I received an email from a friend today that was of a tone that is increasingly prevalent nowadays. It was supposedly the text of a letter written to a British national newspaper by an English housewife. The originator of the email introduced the text with “Ever notice how some people just seem to know how to write a letter?” I gather from the general tone of the ‘letter’ that this comment had little or nothing to do with the author’s ability to include salutations, dates or punctuation!
I agree that there have been many inhuman acts carried out by terrorists in the last decade or so and I would be among the first to condemn the perpetrators but it is the almost unified condemnation of all followers of Islam that I can not and will not subscribe to. While this ‘letter’ doesn’t quite do that, I get the feeling general condemnation isn’t far below the words.
The religion has clearly been hijacked by a rabid minority who have taken upon themselves a holy ‘jihad’ against all infidels or non-believers. What is apparently overlooked by the ‘English housewives’ and all of like opinion is that the extremists don’t make a great distinction between the religion of any who disagree with them. I would hazard that the numbers of Muslims who have been murdered by the jihardists would be as much a hurt to true believers as the numbers of ‘infidels’ who have been killed is to non-Muslims. I suspect another oversight by the housewife would be the fact that the barbarism of the extremists is as abhorrent to the moderate Muslim as it is to the English Housewife.
There have been horrific atrocities carried out by extremists in other religions throughout the years, too, but sadly the outrage has been modified by a sense of ‘it doesn’t really affect me’ or ‘they’re different so it doesn’t matter as much’ or some such similar rationalisation of the act or its victims. If it were the Irish ‘troubles’ the English Housewife might dismiss it as being ‘those Irish’. If it was the pogroms in the ghettos of Russia or Central Europe ‘she’ would have largely ignored it because it didn’t effect ‘her’. If it was the genocide of one tribe by another in African states it would be put down to a lack of ‘being civilised’. If it was the Kosovo Catholics exterminating their Muslim neighbours her attitude would be either hardened by the insulation of distance (and general condemnation may even be tempered by a not too deeply hidden support of the actions.)
I also wonder whether the ‘English Housewives’ of the world are as strident in their condemnation of such acts as the drone killings in Pakistan or
Whatever the acts the world is not made better by such broad-brush bigotry. Condemn the bombers. Condemn the mad mullahs who foment the hatred. But please don’t condemn everybody who by accident or desire belongs to a belief system you don’t agree with.