Things are starting to get crazy. Mohamad Jebara writes:
Recent suggestions by some American and European officials that mosques should be closed, and Muslims rounded up and placed in camps, are not merely troubling. They’re reminiscent of past injustices which the civilized world vowed never to repeat.
People do crazy things when they get scared. History provides us with plenty of examples:
Due to the frenzy aroused in the indoctrinated, many innocent and law-abiding Canadian and American citizens of German and Japanese descent were unjustly persecuted; their properties were confiscated, they were gathered into internment camps and their basic human rights were limited and abused.
Many injustices have been, and continue to be, perpetrated against our First Nations people, who were subjected to ethnic cleansing through residential schools, forced to convert to Christianity and denied the basic rights of citizenship until 1960. Their ancestral lands were confiscated, their lives treated with disregard.
Looking back, we are ashamed at what others have done in our names. But, when we look forward, we tend to forget the past:
The demonization of peoples and religions is an insidious process that infects entire cultures. Shakespeare vilified European Jews when he wrote The Merchant of Venice, as Charles Dickens did when he made his child-slaver Fagin a Jew in Oliver Twist. For centuries, Jews were portrayed in Western media as sly, deceitful, evil and merciless — a portrayal that allowed the ‘civilized’ world to stand by in silence — and in some cases even rejoice — as the Nazis worked to annihilate European Jewry.
The enemy is the Islamic State. It is not Islam. If we fail to see that distinction, we will end up in a very dark place.