About two weeks ago I finished an article that compared the concept of “jihad,” which literally means “to struggle” in Arabic, through the lens of Christianity and Islam. The article, which the Huffington Post Religion published, caused uproar in the “Islamophobia industry” for its attempt to build bridges between Christians and Muslims. Unfortunately, interfaith dialogue is something that Islamophobes do not believe in.
This was not the first time one of my articles made anti-Muslim bigots take to their blogs in outrage and blast me for being an “idiot,” or even worse. Earlier in the year I wrote an article on the similar values of Muhammad and George Washington. A few prominent bigots wrote about the “absurdity” of my research. I even received a piece of hate mail, though that did not stop me from continuing to write on the subject. Doing so would have meant that I caved into their intimidation and threats, which would mean that the “bad guys” had won. Ironically, perhaps my most thought-provoking and popular article, which compared the founding documents of Islam and the U.S., did not catch the attention of the “Islamophobia industry.” Go figure.
Usually what happens in the Islamophobia industry is that one anti-Islam blogger writes something and then the rest of the Islamophobia network picks it up. At the time of the Muhammad-Washington article, one popular anti-Islam activist wrote on her blog about my comparison. Shortly afterwards, Fox News picked it up, which made me wonder where Fox receives its news stories. Dozens of blogs accused me of being a “secret Muslim,” or something of that sort, even though it is public knowledge that I am a practicing Catholic.
After the recent “jihad” piece came out on the Huffington Post, a few prominent bigots sent me their response directly via Twitter. Of course what the Islam-haters want is a direct response to their first message. Nothing like an ego boost, right? Attention, whether good or bad, is what these writers and activists crave. These people deliberately antagonize others and toss bait to see if they can lure people into their dark and melodramatic universe. Some writers who have countered the work of the “Islamophobia industry” have actually taken the bait, engaged in conversation with the bigots, and have thus ended up behaving foolishly and in the same pathetic way as the bigots.
One of the most unproductive things to do in life is to stoop down to other peoples’ level. Best to transcend the hatred and be the bigger, more mature person.
Follow Craig Considine on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ToBeCraig