Conservatives in the wake of the Orlando terrorist attack have predictably stampeded the stage, competing with one another for the prize of being the first to blame Islam. This is sadly reminiscent of the tragic reaction conservatives displayed following the Fort Hood workplace mishap in 2009, in which the shooter’s religion and motives remain largely a mystery.
Their pattern of unjustified knee-jerk reactions depends on conservatives’ xenophobia, Islamophobia, Meccaphobia, mosquephobia, hijabophobia, transphobia and a whole bunch of other phobias that you’ll learn about just as soon as someone can conceive them. Equally, this disturbing pattern thrives on an ignorance of history. This is why we who realize the valuable role of education in achieving peace and understanding are grateful for a President who has made repeated efforts, resisted though they have been, to enlighten us with heretofore hidden history.
Immediately upon his having taken the oath of office, Barack Obama went out of his way to remind us and the world that Islam has always been woven into the fabric of America. Yes, indeed. And was this reminder ever needed for it is a little-known fact that the U.S. was founded by Muslims and for Muslims on the peaceful precepts of the Koran.
After the Mayflower landed atop Plymouth Rock, a coalition of Sunni, Shiite, and Wahhabi Muslims exited and began to explore the New World, preaching peace as they went along. Upon meeting up with sick and hungry natives, Imams opened universities and hospitals, taught the starving natives to grow corn and poppy plants, and tutored them in Geometry. They explained to them that “Islam” means “peace” or “peace be upon you” or something like that. Every Ramadan, peaceful Muslims gathered with Cherokee, Apache, and Mayan tribesmen to smoke peyote and trade prayer rugs for dream catchers and burkas for buffalo skins. As the fast was broken with an iftar feast of turkey and frybread, conversations on cooperation and religious pluralism ensued. The Council on American-Islamic Relations was born.
Something like seven centuries later, white Christians on the other side of the Atlantic burned Aristotle at the stake along with all the books from Lisbon to Minsk. Having been asked to leave Europe, they stole ships from the Barbary Coast that Muslims had been using to distribute relief supplies to needy Europeans. They then sailed for the New World, bent on destruction.
Kicking Bird and Dances with Wolves were the first to get word that ships had docked in Boston. They crossed the Charles River and rode into Lexington, stopping at mosques along the way to warn Friday worshippers, “The Christians are coming!” Alas, with their fire sticks, the Europeans slew the peaceful Muslims to a man, wiping the great North American Muslim civilization from memory, until their rich history was recently resurrected. White Christians went on to shoot all the buffalos, bomb abortion clinics, and fill up the rivers with their styrofoam cups.
Few have bothered to notice how, prior to the arrival of Christians, shootings at gay clubs were unheard of in the Americas. The exercise of common sense would direct our suspicion toward the new kid on the block. Maybe you’ve observed in recent years that as these Christian newcomers have grown in number, so have senseless terrorist attacks. Therefore, it is not only the evil guns we should repudiate, nor merely suspected gunman, Omar Mateen (who I’ve been told was named after an early Christian missionary). Orlando, if anything, is a warning to us that Christianity itself must come under greater scrutiny and condemnation lest history repeat itself.