Ignorance breeds hate groups

Last weekend, like most weekends in college, I went to a party with a friend and met a few strangers. They seemed nice enough. Just like I would any social gathering, I got to talking to people about traveling and mentioned my job. Somehow, this conversation led to one of the young men saying that he held 100 percent hate for Muslims. He didn’t respect it as a religion, and basically, all the problems caused in the world were mainly due to Muslim groups.

There are reasons why you don’t talk politics and religion at parties, and this is one of them.

Needless to say, my friend and I were taken aback by such a statement. I don’t know why I do this, but I expect a college (in this case a graduate) student to have more of an open mind to the world, especially someone who said they’d traveled a lot outside of the United States. I am friends with several people who are Muslim and have never been anything but kind to me and would never say such a thing about Christians, or any religious group for that matter.

Is it really so difficult to respect others’ beliefs? How many wars have been fought over Christian beliefs? When did generalizing an entire group of people based on their religious background become acceptable?

Right now in Murfreesboro, there is a battle on zoning laws and other legal issues surrounding the building of a Mosque. This has been going on for a while, and taxpayers are the ones footing the bill. The cost has now exceeded the $75,000 budget, and another $100,000 has been added for potential legal fees.

Don’t get me wrong. This is a big mess, and taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for it, but this money is being wasted on both sides to pay lawyers and other fees. My question is why do taxpayers have to pay so much in defense of allowing and following the regular zoning laws? If this was a Christian church or a Jewish temple, this wouldn’t even be an issue.

My main concern is that individuals blindly follow “news” stories that bash a religion and culture they don’t understand. Not all Christians bomb abortion clinics and not all Muslim people are terrorists. By now, people should realize that the majority of people are not out to get anyone. There are hate groups within any culture. Don’t contribute to the ignorance that breeds them.