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

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Ellen

Editor and chief writer at I, Muslimah and Femagination. Ellen also contributes regularly to Elevate Difference. She is a freelance writer, essayist and copy editor, living with two cats and a husband in Columbus, OH.

One thought on “Upon Consideration: An Apology”

  1. Thank you for taking the time to write this. I completely understand where you’re coming from. I simply didn’t want you to lose sight of the fact that many people are NOT like those idiots on the news. Because if you and other Muslims buy into that propaganda, then those morons win.

    However, I have to admit I had a change in attitude similar to the one that you had. Before I started teaching ESL, I didn’t know that many Muslims. The ones I did know weren’t Arabs. Now, some of my best friends are Arabs, and I find myself ashamed by the opinions I once had. I try very hard to be an advocate for Muslims whenever I can, which is probably why I was sad that you implied all people are against Muslims. It’s both that I was ashamed that I once felt that way, and that I’m ashamed that people still feel that way. :-(

    I need to call Noor Mosque. I’ve been wanting to work on their outreach committee, and I think this is the perfect time for me to get involved.

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