Yes, the 9/11 attacks were committed by self-proclaimed Muslims. That is not in dispute.
But damning the millions of American Muslims for a crime committed by a few lunatics is morally reprehensible and logically crazed.
All religious and ethnic groups have blood on their hands. Yet many Muslims have been murdered since 9/11 in misguided acts of vengeance.
So have some who merely "looked Muslim," such as a Sikh gas station owner who was killed in Phoenix a few years ago for wearing a turban.
Hate speech - flowing across the airwaves and in far-right wing tracts by the likes of Ann Coulter - have called for revisiting the Japanese internment-camp system, if not worse.
Just recently, a group of imams including Omar Shahin, Tucson's former imam, a tireless worker for peace and a family friend who attended my Bar Mitzvah, were thrown off a plane for praying, as they are required to do five times a day, an act that was somehow interpreted as threatening....
This lack of concern for our neighbors' welfare is tragic in its own right.
But there is also a practical reason we all must stand up to protect the rights of gay and Muslim Americans: It could easily be us next.
Once we establish that denying rights to one group is acceptable, it becomes that much easier to deny them to someone else.
To quote a work from another time when people did not protest as others lost their freedom: " . . . and then they came for me, and by then there was nobody left to stand up." [Link]
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