As Obama Speaks, Too Many Americans Are Cowards About Mosques

Today, President Obama went to a mosque in Baltimore to say, in essence, "Yeah, all those assholes who hate on Muslims are just too goddamn dumb to breathe without Breitbart telling them how." It seems appropriate, then, to take a quick look around the country to see what the cowardly morons are doing when it comes to mosques being built in their 'hoods.

For instance, way out in Gillette, Wyoming, a town of 31,000 with less than three dozen Muslims, a mosque opened in December of 2015. The mosque is a converted house where the .1% of Gillette could worship, and, if you're gonna be a Muslim terrorist, you're not gonna exactly disappear into the population of a town in the middle of fucking nowhere, where, statistically, you look different from everyone else. Although, to be sure, the Rockpile Museum, with its new pioneer quilts exhibit, might be a prime ISIS target.

These fears caused one not-brave American, Bret Colvin, to start one of those Facebook groups of the damned, "stop islam in gillette !" with a goal of stopping "the islam invasion sponsored by...barrack obama." It's good to know that someone doesn't write in all caps these days. Or spell the president's name correctly like an ordinary Muslim might. Colvin views himself as a modern-day Crusader, ready to use the mighty sword of Zuckerberg to angrily stab the keyboard for the glory of Christ. Of course, now the group has over 400 members. Of course, people are commenting shit like "These Muslim maggots need to be gut shot." For his part, Colvin said, "The issue with the mosque is we didn’t know who was behind it, who was in it, where it came from."

Except here's the funny part: the mosque was built by the Khan family, which has been in Wyoming since 1906. They own 45 properties, mostly hotels, with 15 in Gillette. Indeed, the Khans are responsible for building hotels and bringing jobs to Gillette, and they have been for years. You can bet that they have far deeper roots in Wyoming than most of the people who joined Colvin's shitty Facebook group. Most of the members of the mosque are members of the Khan family, who now face harassment and threats.

But, wait, it gets even funnier: A "heavyset white man" from Gillette, with the nearly Dickensian name of Erich Schlup, knocked on the door of the mosque during a sermon because that's what the fuck you do when you don't understand something: you take a minute to learn. He listened to the sermon and came away with a different idea about the mosque and the Muslims in Gillette: "The sermon was - it's not entirely unlike what I've experienced when I've gone to church." Schlup's cousin is part of the anti-Muslim Facebook group, but Schlup won't be joining: "Everyone wants to be peaceful and coincide with each other. And how can we do that without understanding each other? So why not come check it out and learn a few things?"

Meanwhile, now that the mayor and others in the town have said that the mosque is here to stay (and, really, are you gonna piss off one of the biggest employers in the town?), Colvin has set his sights on keeping out the alleged 2000 Syrian refugees that are supposed to be resettled in Gillette.

Which would be surprising since Wyoming hasn't accepted a single refugee since 2012.

Fear and ignorance won't be undone by inconvenient facts.