Just a Friendly Reminder: All Birds Are Not Ducks

hand of fear

Dear Islamaphobe,

I know you’re scared.

I know that you are hearing about these terrorist attacks and thinking, “That could be us!” and that you’re looking at the Islamic religion and feel that it is the problem and you’re scared. Because Islam is different and that’s scary.

We are afraid of things that are different and when we are afraid we have one of two reactions. Either we run away or we attack.

In your fear, Islamaphobe, you are attacking the thing that is different. You are attacking it with your hate and xenophobia, you are trying to make it afraid of you so it doesn’t hurt you. The problem is that Muslims do not want to hurt you.

ALL Muslims are not out to kill you. Some religious extremists who practice the Islamic religion want to harm people but they are a small percentage of ALL Muslims.

But you don’t say “Religious extremist are a problem,” you say “All Muslims are the problem” as if they are one homogenous mass of faceless desert people who thirst for the blood of the West. In other words, as if they were all ducks.

When children are young, they learn about animals, their world is very simple. They may know one word and apply it to everything. If they learn duck first, every feathered creature with a beak becomes a duck. It could be a sparrow, an eagle, or a turkey but the only word they have for it is duck.

As they get older and their world expands, they stop referring to every bird as a duck. They realize that though they share some of the same features, they are all distinct animals.

Islamaphobe you haven’t moved past the duck stage. You’re stuck on it.

You think that all Muslims are terrorists because you have no concept of how large and varied the Islamic world really is. You think that they are all terrorists. You think they are all from the Middle East. You are ignorant in your condemnation of the reality that there are Islamic people of all nationalities.

You think they are all hardcore Quran-thumpers but just like with every other religion, there are Muslims who only go to Mosques on holidays, who barely fast during Ramadan or not at all.

Do you honestly believe that the Muslim dude who sneak eats a ham every now and then is out to murder you in your sleep? Do you honestly think that the lady walking to Mosque, as she likely does a few times a week and has done for years is suddenly a problem?

No, you’re scared and you’re trying to put a name and a face on your fear. And that name is Islam because you’re ignorant and afraid.

Stop being afraid of Muslims. Muslims are not the problem. Islam is not the problem. Religious extremism is and that’s a problem regardless of whether you love Allah or Jesus.

It is ok to be afraid. It is NOT ok to spew bigotry and hate at people who don’t deserve it because they happen to practice the same religion as someone else. It is not ok to call for violence against them. I know I can’t convince you to go out and educate yourself Islamaphobe, that’s asking too much. But I am going to tell you that your fear is not a good enough reason incite violence against an entire group of people who have nothing to do with the actual thing you are afraid.

All Muslims are not terrorists. All terrorists are not even Muslims. There are many feathered things with beaks. They aren’t all ducks.

Sincerely,
Donyae

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