Last week, as I was 35,000 feet in the air flying back from New York to LA, I thought I'd check my messages before trying to get in a nap during the six-hour flight. It is then, of course, that I read: "Man drives truck through crowd in Nice; 70 dead, over 100 injured, death toll could rise...."
For the next six hours, I was watching various news network's coverage of yet another devastating terrorist attack on innocent people. I was tweeting, emailing, on Facebook, and talking to the man seated next to me. I was drowning in the reports of bad news. So when I landed, I had to turn my phone off and come up for air.
Before bed, much like one who can't look away from the train wreck, I turned my phone on again and started reading the updates since I landed, and, the messages on social media I had received.
I knew I would see the typical prejudicial, bigoted tweets toward Muslims and the religion of Islam. The expected ridiculous comments from those on the right blaming all liberals for this, especially our President and, of course, those mockingly calling for the banning of all trucks (white trucks specifically). All this while dozens of people's dead bodies lie on the ground on the Promenade in Nice. Many covered in white tablecloths from nearby restaurants that patrons had put on their bodies out of respect.
One of my followers on Twitter said, "some are saying this is like World War II, Leslie..." Personally, I felt that a bit of an overreach, seemingly more like fear-mongering than reality.
But it was then that I read Newt Gingrich's comments saying that "every person who is of a Muslim background in America should face a test." "We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background and if they believe in Sharia, they should be deported."
Does he realize that if you have a Muslim background, that you might not be a Muslim? And how would we go about determining who has a "Muslim background?" By the color of their skin? Their last name? The way they dress? Where their great grandparents might have been born?
And once we go about determining who has a "Muslim background," how do we go about rounding those people up? And what of the Muslims serving in our military? Our police force? How about the two Congressmen, Keith Ellison of Minnesota and Andre Carson of Indiana, how would we go about questioning them? And since so many right wingers think President Obama is a Muslim, would he be questioned as well?
Unfortunately, those statements from Gingrich are eerily similar to a time in history, to a time in World War II. When under the command of one leader, one country questioned its citizens based on religion, rounded them up, identified them, and marked not only their I.D. cards, but their clothing also, in order to know who is who and of what religion.
Those talking of closing mosques, like they did in Paris, forget our Constitution, and that these are places of worship. And, forget their history. Who can forget Kristallnacht?
And does Mr. Gingrich know what Sharia law truly is? (Which is a form of governing by those living in a legal system based on Islam, and which the United States of America is not.) And, is why so many Muslims actually fled TO America.
And does Mr. Gingrich think a 'chat' with someone who believes in Sharia AND might be planning an attack would just to come clean about it?? I can see it now:
Question: "Do you believe in Sharia law?"
Question: "Are you a terrorist?"
Answer: "What is a terrorist?"
Then the big government military complex Gingrich wants ruling us says: "I think this one's ok boys, you can go back to kindergarten class now..."
His comments not only represent an ugly side of our nation, but ignorance and stupidity.
So in retrospect, with no fear-mongering intended, yes, maybe this is like World War II. Blame an entire religion and its worshipers for ALL of the world's problems. It's sad, we don't seem to have learned anything from history.