I hope that this letter finds you in the best of health and spirit, God willing.
Hello Mr. Schilling. Let me introduce myself. My name is Steven Pearce and I am an American Muslim who was born and raised in Redding, CA. I was not always a Muslim but took my shahada or Islāmic declaration of faith 17 years ago.
Please let me get right to the point. As an American and a Muslim every time that someone who is a celebrity like yourself makes a false statement demonizing Muslims and insinuating that we are all potentially an ISIS member or candidate, puts our lives in danger.
I have read the same ill-informed and misguided propaganda statement about 5-10% of Muslims being extremist Muslims multiple times. It is a very favorite piece to cut-and-paste by the Tea-Party Islamophobic fear-mongering types.
However, I do not believe that you should have been suspended.
I understand that you were suspended by ESPN for a week from broadcasting the Little League World Series. I do not think that a suspension is a proper teaching method. Instead, I would suggest that you sit with local Islāmic leaders in your community. I am sure you would be interested to learn that the views shared by Muslims living in America are not very different then your own.
I understand that many people have been frightened by the Islamophobic network Fox News and do not take the time to learn from Muslims what they really believe. Instead of asking a Muslim they take their source from Fox or their pastor and if a Muslim tells them otherwise they say that the Muslim is practicing taqqiya or is lying about what they believe.
This same type of fear-mongering has made it very difficult for Muslims living in America. It is very difficult to get jobs and when we do and they find out we are Muslim they often make excuses to get rid of us. We also have to deal with people calling our jobs and making threats and harassing us. None of this is reported in the news but this is our life here in America. When you make comments like this, it continues our ill-treatment.
There is upwards of 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, if 5-10% of these Muslims were extremists then there would be at least 160 million Muslims jihadis. The estimates of ISIS is that there are 40,000 people in ISIS and they are probably the largest of all the Jihadi groups. There is probably not more than 500,000 terrorists in the entire Muslim world and that is a very large estimate. It might be as small as 80-100,000 militants. This is not a sufficient number to label us all as terrorists. Most of use abhor these people and want nothing to do with them.
You seem like an intelligent man. A patriot that cares about the Constitution. You understand the importance of the Bill of Rights and Liberty. American Muslims want to live under the same protection of the Constitution as you.
If you do not know about Islam or have questions, I invite you to get into contact with me that we can talk.