Sunday, September 19, 2010

Apologies to Muslims

New York Times' columnist Nick Kristof published an apology to Muslims for all the hateful, defamataory and vitriolic generalizations directed at them by far too many citizens of the so-called 'home of the brave.'

Kristof begins: Many Americans have suggested that more moderate Muslims should stand up to extremists, speak out for tolerance, and apologize for sins committed by their brethren.

That’s reasonable advice, and as a moderate myself, I’m going to take it. (Throat clearing.) I hereby apologize to Muslims for the wave of bigotry and simple nuttiness that has lately been directed at you. The venom on the airwaves, equating Muslims with terrorists, should embarrass us more than you. Muslims are one of the last minorities in the United States that it is still possible to demean openly, and I apologize for the slurs.

He laments that a Maine newspaper caved in to hysterical hatemongers by apologizing for an innocuous article that portrayed Muslims as... (insert menacing music)... civilized human beings. In 2010, that's apparently something to apologize for.

The Post-Star ran a similar, innocuous story earlier this month on the religious practices of a Muslim gentleman in Queensbury, which also provoked filthy invective. I'm no fan of the paper's managing editor Ken Tingley, but to his immense credit, he refused to apologize for a piece which portrayed a decent human being as a decent human being and as well as for denouncing the vile bigots.

I applaud Tingley for standing by the article and standing against the mindlessness. I also echo Kristof's apology to Muslims.

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