Blame is the Name of the Game

–a guest post by Sylvia Fowler, author of The Red Sea Bride

As a Muslim, I would like to apologize for everything that Muslims do wrong. My father, whom I dearly love and respect, frequently sends me clipped-out articles about Muslim misdeeds, to make that point that I am somehow involved if not to be blamed.  After all, I am a convert to Islam. Guilt by association, you know. Likewise furious, young unthinking Muslims blame the USA/Americans for a movie made by two Egyptian immigrants to the USA–Joseph Abdelmasih, the president of a Christian Charity, and Nakoula Nakoula, a convicted felon. Here the two found the freedom of speech and means to put together a derogatory film about the life of the prophet Muhammad, upon whom be peace.

For those of us who feel as if we are living in modern times, it is shocking to see young folks throughout the Middle East blame an entire nation/segment of the world for what a couple of immigrants to the USA did. Isn’t this fury somehow reminiscent of the Middle Ages?  It is as if the the angry mob, which is growing, cannot use reason, as if it were delighted, in fact, to unleash its energy in rabid display upon symbols and representatives of that part of the world it most envies–and blames.

I will not be surprised to be held responsible–blamed–for what unthinking, irrational Muslims mobs are doing. I will be blamed by people who consider themselves modern, rational and calm.

Guilt by association.

I should probably take the opportunity to apologize on behalf of all women for their misdeeds, and for all Californians for being what we are (whatever that is), and likewise for all writers, mothers, daughters, sisters, wives and human beings. . . to whomsoever said group has offended.

No matter how hard I try to be a good person, I will shoulder blame in the eyes of someone for being part of a group.

And so will you.

Unless we agree to ignore insults and lead our daily lives with dignity.  The irony is that there are  tons of books, both old and new, that insult religious groups in just as scandalous a fashion as this movie. However, since people don’t read (much) anymore, no one noticed and blame was avoided.  The only books that go viral, so to speak, are literary garbage, which thinking people don’t take seriously.