Opinions

Wise and respecful humans avoid cultural generalizations, hate

We live in a day and age of mediocre tolerance. While America has its share of political correctness — arguably another cry to mediocrity — some say being politically correct is a way of avoiding offensive language and providing due respect at the same time. That’s not what I’m concerned with though. I’m concerned with American intolerance and the fallacy that widespread ignorance makes it all right.

It might be obvious to any who keep up with the news that this column is heading toward a discussion of the proposed mosque near Ground Zero.

A fellow columnist discussed his view on the subject. These views are opposite to mine and I’m going to touch on that briefly in order to avoid debate. My view on the subject does, however, give prime reference to the larger subject at hand. There is widespread ignorance afoot on American soil and it has taken the guise of righteous chauvinism. Though to be fair, the nations we are currently at war with exhibit their own chauvinism to an even higher degree. Of course, this is not an uncommon attribute for countries at war.

At war or not, however, I personally do not share this same radical nationalism and do not think it is justification for aggressive and widespread views of chauvinism.

As far as the mosque is concerned, I don’t see any problem with it being built. If it adds any footing to my argument, I am a New Yorker. I was born and raised in Manhattan. I went to a school on 16th Street and 3rd Avenue and was there on the morning of 9/11. My dad and I watched the smoke pour into the sky from the rooftop of our apartment building. It was horrifying. Still, I think the mosque should be built.

Agreeing with the other columnist, security measures should be taken. Transparency, which includes the enumeration of those who funded the building of this mosque, will ensure no terrorist involvement. With this transparency, I have no objections.

I see where all the arguments come from. I understand why it doesn’t sit right with some. And, I do not share those views. I love America, but I also love other cultures and believe in the respect we should have for them.

At this point, we have to acknowledge that the Muslims being subtly persecuted are a part of our culture. They are fellow Americans who practice a different religion. These people don’t understand why they can’t have a center of worship. Trust me when I say the terrorists aren’t American citizens.

Hence, this guise of ignorance, which plagues us in a day and age of supposed enlightenment, is very interesting to me. I don’t consider terrorists an integral part of Islamic societies. They are a small radical group, but not enough to generalize an entire religious group as savage.

I have had the good graces of being a dinner guest in an Israeli Bedouin campsite — they were Muslims — where they served me delicious meals and the best coffee shots I’ve ever had. It was a fantastic time and they didn’t terrorize anybody.

Aside from my first hand experiences, I could easily tie this argument into radical killings on the hands of the Christian and Catholic churches.

The 9/11 attacks do give it a jarring effect, but I don’t think there is an acceptable time limit in which prejudice can ensue. You’re either prejudice or you’re not. If you consider those killings, then you should probably consider the others. I’m Jewish and it doesn’t mean I boycott things associated with the Germans. This is because, as respectful and wise humans, we do not group Nazis and Germans in the same category. We must do the same regarding terrorists and Muslims.

Maximillian Piras is a senior art major and a contributing writer for the Daily 49er.

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