More and more I am seeing posts on Facebook that compare the rhetoric being thrown around today about Muslims, most notably by Donald Trump, to the rhetoric that preceeded the Holocaust. This is frightening for the Muslims, but it should be frightening for us all.
To say those years of the Holocaust were dark times for the Jews is an understatement, but it was a dark time for the whole world. I am talking about the context of the Holocaust…the setting in which it was allowed to go on for so long with little resistance. There were those in the world who believed the lies spoken about the Jews and those who may not have believed but didn’t challenge the lies because it was uncomfortable to do so. And I am sure there were those so engrossed in their own little lives that they didn’t even know what was going on under Hitler. They maybe didn’t even know who Adolf Hitler was.
I think we have the same collection of mindsets today. The fact that the great spewer of hate, Donald Trump, has such a following makes it clear that there are those who believe the lies. Out of these come violent actions against innocent Muslims. Out of these come the denial of their humanity. It is a cancer in our country and in the world.
There are those today who know that the words spoken by Trump are not true, but are hesitant to speak out even when they hear the prejudice and hate behind those words repeated by those around them. A challenge to the beliefs of another makes for an uncomfortable moment. Better to make a joke or find a way to change the subject. Unfortunately, this does nothing about the spread of the cancer.
As for the third group I mentioned above, there are those who pay no attention to what is going on in the world. God only knows the reason. I suggest that some reasons are quite understandable. Some people have pain in their lives that requires their undivided attention. These need our help, not our judgment. Others simply can’t handle the tensions of the world and find ways to block things out by filling their lives with activity or through their addictions. I feel sorry for them. It is my experience that if I want to deeply experience the joys of life, I have to take the whole package of engagement in life, the bad and the good.
In spite of the darkness that I see, I see also signs of hope. While I see the negative comments in the news and in social media, I see positive ones as well. I see information being shared that challenge the lies. This includes facts and statistics that refute the lies being spread. I have seen videos that reveal the humanity that we all share with Muslim people and depictions of the suffering of the men, women and children who are being driven from their homes. I also have seen philosophical statements that stir people to a higher spiritual sense. These give me hope. They are a light in the darkness for me.
Because of the light that I see, I choose to walk in that light through my words and actions. If I hear or read a statement by someone that I know to be in error, I will refute it, not with argument, but with what I know to be the facts. When I see media presentations that depict the Muslims as they are, children of God, people who have the same values and dreams as the rest of the human race, I will pass these on whenever I can. I will also share the beautiful inspirational statements I see no matter the religious or cultural source.
I have this blog as well. I can use it for all of the above as I am doing right now. I cannot take on the whole world of darkness, but I can shine my little light where I am today in my little corner of the world. I pray that others will do the same and perhaps collectively, the light we create together will drown out the darkenss.