I come accross a good reading this morning and I think it’s worth to re-post. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
I am not afraid of terrorism. Maybe it’s because I did not live in New York City during 9/11 or maybe it’s my corny belief that good always prevails in the end. Whatever the reason I find myself unafraid. Even with the arrests of alleged Al-Qaeda members, rising terror color-codes and wars raging in Afghanistan and Iraq.
I still find myself unafraid. I am not afraid because no one can tell me what I should be looking for in a terrorist. Well, not really. Maybe if U.S. intelligence could tell me specifically what a terrorist sounds like or smells like or eats. From the things I read and see on television I’m guessing most terrorists are of Middle Eastern descent, heavily bearded and absolutely positively they are Muslim. That’s it! Look out for intimidating Muslims in places with a lot of innocent American pedestrians. Hey, somebody quick, arrest Shaquille O’Neal!
Shaq daddy is a Muslim – did you know that? You didn’t see him and Sacramento Kings’ guard Peja Stojakovic kiss each other on each cheek before Western Conference Playoff games a few years back? Did you miss that? Did you think they were French? Those are two really big intimidating Muslims right there! Are they terrorists in training? The media (yes, I am included) uses death, Muslim and terrorism so collectively you would think they were the names of the Three Stooges! Is it fair?
When you look at Shaq in interviews, smiling, giving those incredibly witty sound bites, do you think of terrorism? Now that you know he follows the same religion as the Iraqi insurgents our American troops fight daily, will you look at him differently?
The word terrorism confuses me when it is married to the word Islam. Why are there Muslim extremists and not just Iraqi extremists or extremists (solo)? Is it because the extremists that carry out acts of terror against America hide behind their religion? Isn’t it the responsibility of the media (and individuals) to decipher Islam as just a characteristic of the extremists and not extremist as a characteristic of Islam?
Throughout history, the KKK has preached loyalty to Christianity but no one dares to label Christianity as a characteristic of racism. Adolph Hitler was also Christian (and also hid behind the religion) but I don’t hear Christianity glued to the phrase Nazism. Sexual abuse by priests has just cost the Catholic Church more than $1 billion in settlements but no one believes that being Catholic makes you more prone to becoming a child molester – and no one should.
So why is Islam automatically related to terrorists? And why do we so easily link the two?
Honestly. Are you aware that the “Muslim” extremists at war with the U.S. only make up a very minute percentage of Muslims worldwide? And when I say minute I’m talking about brothers playing polo minute, horse jockeys slam dunking minute, politicians getting crunk to Lil John minute! The same goes for the small percentage of Catholics who rape children and the very small number of Christian bigots who hide behind big white sheets.
Honestly. When you hear the word Muslim, is your first thought terrorism? Because when I hear Muslim, the first thing that pops in my head is one of my childhood heroes, Muhammad Ali. Ali, who as the Heavyweight Champion of the World decided that he would not fight in the Vietnam War because he could not kill anyone that did him no harm. His assistant trainer Drew Brown took it a step further in 1967 saying, “He’s fighting for the respect of his religion. He’s not fighting for his country.” Ali was stripped of his title and labeled an unpatriotic, out of control, radical Black Muslim. As a kid I learned on my own that Ali was fighting for what he believed in. What’s more American than that?
Honestly. When you think of Islam, do you think of terrorism? Because when I think of Islam, I think of Rasheed Wallace, the only Detroit Piston who entered the stands during the infamous NBA brawl. The only person with a jersey on that actually stopped some of those haymakers from landing. Mr. Technical himself became the calm Muslim weathering the monstrous storm of gigantic basketball players whaling on scrawny idiotic fans. Ironic huh, a Muslim trying to make peace.
Honestly. When you think of Islam, do you think about the thousands of criminals in our American prisons who convert over to Islam? The burglars, the rapists, the murderers and drug dealers all flipping the script and trying to get tight with Allah. But honestly, when I think of criminals becoming Muslims in prison I wonder what religion they converted from in the first place.
Sometimes I wonder how Ali, Shaq and Rasheed feel about the subject. About their religion being labeled as one of the reasons terrorists do what they do. I wonder if when they pray five times a day if some of those prayers ask for everyone to stop dragging their religion through the mud. If the league has phoned Shaq and Wallace and asked them not to openly talk about their religious beliefs in the best interests of the game. I wonder when they look into the mirror each morning if they find themselves afraid.
I am not afraid. And I will not be afraid if I sit next to a bearded Middle Eastern man on a plane. I will not be afraid if the terror color-code changes from a cowardly yellow to a ruby blood red. I will not be afraid if suspected al-Qaeda loyalists are arrested and dragged to GITMO kicking and screaming. I will not be afraid of any person based on his or her religion without knowing the quality of their character.
And unless I find myself back on defense alone with the ‘Diesel’ dribbling full speed ahead– I will not be afraid of Shaquille O’Neal.