On the eve of the September 11th anniversary, president Obama talked about the prejudice that’s shadowing the remembrance of those lost on that fateful day 9 years ago. As much as I would like a president that doesn’t include religious belief in any of his policies, a president that calls for religious tolerance sounds like a fair compromise for the time being. As quoted by the Los Angeles Times,
“As somebody who relies heavily on my Christian faith in my job, I understand the passions that religious faith can raise,” Obama said. “But I’m also respectful that people of different faiths can practice their religion, even if they don’t subscribe to the exact same notions as I do, and that they are still good people, and they are my neighbors and they are my friends, and they are fighting alongside us in our battles.”
I suppose the unbelievers could be lumped together with those who don’t share Obama’s Christian beliefs. I’ve heard it argued that the reason many of the people who tend towards extremism do so is because they receive attention. For example, if the Floridian minister who’s been threatening to host a Quran burning was never reported in the news and received no notoriety, it would never have become so important. While I agree that people who receive attention for their actions tends to become more dramatic, I totally disagree with the idea that the importance of said actions are affected whatsoever. The actions of these small-town extremists are as important as the same actions performed by anyone else.
The president went on to further address the prejudicial sentiment that’s been freely flowing around the country,
“But I go back to what I said earlier: We are not at war against Islam,” Obama said. “We are at war against terrorist organizations that have distorted Islam or falsely used the banner of Islam to engage in their destructive acts.” Americans, he said, must cling to the shared belief in religious tolerance. “We’ve got millions of Muslim Americans, our fellow citizens, in this country,” he said. “They’re going to school with our kids. They’re our neighbors. They’re our friends. They’re our coworkers. And when we start acting as if their religion is somehow offensive, what are we saying to them?”
While it as just as philosophically offensive as any other theistic religion, it is most definitely no worse than any other. I’m glad the president came out and said what needed to be said. Cheers.