13880151_1216830431748911_624550834602818979_nA friend put this up on Facebook and I just can’t let it alone. Again, I’m liberal politically, and I long for us all to get along. But there is a self destructive streak in the tolerance movement which blames people for reacting in ways that aren’t blindly accepting.

1. Beards: I don’t think the beard thing is an especially big problem for Muslim men, but to answer WHY, which seems to be the question: I might guess a jewish fellow with a full beard was a bit extreme, but it wouldn’t matter to me because they represent no threat to me, historically or statistically. When that look is part of the uniform for the very high profile danger of Islamic terrorists our brains connect it to risk. Our brains are shaped by evolution to look for patterns that mean danger.

2. Habits vs Burkas: Very few nuns still wear the habit and when they do it’s part of the uniform for an order that takes them OUT of normal society. In cover-up cultures it isn’t devotion to god, like the nuns, it’s an inflexible societal norm. There are many Muslim women who feel OK about covering up but in many places no choice is allowed and physical danger or at least loud and intimidating disapproval is a likely outcome to NOT dressing that way. Hence, oppression.

3. Defending the homeland: The Palestinians seem to be the focus of the third picture and while right wing Israelis may call them terrorists, much of the rest of the world sees them as oppressed victims, albeit victims who often make hot headed poor choices. If it (the picture) represents any place with an Islamic culture where there’s a battle over territory then it probably does have at least some terrorist influence at play because they have inserted themselves as players in these situations.