Am I Prejudiced?

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I woke up in the morning, my feet cold from the chill of my slightly cracked window. I yawned as I begrudgingly got out of bed. Traipsing down the stairs in my robe and slippers, I entered my kitchen, and began to poor myself a bowl of cereal. My mom sat at the far side of the kitchen table, eating a freshly cut apple as she watched the daily news. (Pause) I shifted my head towards the television screen, where I saw a middle-aged man holding some sort of book. His diction was extraordinary, his facial expressions, so animated, I had begun to admire this man for his persuasive speaking techniques. Any yet, my admiration quickly began to fade, as I sat in disbelief trying to contemplate the cruel; threatening words spurring from his mouth.

This man’s name is Pastor Terry Jones, and that book he was holding was the Islamic bible, the Koran. Pastor Terry Jones stood in front of the media, harshly addressing the Islamic population. He was referring to recent news stating that a mosque was to be built two blocks from ground zero. Ground zero is where the two twin towers were destroyed on September 11th, 2001. The terrorist who drove the planes into the twin towers claimed to be Islamic, and they claimed that destroying the twin towers was promoting Islamic law. Thus, Pastor Terry Jones, along with half the country, had begun to associate Islamic people with the experience of 9/11. That meant the religion Islam, and the people who followed it where now seen as terrorists in the eyes of thousands.


As soon as it was announced that a mosque was to be built near ground zero, pandemonium occurred. People all over the country were outraged. They were commenting on blogs, updating their Facebook statuses, and down right proclaiming how wrong it was for a mosque to be built near ground zero. Pastor Terry Jones told the media that if they were to follow through on building the mosque two blocks from ground zero, he was to burn the Koran.

I sat and watched as an old bitter man belittled that which I had come to respect. I began to ponder all that is associated with the religion Islam. I thought of all the hatred and terror that is assumed to be within all Muslims. I couldn’t help but think, of the Islamic people I knew, and all of the care they had given to me.

Reminiscences of a Muslim friend from camp, a friend who I’d shared laughs with, and friend who I have know lost touch with, but not because of anything that he did, or any religion that he is. Also appearing in the depths of my mind, were some Muslim family friends, friends so dear to us, we ate our thanksgiving feast together each year.

Then I thought about how the media has begun to poison my mind.

Last summer, I was getting on a bus to visit my cousin in New York. I remember that day very well. I remember standing on the edge of a sidewalk, along a highly trafficked street. I remember hiding in the shadow of my father, to get some shade form the hot blazing sun. I also remember in the line waiting to aboard the bus was a dark-skinned, dark haired man with a backpack swung around his shoulder. I did not know of this man, or what religion he was, but I had assumed by his appearance that he was Islamic. I suddenly started to panic! What was in that backpack of his? Could it be a bomb? I tried to calm myself down, but that creeping thought kept coming back to me, as if I had been brainwashed by propaganda. And that is exactly what had happened.

All of the television shows, the news castings, they had all made an impression on my mind. They filled me with fear and anger, and had made me prejudice.


What has happened? The land of freedom, thriving intentionally as a mixed society, has become equally, if not more prejudice than our neighbors?

The fact is every terrorist that harms or kills is evil; their dishonor and rebellious actions have nothing to do with religion. Every person follows a faith. Whether they are Muslim or Christian, Jewish or Atheist, Agnostic or Pious, they follow a system of belief. This system of belief does not make nor destroy ethics or morality; it is how we choose to understand that which is given to us, which defines our character.





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Nikkko said...
Mar. 9, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Amen to that brother :)

Very well written.

 
Bethani said...
Jan. 28, 2011 at 4:07 pm
This is a great article! You have made some very good.
 
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