Thursday, September 9, 2010

Intolerance: My Emerging Issue

Hello all,

Today's entry isn't going to be about screenwriting or film making. I'm going to tackle a different subject today. Lately, I've been disturbed by the media coverage of the Islamic community center near Ground Zero. I know this may seem like old news, especially with the media now focused on pastor Terry Jones, who plans to burn Korans on the anniversary of 911. While these two stories are separate issues, I don't believe the fact that these events are happening a few weeks a part is an accident.

If you've checked out my facebook page, you know where I stand on the issue of the Islamic community center, but just in case you aren't on facebook, I support the building of the center. One of the reasons I support it is because it's for everyone, people of all religions will be welcomed and even those who atheist and agnostic. Opponents of the mosque have made the argument that this building disrespects the memories of those who have perished in the Twin Towers. It's been called insensitive and those on the right have jumped at the opportunity to make this issue political for their benefit. Here is some questions to the opponents of the center. What about the Muslims who also died in the attacks? Did you know that the Twin Towers had a mosque already in one of the buildings? What about the families of the Muslim victims on 911?

According to the polls, most Americans don't support the building of this center. I think that is a real shame. It's not just about the center, it is an issue of freedom of religion and civil rights. I feel like my country is at a very negative crossroads. The intolerance that is building in our nation is disturbing. The fact that politicians and right-wing pundits on Fox are capitalizing on intolerance. I wonder if this movement will spread like the wild fires in Colorado.

I'm going to switch gears again and tell you about a recent experience I had at the Clam Digger, a fried seafood restaurant that recently opened in my hometown. My mom and I decided to check it out because they were running special deals for the grand opening.

I was at the counter and had given the man my order. I think this man was the manager and maybe even the owner but I'm not sure. After I had given him my order he asked for my name. Now most people make assumptions about the spelling of my name and 9 out of 10 times those assumptions are wrong. I was getting ready to encounter one of those times. He proceeds to spell my name and after he gets to the second letter, I try to tell him he's wrong. I get ready to give him the correct spelling and then he tells me he will spell my name the way he wants to. I let it go. My mom comes up to see what's going on and then the guy tells me I have a wacky name. He must have figured that my mom was my mom and proceeded to ask her why she gave me a wacky name? I couldn't believe what had just happened. I could have made a scene, lord knows I had a few choice words, but I decided to let it go.

Obviously, I really haven't let it go. That's why I'm blogging about it. I guess names like Mary, Michael, John, Steve, Joanne, Beth, Nicole aren't wacky. I love my name and I'm glad my mother gave me this wacky name. It means, to ascend or to rise up in Hebrew and Arabic. I know I live in a diverse country, but diversity is not at the hearts and minds of all our fellow citizens. My incident at the Clam Digger is proof of that. The United States has come a long way, but we still have a long way to go in respecting people of different ethnicities, colors, religions, and sexual orientation. Intolerance is my emerging issue. I'm going to do my best fight it, because intolerance only breeds intolerance. Thanks for reading and I welcome your comments.

6 comments:

M. Bail said...

Hi Aaliyah! I'm with you on the community center issue, too. I wonder if those right wingers ever gave any thought to the rhetoric they spewed at the beginning of the war about "freedom isn't free." They used that slogan as one of the justifications for the war. So now all those soldiers have died and we're still not free to express our views and practive our religions? It's one of the principals this country was founded on and now those opponents of the center want to make exceptions. I've sensed a growing intolerance in the country too. It's sad.

And believe it or not, I get the same kind of issues with my name. Yours is beautiful and unique, mine is old-fashioned and people can't spell either of them!

Indigenous Productions said...

About your name:

As someone who has a name that's unusual that incident at the restaurant makes me sooo mad on your behalf.

I don't understand why people cannot just respect other peoples names.

Aaliyah said...

Thanks for the comments and your feedback. I really appreciate it.

Since I was kid I've always had to deal with something or the other regarding my name. For the most part it's been positive I usually get, "That's a beautiful name."

The experience I had made me ponder the issue of intolerance in the United States. Sometimes it can be a wacky preacher like pastor Jones or sometimes it can be an inconsiderate manager like the one I met at the Clam Digger.

While I did enjoy my meal, I've made the choice not to support the restaurant.

Kerry O'Donoghue said...

Hiya Aliyah,

A Mosque was on that site before you are correct and normally I would say there is nothing wrong with it. But what is not said often in the press is that the reason why the Mosque is planned to be built on that site by its financiers is because of a tradition which goes back to the start of the religion here are three examples which are from 600AD and one from 1974 to show that a certain practice is just not only carried out in the distant past. This practice is and always has been carried out by the followers of one expansionist cult associated with Islam.

In 634, Rightly Guided Caliph Umar conquered Syria and turned the Christians' most prominent spot, the Church of Job, famous for being visited by Saint Silva in the fourth century, into the Mosque of Job.
In 637, Caliph Umar conquered Hebron and turned the second-most prominent spot in Judaism, the Cave of the Patriarchs, into the Ibrahimi Mosque. (This was repeated by Saladin in 1188.)
In 638, Muslim generals Amr ibn al-As and Khalid ibn al-Walid conquered Gaza and turned the prominent fifth-century Byzantine church into the Great Mosque of Gaza.
In 1974, Turkish Muslims invaded northern Cyprus, and prominent Greek Orthodox churches were turned into mosques. In 1981, Muslim immigrants to the Netherlands converted Amsterdam's historic Catholic Sint-Ignatiuskerk into the Fatih Mosque, and a synagogue in The Hague into the Aksa Mosque.

You see the practice, belief or policy is as a sign of victory and occupation you build a Mosque over the site of your enemies greatest defeat to date. The Jihadists do see the Twin Towers as their greatest symbolic victory to date against non-Muslims in the US for sure and maybe worldwide.

Please note one thing I carefully use the term Jihadists and not Muslims as I have enough experience to know that the Jihadists ideology is a basterdisation of Islam. They are not Muslims they follow a cult which claims to be Muslim the same as those who follow the Meade Ministries are not seen as true representations of Christianity by the majority of Christians worldwide.

Aaliyah said...

Kerry,

It is isn't a solely a mosque. It is a community center open to all faiths. The right has coined the term "Ground Zero."

Anonymous said...

Good Writing and good reading for me. Just want to say congratulations, and I am proud of you and your accomplishments. One of your many cousins on you dads side.

Christine Taylor (for family only aka Teenie)