We Fear What We Don’t Know

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Mohamed Khodr’s Column

I am an American of the Islamic faith. For decades I’ve introduced myself as such only to have most Americans forget my citizenship and focus on my faith with unease and silent prejudice . No other faith in America engenders such a reaction. Such unease permeates our national institutions; from our government, to our media, culture, and unexpectedly even our educational centers. A history professor once asked, “Mohamed, are you Catholic?”. Our national debate regarding our future role and place in the world, which necessarily includes our response to Terrorism and “Why They Hate Us?” must begin with a national assessment of the quality of our educational system, our governmental policies, the role of the media which has supplanted parenthood, religious institutions, and schools to become the primary source of our thoughts and opinions, and our individual and collective disconnect from our civic responsibilities toward our domestic and international politics. As H.G. Wells said: “Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.” Tragically, America’s response to such an undertaking maybe characteristically one of impatience and apathy. Thus our tragic dependence and surrender of independent thought to commercials, “sound bytes”, media packaging and spin of events. We have become a nation of uninformed “parrots”.

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