I recently published an opinion piece titled: “Why a Christian Can View Muhammad as a Prophet”. Since its publication, I have received a lot of e-mails, Facebook messages, and Tweets telling me how horrible I am for writing what I did. I am not bothered by personal attacks on my character and conduct, and I am not upset if people disagree with my beliefs and values. This is America and I have a thick skin. Thank God.
However, I am disturbed about the threats of violence not only against me, but against Muslims. I have reported these people to “Twitter authorities” and thankfully they have taken action.
Here is a small collection of Tweets that I have received over the last few days. These are the “worst of the worst”, but really only scratch the surface of the deep Islamophobia in American society and elsewhere.
This person – “JIHADAEON” – is threatening violence for those who stand alongside Muslims. “Back up” suggests that he is ready to shoot me. Certainly he is ready to shoot Muslims as well. Notice, too, that Muslims and their allies are not the only groups that he targets. Marxists are also “in the barrel of the gun.” “Jihadaeon” clearly perceives Islam as being “hostile to humanity”, which raises an interesting question: If Islam is hostile to humanity, where does Judaism and Christianity fit in to “JIHADEAON’s” equation? Islam, after all, is a continuation of these traditions and holds many of the same principles.
“Joe” – like “Jihadaeon” – believes that Islam and humanity are antithetical. That is not the only similarity they share. Both of these people also threaten people with violence. “Joe” tells me that if I come to America, I will face my demise. Clearly, “Joe” thinks that I live elsewhere. According to him, Muslims – or anyone that allies with them – are “foreign”. That is just wrong. “Joe” needs to read his history. Muslims have been in America since before the 17th century. Muslims have also fought in all of America’s wars. You know, they defended – and continue to defend – the freedoms that “Joe” holds so dear.
Guns, violence, and more guns and violence. “hedgerisk” tells me that Muslims are not welcome in America. Period. “hedgerisk” also threatens followers of Islam with violence. He calls them “dirty” and threatens to shoot them with a gun. Another person sent a Tweet which stated that kicking me – an “Islamophile” – out of the country was not good enough. After he made that remark, he added: “9mm are great 2”. I no longer have access to his account. I would share that Tweet if I did.
Now we move to “Alex Jones”, who is so repulsed with my article that he “reports” me to the FBI and Department of Homeland Security. I see this as a form of violence in itself because it potentially deploys government officials on me. Nonetheless, I find it funny that “Alex Jones” treats me the same way that he would treat a potential “terrorist” in his midst. #SeeSomethingSaySomething. He treats me as if I am one of the Boston Marathon Bomber. #Paranoid.
And this is the Tweet that set the firestorm off. Of course, he appears to be wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat. (Or shall we say “Make America Hate Again”). This person went so far as to make a meme, which I might add makes no sense to me. Although he did not threaten violence, as many of the others did, he did “Tweet me” to the FBI. This person has since harassed me with a handful of other Tweets. He has an army of racist Trump supporters behind him. Trump truly leads the charge in exacerbating Islamophobia in the United States. He is an ally – not a foe – to ISIS.
In conclusion, I will say that these people – who are driven by hatred and apparently violence – use social media as a tool to produce (and reproduce) racism and warfare. In this context, they are similar to so-called “radical Muslims” who also use social media forums to spread their messages of hate, doom, and gloom. #TwoSidesOfTheSameCoin. I hope that the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (and whoever else is really in charge of our safety) take threats like the ones above seriously.