Sunday, August 15, 2010

His Name is Khan, and he is NOT a Terrorist

My Name is Khan
All Americans should watch this movie.  Really.  I saw it this weekend and loved it.  Shahrukh Khan plays a character that has Asberger's Sydrome who falls in love with a single mom, Mandira.  Their love is unconventional, but very sweet.  The focus is the love story, but there is the back-drop of 9/11 which happens in the middle of the film  and changes their lives forever.  Many of us have never considered that innocent Muslims who live in America were also victims of 9/11.

Watching this movie has made me more sensitive to some unpleasant things that are going on currently.  Two stand out to me:  (I already had these thoughts before seeing the movie--it just made me think more about them.) 

1.  People are freaking out and trying to prevent a mosque from being built down the street from the ground zero.  Not AT ground zero, mind you; but down the street.  (Also, there is another mosque that already exists that is even closer to the site which nobody mentions.)

2.  Right-wing media idiots are trying to organize "parties" where people burn copies of the Qur'an.

Reasons why we should not prevent a mosque from being built at that site in NY:

1.  It's not AT Ground zero.  It's down the street.

2.  It will not be for "the enemy".  This mosque will be built for AMERICANS who have the misfortune of having the same religion as some very bad men.

3.  This idea that Islam is synonymous with terrorism is dangerous thinking and just isn't true. I have heard people say that Islam is a violent religion and it's something in the religion that promotes bombings, etc.  Well, what about the Northern Irish terrorists who bombed London all those years?  We never said "ooh.  Let's prevent a church from being built anywhere near any of the bomb sites", did we?  Also, Timothy McVeigh was Christian.  Did we knock down churches in the area?  What about all the Catholic priests who molest boys?  Is there something in Catholicism that promotes that?  Of course not!  There are bad people in the world, and they can be of any religion.  Also, no matter what the religion, there are people who will use the ideology to justify bad behavior.  Let's not condemn whole religions here.  Especially in the land that was founded on freedom of religion!

4.  Let us not forget that there were innocent Muslims who died in the Twin Towers along with everyone else.

5.  Yes, the Muslims have "jihad".  Well, Christians have "crusades".  Isn't that pretty much the same thing?  Killing people who don't conform to your beliefs?  The crusades were really bloody, horrible battles.  All done by Christians in a far away land.  The people of that land still associate the word "crusade" with some awful, awful events.

6.  I know Christians today who think it's okay to break the "thou shalt not kill" commandment to go abroad and kill Muslims.  We can go over an kill them, yet they cannot have a peaceful place of worship?  Doesn't this strike you as insane?

7.  Whatever happened to "turn the other cheek" and "love thine enemy"? 

Reasons why we should not have mass public burnings of the Qur'an:

1.  First of all, what would it accomplish?  Really!

2.  We didn't burn bibles everytime an IRA bombing occured in London; nor did we burn bibles when over the Oklahoma City bombing.  Why start burning books now?  I think this whole thing is racism in disguise.

3.  It's only going to make the bad guys hate us even more.  (and by "bad guys" I mean Islamic terrorists.  Not ALL muslims!)


  1. The problem is the general public doesn't investigate the stories that the media broadcasts. I can't tell you how many times i have heard about the Mosque building plan and they say,"at Ground Zero". It is no wonder there is so much conflict about it since people have no idea where this building is going to be built. I am talking about the people that just listen to the report and don't check to see that it isn't being built on the Twin Tower site, but down the road.
    It is crazy how the media loves to create controversy over stupid things! If someone wants a place of worship, fine. Who long as it isn't some Satanic Temple where people grab someone off the street to sacrifice them.. All religions serve the purpose to help give people strength during tough times and also help give weaker people some sort of structure to help them live their everyday lives. and it helps most people learn how to be better people and be good citizens in the world. The God may be called by a different name but in the is all pretty close to the same thing.
    I agree with you Shea and it really breaks my heart when I see how ignorant people react to these issues (especially, when they have not learned the whole details) and just assume the media is giving us the full story.
    And this is why my kids don't watch regular TV. Thank goodness for Nick Jr! and PBS morning kid shows! : ) and my hope is my kids will welcome learning about different religions and how lucky we are to live in a country filled with so much culture!!

  2. Yay! I couldn't have said it better myself. Thank goodness there are intelligent people like you out there who are also making sure their children grow up to be educated and tolerant. :-)

  3. One source of info people tend to overlook is the Qu'ran itself. My husband read it from cover to cover, highlighting and making notes in the margins and he will tell you that the Qu'ran does indeed encourage violence. It can be quoted chapter and verse. I'm not suggesting that this mosque or any mosque shouldn't be built in a free country. Nor am I supporting anyone who intends to burn anything. The just laws that are already in place must be followed. But we should not automatically assume that they have the best of intentions because there is plenty of evidence to suggest otherwise. Movies can be very persuasive, but we have to be careful what we take away from them.

  4. Please don't think that I am so weak-minded that my thoughts are formed by the movies I watch. I had these thoughts before I saw this movie. It just brought them forward in my mind.

    Here is a copy of a post I had on facebook in regards to this blogpost. I think it's relevant to what you just said:

    It all lies in the interpretation. You can find lots to support violence in the bible as well. (Crusades - killing every person in Jerusalem b/c it was" God's will" for example. Or bombing abortion clinics., etc.) I think it all comes d...own to men promoting their agendas and not anything inherent in the religion.

