Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Who is building bridges & who is burning them?

Bridgethought for the day: Hate is your own personal light-extinguisher.

Check out this article and compare the "Christian" with the Muslim side in this exchange. Even though the former burns bridges with unmitigated hate, the latter rebuilds them with reason and patience, and of course, strength. All bridges need to stand on solid ground, right? You can't build a bridge by attacking and by destruction and emotional outbursts. Does a war qualify as an "emotional outburst"? For sure, it doesn't qualify as a bridge. Bring back diplomacy. And while you're at it, add some human decency. (Foxnews, take note.)

Then look back and recall the Qur'an-swearing-in flap. Who was trying to build bridges by connecting the Qur'an with a US founding father, Thomas Jefferson? And who was trying to burn them by making use of the Qur'an seem somehow "un-American"?

Are we trying to create relations with the Middle East by kidnapping suspects and sending them to Guantanamo? I understand the need for security - it affects me even more - but does burning bridges ultimately create security, or more instability and unrest and insecurity? Are we really attacking the problem of terrorism, or just burning some bridges to show off our firepower and appease the immediate need for revenge, stick-waving, and hunter-gatherer-style justice? Since when is democracy by force? And if democracy is the issue, why do we tolerate Hosny Mubarak of Egypt, a brutal tyrant if there ever was one? For one thing, "freedom of religion" is definitely something he's trying to eradicate - one mosque at a time. Is it because he makes Islam a forbidden faith that we never speak out against him? Is it OK to burn bridges with Muslims, but a crime to build them?

He who has eyes, let him see. Unless, of course, he's using a light-extinguisher.

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