Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Mandatory Quran-tine


looks like Bill Maher

is keeping it too "Real"
this "Time"
for students of UC Berkeley

who don't want him giving
the December commencement address

due to comments
on an October 3rd show

in which he
spoke against religion in general
and Islam in particular

saying "the Muslim world
has too much in common with Isis"

and that the "values"
of "Western Civilization"
"are better."

The students' Change.org petition
has collected more than
2,800 signatures

from irate Muslims
and non-Muslims.

Religions are not inherently
violent or peaceful

but powerful vehicles through which people
filter their own consciences

and those with power
can and do justify oppressive acts

(which Maher should know
since he said it himself).

Irreverent reality-based satirists
(such as this poet
except when breaking
into fanciful song)

attempt to skewer
the abuse of power
in America

(and yes
around the world)

with the imprecise tool of humor
and a tool it is

but one doesn't make allies
of the Others

in a country
where the Other

must pass airport security checks
(which he has
voiced his approval of)

ask to be humanized
and then finally apologize

to the "us"
in "us and them"

when as Americans
they seek to be included
in an American conversation.

Surely a person
who once said

"Curious people
are interesting people"

and who prides himself
on bullshit detection
can see through his own

(though one shouldn't
make unfair generalizations).

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.