During Adolf Hitler's rise to power in Germany, as he ramped up the antisemitic rhetoric, it was not uncommon for Jewish families to have their homes vandalized with the words, Juden (Jew) and Schwein (Pig). These acts of vandalism escalated to arsons, murders, and the eventual systematic killing of 6 million innocent Jews.
While disgusting, I am not really surprised by this act of cowardly intolerance and hate. One only has to read the comments section of the Providence Journal's story on the incident - then imagine the ones they DIDN'T publish - or log in to one's facebook page to understand the levels of Islamphobia, ignorance, and unfounded hatred in our so-called civilization. Even more infuriatingly, these armchair patriots wrap their lizard-brained beliefs in the American flag and top them off with a Bible, which anyone who considers themselves an American and/or a Christian should find repugnant.
Plain also reports that security footage from the school shows what appears to be at least one adult male involved in the incident, which blows the conventional wisdom of The Punk Teenagers Theory. I don't want to say that this terrible crime would have been somehow more forgivable if perpetrated by juveniles but at least with teenagers, there's time for intervention and education. It's pretty difficult to get an adult to change a closely held belief; especially one that would drive him or her to vandalize a school and slur 1.6 billion people around the world based on the actions of an extremely small minority. Likening all Muslims to terrorists is no different than calling all Catholics pedophiles or abortion clinic bombers.
Come to think of it, imagine if this had happened at one of Rhode Island's many Catholic schools. The uproar from the talk radio noisemongers would be truly deafening? Their stridency knows no bounds when they perceive a slight to THEIR religious freedom, but it's crickets when someone else's freedom to worship is threatened. We have a word for that: hypocrisy.
This type of speech not only precedes acts like we've seen at the Islamic School in West Warwick, it also plants the seeds of genocide in the minds of the mentally weak and pliable. As long as people continue to use their right to free speech to propagate such vitriol and impotent rage through social media, I'll continue to use mine to speak out against it.