The Dangers of Intolerance

Fire officials in the Houston suburb of Clear Lake are investigating what caused a fire at a mosque — twice, on consecutive days.

As of now we don’t know exactly what or who caused the fires this week at the Clear Lake Education Center where, thankfully, no one was injured. But it’s a sad commentary that if the fires are found to be intentional, none of us would be surprised. It has, after all, happened before. If it hadn’t happened before, we still wouldn’t be surprised because of the troubling level of rhetoric targeting the American Muslim community we hear from far-right groups. “It was just a matter of time,” we’d all say.

Stigmatizing an entire group of people can create fertile soil for this sort of violence. And when intolerance toward entire groups of people or their religion is allowed to fester, someone is bound to get hurt. Sooner or later.

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