(This can be found on Examiner.com as well.)
Muslims, save your faith.
The rest of us–Buddhists, Christians, Atheists, Shintos, Jews (yes, they’re people, too), Hindus–are begging at this point. We know you can. Islam has some truly admirable parts to it.
BUT, it has become the laughing stock of the entire world. And you’ve made it that way.
Own your failure. Do better.
Reasonable, thoughtful people (we can’t all be racist Islamophobes, that argument lacks credibility) associate you with explosives, hijacked planes, fallen towers, female genital mutilation, honor killings, beheadings, stonings, crucifixions, homophobia, sexism and a whole lot of other bad stuff.
It has gotten so bad that you’ve become the bud of jokes in both private households (yes, even those of liberals) as well as late night television. Everyone who watches Southpark and Letterman thinks you’ve lost your minds.
That can’t possibly make you feel good.
Take time, more than once, to contribute to Western newspapers and blogs constructively. Stop putting your most belligerent emoters on television–you know, the ones who tell us how peaceful you all are while yelling maniacally at their opposition and calling for Israel’s bloody and imminent demise. Disavow purposeful violence against innocents unexceptionally. Replace suicide/homicide bombings with dialogue.
Speaking of suicide/homicide bombings, have you all thought about this? Meaningfully, that is? Who wants to choose death over life? Surviving is the human’s most basic instinct. Why are you different? Doesn’t it strike you as utterly bizarre to kill yourself because you hate your neighbor as much as you do? Has anyone ever thought about how vile it is to strap a bomb to yourself and explode it? God, the Creator you claim you love so, so much, is the one who gave you the body you’re about to destroy in the most obscene way possible. How is this not considered sinful? If it is, how come you’re not reminding us? How come there aren’t thousands, or even hundreds, of Muslims protesting each and every time this happens? How come it’s only a drawing of Mohammed or flushed Korans that triggers worldwide protests? And yet we, inexplicably, are the bigots for pointing out the most obvious contradictions and irrationalities.
This farce can’t go on much longer. Not with the advent of the Internet, it can’t. It’s just a matter of time. Quick, get on the right side of history.
The truth, and you’ll accept it if you’re wise, is that only the uncivilized and unintelligent do such things. Is that how you wish to be characterized globally? My neighbor habitually plays obnoxious heavy metal music loudly well into the night. I hate it. I think he’s a megalomaniac with the I.Q. of a potato and no sense of community. If I attached a bomb to my abdomen and exploded it on his lawn, however, it wouldn’t help. This should be common sense. That it isn’t is astonishing, frankly. Just astonishing.
Reject the old and embrace the new. Question those authority figures who have led you down a path of poverty and degradation, victimhood and humiliation. Be courageous. Subvert. Agitate. Protest. Revolt. Build a new Islam. Take from it that which is honorable, such as forgiveness and charity. Abandon that which you know will impede you from achieving your full human potential, the full human potential God longs to see you realize.
Choose the harder path—building yourselves, instead of the easier one—destroying others. Invest more in your schools, particularly in the sciences, than in your mosques. Religion is there to enrich, not dominate exclusively, your lives. God wants you to be happy, honest.
Let women drive in Saudi Arabia for goodness sake. How pathetic that you don’t. It’s backwards and you know it. You just choose to be silent about it.
Stop bombing Coptic churches now. Stop it! Copts don’t deserve to be murdered en masse the way that you (and only you) have allowed them to be. Protect them, and in the process, yourselves. For every droplet of innocent Coptic blood that you willingly allow to flow through the streets of Egypt without massive and inconveniently persistent protest and uprising, you diminish exponentially your own God. Let them worship in peace.
Acknowledge Israel has a right to exist.
Stop crucifying (crucifying!) and otherwise persecuting and torturing those you merely suspect of being gay. Gay Muslims aren’t any less Muslim than heterosexual Muslims are. They love their Creator, too.
People who are different than you are are still worthy of human dignity; don’t you know that? Why don’t you know that? Your rights aren’t the only ones that matter, you know.
Enough. You’re humiliating yourselves and alienating the rest of us. Try making friends instead. We’re quite pleasant, you know. You’d be surprised. You can, in fact, have friends with different “weltanschauungs” (worldviews) as Max Weber used to say.
As the years pass, and all we hear are hyperbolic tales of Western victimization (you enjoy greater rights in the West than you do in your own countries of origin–it is an unassailable fact), war-mongering (we liberated you from the Christian, genocidal dictator Milosevic), we think less of you. We think you’re selfish, have an entitlement complex and are unwilling to embrace modernity.
In fact, to put it even more pointedly, we think you’re unreasonable ingrates who have a real tendency to bite the hand that feeds you. You’d think with all your complaining we’ve never built your capital cities efficient, eco-friendly metro systems or fed your poor with our tax dollars.
Renounce violence for the sake of violence. Watch, our attitudes will change. Quickly.
Do like Mom says and exercise good manners. Stop blowing up people you dislike. (How sad that you have to be lectured this way.) In the process, you’ll polish up Mohammad’s image. Right now he looks like a joke, and no matter how much you want to blame it on us, it’s your fault.
Oh, and a good place to start would be by refraining from calling the author Islamophobic. In addition to being tired and untruthful, that would just exacerbate the situation.
Take these criticisms to heart. Someone who doesn’t care would sit by and laugh as she watched you self-destruct. It’s the person who cares, your ally, who gives you a little tough love. We know millions upon millions upon millions of you are intrinsically decent. Speak up, already, for God’s sake—and repeatedly. Your silence is so profoundly demoralizing and shameful.
To conclude, therefore, quit being so sensitive. Straighten up and start using the same moral code the rest of the modern, civilized world does. You’ll be better for it.
Happy Eid Al Fitr. Tih aishoo wit soomoo daiman. (Translation: Happy Ramadan. May you live long and fast always.)