I’ve just read up on the “30 Mosques in 30 Days” guys. These young men are typical of the Muslims and American Muslims I’ve known.
Beyond the adventure Aman and Bassam had, what I love is how they find love and hope and realizing dreams is still the American story which is a stark contrast to the media narrative this last month. That CNN brought me their story is not lost on me. However, a hate cult (including Sarah Palin’s Ground Zero Mosque is a “stab in the heart”, Newt Gingrich comparing Park 51 to Nazis, and Pastor Terry Jones Qu’ran burning fiasco) has dominated this last month’s news coverage. Whoever is the loudest and most profoundly ignorant gets the spotlight to the extent that was is true is mutilated and what is mutilated is propped up as true.
(If there was a true story to tell, a loud cult of hatred, prejudice, and ignorance was the story.)
Aman and Bassam threw themselves in the trenches of every day life. In the video above they recount being intimidated by a blond-hair, blue-eyed trooper in Mississippi, but another one of their stories includes hanging out at a Confederate flag memorabilia store and being received warmly.
I wonder if it has been strange, surreal maybe, for Muslims in America that their holy month included a hateful barrage of news coverage construing them in the worst possible light.