My Confused Feelings about Muslims



James called me and told me that he wanted to meet me at 8:00 p.m. at Gleason’s gym in Brooklyn for a boxing lesson.


I had just turned off the television and was catching up on the terrorist killings in San Bernardino.


I was a little worried about taking the subway.  Obama said we shouldn’t be afraid.  If I was in his limousine surrounded by guards I wouldn’t be afraid either.


I asked James on the phone, “Is Mark coming with you?”


“No,” he said. “Mo is coming.”


“Who’s Mo?”  I asked.


“Mohammed,” he said.


It occurred to me that he originally said “Mo” because he was embarrassed to say that he was bringing a Muslim named Mohammed with him.  The San Bernardino killings had just happened and Paris before that.


Muslims were not too popular at the moment. They were hated by conservatives and too easily forgiven by liberals. If we had a responsibility to protect Americans we had a responsibility to reject them


Liberal America has become a politically correct country where blame is no longer ascribed. Forgiveness becomes a rash that covers the faces of ideologues. Everyone wants  to forget cruelty because they are afraid of being considered prejudiced.


I headed down to Gleason’s by subway. I kept my eyes out for terrorists. I was ashamed when I singled out brown skinned, bearded youths. I switched subway cars.  Better alive as a conservative than dead as a liberal.


When I got to Gleason’s I worked out on the heavy bag for a little while.  A couple of hours later James and Mohammed showed up.  They were both nice guys.  James was not a Muslim threat; he was a white American.  Mohammed was suspect due to the frequent Muslim terrorism throughout the world.


This was not prejudice on my part.  It was the ability to distinguish different groups. It was reasonable intelligence. If I called Charles Manson a killer I was accurate, not profiling.  If I called a member of Isis a barbarian I was correct.


James knew that I was a conservative and that I was reasonably prejudiced against Muslims.  I believed like Trump that we needed a better system for vetting Muslim immigrants and that refugees from war torn lands that hated western civilization should not be given the red carpet into America.


I didn’t even understand the liberal desire to let dangerous refugees in.  Didn’t they realize that America had become a decadent weak country under Obama and that we could no longer defend ourselves?


My liberal Jewish friends said that keeping Muslims out is like Hitler keeping the Jews out. Are they kidding?  Hitler let them all in, into his crematoriums.


I had met Mohammed once a couple of years ago but I had forgotten him.  I forget almost everybody.  I have some minor brain damage from boxing and while I can follow the sequence of my thoughts in writing I have trouble with short term memory. Not that I care.  I’m no crybaby.  I make do with what I have. My impairments make me more brilliant.


I do not protest against every slight along with entitled complainers like Black Lives Matter and Al Sharpton.


Of course I’m white.  Who cares?  Back in the day my black friends with lower grades than me got scholarships to Harvard.  I ended up in the City University system.  That’s life.  I have no regrets.  I studied harder to make up for the prestige that I felt I was missing by not going to an Ivy League University.


If your black grandparents were slaves, tough.  My Jewish ancestors were slaves in Egypt and corpses in concentration camps. During slavery there were about a thousand blacks hung.  During WWII a thousand Jews were murdered in a minute.


But I couldn’t help but like Mohammed and I didn’t want to make him feel uncomfortable. I liked him as a human being not as a terrorist concept. That doesn’t mean that even though he was one of the good Muslims he was not connected genetically and unconsciously with terrorist Muslims.


But as long as he did not commit acts of terrorism I was obliged to give him a chance.  However, I also had to review my giving him a chance and examine his possibilities of being radical in order to protect myself and my country.


I was caught between feeling guilty for my Islamophobia and my feeling that I was too accommodating and might risk a massacre.


I had James and Mark box with each other.  They were both over 6 feet tall, strong and over 200 pounds.  I wouldn’t let them hit each other in the head because they were basically beginners.


There was a voice in my head that said, “Kill the Arab.”  With all the terrorism in Paris, Tunisia and here I would be cut off from humanity to not hate Arabs.  And yet I didn’t. Even though I knew that forgiveness was a failure to appreciate the beauty of innocent victims. It was cruel.


I liked Mohammed.  And I disliked myself for liking him.  Life is tricky. There are political factors that conflict with personal opinions.


Mohammed was a person.  My hatred of Muslims in general was a concept based on their violence.


I don’t know what’s right and what’s wrong.  But we and the Muslims have the obligation to stop their terrorism.


That’s the beauty of boxing.  We can get hostility out of our system without killing each other. And the end of the bout boxers always hug each other and are good friends.


At the end of terrorism there is no comradery.  The dead don’t shake hands.  They decay.  And the terrorists go on to ruin other people’s lives due to their own narcissistic, self-righteous cruelty.

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