Friday, February 20, 2009

beheading a human crime

Aasiya Hassan was beheaded last week, allegedly by her husband, Muzzammil Hassan, in Orchard Park, New York. I grieve for Ms. Hassan, and her children and family—and for the entire Islamic community in the United States. This crime will exacerbate the mistrust and fear with which many view Muslims. Indeed, the first headlines focused on the irony that Mr. Hassan ran a television station dedicated to overcoming negative stereotypes about Muslim-Americans. Mrs. Hassan asked him to create “Bridges TV” so that her children would not have to grow up amidst fear and hatred.

Islam is a peace-loving religion. Radical fundamentalist groups within it use bombs and terror to combat the stereotypes they learn about Modern Western culture.

This clash of cultures is but one of many divisions we draw, including race, class, religion, sexuality—and the most basic division, male and female. We fear those who are different; and too often, we respond to that fear with violence. This was not an Islamic crime, it was a human crime. If we wish to honor Mrs. Hassan’s death, let us do so by pursuing her dream of understanding. Let us not fear each other, but together work to overcome ignorance.


At 8:49 AM, Blogger Robin Edgar said...

Well, in terms working together to overcome ignorance, how do you reconcile "less than peaceful" sayings in the Koran and Hadith etc. with your assertion that "Islam is a peace-loving religion"? While you are at it perhaps you can do the same regarding those considerably "less than peaceful" passages in the "Old Testament" which Islam, along with Judaism and Christianity, considers to be the word of God?

At 9:26 AM, Blogger Chip said...

No human product is perfect; just as no person is perfect. We are all learning and evolving. Those texts are examples of the best wisdom of their time. Humans in our time take some guidance from them, and attempt to live up to our highest contemporary values.

One of our most common human imperfections (more common even than violent followers of monotheistic religions) is that we believe stereotypes about others--including and especially stereotypes about followers of those monotheistic religions.

At 10:24 AM, Blogger Robin Edgar said...

Isn't "Islam is a peace-loving religion" a form of stereotype Chip?


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