Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Don't spread hate: THINK before you hit that forward button

All four photos are from the email; I could not find original credits

I have had enough. Yesterday I received the LAST ridiculous Islamophobic email I could stomach. Realizing that Muslim is NOT synonymous with terrorist, and that there are Muslim Americans in our U.S. military and making positive contributions to society, these forwards offend me. I can't stand by and say nothing. Here is the text of the email I received:


SHOCKING--but not surprising-- given the 'political correctness' of our Leaders and mindless citizens of our country who will believe anything today!!

Plz send this to as many folk as you can and get this sent all over the US.

“If Con is the opposite of Pro”

“Is Congress the opposite of Progress”

NYC on Madison Avenue

"For evil to flourish, all that is needed is for good people to do nothing." Edmund Burke

Scary! Isn't it?

A Christian Nation cannot put up a Christmas scene of the baby Jesus in a public place, but the Muslims can stop normal traffic every Friday afternoon by worshiping in the streets.... Something is happening in America that is reminiscent of what is happening in Europe . This is Political Correctness gone crazy...

This is NYC on Madison Ave

This is an accurate picture of every Friday afternoon in several locations throughout NYC where there are mosques with a large number of Muslims that cannot fit into the mosque - They fill the surrounding streets, facing east for a couple of hours between about 2 & 4 p.m. Besides this one at 42nd St & Madison Ave., there is another, even larger group, at 94th St & 3rd Ave., etc., Also, I presume, you are aware of the dispute over building another "high rise" Mosque a few blocks from "ground zero" - With regard to that one, the "Imam" refuses to disclose where the $110 million dollars to build it is coming from and there is a lawsuit filed to force disclosure of that information - November can't come soon enough.

This is in New York City on Madison Avenue, not in France or the Middle East or Yemen or Kenya.

Is there a message here???? Yes, there is, and they are claiming America for Allah. If we don't wake up soon, we are going to "politically correct" ourselves right out of our own country!



First of all, according to Snopes and several other sources I've found, this is not a once-a-week event, and these Muslims do not "stop normal traffic every Friday afternoon by worshipping in the streets." These are photos of an annual parade which has been taking place every year since 1985. It is held as a community event, just like the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and several other events which also halt traffic once a year. As stated on their website, the purpose of the Muslim Day Parade is "to bring communities of various ethnic and religious groups together to promote a better understanding of Islam and to establish interfaith cooperation between Muslims and all other religious/community groups."

The forward goes on to suggest that we Christians "cannot put up a Christian scene of the Baby Jesus in a public place."

We can't?

Then please explain this beautiful and quite large living nativity (photo from website) which is part of the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular. Or the Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Creche which has long been a tradition at the Met. Or the nativity display placed in the East Room of the White House (yes, the Obamas put one up in 2009; you'll have to scroll down for the picture). I've never noted a shortage of nativity scenes around where I live. If you feel there is one, why not organize a group from your church and create a live nativity on a float for your local Christmas parade, or come up with some funds and see if you can place a display in a prominent location in your town?

Some people are concerned about the source of the large amount of money needed to build the "Ground Zero Mosque" which is more accurately described as a large community center which would be open not only to Muslims but to the surrounding community. I'm not an expert but from what I've read, they are still working on funding, among many other details. If anyone "refused to disclose" where the money is coming from, it's probably in large part because they do not yet know where it will come from. I think it's safe to say that if it is built, there will probably be many large and small scale contributors, just like there are for the megachurches Christians build all over the place.

An interesting little sidenote: As you've probably heard, President Obama recently hosted an Iftar dinner for Ramadan at the White House. A lot of Christians didn't like that. Did you know, however, that President Bush started that tradition in 2001 not long after the 9/11 attacks? Let's take a little trip back in time with this article from December of 2001. Bush tried to show respect for the beliefs of others, but it's not easy when you've got conservative Christians wanting you to wish them a Merry CHRISTmas and others celebrating Hanukkah and Kwanzaa who would rightly like to be respected too, as well as those who have no religion and think there should be complete separation of church and state. This has been a confusing, difficult issue for a long time and no leader is going to make everyone happy. Bush and Obama have done some of the same things, but how many conservative Christians wrote hateful emails about Bush? I didn't see any.

I'm so confused as to how we might "politically correct ourselves right out of our own country." There are plenty of people here who are not Christians and there always have been. The beauty of it is that we can coexist in this wonderful country where we have freedom of religion--not only freedom of Christianity, but freedom of religion. If the issue, as I suspect, is dissatisfaction that more people are not becoming Christians, I suggest we look to the image we are sending out into the world. Much of it is an image of uncaring hypocrisy, or worse, bigoted violence. You should see some of the hateful comments on message boards where this email is posted--self-identified Christians suggesting hate crimes and murder, among other things, to get their way. It's absolutely shameful. If we are trying to meet people where they are and show them through love that our way is the right way, this is an epic fail. There are many people who have converted to other religions because their experience with Christianity was riddled with these very issues.

"For evil to flourish, all that is needed is for good people to do nothing." True. If you want to "do something," I suggest you find an actual problem to help with. Did you know, for instance, that babies are dying because their mothers are forced to feed them formula mixed with unclean water? How many forwards have you seen spreading awareness of that? (I think I am going to start one!) There is evil in the world, that is for sure, but it's not a group of Muslims in New York City praying and minding their own business. I didn't want "evil to flourish" in the form of totally unfounded hate encouraged by this email, and that is why I felt called to write this. It's not about "political correctness." It's about acceptance of and sensitivity to others whether or not we agree with them.

If you truly are a Christian, please think about the image of Christianity your actions present to the world. Reflect upon whether you might be hurting others. Think, and pray, before you make decisions. THINK before you hit forward.


Unknown said...

I'm so glad you wrote this! Thank you so much. Whenever I hear people spouting hate in the name of Christianity, I think of that song, "They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love...." I wonder how some people have gotten so far away from that--while justifying their actions as if that is what Jesus would want us to do. Shameful is right!

Rebecca said...

FYI - ever been on a military post at 5:00 p.m.? When the flag comes down, every Soldier who can hear the music stands at attention and salutes in the direction of the flag, even if they are in 'normal traffic.' Cars stop in the middle of the street and Soldiers jump out. I guess it's a good thing the colors aren't routinely retired in NYC. Imagine all the chain mail you'd get then!

Anonymous said...

Great post, Jenny! I get so many forwards like these. I just delete but maybe I should buck up and begin replying.

Jenny said...

Amy--I know! Sadly these people show love to others like themselves, but so many Christians seem to have taken it upon themselves to judge who is worthy of love, or even tolerance.

Rebecca--I had no idea they jumped out of cars! Wow! I think the only reason anyone is complaining about the Muslims is because they aren't Christians, but yes--if people started jumping out of cars during rush hour in NYC that would probably cause a stir!

Julie--I was so tempted to open the forward, hit "reply all," link to this post, and say "read it if you love Jesus!" But I lost my nerve. I do have hope that it reached some folks in my target audience, because I've had a lot more readers than comments. I found your Stand for Christmas/Advent Conspiracy post from December and definitely want to link to that soon as these issues go hand in hand.