Monday, December 21, 2015

Some of us don’t want to consider anyone unlike us. I say it's their loss

Perhaps it is because I come from an ethnic origin that would never be mistaken for the stereotypical WASP – I tend to view Arabs and those of the various ethnic origins of the Middle East as just another group of people.

Yet another language in our societal mix, and let’s be honest, some of their foods are quite good.

SO WHEN I hear people get all worked up over Islam and Muslims, I can’t help but think the over-reaction rating is kicking into over gear. Don’t people realize that over-reacting so much isn’t good for their health?

Such useless stress.

Such as all the stink created last week with that now-suspended professor from Wheaton College who offended the higher-ups at the place that likes to think of itself as evangelist Billy Graham’s alma mater.

Her offense? She made a point of wearing a hijab to class, while also saying that Christian and Islamic religious faiths have a common basis. The oft-claimed statement made by people who don’t let ideological leanings dominate their thoughts that we all ultimately pray to the same god.

COLLEGE OFFICIALS HAVE since elaborated to say they don’t care about the headscarf she wore to class. It’s her comments that bother them.

Because the college that likes to believe it is a place where people can seriously study religious faith seems to have its own ideological leanings it wants to spew. And yes, I choose the word “spew” such as is done with garbage because I can’t help but think the college’s action is something they ought to know better than to resort to.

Or maybe it’s just that I’m an Illinois Wesleyan alum and remember Wheaton College as one of our athletic rivals.

But I can’t help but think the college has created a whole mess upon its own reputation; and one that is particularly sad because it was avoidable. All it would have taken was to accept that a professor was trying to make a larger point.

WHICH, IF YOU think about it, is what a serious place of higher learning is supposed to be about. I don’t know how this situation will turn out, other than that I’m sure Wheaton officials are ensconced in their own little world (most universities are) and think they’re really not accountable to anyone else.

Similar, I’d say, to the incident in rural Virginia where people are sending hostile e-mails to officials in the school district where parents are offended by a calligraphy lesson.

The offensive assignment
Students were asked to copy Islamic writing – not with any sense of comprehending what they were writing, but to try to copy the form of the various letters and symbols.

No one was trying to teach the meaning of the Shahada, that prayer that includes the line, “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of God.”

BUT YOU HAVE some people out there who already are peeved that they’re not allowed to impose Christian prayer on all students as a part of the regular classroom activity feeling that someone is now trying to force Islam down their children’s throats.

Probably because they presume everybody else in the world will behave in the same bad way they want to behave.

I’d like to say those people are just too isolated from the real world to realize how nonsensical their behavior is. But we have to be honest enough to realize this kind of widespread hostility exists elsewhere – why else isn’t Donald Trump the ultimate joke of the campaign trail?

And so long as we have a government that doesn’t go out of its way to reinforce the racial and ethnic hang-ups some in our society have, that’s probably the best we as a people can hope for.


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