My husband sent me these pictures and asked what my thoughts were on them.
In looking at these pictures, the most interesting thoughts that come to my mind aren't my impressions of the pictures. Rather, I think about what my fellow americans must think when they look at these pictures.
I've mentioned before how I am fatigued after spending several years as the muslim apologist on Christian Forums. In addition to my stint there, I've also lurked in the right wing blogosphere for ages. Forums like F-r-ee Re-pu-blic, S-ea-n Han-nit-y Message board and Rapture Ready, blogs like D-e-bb-ie S-ch-l-u-ss-el and Mich-elle M-a-lk-in (names divided so they hopefully won't search me out and blog about me) have me gripped in morbid fascination. Some will claim that they only are mad at radical muslims, while others will drop the PC stuff and openly declare their hatred of all things islam related. I haven't decided which I dislike more, because at least the latter is honest, while the former shows through their postings that no one outside of Salman Rushdie fits their definition of a non radical muslim.
I've become fatigued from my paroosal of the right wing blogosphere as well. I pretty much know what they will say before they say it. For example, the incident with congressman elect Keith Ellison of Minnesota is the perfect example. Search for Ellison and takbir or Ellison and Akbar to find examples of the kind of hatred that permiates sections of the right wing. The typical response was a hysterical piece of "OMG, there are terrorists in Minneapolis, listen to them chanting Allahu Akbar OMG!!!!1111!!1!!" What really happened is that many muslims were excited about the prospects of a muslim running for congress. Several worked hard and put in a lot of hours participating in their first politial campaign. At the end of a long and hard campaign, Keith won, and the muslims expressed their delight in a natural way - by making takbir. Takbirs (saying Allahu Akbar, God is greater) permiate muslim life. We say them in our daily prayers, in rememberance of God, and in appreciation for something good. So of course, Allahu Akbar is natural. But no, Allahu Akbar is only a terrorist call, and heaven forbid anyone do some actually study to find out some real information.
How do I know they weren't terrorists, one might ask? I was there. I made takbir. I ain't no terrorist.
Examples of this are rife in the right wing blogosphere. It's sickening. Can you tell I'm just a wee bit bitter?
So, what does this have to do with the pictures? Sadly, when I look at those pictures, I immediately think about what the right wing loonies would say in reaction to them. I worry about a good muslim and a good american being slandered all around the internet. I worry about the place of muslims in america. I worry.