The Danger of Fear
Some thoughts after recent terror attacks worldwide including Paris ….
November 17, 2015
The Danger of Fear
I am weary of the blind anger and anti-Muslim ignorance in my own country because no one, who hates them , is trying to understand Islam. I grew up overseas as an Army and State department brat . My father was a US Army officer and then worked the next 3 decades for the US Agency for International Development (USAID). We lived in Christian and Moslem countries stationed wherever our government sent us . I never knew Islam as anything but peaceful and frankly boring as a teenager .
Until 9/11 when terrorists hijacked the Islam religion and name -I only knew peace .
I remind everyone too that we have THOUSANDS of Muslim troops who serve our country and YES – protect and keep us all safe and free even those of you who hate Muslims . They have served our country since the Revolutionary War .
At Homefront Hugs USA, I have lost volunteers and supporters just from speaking up saying we support ALL our troops ,vets and families regardless of religion . That is more their loss than ours . We cannot afford to be ignorant and hateful when we serve our veterans ,families and troops .
Americans who hate Islam have never known the religion or studied it . They have never seen the kindness and peaceful love of a Muslim neighbor or watched an American Muslim child play with their kids . They hate out of fear .
The only way we are going to combat this is by separating the religion from ISIL / Daesh and insisting that Muslim communities & leaders speak up LOUD and clear and repeatedly against ISIS .
I am no less American than anyone else and yet I truly am sad at the useless and harmful divisions in our country that prevent us from tackling many of our country’s challenges including terrorism .
These divisions stem from hate & ignorance – and most of all, many of us giving up on trying to understand each other .
These divisions make us weak. They also hinder our attempts to eradicate ISIS . We are better than this . We are Americans first . Homefront Hugs is as strong and real as it can be because we see the best of America – from all politics and religions , all ways of life and cultures. We unite to support our heroes, give thanks for our freedoms, inspire stewardship and are stronger because of this decision .
Out of fear we are hearing governor after governor saying no to Syrian refugees .
I cannot imagine if my Jewish grandfather , fleeing Hitler, had been turned away at Ellis Island because of fear . Can we not trust our Homeland Security and troops to protect us and vet our immigrants well enough ?
Why have the FBI or CIA or Homeland Security if they are not capable of weeding out any problems ? Train them better then, hire more – give them the support and respect they have earned .
We must as a nation work on eradicating fear, ignorance and hate so we win over the terrorists and all our nation’s challenges . This is the only way to beat ISIS . We cannot just kill them all – we must destroy their false ideology. We can lead the world in understanding that fear only blocks us from our goals .
My grandfather, Dr.Henry J.Kellermann, went back to Germany to lead the program in re-educating ( UNBRAINWASHING) the German youth after WWII. This was a critical move and not accomplished in a day . We can beat ISIS in military strength but must also defeat them in psychological ways .
We can do this only united and without hate and fear .
Think about it . We are talking about lasting peace and ending terrorism – this will require us all to be on the same page .
It will require all of us to unite as Americans across politics and religions – across all differences .The longer we wait to end our manmade useless divisions, the longer ISIS (or better said : Daesh ) wins . That is the simple danger of fear as it paralyzes and ends clear thinking especially our ability to combat terrorism once and for all .
Founder and President
Homefront Hugs USA
University of Michigan 1988
Recipient of the Four Chaplains Award