Friday, November 20, 2015

A FEW THOUGHTS ON THE WORLDS HOTTEST TOPIC

I AM NOT AGAINST GIVING REFUGE TO THEM FLEEING WAR

I don't think anyone in this country, more so than Arabs regardless of place of birth or ancestry, Identify themselves in terms of their religion. Yes, for example, we have Catholics but most only in a secondary way use their religion as a method of Identification. Usually it is Irish, French, Italian or whatever, same with protestants as a secondary identifier they may or may not say Presbytrian, or Methodist, or A.M.E. or Baptist, or whatever.

Among the Arab population and maybe this is spurred by the media it seems as if Religion is the common identifier, not Yemeni or Lebanese, or Saudi or Iraqi, or whatever. Islam is a religion and many Americans are wary of any religion, regardless of how old it's foundations are, that we are unfamiliar with.

The most common statement we read about Islam is "Islam means peace." What does that mean, does the word Islam translate from Arabic to Peace? Or, and forgive the word, is that statement simply a propaganda tool? Does the Muslim community simply want non Muslims too accept something without any understanding of it?

Our conscious understanding of Islam in general started with the the first World Trade Center bombing, then the embassy bombings in Africa, bin Ladens illegal Fatwa of 1996 calling for the death of all Americans wherever and whenever, then the USS Cole, and 9/11.

I will not presume to speak for an entire nation, state, county or city, only myself. Nearly every Arab I have ever spoken to about whatever engaged in a polite and respectful conversation. The conversations never touched on religion, war at times yes, how they came to immigrate here or even something as simple as what goes into a dish on the menu. But the only thing I know of Islam is what I have been able to research out for myself. Leave it be said I understand little of what I read, the precepts in general and in context make sense but they do not jibe with what i see in the Arab world and religious sectarian violence. I read in the Qur'an where it said Muslims, Jews, and Christians are one because they serve the same God. But I never see that in general practice.

And right up front I will say when it comes to religion, any religion, I am a stranger in a strange land. I adhere to no particular brand. Christians would call me an apostate, Muslims an infidel, Jews a goyim. None of which means anything to me except for what the religions and religious leaders espouse their religions to be, they have some adherents that don't understand what they are believing in.

I do not, never have, and will not fear Arabs. But them that present themselves as Muslims first, yes in this day at this time I will not refuse to interact, but I will do so with some wariness because all I know of Islam is that it means peace. Which when you think of that statement, it makes no sense because NO RELIGION means peace.

If I want peace I will sign a treaty and abide by it as long as the other signatory abides by it as well. I want amity, friendship, common understanding as humans sharing a planet, not to be taken advantage of because I am not Arab when spending money in an Arab community or store. Yeah i get it, it's retail business.

IF the Muslims are concerned they must understand so are the Christians. I understand the Qur'an calls for a women to keep her hair covered, so does the New Testament. Then you get away from the basics to differing interpretations, no where that I have ever found in the Qur'an does it ever call for a full crown to shoe sole burquha. My understanding is that was a cultural imposition of mysoginy, to keep the females in "their place." Chritians use their bible in much the same way misinterpretation or intentional subjugation of some as not worthy of a peaceful life or after life.

I don't care what the Imams say, I DO care what the Arab Americans or green card holders say about Arab terrorism and how we keep it out of Europe, Asia, North America, Central and South America. I do care what Arab Americans say about home grown American terrorists like Timothy McVeigh and the Columbine Duo and other rampage shooters. these issues concern every American or person freely in this land.

I am willing to listen and form an opinion on the refugee crisis as long as the other side of the debate is not cloaked in religion. I understand why so many people from Syria and Iraq are running from war, placing themselves on the dangerous journey through the Balkans to Greece, a route now shutting down. I am NOT opposed to refugee's coming here under a rigorous vetting process, as long as they come as Iraqi or Syrian and not Shia or Sunni and definitely not Wahhabi.

So my best advice to the Arab American and immigrant population is if you're going to try to use the media, use it as Arabs, explain your feelings in terms of human costs not religious infringements. Tell me why I need not be cautious when near you and understand that the majority of Americans are NOT going to go to Dearborn MI to cause mayhem or shut down Arab cultural festivals or institutions. Tell me where we have accord and where we disagree so we can hopefully come to amity.

Be Well and Stay Safe.

Mark C. Durfee

An American

20 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank JJ, I can't let this thinking fester too long or it might not infect someone who needs to see another point of view.

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  2. Well said Mark. Very well said dear chap.

    If anyone is an apostate then it's ME. Religion is poison to me, whatever version.

    Best wishes Mark.

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    1. I have to agree Philip except it is poison to most others as well, them who never transcend beyond words in a book or some pulpit pimp pushing them into a tighter and tighter herd.

      None of it is for me, I know who and what i believe but that is of my own accord with the cosmos.

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  3. No religion means peace, I agree with that. I think, down here in the south, religion defines Americans more than maybe it does up there. One of the first questions often asked of strangers in the south is, what church do you go to. I find it a bit disturbing

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    1. Oddly enough in my travels in the South Charles, I always noticed the small towns tallest structure was the Steeple or competing Steeples. I never got quizzed about my religion, just kept on moving if it seemed to be a town centered on a few bible scriptures.

