So, in this blog I am going to be frank. I find myself harboring quite the distaste for Islam as of late, and I feel as though my opinions of it are becoming biased to an unfair degree. Now, I do, 100% acknowledge that the vocal majority is actually a minority, but damn it, I'm not hearing too many voices from the moderate camp coming up to try and join the conversation. I mean, it might be tough to hear them over the explosions, but the-
That's not nice.
Or isn't it? It's fucking true, is it not?
This is what I mean.
Look, moderate Muslims, I know you exist, and I know you're the majority. Especially in the West. However, you are feeling the sting of the anti-Islamic sentiment that has been ramping up over the last decade or so, and I can understand how that must feel. I've been (and continue to be) discriminated against. The thing is, you are allowing these extremists to tarnish your image. Every time I turn on the TV and watch something related to Islam or read something on the internet that pertains to Islam, it's always these uneducated, irrational assholes ranting and raving like fucking savages about beheading people and blowing them up because someone in another country drew a depiction of their long deceased friend.....even though no one knows what this warlor-oh, sorry, I mean profi-, er, prophet, rather, looked like.
It's fucking ridiculous.
And what else do I hear?
I hear silence. (And yes, I am aware, you do not need to tell me that folly in that statement. I am speaking figuratively here). Seriously though, what needs to happen is that three voices need to speak out against every one of theirs, so that they are drowned out and their words lose their efficacy. And these three voices need to be Muslim voices. Let your voices be heard!
You do not support their actions, and nor do I. We have something in common, you and I. Nevermind the fact that they, too, are Muslim, and I am an atheist. We are on the side of peace, nonviolence, caution, fairness, justice, morality, and reason. We are brothers and sisters, brought together by our shared belief- yes, our shared belief.
You see, we atheists and you Muslims have a shared ideal. A shared belief. And, consequently, a shared goal. We both believe death to be an absurd punishment for being a non Muslim. We (presumably, at least) believe that there should be NO punishment for being a non Muslim. I hope that very idea seems as absurd to you as it does me. And I do know that we both believe that NO ONE should be killed for drawing a person. Even if that person is revered by a billion people, and it is believed to be a sin to draw him. Those who do not share that belief are not bound by the rules derived from a foundation at which that belief is the core.
And so, based on our shared beliefs, we have a shared goal: to not see one more act of violence committed because of a difference of opinion on this matter. Not one more bomb to go off because of a difference of religious belief, or because a cartoon said that Muhammad was inside the bear suit that they had on the show (which was actually revealed to be draped around the body of someone else entirely, namely, Santa Clause, not Muhammad).
So, I ask you, next time a fellow Muslim calls for blood, speak out. Join me, and let our two voices be stronger together than my voice and your thoughts alone.
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE:
I of course am not naively implying that no Muslims have been speaking out. They have. CAIR has released statements, and there have been moderates all over the world coming out against their fellow Muslims. What this is is a call to arms of sorts (no, the irony in using such language is not lost on me, but again, figurative!) to the rest, to join forces with your brethren in Islam, and, very important here, your brethren in humanity, to speak out, loud and clear, not fragmented, not disjointed, but solid, stoic, unwavering; loud and clear, WE WILL NOT STAND FOR TERRORISTIC THREATS OR TERRORISTIC ACTIONS THAT ARE USED IN AN ATTEMPT TO ERODE OUR FREEDOMS.
Second note: You have to admit, there haven't exactly been Muslims flying off the bleachers to defend Matt Parker and Trey Stone's right to literally draw Muhammad, no costumes, no tricks. Unless of course they have been and I missed it. If so, point me to them, and I will gladly contact them and thank them for standing up for free speech. Because, after all, free speech is only free when people will defend the rights of others to be offensive to their own sensibilities.