When I was Rector of St. John's Waterbury, from 2000 on, we rented our parish house to a mosque.
They were wonderful people--mostly not Arabs--but people who followed their faith and were a part of our community...owning stores, selling real estate, working as medical folks, lawyers and more.
When 9/11 happened, after we had heard from Mimi and Josh (both our kids lived in NYC on that day) and knowing Cathy was alright, walking from the subway stop after the World Trade Center back to Brooklyn, I drove to Waterbury to be with my Muslim friends, knowing it would be a day they would be blamed for.
99.99% of American Muslims are just like you and me. Hard working, tax paying, Constitution respecting members of our so, so diverse society.
And yet they are, too often than not, painted with the same brush as Isis and Alkadia and all the radical, war raging Muslims of the Middle East.
I remember walking with them from the old Parish House of St. John's, which we tore down for parking after they left, to the building they bought a few blocks away. My friends of a different faith.
The Republican primary contestants are appealing to the worst of our society--though too many for me to imagine--by being Islamic-phobic. And it needs to be named and exposed.
It is bigotry of the worst kind. Labeling all members of a Faith as like the worst of their Faith.
It's like seeing me as 'like' the most right wing Christians.
It's wrong and needs to be exposed as wrong.
Republicans like Trump and Dr. Carson and Fiorina are playing to the worst in us--our fears and ignorance.
It has to stop. Muslim Americans must be seen as Americans first and foremost and Muslims as an after thought--just like I am an American who happens to be Anglo-Saxon and Christian.
Just like that.
Else there will be hell to pay, in a big way.
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