I sent this through my work account just now. It makes me angry that such things even have to be said at all.

[name redacted, even I'm not that stupid] -
Since this is my work address, I assume that we have come in contact somehow through my employment. 
First, please read the Snopes article regarding this email:  Equating the word of one imam, no matter how extreme, to the whole of Islam is the same as taking the words of someone like Fred Phelps and equating them to the whole of Christianity. It leads to hatred and fear where none is needed.
Now, with that being said, a more personal comment.
I count caring, devout Muslims among my friends. I respect them, and respect their life choices.  They live their lives in peace, surrounded by the family they care about and the kids they're raising.  Emails like the one you sent sadden me, because for every overt sentiment like these, how many more are thought but left unsaid? Originally I wrote "my friends deserve better" but in truth I believe that every person who makes a peaceful religious choice, regardless of the choice itself, deserves better.
Please don't send me any more emails like this in the future.

...and yes, the email I'm referring to was sent to my work account. No, I won't repost it; see the Snopes article to get a good idea of what it was.

UPDATES: see the thread from Facebook, archived here as Belief (part 2), and my response, archived here as Belief (part 3).


Thank you.

It just made me ... well, there was Grr Amy. :)

I think I'm getting angrier about these matters as I get older. I'm -- mostly -- coming to terms with the fact that I'm not religious, and along with that has been an increasing reluctance to put up with people smacking each other around over matters of religion. Not only do we have an aging, fading piece of paper that says the laws of our country allow us to believe and worship (or NOT believe and NOT worship) as we choose, we have a social responsibility to respect (not just 'tolerate' with air quotes and disdain) the boundaries and beliefs of others when they do not infringe upon our own.

...and that's the polite version.

After all, the Russians have their children too.
/vaguely relevant Sting quote

I just want to shake people who forward emails like this and say, stoppit.  The [pagans | Muslims | nonbelievers | Jews | insert your own here] ARE NOT HERE TO EAT YOUR BABIES AND CORRUPT YOUR COUNTRY. They're here to raise kids, go on vacation, survive until the coffeepot dishes out the next caffeine dose, feed the cat before it claws up the sofa and call their friends on Thursday because they forgot last week because supper got delayed. Translation: we're trying to do the same thing -- live the circle of life and death with love, dignity, and care.

Just because a person doesn't share someone's beliefs doesn't mean s/he can't acknowledge their importance, and treat them with the respect they deserve. Example: it's why we try to make a point to attend our friends' church dedication ceremonies for their newborn children. I may not share the religious basis but I recognize the importance of community and faith and support for new families.

(No one told me that after 30, the soapboxes come equipped with comfy recliners. I could stay here a while...)

Sigh. I need another cup of tea. This has distracted me for too long this morning, I fear.

I'd also like to note that my comment is probably longer than my original post. Perhaps that should be a new theme here on

I completely agree!! :) I like your comfortable soapbox, it's full of intelligent speech!

Tea sounds great *goes for the water* 

I have the same problem, but it is from one or more family members that send me the same garbage on a monthly basis. Sometimes, I get it from all of them. I pretty much take every email that comes from them with Fwd in the subject and junk it without even bothering to read it.  It is easier than trying to correct their behavior and, honestly, they are old enough and set enough in their ways that the attempt probably would just make them mad.

The after-forty soapboxes come with arch supports, too, Amy, for when you must stand and deliver.  A pleasant surprise, that has been for me....

We have decided, as a society, that murder and stealing things and farting on elevators are pretty bad things, and don't put up with them much.  What it will take to get to religious respect is for us, each of us, to say with some regularity that we won't put up with religious disrespect any more.  We cannot vote that in, nor can our elected officials legislate it--they already have, nominally.  What it takes is for individuals--all of us--to speak out, as much as we're able.

Noisy ones like you and me, Amy, can carry the banner for the quieter folk who don't want to be out there so much.  We can give 'em a chance to point, and say, "Yeah, what she said."  Great post, and great discussions, both here and Facebook.  Thanks.



The really sad thing is, this isn't just "a bible belt thing" like praying before staff meetings or being told to pray about whether you are the right person for the job (both from my experience at the public library).  This is a nationwide issue.  Sure, you have the people who believe every email forward they get, who fall for this kind of thing and forward it on thinking it's deep . . . but you also have plenty of otherwise-reasonable people who have never been presented with a different worldview than their own.  I think we'll have complete racial equality and non-prejudice long, long before we have true religious tolerance.


Completely aside from the proliferation of hate-speech (or hate-email), honestly, it's depressing to think anyone could believe this was a real description of events.  Look at the way it's written--the "imam" is given one-word utterances, when he's got any lines at all, and is utterly unable to defend himself against his attacker.  How could anyone believe that a man trained in religious rhetoric would hold a conversation this way?  It's so *obviously* a piece of propaganda designed to showcase the writer's self-righteousness.


I had a similar experience with this one: