Op-Ed: The Religion of ...Huh?
Dr. David LazersonThe writer, known as Dr. Laz, is an educator, author, musician, and conflict resolution specialist. He currently runs a music & drama therapy program for special needs students in Broward County in south Florida . He was inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame in 2008. His third book, Sharing Turf, was turned into a major movie called "Crown Heights," in which Howie Mandel plays the role of Dr. Laz. He has several websites: www.ProjectCUREtheWorld.com, wwwTeachMeIfYouCan.org & www.drlaz.com
I couldn’t help but think how Mark Twain would have responded with a rather quirky smile to a recent advertising campaign that took place in south Florida. It was on billboards every few miles along the busy, crowded super highway of 95. It’s the free road that runs clear up the eastern coast of the United States. It was splattered across the long sides of public busses. And it was even on private citizen’s individual cars in bumper sticker format.
Along with my surprise came the realization that advertising isn’t usually overly concerned with this silly notion called truth. Rather, it simply wishes to sell something.
Thus, despite the overwhelming scientific proof that smoking produces the exact opposite of a robust, healthy bucking bronco, nonetheless, the advertising campaign has worked wonders for Marlboro. It’s the preferred cig of many of my teenage students, making them feel like they too are ready for a two-week cattle drive far from civilization. Well, not too far, mind you. They’d go as long as there’s some corner stores on the journey where they can continue to support their nicotine Marlboro habit.
Not every Muslim is a terrorist. Far from it. But it sure seems today that nearly every terrorist is a Muslim.
One of the terrorists was quoted as saying he was avenging the blood of Muslims & Arabs spilled by England. I guess he wasn’t too up to date on current events. For if he knew about the 100,000 estimated deaths in the civil war in Syria, he probably should have started there.
Although he may have simply not been sure who’s side to fight on and which enemy Arabs to behead. In London it was a much easier choice.
The vast majority of Muslims are good, decent people. They don’t promote violence or this notion of killing off the infidels. They believe in living together in a peaceful society. But unfortunately, their voices have for the most part, been silenced by this ever more vocal tiny minority of Islamic extremists.
Journalists in the Arabic countries who portray the truth and practice free speech are often arrested – many never to heard from again.
The proof is not on the non-Islamic world whether to accept or reject their beliefs. It’s not on our shoulders. It’s up to the moderate Muslim world to truly espouse and create this atmosphere of peace and put their best foot forward. Their so-called religious leaders who urge for killing, warfare, and terror need to be silenced. They, perhaps more than anything else, have led to Islam being associated with the opposite of peace.