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Monday, June 05, 2017

Portland Maine student opinion: "Is History Repeating?"

​Is History Repeating Itself? by Declan Morgan 

I found this interesting opinion article posted on the Baxter Portside Press, a newsletter published by students enrolled in the Magnet "Baxter Academy for Technology and Science", in Portland, Maine.
President John Kennedy spoke about religion in the 1950's and 1960's- good research by Declan Morgan of Baxter, in op-ed

Is History Repeating Itself?

by Declan Morgan- student at Portland's Baxter, a magnet school

Today we are finding there to be a lot of bias and prejudice against the Muslim faith. 

For example, our recently elected president Donald Trump’s said at a rally in Charleston, South Carolina on December 7th 2015 “Donald J. Trump is calling for a complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” In fact through the years 2001 to 2015 there were 2,545 cases of anti-Islamic incidents according to the FBI. It has gotten to the point that this year the FBI is also counting all anti-Arab incidents as well.This wasn’t always the case, in other times different groups of people have been discriminated against.

Moreover, in the late 1960s until 1998 “The Troubles”, also known as the Northern Ireland Conflict, was a fight in Northern Ireland based on the constitutional standing of Northern Ireland. 

The fight was between UK (Britian) loyalists and the Ireland Republic Army. During this time, people of the Catholic faith were persecuted by, generally, Protestant Christian loyalists, and vice versa. In these times there were many violent attacks, and it became a major influence on the world. 

This prejudice was shown in the United States when JFK (President John Kennedy), the first Catholic President of the United States, ran for office and confronted a group of voters who opposed a Catholic in Office. He said, in his speech. “Are we going to admit to the world that a Jew can be elected Mayor of Dublin, a Protestant can be chosen Foreign Minister of France, a Muslim can be elected to the Israeli parliament—but a Catholic cannot be President of the United States? Are we going to admit to the world--worse still, are we going to admit to ourselves that one-third of the American people are forever barred from the White House?”.This fight for Catholic equality lasted for many years and is arguably still present today. It was referenced in a lot of pop culture like in U2’s Sunday Bloody Sunday (1983) and other media.

It’s likely that people who lived in that era (1950's-60's) that were not a part of either of those faiths could have perceived the two faiths the same way that we perceive the Muslim faith today, as outsiders looking in. So, we should all try to realize that in both situations most of the people in each faith were not active in the violent incidents of the conflict, just like today in the Muslim faith. Also, in time, the Northern Ireland Conflict subsided and the violence has ceased, for the most part, so there is no reason to think that the same thing won’t happen in this situation. In fact, many recent and current U.S. government officials are of the Catholic faith, such as former vice president Joe Biden, Maine senator Susan Collins, along with 30.1% of the 111th United States Congress.


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