Discrimination, Erasing History: Who Will Speak Up?
By a 7-5 vote on Friday, the Texas State Board of Education adopted a resolution to curb references to Islam in Texas textbooks. The social conservative board members began this jihad against Islam since they find Middle Eastern influence to be dominant in the nation’s publishing industry.
I once lived in the Middle East, where my wife taught young children in an Islamic school. She was asked by the school officials to tear pictures of pigs from the school text books, so that the children did not have to see the animals whose meat is forbidden to the Muslims. Even as a practicing Muslim, my wife thought it was a stupid idea and she told the authorities so. After the semester was over, she was given an ultimatum by the school authorities, and was told--"or else…"
My wife chose the “else.”
Eventually, we came to the land of the brave where the air breathes freedom, and we were happy to be among the people with the warmest hearts. Then came September 11, 2001, and it seemed everything changed overnight.
Slowly, but surely, discernible changes transpired; you could feel the very freedom that our founding fathers cherished so much is now not so fervently sought anymore. In the name of known, or imaginary evils, now we are ready to hunker down in our own shells, giving up all that our nation had stood for.
I thought I had become so immune to this rhetoric of hatred that nothing could shock me anymore. I was wrong.
Seven "brave" Texans brought me back to the memory of the Middle East. It is déjà vu. Now we are stooping down to the level of the camel riders that we once scorned. Now we are joining Saudis, where discrimination is the name of the game, whether it is carried out in the name of religion, noble birth, or "you name it," and where freedom is only a word in the dictionary.
It is a slippery path, only a downward spiral; when will our good senses prevail?
I could only borrow Pastor Martin Niemöller’s words and say:
They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.