not only changed the tire, he inspected the rest of the vehicle. Wouldn't let me tip him.
I remember one day at work my Arab co-workers bringing in a small mountain of rice, a platter of stuffed grape leaves, pools of hummus and plates of pita bread. It was their holiday, which they shared with all.
During Hurricane Sandy's closed roads and halted bus travel, one of my former students, a young man I had not seen in years, made sure to pick me up and drive me anywhere I wanted to go. He did this several times, once with his mother at the wheel. He had nothing to gain from this; I was no longer his teacher. But still he called me, "My teacher." A Palestinian Muslim.
Years ago, when I was very stupid, I traveled through rain forest in the center of Africa, alone, at night. I was picked up by Sudanese smugglers, a caravan of Muslim men on trucks. I was alone. They could have done anything. They could not have been nicer. They asked for nothing in return for transporting me the hundreds of miles to my destination.
I could go on. I grew up with Arabs in Passaic County, which has one of the US' largest Muslim populations. I've traveled in Turkey, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, in areas with heavy Muslim populations. I have met people who have been kind to me, who have fed me, who have befriended me, who have done me favors that could never be repaid.
You call these people "Moo-slimes?" "Koranimals?" Have you ever actually met a Muslim? Do you not realize that your using these filthy words says everything about you and nothing about Muslims?
Two features of Islam must be named and critiqued: Jihad and gender apartheid.
The rest of Islam is none of my business. If people want to abstain from pork, fast during Ramadan, make hajj to Mecca, pray five times a day, wear a hijab that does not obscure the face or bodily silhouette (which must be visible for reasons of civil society and security), that is none of my business.
If people want to kill me because I am not a Muslim, that becomes my business. If people do damage to women and girls, that becomes a universal human rights issue, thus, my business.
So, yes, I name and shame jihad and gender apartheid.
Not Muslims qua Muslims. Not all Muslims.
"But!" some insist. "All Muslims deserve to be condemned as if they themselves were terrorists or those who commit acid attacks on women or perpetrators of 'dead dog jihad.'"
No, all Muslims do not deserve to be criticized as if they were terrorists or child rapists or dead dog jihadists.
I'm Catholic. Am I personally responsible for the sex abuse crisis?
I'm American. Am I personally responsible for the Trail of Tears?
Could I have done anything to prevent either?
We demand that Muslims look at themselves. How about we Americans do the same?
Our greed for petroleum funds terrorism. What did we do after the 1979 oil crisis? We bought SUVs! Gas guzzlers! We lambasted President Jimmy Carter for telling us to put on a sweater, rather than turn up the heat, when we were cold! We could strive for energy independence; we don't.
We tinker with foreign countries. We overthrew Mohammad Mosaddegh, Iran's democratically elected prime minister. We supported the Taliban in Afghanistan and Iraq's Saddam Hussein, and then entered into quagmire wars with both.
Let's look at another source of trouble in our own backyards. There are forces in the West eager to stir up trouble between Muslims and non-Muslims.
We need a name for this powerful force: Westerners who believe that the West is hopelessly flawed and should be turned to scorched earth so that a Brave, New World can come about.
These are Americans or Brits or Germans or French people who think that Western Civilization is nothing but imperialism, that white skin is nothing but a stigma of unearned privilege and oppression, that Christianity is nothing but witch-burning and that Judaism is a form of Nazism. They think that any belief system far from the West is inherently better than anything Western.
Some of these folks are atheists, some are Marxists, some call themselves "anti-fascist." These folks hate their own societies and they embrace Muslims not as real, flesh and blood human beings, but as tools, as levers they will use to overthrow the West. Islamists, of course, see these "liberal" Westerners as useful idiots.
In short, yes, we Westerners have a problem, and we Westerners, not just Muslims but we ourselves, are not addressing it as we might. How can we blame all Muslims when we haven't done all we could?
Let's stop blaming and start working on solutions.
Some say, "It's impossible to reform Islam!"
True, reform of Islam presents challenges. Conversion from Islam, criticism of Mohammed, Islam's founder, and identifying the Koran as a human creation, rather than as divine, are all punishable by death. It's hard to reform a system that erects such formidable barriers against change.
We know, though, that there are uncounted millions of Muslims who have no interest in killing anyone for their faith, who are good neighbors, law abiders, loving family members and loyal friends. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain by respecting and acknowledging these good people, and joining our dream of a better world to theirs.
Some say, "But Muslims are all to blame because they all support jihad and gender apartheid!"
When I hear things like this, I think of my friend "Leila."
It was late at night and we were coming back from a family party. Leila and I were in her SUV in a parking lot while her sister was buying a bottled juice in a supermarket. Her sister was taking a long time and Leila and I got to talking.
Leila was an exquisitely beautiful young woman. It wasn't her features that made her beautiful; it was her warmth, eccentricity, and her enthusiastic embrace of life. Leila was a Palestinian Arab and she wore hijab.
Leila lived in New Jersey and in the Middle East. She spoke fluent Arabic and English. She loved American TV shows and movie stars and she was a devout Muslim.
In that supermarket parking lot, waiting for her sister, we got to talking. I asked Leila, "Have you ever questioned the existence of God?"
She said yes, she had. And at those times, she said, she stopped doing her five daily prayers. When she did that, she said, she realized she had lost touch with her spiritual foundation, and was drifting toward something dark and negative. Belief in Allah and observant prayer kept her spiritually alive and in touch with all goodness, she said.
From other conversations, I knew that Leila didn't know much about the Koran.
What Leila knew of Islam was this: it was the religion of her beloved family. It was her source of spirituality. Mohammed was the best man who ever lived, the wisest and kindest. That's what she'd been taught.
She understood the world outside Islam as one of sexual promiscuity and drug taking and disrespect to parents and a lack of honor.
Leila didn't associate Islam with 9-11 or acid attacks or child marriage. All of those were foreign to her.
When those who want to be part of a counter-jihad use words like "muzzie" and say all Muslims are to blame, I think of Leila, a beautiful human being. I think of how she would hear those words. She would hear it as so much ugly, hateful, threatening noise. As the violation of all that was good, spiritual, safe and pure.
If you want to be part of a counter-jihad, learn how to communicate to a good human being like Leila. What would you say to her?
Sadly, the hate is on all sides, now.
When I observe internet conversations about Islam, poet William Butler Yeats' terrifying verses recite themselves inside my head:
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
"Liberals" are as full of hate as those who use words like "Muzzie."
I received several impassioned emails recently from internet correspondents. All were sent by white-collar British women. They all condemned me for speaking out against jihad and gender apartheid.
To these "liberals," if you speak out against clitoredectomy, acid attacks, and child marriage, you are a "racist" and a "fascist."
One very long, very well-meaning message urged me to stop criticizing Islam, and to realize that Israel was the troublemaker.
In other words, it's okay to hate. As long as you don't hate jihad. Hate Jews! The liberal solution!
Just for the heck of it, I asked my trusty reference librarian for some facts. Here they are: The territory of the state of Israel constitutes 0.139 % of the world's land mass. For emphasis: that's point one three nine. Less than one percent. The population of the state of Israel constitutes .11%. of the world's population. That's point eleven. Less than one percent.
So a woman who finds it obscene to criticize jihad or gender apartheid struggles to point out that Israel is to blame for all the trouble. Less than one percent of the world's population and land mass.
Yes, there is as much crazy hating on the pro-jihad side as on the anti-jihad side.