“At a time when I think the Muslim population is being characterized with a broad brush in a negative way, I think it’s important for us to say we’re not going to do that here.” This is something we hear quite often, but in reality the the only time one hears all Muslims being characterized in a negative way is when someone is objecting to the practice. Anti-jihad spokesmen, including me, are generally scrupulous to explain that if the texts and teachings of Islam contain material that jihadists use to incite others to violence and make recruits among peaceful Muslims, that doesn’t mean every Muslim is a terrorist. The small number of Muslims who dare to speak out against the jihad and Islamic supremacism are all media stars because many media front men are afraid they’ll look racist if they allow hard truths about the jihad to be enunciated on their shows by anyone but a Muslim or Arab.
In reality, no one of any significance is characterizing the Muslim population “with a broad brush” or saying that “all Muslims are terrorists.” Nor, for that matter, is anyone charging all Muslims with responsibility for 9/11, which is a common charge of the Islamic supremacist Ground Zero mega-mosque organizers. No one is guilty of 9/11 except the perpetrators. The question is, how different will the Islam be that is taught in the Ground Zero mosque from the Islam of the 9/11 hijackers? We’re constantly told that they’re for peace and moderation, and yet their words (pro-Sharia, refusal to denounce Hamas, etc.) and actions (questionable financial activities, threats, etc.) raise legitimate questions about their sincerity in this.
If anyone is characterizing all Muslims with a broad brush, it is Marc McGovern. He would like to portray them all as peaceful, albeit somewhat put-upon and victimized by racism and xenophobia, and above all utterly, wholly benign. And if any Islamic jihadist blows up something else tomorrow, McGovern will know immediately that he was a Misunderstander of Islam, and his rose-colored view will continue as before.
[…] But beginning next year, Cambridge public schools will attempt to make it easier for Muslim students to honor their highest holy days.
In a move that school officials believe is the first of its kind in the state, Cambridge will close schools for one Muslim holiday each year beginning in the 2011-2012 school year.
The school will either close for Eid al-Fitr or Eid al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, depending on which holiday falls within the school year. If both fall within the school calendar, the district will close for only one of the days.
The school district’s decision, announced last month, was made as the national discussion about Islam continues, fueled by a Mosque proposal two blocks from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Florida preacher Terry Jones’s threat to burn a Koran. The discussion has also touched local schools, as Wellesley school officials drew criticism recently for a video that showed sixth-grade students kneeling during a prayer service at a Boston mosque during a field trip in May.
But Cambridge School Committee member Marc McGovern, who pushed for the Muslim holiday in city schools, said he thinks people need to take a step back from what he called hysteria and the stereotypes of all Muslims as terrorists.
“At a time when I think the Muslim population is being characterized with a broad brush in a negative way, I think it’s important for us to say we’re not going to do that here,” McGovern said….