It’s over! Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week has come to an end. We watched “Obsession,” we signed petitions attacking terrorism and we listened to Dennis Prager. You read multiple articles addressing the issue, including one of mine condemning the week altogether, especially “Obsession” and Prager. The question now becomes – was I right, or was I wrong?
My answer is: both. “Obsession” was everything I said it would be. However, Dennis Prager was a more-than-decent speaker, and I’m not just saying that because I was on his show on Thursday morning discussing my column.
For those who missed “Obsession” like I did, watch it online or borrow it from a friend. Then watch “Occupation 101” and see the similar scare tactics both movies use. These films switch from people praying to people killing, and both fail to shed any light on the other side. Yes, “Obsession” said only 10 percent of Muslims believed in the fascist ideologies. However, they also showed images that make us believe we should not trust anyone, even those who condemn terrorism. For example, they showed one man spouting against terrorism publicly, and then calling for jihad against America. You had Shoebat making wordplay on the word jihad, which means “struggle,” like mein kampf. However, the term “jihad” has been hijacked by the terrorists. Jihad can have a beautiful connotation as well. The greatest jihad in Islam is giving birth.
The biggest shame was the fact that “Obsession” had something very important to say, but failed to say it in an important way. Yes, the film had a disclaimer stating not all Muslims are Islamo-fascists. However, images are more powerful than words. The only image we saw was the burning of American flags, the Twin Towers collapsing and thousands shouting “Death to America.” We did not and do not see the candle vigils held against terrorism in Muslim countries. We did not see the unreported protests against terrorism, but the 10 percent of the population that supports terrorism. Showing images like those would make the Muslim communities more inclined to participate in events like IFAW.
As for Dennis Prager, well, that’s another issue at hand. I wish I had not made the stupid KKK joke in last Tuesday’s article. When we throw around those labels to make a point, we do a true disservice to the point we are trying to make and to people who share the same ideology. Having said that, a note to Bill O’Reilly: stop calling the Daily Kos the KKK. I did not want to imply that Prager is a bigot – he is not. I do not agree with him, but this is a man who gives equal opportunity to Muslims and to his opponents, as I learned as a guest on his show. He is a man of dignity and of respect, unlike many radio show hosts, conservative or liberal.
The message Dennis Prager made was an important one. The Muslim community, despite all the negative attention given to them, needs to air out their dirty laundry. They need to speak out against those in their communities that do wrong. And that’s a message we all need to take to heart. If someone from our faith kills in its name, we must condemn them publicly. If someone from our nation does wrong, we need to act out and make sure the media pays attention. We cannot demonize people we hate, and the enemy of our enemy is not our friend. I am a liberal, and I am still a liberal, but you don’t have to be a conservative to agree with Dennis Prager on this issue.
So I apologize to Mr. Prager for the comments I made against him in my column. This taught me an important lesson: Let the person speak before you criticize them. They may just have something good to say, as Prager did Thursday. And most of all, I am glad that everyone gave Prager time to give his speech without interruption. Those of you who did not show up truly missed out.