An Open Letter to the Muslim Protestors…

Via Waylon Lewis
on Sep 16, 2012
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Aggression only feeds aggression. Generosity produces peace.

“Similar to the point this Slate article is making.”

Welcome, common sense and straight talking: if we believe so hard in anything that we would fall into aggression in the name of pride or defending said religion, we’re missing the point of our own faith or practice.


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


19 Responses to “An Open Letter to the Muslim Protestors…”

  1. believer in humanity says:

    From an anynonymous friend of mine who is from Tehran, Iran but has been an American citizen for at least 10 years, and is an upstanding grad student at a well recognized university:

    I'm proud of my ethnicity which is Persian. But I'm not a religious person. I saw the movie. It is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. The purpose of the film was to ridicule Muslims and their prophet. Whoever made that film was quite aware of its consequence. People in middle east have lived under dictatorships for centuries. They want democracy but they don't fully understand the meaning of it. They don't understand that freedom of speech means that an ignorant person is allowed by law to make such a movie.
    They think the American government has something to do with this movie because in their countries all movies have to be get approved by their governments. These people have been living in very closed societies. You can't expect much from them.
    They deeply believe in conspiracy theory. In their mind there is always something going on behind the scene.

  2. osibisa says:

    wow, surprise surprise, a white australian telling non-white australians to 'go back to where they came from' if they intend to practice their right to free speech and assembly in response to someone else practicing their right to free speech….

  3. maxe says:

    I think you've missed the point obisbia…
    He is pointing out that these guys are giving fuel to every racist that says 'go back to where you came from'.

  4. MaudlinMusee says:

    Osibisa, if all the protesters did was assemble and speak, I would say you could have a point. Did you somehow miss the part about throwing rocks, murder, and arson?

  5. Ritika says:

    Thanks for sharing that comment. I never thought of it that way! Hmm.

  6. Trista says:

    I could not have said it better myself. As a concerned Muslim-American myself, I thank you.

  7. Trista says:

    I agree with your title and what I *hope* you are trying to convey here. But the open letter strikes me as very racist, and not at all helpful.

    The majority of Muslims around the world are peaceful people. I invite you to look at another Muslim perspective that Western media rarely covers.

  8. John L says:

    I also think that blaming this on a video/movie that no one has even seen is a lame excuse. On the anniversary of 9/11? More Americans have been murdered eleven years later. No, it's not a movie, something much, much bigger is at play here. If we accept that all this happened over a movie, we've fallen for the diversion and are missing out on the bigger picture.

  9. Colin says:

    Oh wow! How totally incorrect did you get this open letter! Freedom of speech is not about any sort of violence. Freedom of speech is about education. If you have an opinion and you believe it is correct, then you have under law the freedom to let others know about it and try to educate them. Unfortunately some people make stupid movies.

    But in no shape or form, does freedom of speech allow you to throw stones, hurt and in the some parts of the world today due to this stupid video, kill! How on this Earth is someone dying that had NOTHING to do with the video in any shape of form freedom of speech "Hello. I know you are American, therefore you must have been part of making a right wing extremist video. Therefore you must die." THAT'S EVEN MORE STUPID!

    This letter above is basically saying (although rather bluntly I will give you) "If you live in a country, and you don't want to live by the laws of that country you have 2 options. Either grow a political movement, gain enough support, come to power and change the laws. Or go to a country which believes in the laws you are willing to kill for. But do not in any shape or form riot and hurt and kill people because you were insulted." People are insulted in their millions every day. Come to Scotland. We will insult you for having red hair, just cause it's funny. But you don't see red headed folks going around killing folks. That's cause it's 2012. Not 0012.

    Education, not militarisation!

  10. @Suri_k8 says:

    I dont think Islam and democracy are compatible.

  11. Mark Ledbetter says:

    There was a time when Christianity and democracy weren't compatible, either. The difference, IMO, is not religion (read the Bible, especially the O.T., it's rife with revenge and hatred) but history. The west had the Enlightenment. The rest of the world has absorbed bits and pieces of the Enlightenment to varying degrees, the Muslim world probably fewer bits and pieces than most.

  12. Mark Ledbetter says:

    Exactly! Some might say my agreement with John contradicts my answer to Suri, but the movie's just an excuse. The problem is galling western economic/military superiority to some extent but mostly the reaction is a response to American imperialism. People don't want foreign armies on their land or foreign powers dictating to them.

  13. Mark Ledbetter says:

    PS, that being said, Peter FS's article is excellent.

  14. Mark Ledbetter says:

    PPS, excellent both stylistically and for its content.

  15. @Suri_k8 says:

    And I totally agree, they think secularism is the enemy but their religious beliefs is what is keeping them all backwards and in poverty. Their resistance and disgust for new ways of thinking (specially from the west) doesnt help at all. History is not on their side and the same can be said of many other nations …those that have adopted western values seem to be doing better in terms of human rights , animal rights , etc…
    I am not an expert but separation of mosque and state would be a good way to start….and separation of religion and politics is also a must if they want to get out of the hole.

  16. Mark Ledbetter says:

    "Separation of mosque and state"

    Thx Suri, that brought a smile!

  17. azphoenix says:

    I think there's still a lot of separation between the cultures here in Australia. It's pretty young when compared to countries in Europe where migration has been happening for much much longer and where the different cultures have learned to live together. There is still that separation, both geographically and mentally. Personally, I grew up in a multi-cultural community. I was born, and still am a Muslim, but I grew up with neighbours who were Christians, Hindus and Buddhists. My mother sent me to a Catholic Missionary School from the age of 7 to 17 where among my closest group of friends were made up of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Catholics and an Athiest and it has made all the difference. So on the one hand, I think Muslims should be brave enough to open up and integrate with other cultures, but on the other hand, I think it takes more than one so called "group" of people opening up. There needs to be some sort of dialogue started, something that promotes integration. How did they do it in the UK? How did they do it in France? How did they do it in the countries where Mr. Smith's kids are playing at the park after school with Mr. Abdullah, Mr. Cohen, Mr. Lim and Mr. Raja's kids while their mothers are exchanging recipes over the fence? I know it makes me sound like an optimistic fool, but there are places where this is not just a possibility but a way of life. And the thing about it is, when push comes to shove, people are less likely to want to hurt their friends, and much less likely to judge people when they know them. But how?

  18. Lynne says:

    I have no nationality.
    no colour to my skin,
    no alegiance to religion
    my heart's where I begin

    Each and everyone of us
    shines like a shooting star
    spreading out the oneness
    remembering who we are

    We are all remembering
    we're living light within
    We stand upon sacred soil
    We are all human……