Military stories from past to present, both wars.

The Islamic Elephant in the room!!

September 22nd, 2010 Posted in The SandGram v1.0

Burka Babe near Downtown Fort Worth TX


The Islamic Elephant in the Room,

 Have you ever heard the old English expression about “The Elephant in the Room?” That’s when there is a topic so toxic that no one wants to bring it out in the open for fear of upsetting people. I thought of this idiom in relation to Islam, and how so many people can not bring themselves to see the dark underbelly of that religion. A family friend of ours recently posted something on his Facebook account that caught my attention and made me think of that saying…

 “Anyone who is scared of a Muslim because they are a Muslim is a coward. Anyone who hates a Muslim because they are a Muslim is a coward. Anyone who wants to kill Muslims because they are Muslim also = a Coward. Scared Americans, take a deep breath and have a little courage.”

 Now Mike (not his real name) is a “working actor” who has played key roles as a Marine in two of my favorite shows, “JAG” and “NCIS” with that Marine poster boy gusto that I wish I had, and I am a Marine!

 His statement made for a weeklong discussion, and I felt bad as his page was hijacked by the entire constant back and forth between me and his friends.  The sensitive subject of the Muslim faith and the fear it seems to cause really made me think.  My experience with Muslims overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan has given me a different insight into this faith than those who have interacted with them in the States.  As President Obama likes to say, “Let me be perfectly clear.” I am not anti-Muslim, but I do dislike certain aspects of this religion (Sharia law, force/arranged marriages/treatment of women etc) that mainly applies to areas outside of the United States, but which is making inroads into our culture.

 Recently another cartoonist, Molly Norris, had to go into hiding because of death threats made to her after her “Draw Muhammad day” cartoon came out in April.  I find it amusing that a “religion of peace” can issue death threats to someone over a cartoon.  It doesn’t make sense to me.  I also find the double standard applied to Christianity funny, too.  In the West, you can have a church next to a mosque or a synagogue, and no one says a thing, but name one church in Saudi Arabia, that I could attend worship in if I was on vacation or on business over there.  You can’t because Christianity is illegal in most Islamic countries.  You can be arrested for just having a bible or executed by a rabid  “overzealous” Muslim like the female missionary who was abducted and murdered when I was in Kabul.

 Now that “Pastor” in Gainesville, Florida, who wanted to have a “burn the Quran day,” was way out of line, in my mind.  I think it would be disrespectful to Muslims, put our troops and foreign policy in jeopardy, and bring a Jihad to his church.  It is within his rights to do so in the United States under our laws, but not advised. 

 I also think that building a mosque anywhere near ground zero is insensitive to most Americans and while they have the right to do so, it would be inappropriate. Once again, could you build a church next to Mecca? Not a chance.

 I digressed a bit, the discussion went all over the place from Henry Ford being anti-Semitic (don’t recall Jews blowing themselves up or stoning women) to the practice of forced arranged marriages.  One gal replied that our country was based on arranged marriages in the 1700/1800’s and she knows lots of people who are happily married in arranged marriages. I agree this happened in early America when you dated a girl within a three-mile radius of your farm (guess the same could be said in Afghanistan–dating a girl within a three-mile donkey ride since most of them live in the 1400’s).  I know a lot of people and can’t say that I’ve heard of one arranged marriage yet.  Do you know of any?  If they happen, I’m willing to bet the folks involved aren’t from the United States originally, but from India or the Middle East.  She argued that arranged marriages were a good thing, and on a comeback in the real world.  I asked if she endorsed the practice and I’m not talking about getting set up a date. I mean your folks tell you to return home and get married to Joe Smuckatelly.  Of course it was good for others, but not for her since that means leaving L.A. and her acting career.

 That is the sort of problem we face now days as a nation.  America is like the Middle East in the sense that they only know what the Imam tells them, we only know what CNN or Fox News wants us to know.  If you are liberal and worship Bill Maher, then Islam is a good thing, and can do no wrong, whereas Fox might show the downside of Sharia law.  The press as a whole tends to ignore the negative aspects of this religion probably to avoid getting death threats from its “peaceful” members.

 Our actor friend was put to task by Moi,

 “Mike, you play a great Marine on TV and I’m proud as hell of you and what you have done. I would also be honored if you ever wanted to join the Corps, being on recruiting duty right now, I could hook you up. All I ask is for one tour over there to see some average scary bad guys and what they like to do. I have no problem with Muslims in America; they have their eyes opened and embrace it pretty well. It’s when smart men who were just your average guy get twisted, and decide to strap a bomb on their waist and blow up a subway or bus like in London. Don’t see a lot of American’s doing that in the name of Jesus.”

 I don’t think he’ll accept my offer with a budding career and a young child at home and I can’t blame him.  I left my kids the first time ages six months and 27 months old to head out to Iraq and it sucked.  Worse was the second time for my tour in Afghanistan.  I offered his Hollywood and NYC friends the chance to be an NGO or UN worker and got no takers.  Remember, it’s easy to talk a big game sitting in the comfort of your house watching Bill Maher on the 52” flat screen; it’s another to leave your family, and roll the dice you won’t be killed or maimed by those who do the bidding in the name of religion. A religion that has proven over time to cause some of its members to become extreme, hence the Islamic “Elephant in the room” no one wants to talk about when it causes someone to go from “I’m a peaceful Muslim” to “Kill/Jihad/praise be to Allah” and boom there’s a bomb or death threat.  Maybe another topic could be called “When good Muslims go bad.”  I think we could have thousands of examples of this vice the hand full “When Christians go bad.” (Hollywood folks seem to think being Christian is a bad thing, but if they ever were deployed, they would realize there are no such things as atheist in a foxhole.)

 Please feel free to give me and the other readers your thoughts on the subject.  Do you fear the spread of Islam or Sharia Law?  Why?  Do you think Sharia law should be tolerated and protected in the US even though we would lose our liberties and the Constitution would be trashed? 

 One good point brought up was that people truly feared religion (and spread this fear) in the 60’s when JFK was elected and thought that the Pope would rule the U.S. through a Catholic President.  Is this the same thing?

 I look forward to the dialogue!

Semper Fi,


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