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  • Writer's pictureDillan Taylor

Day 20: Out of the Dark

20/30 – What are controversial opinions you hold?

“Do you have any opinions that you would be reluctant to express in front of a group of your peers? If the answer is no, you might want to stop and think about that. If everything you believe is something you’re supposed to believe, could that possibly be a coincidence? Odds are it isn’t. Odds are you just think what you’re told.” Paul Graham

Oh boy. Here goes…

Most people aren’t meant to be in a life-long relationship. People change their values and evolve and it’s highly unlikely that two people will evolve in a way that perfectly coincides with one another. Most marriages end in divorce; and we all know there are plenty of unhappy, unfulfilling partners who stay together.

This doesn’t mean I’m anti-marriage. It just means I’m anti-marriage if the two partners aren’t absolutely, drop-dead, madly in love with one another.

• We have an enormous problem with American law enforcement; but the problem is not racist cops. The problem is a combination of poorly-trained cops, mistakes, and awful portrayals in the media. I think defunding the police is a terrible idea. They should be funded more so they can train way more frequently, get much better psychological evaluations, and so that our image of cops can be that of respect instead of what it is now. When most people–including myself–see a a cop car, the prevailing feeling isn’t that of safety; it’s of intimidation and fear. All the hard evidence shows us that there is no proof of an epidemic of racist cops, but you wouldn’t gather that from watching nothing but horrible videos of black people being killed by white cops on TV. The media doesn’t tell the whole story, which is genuinely warping our understanding of crime and violence in this country. I also think it’s a problem that any sort of criticism of Black Lives Matter (the movement, not the sentiment) gets you pinged as a bigot or a racist.

The criminal justice system however, provides plenty of evidence that it targets black people and provides them with much harsher sentences. Again, I know racism exists and it needs to be weeded out…but we can’t find it where it doesn’t exist. That is how we backtrack.

Islam is not a religion of peace. I would never make a blanket statement about Muslims as people; nor would I advocate for any sort of oppression or stereotyping. But the statement that Islam is a religion of peace is insulting to those millions of Muslims living under the Qur’an’s unfortunate rules and regulations.

In the harshest-most circle, we have Jihadists. These are extremists and fundamentalists willing to blow themselves up to destroy the infidel. They want nothing more than for the entire world to succumb to the faith.

Outside that circle, we have Islamists. While these folks won’t resort to murder or violence like Jihadists, they specialize in organizing politically in attempts to change the political and social infrastructure of nations. They want the same goal, they just have a different means of getting there.

Finally, outside those two circles, there exist conservative Muslims who hold reprehensible beliefs about women, homosexuals, Jews, and apostates. 21% of American Muslims said in a Pew Poll that 9/11 was “somewhat justified.”

These three extreme circles of the faith make up (from a collection of Pew Research Center Polls) about 20% of Muslims. While there are many many millions of Muslims who would never wish harm upon anyone, who just want to live peaceful lives and wish the same for others…there are a disconcerting number of those who wish for quite the opposite. 20% of 1.8 billion Muslims is 360 million people. This is far from a “loud minority.”

This is not a criticism of Muslims as people. It is a criticism of a collection of archaic ideas which need vast reform in the Muslim world.

• Well, hopefully I don’t lose any friends over this. If you have any issues with any of this, please feel free to contact me. I’m always up for a good-faith conversation! Peace be with you.

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