Part One, part two, part three, part four, part five, and part six.
This from James Zogby, President of the Arab American Institute, writing for the Huffington Post:
On Sunday, CNN broadcast "Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door" a remarkable documentary, produced by Soledad O'Brien, that tells the story of the conflict in Murfreesboro, TN over whether or not that town's Muslim community would be allowed to build a new mosque.
Murfreesboro, we are told by some of its residents, prides itself on being a "welcoming community" and a "family". But in this documentary we see them speaking for themselves, angry, spewing hate, and striking out at their own Muslim neighbors. The program highlights a failed, but still hurtful, effort by mosque opponents to have a Tennessee court rule that Islam is not a religion and is, therefore, not protected by the Bill of Rights. The portrait that is painted by the mosque's antagonists' own words and behavior is both disturbing and frightening.
I watched this program with a growing sense of horror.
The ignorance, the hate, and the religious persecution happening in the "heartland of America" was so vicious that one could almost believe they were watching video taken from the Inquisition, or the Salem Witch Trials.
You always hope that we as a people are much too evolved to allow ourselves to become so hateful, based on prejudice or a lack of knowledge. But then you see something like this and you are suddenly slapped in the face with how close to the surface our xenophobia and distrust of the "other" is always lurking.
I know this is Sunday, and a day of relaxation for most of us, but I would strongly urge you to watch this entire documentary when you get the chance. For intelligent people who are searching for answers to better understand what is happening in our country, this is invaluable.