|Gentries made a conscious decision to stop learning anything new about the Muslim faith on May 22, 2005.
[source: The Onion]
This is another one of those brilliant The Onion pieces that so effectively blur the line between satire and cold reality:
SALINA, KS—Local man Scott Gentries told reporters Wednesday that his deliberately limited grasp of Islamic history and culture was still more than sufficient to shape his views of the entire Muslim world.
Gentries, 48, said he had absolutely no interest in exposing himself to further knowledge of Islamic civilization or putting his sweeping opinions into a broader context of any kind, and confirmed he was "perfectly happy" to make a handful of emotionally charged words the basis of his mistrust toward all members of the world's second-largest religion.
"I learned all that really matters about the Muslim faith on 9/11," Gentries said in reference to the terrorist attacks on the United States undertaken by 19 of Islam's approximately 1.6 billion practitioners. "What more do I need to know to stigmatize Muslims everywhere as inherently violent radicals?"
"And now they want to build a mosque at Ground Zero," continued Gentries, eliminating any distinction between the 9/11 hijackers and Muslims in general. "No, I won't examine the accuracy of that statement, but yes, I will allow myself to be outraged by it and use it as evidence of these people's universal callousness toward Americans who lost loved ones when the Twin Towers fell."
"Even though I am not one of those people," he added.
When told that the proposed "Ground Zero mosque" is actually a community center two blocks north of the site that would include, in addition to a public prayer space, a 500-seat auditorium, a restaurant, and athletic facilities, Gentries shook his head and said, "I know all I'm going to let myself know."
Of course, the best part – or worst part, depending on how you look at it – is how this is apparently exactly how so many of the authoritarian bigots railing against the planned Park51 Islamic cultural center (amongst other incidents of Islamophobia) seem to think in demonizing the millions of peaceful, law-abiding and good-natured Muslims in America (and elsewhere) in comparing them to the extremist fringe.