Intolerance: The Root of Violence

Today, I received an e-mail from a name that I didn’t recognize. When I opened it, it read “We met once at one of the MSA meetings last year. I hope you remember me. I just wanted to get your thoughts on this.” At that point, I knew exactly who the individual was. How could forget the man who made it his mission to attend all the MSA meetings with his Bible to remind us how Muslims would burn in hell if we didn’t accept Jesus as God into their lives!

I simply reminded him that violent individuals don’t represent Islam anymore than Terry Jones represents Christianity. Moreover, I asked him if he realized the ignorance in asking me to answer for the actions of individuals whom I’ve never met; asking me to explain why complete strangers are committing acts of violence. I asked him how he would feel if I asked him, an African American man, to defend the crimes committed by Blacks in the U.S.—because clearly, Blacks are one monolithic group (!?).

Within three e-mail, this individual:

condemned me to Hell; insulted my religion; insulted my ability to think; had me answer for crimes of complete strangers; and accused me of following my faith ignorantly and blindly. I asked him to think about how his own attitude reflects the same kind of ignorance and intolerance that he criticizes Muslims of having.

I still cannot believe that I had to deal with this from a complete stranger! I sent him a final e-mail inviting him to attend the local Interfaith Peace Conference this upcoming weekend (they teach individuals how to interact and speak with people of other faiths in order to produce more peace-oriented discussions).

I know people like him, and the best way to deal with them is to stay away from them. I have met Christians, Muslims, even atheists with this same attitude. They all sound like boring records—-except one preaches this and the other preaches that. They all try and convince the others to convert to their religion…or else.

They all sound the same. Two words: keep away.



7 thoughts on “Intolerance: The Root of Violence

  1. People like him are simply ignorant and completely blind. Did he know that Jesus called his followers to worship One God, One Creator?

    Luke 4:8 “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only”

    Funny, why didn’t Jesus say Worship Me?


  2. attendingtheworld, you are right. In the Bible, Jesus never tells his followers to worship Him, but rather to follow him—two different messages. It is later theologians who insert this into the religion. As a Muslim, I understand this.

    I, however, chose not to try and argue with someone who is very passionate about his faith. Afterall, my family are all believing Christians. What really rubs me the wrong way are people who thinks they have a God-like privilege to designate people to Hell. I would never tell anyone, no matter what their believes are, that they are going to Hell. God is the Judge of mankind, not I. Of course, we see Muslims who do the same thing. Quite frankly, it’s repetitive, boring and only perpetuates intolerance.

    I’d like to believe that I am someone who likes to teach others about Islam without being preachy nor condemning. There are times, however, when I just want to be left alone. I don’t want to preach nor argue. I just want to practice my religion in peace.

  3. God is the Judge of mankind, not I.

    Great and profound statement!

    Yet the person who argued with you was quick to “condemn” you to Hell! No one labels this type of person as extremist (among his kin folk). But if you or I were to say the same as a Muslim(ah), we’re suddenly accused of having ties to Al Qaeda!

    Go figure!


  4. Strange how you should get such treatment from a Black person. Often times, we are put under the pressure of having to defend and explain the actions of other Blackamericans: why are you guys so lazy, why do you berate women in your music, etc. I would think, being the “problem people” of America, that we, of all people in this country, would collectively know better, but I suppose we Blacks are equally capable of bigotry and stupidity, despite our status in society.

  5. This reminds me of a man who blogged, “Islam may not be the Antichrist, but it sure is an Antichrist religion.” I gave him a list of every action required of Muslims by the Quran, and asked which would Jesus Christ disagree with. Although he sent an email saying he does not disagree with my comment, the punk didn’t publish my comment. His reasoning was, “oh this simply is out of topic.” He and I both knew he just wanted fuel to add on to his little barely burning flame.

  6. Hi Maha,

    So, after reading this post, I wrote some of my own thoughts about fundamentalism – both Christian and Islamic. Some of what I had to say (to both camps) was fairly harsh…I just have a problem with fundamentalists of any kind forcing religious beliefs down peoples’ throats.

    I would be really interested to know your thoughts about what I had to say…although I have to confess I’ve been a little afraid to ask, as I also don’t want to be the cause of offense to you!

    Anyway, it’s there if you would like to see it:


    • Hi Galatea,
      I responded to your post. It definitely didn’t upset me, though I gave a detailed response as to why I would disagree with some (not all) of your points.

      Thanks for posting. The points you raise have been ones I have considered myself in the past—and they are definitely relevant.


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