Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Freedom of Religion, anyone?

My lovely friend Lore shared these links with me today. I was outraged at what human beings are capable of doing to other human beings and what gets carried out for the perceived good of our nation.

Apparently a few weeks back, in time for the anniversary of 9/11 a DVD was distributed free in 70 newspapers based in 14 swing states, Ohio and PA to name two. The DVD is titled Obsession; Radical Islam's War Against the West and it is basically anti Muslim propaganda. It appears to be available on YouTube if you can sit through it. Its filled with lots of bad TV show reenactments with white people over enunciating Arabic and taking the few educated talking heads out of context.
While I understand there are extremists out there who really feel this way, they are not the majority and they are certainly not living the peaceful spiritual ideal most Muslim's strive for.
The maker of this video, originally released in 2006, is a registered non-profit who happened to have items on their webpage indicating they are backing John McCain for president which they have since taken down.
I am positive his camp has no knowledge of the groups actions but the fear mongering to gain votes truly disgusts me. Is your candidate qualified? Does he stand for what you believe? Excellent! Slap a sticker on your car, stick a sign in your front lawn and call it a day. Gaining votes through fear does not help our country and goes against what we stand for.

Case in point:
Dayton Ohio, just 4 days after these DVDs were distributed there, a group of children whose parents were participating in evening prayers at a Mosque were pepper sprayed through a street level open window. The story is written about on Chris Rodda's weblog. The story was picked up also by one Philadelphia area paper as well but that's it. Why was this not reported anywhere else?

The last link I have in my trifecta of disgust is the one directly to the Dayton Daily News. The ONLY time the paper mentioned this horrific attack was when the police (in their UNBELIEVABLE OVERSIGHT) deemed this attack on these children NOT a hate crime.
Great detective work there, Lou.
What really makes me want to slap these rednecks in the face is the fact that these people are in America so they can freely and safely practice their religion as they so choose. Do the words "Freedom of Religion" ring ANY bells at all?? Do you not see the flaw in your reasoning there? Last time I checked, America is for everyone, not just the poor, white and ignorant.

I mean really, think about that. Not feeling safe at church, fearing for your life or the life of your children at church.
Imagine this, you are attending Sunday services, sitting in the pew with your spouse, reading along in the bible. Your children are down the hall making disciple puppets out of chunks of felt and Styrofoam balls when out of no where some guy hoses your childrens faces and the children of your fellow church goers with pepper spray through an open window. All you hear is the far away sounds of children screaming and you have no idea what happened.
You run down the hall, your eyes and throat starting to burn, you can't get to them fast enough with all the chaos. You finally reach them and they are still screaming and in terrible pain. After dealing with paramedics and police you go home and your child sleeps with you because they are too scared to sleep alone and you are too scared to let them. They lay next to you in the dark, sobbing all night.
Sick isn't it? Would you feel comfortable going back there? What a desperate feeling to not feel at ease in your own house of worship...
Just because you are a majority, doesn't make you any righter than the next guy.

Some final thoughts...
Honestly why was this story confined to only 2 news outlets? This outrages me almost as much as the suffering those families had to endure. I urge you to contact your local news outlets and ask why they never covered the incident at the mosque.
If the paper that you receive your local news from is on that list at the bottom of the article I also urge you to email your paper and ask why they chose to put that DVD in with the circulars.
This will only take a few minutes Please, please don't let this hate crime get brushed under the rug. We all deserve to feel safe wherever we choose to pray.

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