Friday, January 2, 2009

Stupid Meets Stupid

The new year is barely 2 days old I am already indulging in name-calling. Sadly, I don't think I can do justice to my thoughts without stooping low, so please be advised: the word s-t-u-p-i-d features frequently in this post so it's not for the faint-hearted and reader discretion is advised.

On no less than the MAIN page of CNN.com this morning, its top news reports that a family of 9 Muslims was not allowed to fly because some passengers grew concerned over the subject of their conversation as they boarded the flight. There are a lot of little details to the story and you can read it on your favorite news site but I can't help but wonder: you are a muslim, (here I am assuming) an outwardly visible muslim, and in a post-911 America you have just boarded a plane and you are talking so loud that other passengers can hear you (mommy never taught you to keep it down?), and your conversation is about which seat on the plane ("whether the one near the wing") is the safest? Is there a word other than STUPID to describe you?

People around the world joke that the American public is stupid. Well, I don't know that the average American is any more stupid than the average human anywhere else in the world. So when Americans are alarmed by such conversations and report it to flight attendants who call the FBI, it sounds like a case of definitely-stupid meets possibly-stupid? Better stupid calling authorities than sorry - we've been burned before!

I was once traveling in a Muslim country where an official asked me for a petty bribe. When I (in my young, naive and idealistic phase) protested stating he should be ashamed for asking me for a bribe, he smiled and whispered "you self-righteous ba*****, I will lock you up in a jail somewhere and no one will ever know where you are."

In the case of our Muslim family, they had a cordial interview with the FBI which quickly determined that this was all a misunderstanding, and the airline issued full refunds and asked them to go home or take another flight. Will you please show appreciation for a civilized society and tip your kufi/hat/scarf to the US of A? This family is still upset that the airline declined to let them fly on that very flight. Can you be stupid twice in the same week? And then draw attention to your stupidity by going to the national media? And can you be thankless and stupid both at once? You can tell I am annoyed!

Earlier this week I was at Gravely Point, a park north of Washington DC's Reagan National airport from where you can witness breathtaking airplane landings from an amazingly close proximity to the runway. I was alarmed when I saw a Muslim family - hijab, arabic conversations - whose three children were playing with plastic toy guns. I have been there a dozen times, people bring their children to play there...I had never before seen kids playing with toy guns. Let me repeat a line from this blog: you are a muslim, an outwardly visible muslim at that, in a post-911 America near an airport viewing plane landings, and your children are running around pointing toy guns at those planes? Is there a word other than STUPID to describe you? One may ask what is wrong with children playing with toy guns, it's our right...true, but do we have to be so obtuse in the way we seek our rights ignoring the context of the world we live in? If someone gave me a dollar for every time I saw outwardly visible Muslims whose children-in-tow were playing with guns, I would be rich.

Do we have to so overwhelmingly embrace our right in America to be stupid?

I am afraid CAIR and other muslim civil rights organizations might take this case and demand "justice." I urge them not to do so. If we cry wolf at the world's reaction to every stupidity by a Muslim, I am afraid the effectiveness and reputations of our civil rights organizations will be compromised and the numerous cases involving genuine civil rights concerns and abuses will suffer.

As part of "tawasau bil haqq wa tawasau bissabr"(Qur'anic injunction to advise each other to do the right thing and persevere against adversity), and shedding my deplorable sarcastic tone, I wish to say this: We have all done stupid things, we all have bad days. Yours truly is seriously and frequently guilty of it too. But no need to get mad at others when we make a mistake. Our Muslim family from DC area should just move on - it wasn't their shiniest moment but I don't think anyone else has any blame in any of this. And thank God that the FBI and the airline were cordial and respectful to them. To my non-Muslim American/world family-at-large, let's keep those ears and eyes open and err on side of caution when we see someone who could be a terrorist. However, nothing wrong with using a little bit of judgement instead of being, err, obtuse about the way we report these things!

2 comments:

stopthestupids said...

Bingo! I agree with you completely. I am sick to death of the whining pseudo-oppressed, and think any Muslim in this country who openly displays their affiliation yet makes no effort to tread sensitively as their utterly loco brethren set the world on fire deserve (at the very least) dunce caps and a "wake up and smell the coffee" speech. Kudos to the passenger who reported this wacky bunch, the air marshalls who took it seriously, and the pilot who connected the dots and canceled the flight. Hurt feelings will pass, and I'd rather be inconvenienced than dead!

Anonymous said...

I can not wait for CAIR to sue the pants off the radical mosques that set this situation up.

When will the normal Muslim world have had enough of what the radical Muslim world is doing to their lifestyle and start to condemn, very publicly, the problems that Radical Muslim has bestowed upon them?