I live in a suburb of Detroit, a place with a substantial Jewish population. Recently, the school district decided to sell a closed elementary school to an Islamic Cultural Association for $1.3 million. The board meeting ran for almost three hours to the biggest crowd ever for a board meeting. And sadly, this meeting featured people from said Jewish population demonstrating substantial bigotry towards Muslims (I say this because I know the kids of two of the quoted people, and know they're Jewish. I've left names out because of this).
"I just want you to think about the message you're sending to your students. On one hand, you're teaching them about the Holocaust and how bad it is, and all of the things that happened, and then you're selling a building to an organization that hates Jews." Alright, your proof of this is where? Oh, Muslims who get on TV in the Middle East saying they hate Jews, so an American group that's Muslim hates Jews too? That's some great logical reasoning there.
"I'm sure all the Muslim people here are wonderful, but there's a part of their community that's dangerous. We all know it, and we're scared. We're scared of that danger. You know, we don't want 9/11 on the corner of Middlebelt & 14 Mile Road. It probably won't happen, people tell me, but what's the due diligence? Who are these folks? Who are they associated with? I don't know, and I don't think you know either." Hey! It's the 9/11 excuse again! Some Muslims blew up buildings, so they could strike this elementary school here in the suburbs, a school that they'll be working in! That's so logical, I don't get why everyone didn't think about it!
"We might be against it because of different reasons, and sure, they may not all be the right reasons, but we all should have a voice in the matter and not be put down and called a racist for opposing something because of an issue." Notice how he recognizes they aren't "the right reasons," but we shouldn't call him racist for opposing it. You're right, you're not RACIST, you're just a bigot. My apologies.
Thankfully, some people stepped up and called it what it was, including the director of the Jewish Community Relations Council.
"I think it needs to be acknowledged that at least some of the people here, their objection to this sale is not based on procedure, but the core reason is because they object to having a Muslim school in their neighborhood."
Finally, the school board called these people on their bigotry, saying that similar things were said about Jews there 40-50 years ago, and people then walked out, yelling that they wouldn't be lectured.
I'm really disappointed. This is a pretty blue area (Gary Peters is our representative currently), and an area with a diverse mix of race and religion, yet the same bigotry we saw in red Riverside County, California, and surrounding the Manhattan Muslim community center flared up here. I am so sick and tired of people continuing to yell, "What if 9/11 happens here?!" When it comes down to it, and maybe this sounds callous, but you're not that special. Sorry, Riverside, California; West Bloomfield, Michigan, or the area in Tennessee that was featured on the recent CNN special because of their lawsuit to block a mosque; the terrorists just aren't that into you. You're not that fucking special. 20 people attacked America that day. Can we please stop going after the millions of Muslims in America for the actions of 20 people? America is better than this, and if Muslims worldwide have a growing hatred of us, it's because too many of our citizens believe they're nothing more than shit, not deserving of equal rights in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
When is it going to end?