    I had a Muslim friend in High School and her family were very devout. They would never agree that the Qur'an advocates killing people. Quite the opposite actually. Also, my friend Obed says that Muslims who blow up things are not true Muslims and they are misinterpreting the Qur'an and that any reference to violence is figurative. In fact, Obed owns a restaurant and he does not even use any preservatives in his food because it goes against his religious beliefs. He will not serve anything that will harm people. Just sayin'.

    BTW - if all Muslims thought it was right to kill all infidels, we'd all be dead because they seriously outnumber us.

  5. I have many Muslim friends and they will be the first to tell you that their religion does NOT condone violence. They do not believe in the how the Taliban runs things, etc. The fighting, viloence are extremists that have misinterpreted their teachings. I take this as the people who murder doctors that perform abortions, or blow up clinics, govt offices and say it is in the name of GOD and or Jesus Christ. Most churches would never condone such treatment. Or how about those picketers at military funerals. There is no way a just and loving GOD condones that in another family's time of crisis.

    And Christi..I am just as guilty of the general public...I did not want the mosque built b/c the news said it was at the site of Ground Zero....but with it being several blocks away...that doesn't bother me

  6. Geaux Lyza!! I talked to my hubby about the Mosque when you made your first post, Shea, and found out he didn't know it was down the street either.
    Does this mean that if we build a Chinese restaurant down the road from Ground Zero that there will be an issue with this? They are BUDDISTS!!! ; ) Everything is being taken too seriously. This is AMERICA!! HOME OF THE FREE and FREE Of Religion!! Just because it isn't your religion doesn't mean they are bad people! I wish everyone could have open minds about religion and agree to disagree.
    I hope my kids grow up with the same openness as me. I got to go to a passover ceremony as a senior in high school and it was facinating!! It didn't confuse me! I also saw a student of mine grow from a suicidal tween to a grown up Jewish Woman full of confidence. I went to numrous Catholic services in College. I didn't agree with many of the things that were said and done,but I have a better respect for it because I attended a few services. I also played in an orchestra for a Baptist Church for a couple years and it gave me a better respect for my current church. My mother in law is Jehovah Witness. Does that mean she is going to HELL or is an evil person?? Of course not, she just has her own way of talking to her God. Do I agree with her religion? Of course not! but am I going to make her feel like a worthless person because her parents shoved this religion down her throat? Or course not! She respects my religion and I show respect to her as my mother in law. She only asks us to go to their Passover once a year so her friends can meet our children. I accept her invitation when we can because her friends need to meet her family. They aren't bad people. They are confused and I personally don't care for this religion but I don't disrespect them because of what they chose. That is why we live in America. And when my kids get old enough to ask questions about this service, I will be able to compare ours to hers and it will help them understand ours much more. IT really is interesting to learn how others interpret things. Whether it is the way we think or not.
    Do Jehovah Witnesses want to Kill people? of course not. I have my own thoughts as to why it was created and so forth, but I am not going to get into that.
    The point is that AMERICA was formed on religious freedom and we all should respect that. Muslims in American are not here to kill people. Crazy, messed up in the head people who claim to be Muslim, Christian, or any other religion that exist are the people that are doing harm to others. The Citizens of our Country should not be punished because of a few bad people. Unfortunately, that seems to be the case. uuggh!
    ok...I am off my soapbox now.
    BTW, I think I am going to try your Spinach recipe, Shea. Sounds yummy!

  7. Shea, I would never try to suggest that you are weakminded. I meant what I said as a comment about taking things to heart in a very general way. I'm a very literal person and tried to state that in exactly the way I felt, generally. I know I am very affected by movies and that is why I don't watch many of them. You'd be surprised how little it takes to make me cry or give me nightmares! Sometimes I need to be reminded that a movie is just a movie about someone else's ideas, and the person who made the movie is probably very talented when it comes to persuasion. Good for them. Maybe you aren't so affected, but I am, and I figure there are probably a lot of folks out there who are, too, whether they recognize it or not.

    And I think it goes without saying that you could look at the official teachings of any faith and then look at the followers of that faith and see things about that faith totally differently. We have "cafeteria Catholics" who were baptized once upon a time but didn't have good catechesis when they were young and so they don't understand a lot about their faith, and so they accept some teachings but not others. We also have those who think they are "more Catholic than the pope". There are orthodox Jews, reformed Jews and other types I can't even remember right now. There are relatively few in number who fall in the direct center.

    I think it's amusing, actually. Human nature, I mean. Isn't it funny or at least interesting how the extremes are far more exciting than a balanced, centered outlook, so people tend to lean one way or the other. And who doesn't love a good argument? It gets people excited. But the far less interesting, often more boring truth is usually found in the middle. That's where I'd like to think I am. Respect the laws on the books, whatever they are. But at the same time, prudence needs to be exercised so that people who were deeply wounded by 9/11 won't have their wounds opened again. Perhaps it would be best to get the folks on both sides together to come to a mutual agreement.

  8. Let us not forget that there were Muslims (about 60 or so) that died in the twin towers too. Their families are having their wounds opened again over this and they feel as if they are being punished all over again. Not only did they lose their loved ones, they feel further victimized by small-minded people who lump them in with the terrorists. The terrorists who are responsible will not be going to this mosque. (Which isn't even a mosque anyway. It is a 13 story community center, two stories of which are dedicated to worship.) That's like calling an airport a church just because there happens to be a chapel in it.

    Whew! I knew this post was going to provoke some controversy, but I'm beat! ;-) Although I'm glad I posted it because I think it's something that needs to be put out in the open and discussed.