Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Defining the enemy by Race

More proof that encouraging anti-Islamic rhetoric will never help:
From ThinkProgress

Alexios Marakis, a Greek Orthodox priest visiting the U.S., got lost in Tampa and tried to stop and ask directions from Marine reservist Jasen D. Bruce. But instead of offering help, “Brucestruck the priest on the head with a tire iron.” The reservist believed Marakis, who spoke limited English,was an Arab terrorist. Bruce chased the priest for three blocks, “and even called 911 to say thatan Arabic man tried to rob him.” According toa news release:

“During the chase, the suspect called 911 and claimed an Arabic male attempted to rob him and he was going to take him into custody,” a Tampa Police Department news release states.“When officers arrived, the suspect claimed the man was a terrorist.”

Police arrested Bruce for “aggravated battery with a deadly weapon” and are investigating whether he committed a hate crime.

When will we learn that our enemies are not a population recognized by color or religion. We'd like it if confronting terrorism was as easy as "them or us" like W. preached his entire term, but the truth is our enemies don't wear uniforms and badges, they look like everyone else does. But when we press that "this is our enemy" confusion results. I don't think that this soldier was trying to commit a hate crime, but indirectly he was committing a hate crime. He was attacking a man who came for help because he looked wrong in that soldiers eyes.

As a nation we struggle with racism on a daily basis and it's sad that our history hasn't defeated that problem. But we all need to understand that no matter how our battles are framed by our enemies as being holy jihads against the west, this is not a religious war. We are not fighting Islam, some Islamic people are trying to fight us. When we give in to the rhetoric of the enemy, we lose our perspective of who that enemy is.

If the United States were to stand by its intended principals of freedom of religion and tolerance, we might not be the target of these fanatics. We might not have soldiers in our own army turn on their fellow soldiers. We might not have international disputes that lead to prosecution of men trying to do their job.

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