Tall, Dork, and Irksome

« February 2007 »

Memo to Muslim-hating Christians: YOU ARE DUMB.

Yesterday, we discussed one reason it's important to keep religion out of schools. Because if you don't, some well-intentioned nutjob principal will come in over the weekend and anoint all the desks with a couple of ounces of the Holy Canola. I don't care how good your intentions are, it's the results that matter, and if those results involve god-spooge all over the back of my test paper, you need to get slapped down.

Similarly, I'm sure Robert Escamilla had only the best of intentions when he brought in Christian evangelist Kamil Solomon to talk to his ninth-grade social studies class. I mean, it's social studies. Religion is part of the curriculum. What's wrong with bringing in a person of one religious faith to talk about how awful another religious faith is?

Solomon showed up at Enloe High School in Raleigh, North Carolina, and handed out pamphlets entitled, I shit you not, "Jesus vs. Mohammed" and "Do Not Marry A Muslim Man, Part 1". Again, I'm sure his intentions were pure. After all, some of those students might have grown up to marry Muslim men. Well, not the boys. That'd be even more wrong. But the girls. Especially the, um, Muslim girls in the class, who I'm sure were thrilled to be on the receiving end of the kind concern of this representative of a religion whose attitudes toward women are 100% egalitarian and not primitive at all and always have been and don't let anybody tell you any different.

Unfortunately, Solomon's not talking, Escamilla's not talking, the school's not talking beyond a curt "we're looking into it", and so all we have to go by are the materials handed out by Solomon. Here's a choice excerpt from "Do Not Marry A Muslim Man, Part 1." Normally, I hate cliffhangers at the end of my hate-speech pamphlets, but I heard they wrote 2 and 3 at the same time and are releasing them back to back. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"He may be especially attractive because of his dark good looks, education, financial means, and the interest he shows in you. You may be excited that you found the 'tall, dark, and handsome man' you have been looking for. His sweet words and attention may blind you regarding the power, importance, and influence of his culture and Islamic faith. Because in the United States, we have freedom of religion, he may agree that you can remain a Christian and you may think there will be no problem with such a marriage. But do not be fooled and become a victim of his religion, Islam, which has very oppressive rules regarding women's status and rights. Such marriages will never be out of trouble."

That's one crude drawing away from being a fucking Chick tract*. And could it say "dark" enough times. Since Solomon's Egyptian, I can't even begin to imagine what the obsession with that particular adjective might mean, but you don't have to be Sigmund Freud to know it's not healthy. I love the portrayal of all Muslim men as stealth oppressors, soothing women with kind words before VICTIMIZING them with their religion. Just waiting for a chance to slip them an Allah roofie. The whole thing comes off being creepy as all get-out.

It's funny. One teacher can face 40 years in prison for accidentally showing 7th-graders some titties, and even her defenders agree that it would have been better for everyone involved if what had happened in that classroom hadn't happened. But this guy deliberately invites in Solomon, the only guest speaker the class has had all semester, to tell the students that dark, handsome Muslim men are just waiting to seduce away good Christian women, and people leap to defend his message because, well, they're fucking bigots.

Enloe is a gifted-child magnet school, so it's entirely possible that Solomon will provide a lovely example of crazy bigoted fuckers to these North Carolina teens. But I can't believe that was the -intent-. I know it's been a long time since I've been in school, but I don't ever recall crazy people being dragged in off the street to serve as teachers' aids for the demonstration of how not to think. Plus, these kids do live in North Carolina. If you want to teach them about irrational hatred of Muslims, just send them outside. That way, they'll get some exercise, too.

*No, not a Penthouse Letter fucking chick tract. A fucking Jack Chick tract.