I've been thinking today about what I would have done as a reporter when a Sheridan woman said she didn't want "a Muslim" to speak to students yesterday.
Her quote from arkansasmatters.com and the reporter who interviewed her - "We had been told that a Muslim was gonna come and speak to the children of the [Sheridan] Middle School…Since that nationality was responsible for 9/11…We just didn't feel like it was right for him to come speak on 9/11 to the American children."
This almost makes me speechless.
As a reporter with an assignment, I would have tried to explain to her that Islam is a religion and that someone who practices Islam is Muslim.
Neither have to do with the speaker's nationality.
And neither were responsible for 9/11.
I would have asked her to shape her quote again with that new knowledge.
What could she have said then?
According to the story, the purpose of the speaker was to explain that the Muslim faith is not about promoting terror and that not all Muslims are identical in their beliefs, much like how Christian denominations differ.
Are all Christians Westboro Baptist Church members? No.
All dogs are boys and all cats are girls, right? No.
Kudos to the teachers who scheduled the speaker so that some light could be shed on a dark place.
I'm sorry a group of parents in Sheridan pulled the shroud back over their children's eyes.