What Hatred Breeds
There’s been a bit of talk about some Muslim refugees coming to this country. People post videos of Muslim men doing violent things and say they don’t want these people coming to this country. They claim they are all like this, and they will destroy our way of life. I don’t like absolutes, especially when somebody says every member of a group behaves a certain way.
In a similar vein, I was given a link to a video about the Quran the other day during a somewhat heated discussion about the Muslim faith. The video talked about the difference between the Quran and other religious texts. One big point made—and this is the point made by many who are against this faith—is how the later parts supersede early parts, so any contradiction is resolved by following the later part. That’s a rule written in the text. The violent parts, including the violent parts directed at non-Muslims, are all later pieces. So, the naysayers say, the faith is a violent one because it is based on a violence-encouraging text.
No argument about the text; that’s the way it’s written. However, there’s one thing folks tend to want to ignore: Human nature. There’s plenty of violent bits in the Christian Bible, but people don’t follow those parts because they simply aren’t reasonable. (I am not trying to pick on Christians here, by the way. I mostly hear the bad stuff from Christians and I am more familiar with that faith is all.) This is true, I think, in all faiths. There’s parts of every religious text which mostly get ignored. Yes, there are factions which do their best to follow the violent parts, too, but they represent the religion as a whole just as much as the Westboro Baptist Church represents Christianity. Which is to say there are bad people and there are good people in any group, religious or otherwise.
The point here is to please not judge an entire group of people for the actions of a few. The video tries to say the Quran is an absolute for Muslims, suggesting they will all follow it to the letter. But most Christians don’t follow the Bible to the letter (when was the last time you heard of someone getting stoned for a biblical offense?), and Muslims, just as human as Christians, can make the same choices with regard to their religious text.
There are violent Muslims, and they almost certainly outnumber violent Christians. But there are violent Christians, plenty of them. In the civil rights era and before, they committed violent crimes against people of different ethnicities. These days, it’s more often violence against gays. Doesn’t really matter the reason; violence is violence and it’s evil, no matter who engages in it or why.
Coming back to the bit about the refugees…the population of the US is in excess of three-hundred twenty-five million people. The number of refugees being discussed is around ten thousand. Seriously, thousands of people are going to ruin the daily lives of millions? Even assuming every one of those refugees was a terrorist with a violent, evil plan, the numbers suggest abysmal failure is in store for them.
Not to mention there are laws for this. Not specific to Muslims, but to anyone who commits an act of violence or property destruction. They get arrested, put on trial, and sentenced. In the case of a refugee, they would be deported back to wherever they came from.
I am certain there will be some among the refugees who intend evil. You can’t put a group that large together, regardless of religious beliefs, and expect them all to behave. You would have a few bad apples if the group were comprised of Christians, Jews, atheists, Pastafarians or Star Trek fans. That doesn’t mean we should turn a cold shoulder to them in a time of need. It is compassion which destroys hatred. Hatred only breed more of the same…but only if you let it.