08.31.10 I’m a Muslim Now
They came first for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.
* * *
My stomach turned last week, when I read the Washington Post headline: “Nowhere near Ground Zero, but not more welcome.” Here was another story about the fervent hatred sweeping the country. I don’t need to make the case here about what’s wrong with this bigotry or any bigotry or about how the purveyors of hate — now housed welcomingly in the Republican Party and spreading like wildfire through the heartland — are much father removed from American values than those they target.
Now is the time for people of conscience to stand up in solidarity with our our Muslim neighbors. Every act of hatred toward them is an attack on ourselves, an assault on liberty, an assault on the diversity that is our nation. If we love freedom and justice, if we have compassion for humanity, we have no choice but to declare we are one with those being persecuted in our midst.
I’m a Muslim now.
©2010 Keith Berner