Upon Consideration: An Apology

I was quite rightly taken to task* for my comments about non-Muslims in my last post. I should have made it very clear that I was talking about the intolerant non-Muslims who are making headlines these days.

I myself have been treated with nothing but kindness and respect since I became a Muslim. But I read and hear so many comments made by bigots that I admit I start to feel like they’re directed at me personally.

Any questions I’ve been asked have been from honest curiosity and a desire to learn more about my religion. It is only those who are close-minded, who don’t even try to learn anything about Islam and who don’t know any Muslims who tend to be prejudiced against Muslims and Islam.†

One reason why I made the comments I made was because I remember only too well what it’s like to be a non-Muslim who knows next to nothing about Islam. I was never hateful toward Muslims, but I was leery of them. I couldn’t understand how they could hate us so much that they would perpetrate 9/11. I thought they worshiped a different God than Jews or Christians do. I even, when I was younger, thought that they worshiped Mohammad.

I want people who are where I was to know the truth about Islam so badly that I sometimes overstate my case. I wasn’t referring to all non-Muslims when I wrote yesterday’s post, but I didn’t make that clear. And for that I apologize.

*Here is what my commenter wrote on my Facebook page:

Usually I really enjoy your posts, but this time I have to take issue with this statement in particular, “Non-Muslims don’t want to hear from Muslims who are obviously Muslim. They like token Muslims.” I think it’s inflammatory and unkind and I’d like to ask you to reconsider what you’re saying. Because I am a non-Muslim, which means I’m the type of person you’re speaking about here.

I assume your blog entry is prompted by recent events, so I can certainly see where your frustration comes from. However, I don’t like to be lumped in with radicals who make bad choices any more than I imagine you do.

†Attitudes Toward Muslims According to Personal Acquaintance with Muslims
Know a
Muslim
Don’t
know a
Muslim
Difference
Favor special ID for Muslims 24 50 -26
Would not want Muslim as a neighbor 10 31 -21
Favor special security checks at airports for Muslims 30 49 -19
Nervous if Muslim man were on same flight 20 38 -18
Muslims not loyal to the U.S. 30 45 -15
Muslims too extreme in religious beliefs 36 50 -14
Have some feelings of prejudice against Muslims 32 45 -13
Muslims sympathetic to al-Qaeda 29 38 -9
Muslims not respectful of other religions 35 44 -9
Nervous if Muslim woman on same flight 15 20 -5
Muslims not committed to religious beliefs 6 7 -1
Muslims not respectful of women 52 52 0