The thing to do about human rights is not to talk about them but to defend them. So I will share a convenient and powerful means of acting in support of human rights that will affect all of us, both internationally and at home, right now.

At this moment when we making genuine progress against racial discrimination in the United States, we are being confronted with a rise of religious antagonism of a sort that we have not experienced since the era of Nazi fascism.

Along with most every newspaper subscriber in my state, I have just received a free movie in the mail that indicts “Radical Islam’s war against the West.” Its message is broadcast graphically by featuring the international symbol of the Islamic religion: the crescent and star.

If such a film title began with a Star of David or a cross, we would have little trouble in identifying it as the indictment of an entire religion, but we have become so familiar with statements about “radical Islam” and “Islamic terrorism” and even the only somewhat rarer “Islamo-fascism,” that we have learned to ignore the fact that they are implied indictments of Islam as much as they are literal indictments of a supposed variety of Islam.

“This is a film about radical Islamic terror, it is important to remember that most Muslims are peaceful and do not support terror.”

A shorthand way of recognizing the mistake of accepting such language without immediate protest is to substitute your own faith or community for “Islam” or “Muslim” and consider how such language would make you feel if you were living in a land where you were in the minority.

Contributed by Gary Michael Tartakov, The Alliance for Global Justice

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