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August 26, 2010

The Attack on Islam is an Attack on America

Originally written and published by Kristine Gutierrez at New Era News.

When 21-year-old Michael Enright stabbed Muslim cab driver, Ahmed Sharif multiple times, the debate on the NYC mosque grew bigger, and the inevitable question of the rising intolerance of this nation was escalated.

Many media outlets point out that the stabbing was clearly correlated to the mosque debate, but New York Post‘s Jonah Goldberg found:

The mosque controversy has ignited passions, which some might see as evidence of how ill-conceived the idea was in the first place.  And, justified or not, this stabbing will be seen in that context.  But we shouldn’t let anyone suggest that this criminal reflects anybody but himself.

His main point was that “one assault doesn’t a national trend make…”

However, it does reveal something alarming about a good chunk of the nation. It is more of a wake-up call than a single, isolated attack.

The act was not as horrible as the intention — which was to try to harm a Muslim.

Over the course of a few months, the act of insulting, making judgements and offending Islam and Muslims as a whole has prevailed and become normalized. It is seen everyday on Fox News, as well as many other news outlets. A society that promotes tolerance and acceptance has now quietly allowed intolerance to grow.

At the Western Conservative Summit, which was held this Summer in Littleton, CO, each speaker laid down their subjective facts about the dangers of Sharia law, Islam, and Muslims, to much praise by the 300-500 spectators.  At the event, people of respective backgrounds used their legitimate position to play on people’s fear and ignorance, and thus, intolerance was celebrated.

It has also become normal, and almost necessary for many (but not all of course) of conservative politicians/candidates to express their disapproval of the Mosque, Islam etc. in order to rally supporters.

Although the stabbing incident was, according to Goldberg, a single incident that makes no national trend, the damage to this country’s fabric as a nation of tolerance, acceptance and understanding is a very real trend. The assault is a threat that can damage this country more than any other physical attack.  And, it is worth addressing.

New York Magazine said in response to Goldberg,

Perhaps this attack was going to happen no matter what, but surely the climate right now is making such incidents more likely.  Last night a drunk man barged into a Queens mosque and urinated on prayer rugs while shouting anti-Muslim rants.  Another isolated incident? Or the continuation of a scary trend?

It’s about time we establish the answer.

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