      Look at it like this, all of our pants would be down around our ass if we didn't have a bible belt. i rarely agree with any of their positions but I will always agree with their right o have them.

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  4. Well thought out remarks. I think the word that needs brought up more often is fanaticism. It's fanatics who run around chopping off heads! What sane person would do that? Islam seems to have more that it's fair share of fanatics! for sure.. Of course, here in America we have born again, poison drinking, snake handling, washed in the blood of the lamb, evangelical, bible thumping, certifiable crazy bastards! Of course, they haven't killed anybody (to my knowledge) since they quit hanging black people by the light of a burning cross! But it wouldn't take much to get them fired up again! Religion=Mental Illness.....

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    1. Mohave--Fanaticism though is not just a Muslim trait, the Mexican drug cartels are just as brutal and willing to take the heads of their competitors as Daesh is.

      Most of the fanatics of Islam are sourced from two areas, they mix their politics with their religion and then there are the Wahhabi, the officvial sect of Islam in Saudi Arabia, which there are many indicators is a nation supporting Daesh financially.

      I don't think you can say Christian fanaticism is dead either, it may be getting more eloquent in it's practices but in America we have our share of bombers and shooters who try to make change through violence.

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  5. My dad said once: Never discuss Sex or Politics with any one ... ok, dad, forgive me but I just have to, I just have to respond to this statement of my friend Mark.k?... I deeply believe, that monkey face Bush was a theater puppet for who ever pulled his strings at 9/11 ... and this is going on and on and on ever since then ... against Islam ... my my mumme is a jew/gypsy "undesirable" that escaped death camp somehow and yet she is totally against refugees now ... raving and ranting ...ya ... Love,U, cat.

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    1. ... have so much more 2 say, but won't ... Love, cat.

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    2. ... don't think I made my point, meouw papa ... o well ... life goes on until not ... Love, cat.

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    3. Meowmomma you made your point perfectly. There are many Syrian communities in America that are Christian (so they say) that are against the Muslim refugees coming here, and they will not offer them haven or support.

      If they don't why should I? Because it is the only answer to an evolving human crisis no different on the face of it than the '04 (?) Tsunami. Not to mention my area, my zip code in Detroit though violent and poverty filled, has plenty of space to be inhabited and repaired. You know as well as I that no religious law will subvert American law and if properly done I say bring them right here as my neighbors, I do not fear them.

      Bush is the past, he was and still is a moron. But history not yours, mine or your mothers can be changed. so let us move forward in untried directions. Detroit is historically used to immigrants. has been since Ford made his first car.

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  6. Good article, Mark. In my opinion, religions have always done more harm than good. Also, I don't need a religion to be a good person. As for the so-called refugees, some are probably genuine, and I know there is a lot of suffering in that part of the world, but from what I've read, it also looks like a planned invasion...
    Best wishes, my friend.

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    1. Vesper, I think that them who are of fighting age who actually make it into the countries taking them in, need be trained up to our military standards and sent back as Arab brigades. Their wives and elderly can remain in place in safety. But I think it is time for the West to stop trying to impose a culture that is not acceptable to Arabs. If Arab forces were to go and fight not only against Daesh but the sectarianism, it might, might just give Israel and its antagonists a chance to sit and bargain in good faith.

      As fpor the invasion, yes I am sure there are some who will sneak past any border control or vetting, I have no illusions about North America being safe because of our two oceans. On the other hand, I refuse to fear--I have lived and still live a good life, I have done more than some, seen more than others and less than still others. That is how a life is lived, in taking chances on the good and not worrying if you get caught by someone's evil intent. My last vision will be of a green field full of wild flowers and i will lay in it until called forth.

      peace Vesper

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  7. i hope you send this letter to the new york times and the washington post and to CNN and even to fox. your point is so excellent there's nothing i can even single out. the point about nationality and not religion is so obvious when you say it.

    yesterday as donald trump was high fiving his supporters who kicked the black protester at a trump rally in alabama, i had my own insight. white supremacy. that's what's changed in america, and the very strong white position in the world is changing every which way. that creates fear, but before fear comes tightening the hatches and pointing fingers. i'm sad for all of it.

    thanks, mark
    love
    kj

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    1. kj, letting the actions of others dictate to me where or how I stand is never going to happen. people who don't like my position or place can pass me by or in general kiss my ass. I understand what you are saying about White America being afraid even more than usual, within 20 years we will no longer be a majority population in this country. Which is fine with me, i only hope that women of all shades take the fuck over to stop all this damned violence the world is so used to.

      love you too kiddo.

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  8. i hesitate to say this, but 'refugees' that come into a country (any country, anywhere in the world) and then expect that country to change and adapt to their beliefs (or religion), is not a refugee in my eyes, but an infiltrator.

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    1. Never hesitate shadow to iterate your position. I understand it intellectually by reading about the Brits and the problem they have with immigrants and the new European in flux. Here in the Detroit metro area we have the largest Arab community outside the Middle East, they have basically taken over Dearborn MI in the past 40 years but there is no bullshit about circumventing American law, and all cultural crimes are prosecuted as crimes against US law. On the other hand there have been many "Christian" protesters who's rights to free speech in that community have been upheld, including them carrying a pigs head on a pike during a yearly Arab festival.

      The next year they chose to not hold their festival. Here cultures and communities from all over the world have self segregated but trumping all is American law.

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So Walking Man I was thinking...