Here is my response...
I do not Fear Muslims.
At least, not just because they’re Muslim.
Similarly, I do not Fear Christians, Commies, Mexicans, Black People, Union Organizers, or Various Evil Spirits.
What I do Fear, is Ignorance…especially the Willful Kind.
Ignorance often has a corollary…Certainty.
I Fear this, as well, for it so often leads to Stupidity.
I did not attend the little exposition this past week.
I didn’t feel the need to…the organization has a website, after all…and a pretty comprehensive one, at that. Lots of links…
It was through perusing this site, and those links, that I could determine that this woman, Ms. O’Brien…who could very well be well meaning and sincere, was nevertheless…Wrong.
I have read the Koran, as well as large swaths of the Hadith…which is kind of the Islamic analog to the Jewish Mishnah…a commentary on the respective Holy Book.
I find no more Violence in these passages than I do in the Bible…or any other Sacred Text. We are a somewhat Violent Species.
I found the Web site of this organization Specious and Self Referential…filled with errors and misconceptions…most of which were easily dispelled with a simple google search.
What I found most disturbing, is the rhetoric, and the pseudoarguments, used by this organization, and those it has linked itself to. History Rhymes, as someone once said….and the language used, against Muslims, has been used before…against many others. In the USA, it has been used against “Reds”, Brown People, Black People, Red People…and , recently, Teachers. Imagery of “Cancer”, or “Vermin”(see Glenn Beck,et al.)…. Of some nefarious group, lurking in the shadows, eating out our substance…admonitions to “Be Vigilant”…to “Wake Up!”.
At the risk of violating Godwin’s Law, the rhetoric Rhymes with that of the Nazis, and Stalin, Pol Pot…well , the list is pretty extensive…
Some, if not most, of the regular folks who believed this stuff were, indeed, well meaning and sincere,(look up “Good German”,or see Milton Mayer’s “They thought they were Free”) but the facts remain.
Power sometimes needs to convince the People that there is an Existential Threat, in order to gain, or maintain, support. Scapegoats are sought out and held up…here is the Problem…here is your Enemy.
When times are hard, we must be especially vigilant that we do not fall prey to these machinations.
Guard against Gullibility.
Ms O’Brien , the original announcement states, “… graduated in 2010 from the invitation-only, prestigious Strategic Engagement Group for the Study of Islamic Doctrine in Washington, DC.” A web search reveals that, just for starters, this group received high praise from the likes of Lt Gen. Jerry Boykin…who, if you remember, tried to turn our current wars into a Crusade against Islam…and was called to the carpet for his trouble. A cursory search on one of the principals in this organization reveals that he, John Guandolo, is a former disgraced FBI Agent…who has ties to such luminaries as Pseudohistorian David Barton, and the Rifqa Bary “Controversy”. Another, Steven Emerson, while lauded by Neoconservative Elements, is considered a hystericist by many.
On ACT’s own site, the founder and apparent head person, Brigitte Gabriel, aka Nour Saman, makes numerous errors and utilizes many Logical Fallacies to convince folks to Fear Islam…according to her Wiki page, she rubs elbows with the likes of Pat Robertson, David Horowitz, John Hagee, and Pam Gellar…all well known for their rabid Islamophobia. .Hardly credible, in my opinion.
These folks peddle Hysteria, Fear and Loathing.
What we need is, rather, Understanding.
Instead of getting all one’s information , regarding Islam, from such one sided purveyors of Hatred, one should seek out “the rest of the story”, a la Paul Harvey. That’s what the Web is for.
Fear and hatred only lead to Violence and War, and I reckon that we have enough of those, already. Read the Koran, for starters…if you’re interested in knowing what it says…Visit a Mosque…there’s a few in Dallas, and I’m sure that more can be found.
“The intelligent person sees with the heart
the result from the beginning;
the one lacking in knowledge
only discovers it at the end.”
And,” In the sight of Love, fear isn't even as great as a single hair”
_Rumi,( Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī) , an 8th century Persian Sufi Mystic)
....I don't know whether to expect cross-burnings, or what, from the pitch-forks and torches crowd. I drove by the meeting in question, and saw that the attendees were mostly old men, veterans and their wives. Figuring my attendance would be disruptive and counterproductive, I drove on.