By Gotham Chopra for The Huffington Post
A clip from The view is making the rounds today showing hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg walking off set after engaging in a heated dialogue with guest Bill O’Reilly.
I’ve been talking dogs so long that it almost slipped my attention before I realized that this is the stuff I live for. Commenting on blustery (Fox) commentators like O’Reilly and Sean Hannity and just how unperceptive and misdirected they really are.
The gist of it: O’Reilly’s view that the Ground Zero Mosque should not be constructed because 1) 70% of Americans allegedly are against it and 2) Because Muslims killed Americans on 9/11. (His words, not mine)
1) So what? 65% of Americans also admit to knowing little or nothing about Islam. Crossover with O’Reilly’s aforementioned 70%? I’ll bet. Let’s not be led astray by the admittedly ignorant and misinformed.
Btw – those 70% are perfectly welcome to line up across the street and peaceably protest. Along with Muslims and everyone else practicing their faith free of persecution and prejudice, it’s one of the great privileges our constitution affords us. Yeah America!!!
2) Declaring Muslims killed Americans on 9/11 is dangerously inflammatory. Radicals who happened to be Muslim killed Americans and well over a dozen other nationalities that fateful and tragic day. By Mr. O’Reilly’s logic, Christians shouldn’t be allowed to build churches in Oklahoma City because Tim McVeigh was, after all, Christian and killed 168 people there. Wait, what? Yeah…
Here’s the thing: there are 1.3 billion Muslims in the world and growing. We can either go Bill’s way which is to perpetuate misconception, ignorance, conflict, rage, antagonism, and moral arrogance or we can engage in dialogue, empathy, creative conflict resolution and non-violent communication and possible create a more secure and sustainable future for our grandchildren. And yes, it will take time because evolution always does.
I’ll take the latter, but know Mr. O’Reilly will take the former because, he after all has ratings and book sales to consider…which I indeed empathize with.
You can buy Walking Wisdom wherever books are sold :)
Gotham Chopra, is the founder of Liquid Comics, the author of Walking Wisdom and other fine books, and the son of Dr. Deepak Chopra.