To Speak up or to Remain Silent…

You may recall that a few months ago, I was contacted by the widow of my brother whom I never got to meet.   My brother died about 14 years ago, and she’s been looking for his family on behalf of their son, my nephew.  They live in Massachusetts, and I’m hoping to meet them before Drew and I move to Reno.  She and I are friends on Facebook, and I have been sending birthday cards and small gifts for my nephew and for their other children.

Today, she posted this meme.  Apparently one of her friends is Muslim.  The friend was clearly and understandably offended.  As a socially conscious person, it made me sick.  The meme is riddled with misinformation, and the most glaring issue is that it not-so-subtly suggests that Muslims are followers of Osama bin Laden.

My instinct was to go point by  point and tell her how each bullet point is bullshit.

  • If Islam is taught in a public school, it is in the context of world studies, and it is taught along side other religions in an effort to help children understand each other.
  • There is no place in this country in which Sharia law would be enforced by any legitimate law enforcement agency or court.
  • The only president in my lifetime (49 years on the 16th) who has promoted any religion is the current president. Obama was Christian. And even if he had been Muslim, we have a constitution that allows people of all religions to practice without persecution or fear of retaliation.
  • So yes, we welcome some Islamic refugees.
  • Who has bowed? What changes have been demanded?
  • While there may be some who wage “jihad” inside America, the majority of terrorist activity in this country since 9/11 has been committed by white men.
  • Yes, we have elected a Muslim to congress. Again, this is a protection under the US constitution.
  • No democrat has defended a follower of Bin Laden, who is the man in the picture, and thus the implication is that Democrats support Bin Laden.
  • In a country that guarantees freedom of speech, no one is banned from offending or criticizing anyone.
  • These stories about schools taking down American flags so not to offend Muslim students are fiction. Schools that have put temporary bans on American flags have done so because a group of students had been using them to harass Mexican students or other students of color.
  • And as to whether democrats helped Bin Laden “win?” It was a Democratic president who gave the order to blow him off the globe.

I couldn’t bring myself to post it, though.  I don’t want to alienate her and miss out on the opportunity to have a relationship with my brother’s son.  On the other hand, I feel morally obligated to come to the defense of Muslims.  I don’t want that woman to feel that everyone agrees with this idiotic meme.

I decided to be a bit less aggressive in my response.

I understand that a lot of people feel like it’s too easy to offend, now. In some ways, I think that is true. But this meme is riddled with misrepresentations and lies. Most specifically, it pictures Osama bin Laden, and refers to Muslims as “my followers.” That’s so wrong.
I have found that most people just want to be respected, regardless of their religion. When I took the time to ask a waiter how to say “thank you,” in Arabic and then thanked him in Arabic each time he came back, he brought me an extra dessert.😉 

I hope it doesn’t cost me, but my conscience wouldn’t let me just walk away.

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January 4, 2020

The only mistake would be silence. Speak up even if your voice shakes. Well done.


January 4, 2020

@snarkle thank you!  🥰

January 4, 2020

That meme is incredibly offensive. I’m glad that you stood up against it. Hopefully she’ll still let you meet your brother’s son.

January 4, 2020

I don’t blame you…In fact you said all of this much better then I could ever say this……I guess I am also apart of the minority because I am Jewish but I don’t see as much discrimination as I do towards the people of color no matter where they come from.

It’s really sad that we have to have a president who seems to think just because others come from  the middle east all are terrorists.  There are a lot of great people who make the world a better place.

January 5, 2020

I swear some people really dont read what they are posting before they post. I’ve unfriended people for posting bs.

I’m Jewish and look what’s happening… you are what you are. I hope this doesn’t alienate your SIL.