6.08.2007

Nail in the coffin

So remember how I went on another date with the Semi-Stalker-Who While A Nice Guy is Simply Not Turning Out to Be My Type? That is not going to be happening again, bless his heart. The final straw came during that last date.

He asked me about places I've traveled and admitted that he hadn't really been anywhere yet.

Me: "Where would you like to go?"

Him: "The Holy Land."

Me: "Yeah, that's one place I'd like to go too." (Seeking common ground, see how I'm seeking common ground?)

Him: "Or, you know, just anywhere that has a lot of Muslims."

Me: "Um . . . okay . . . the Holy Land would work, then. Or at least that's one of the predominately Muslim areas where you would be allowed to go."

Him: "I just--I think we've got it all wrong in our country and have a lot of misapprehensions. I mean, I know my views are a bit much for some people, but I think there are just as many fanatical Christians as there are fanatical Muslims."

Me: "I'm sure that could be true. I guess it's just that the fanatical Muslims tend to get more of the attention since some of them express their feelings by blowing things up."

Him: "Well . . . I think that depends on your point of view. But, you know, I don't really want to get into a political discussion."

Oh really? Don't you?

That, my friends, was it for me. It "depends on [my] point of view"? So, like, if I have a more enlightened point of view then that changes the facts? And if I weren't such a crazy anti-Muslim racist then I would recognize that there have been just as many recent bombings by fanatical Christians?

That rubbed me so, so, so very much the wrong way. Because from the way he spoke, the right (and only) way to be open-minded and to care and learn about other people is to throw yourself right in the middle of them (or at least say that's what you want to do) and then tell everyone else that their point of view is wrong and that they can't possibly care the way that you care. And this wasn't just about Muslims--it came out in other discussions as well.

And it's not that I feel the need to defend myself here, not really. I know that I try in my own (perhaps small) way to combat racism and bigotry and to learn about other cultures. But I will say this--I'm not sure how you get to be #1 Friend to Muslims when you're sitting in the middle of Utah and have no real plans to actually go out and meet any.

15 comments:

kristen said... [reply]

Yeah, I think he's a gonner. His views seem a little jacked up to me too. And besides, he stalks you at work.

So, how are you going to break it to him? If you are frank with him (i.e. give him these reasons), I totally want to hear how that goes.

blackjazz said... [reply]

You could tell him how to access this blog :-)

Janssen said... [reply]

Wait, was this the same guy who prayed over dinner? And also, I think the title "#1 friend to Muslims" is perhaps the most awesome thing I've heard this week. It makes me want to work it into a conversation.

stupidramblings said... [reply]

So, using that logic:

The only way to truly understand the emotional impact of a Billy Joel song is to get hammered and then drive my Saturn through someone's front room.

Jér said... [reply]

Well, there are quite a few examples of Christian terrorism and violence. The Provos in Ireland, the abortion bombers in the U.S., religion-motivated hate crimes (including racial and anti-gay crimes). And that's just violence; I think there are tons more fanatical Christians than there are violent Christians.

That said, he still sounds like a weirdo.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Jer, you make an excellent point. If my friend Streets (who studied religious violence in Belfast) had read this post I'm sure she would have chimed in & reminded me of that, too.

But yes. Still weird.

Cicada said... [reply]

It's too bad he turned out to be a loser. He really did have some hope-inspiring elements.

Tusk said... [reply]

I *was* referring to a type of dive.

Miss Hass said... [reply]

Oh dear.

Anonymous said... [reply]

Anyone who is willing to blow themselves up in order to maximise the number of other people they kill at the same time, has completely lost the plot about what their religion teaches them to do. That's the big difference between Jer's examples and the extremist Islamic terrorism we see nowadays. I have many Muslim friends who would say the same.

Still - I agree with Jer and everyone else that the stalker sounds weird. You can do better - it's time to look for someone else.

Jér said... [reply]

Anonymous, since both Christianity and Islam have violence written right into their holy books, in one sense both the paramilitary fighter who blows up a Belfast street and the Palestinian suicide bomber who takes out a West Bank bazaar are completely in line with their respective religions. And in another sense, they are both completely out of touch with them. It all depends on who is interpreting the holy book, and that's a scary though when there are people like Osama bin Laden and David McMenemy walking around.

Anonymous said... [reply]

Jer - your news story shows 1. David McMenemy chose a time when the building was unoccupied; 2. when the car did not explode, he chose not to kill himself; 3. no link with his religious beliefs (most religions are anti-abortion, but you don't have to be religious to feel that abortion is wrong). He actually sounds mentally unbalanced, rather than religiously fanatical. Perhaps he is both.

I agree that there are fanatics in many religions. I am also aware of the extent of the unjustice that Muslims in areas such as Palestine have experienced for centuries. I have attended talks by Muslim scholars and I have many Muslim friends. I know that they all feel the pain, and even the anger of their brothers (and sisters) around the world.

BUT suicide bombing, thus far, in recent years, seems to be almost uniquely an Islamic phenomenom. Ask yourself why they choose suicide bombing as a means of protest. It is because by killing yourself, you can get undetected to places where there are large numbers of people. i.e. the aim is to kill as many people as possible, not just to cause chaos. That is the big difference between suicide bombing and other forms of violent protest.

The glorifying of suicide bombers to the extent that even old women and teenage girls have volunteered for and carried out the task is obscene. Children are also encouraged to aspire to this "glorious" role. The clerics and others who are behind this, can be nothing other than evil men. They have totally lost touch with the innate sense of right and wrong that all sane people have. In the Middle East, they prey on the desperation of people who feel persecuted, indignant and angry and twist the interpretation of their scriptures to incite mass murder facilitated by suicide.

I accept that much terrible violence has been carried out in all ages in the name of religion, especially Christianity. I also accept that suicide bombing has been used as a weapon by non- religious groups. But thus far, it is only extremist Muslims that have used it for "religious" ends. The scale of anarchy prevalent in the Middle East now is in a different league from anything seen in any other place or era.

Jimmy said... [reply]

I haven't read anything here, ever, that would make me think you have any extreme views or opinions. I think your ideas are firmly rooted and on solid ground. Not saying that I might always agree with what you say, but I think you have a good head on your shoulders.
I guess I'm dancin' around the issue. I'm glad he's history.

I don't suddenly develop an obligation to develop some kind of brotherhood with a group after they decide that I and anyone like me should be obliterated, know what I mean?

Geez, this could make me go on all day. I'm just glad he's done, k? :)

Anonymous said... [reply]

I knew he was trouble right from the second he asked if he could pray over the food in public. It's just weird.

.::still blinking::. said... [reply]

I was on a date once where the guy wanted to go and read the scriptures after we were done watching an indoor soccer game. He mentioned it while we were watching the soccer game. I RAN to the nearest pay phone and called my aunt who lived close and had her come and get me.

I'd say it's time for a covert move like that. Too bad he knows where you work.

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