Skip to comments.How Would YOU Like to Be a Muslim in America Today?
Posted on 02/21/2003 3:23:49 AM PST by JohnHuang2
How would you like to be a Muslim in America today?
Chris Core of WMAL Radio in Washington, DC, asked me this question last Friday. In the on-air free-for-all (which also featured Hussam Ayloush of the Council on American Islamic Relations) the question got lost in the shuffle, but I have to congratulate Core. With this one question, he summed up for free a point that CAIR has just launched a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign to make: Muslims in the United States are a disadvantaged, misunderstood minority, deeply threatened by what it calls the rising tide of anti-Muslim rhetoric in the United States.
And not just rhetoric. The FBI reported 481 hate crimes against Muslims in 2001 up from just 28 in 2000. Of these 481 incidents, 66 were classified as simple assault and 27 as aggravated assault. 296 were termed intimidation. No murders were reported, although a Sikh was mistaken for a Muslim and killed shortly after 9/11.
There is no doubt that if all these people were attacked simply for being Muslim, these incidents even if they consisted of nothing more than some idiot yelling an ethnic slur are inexcusable. Whats more, theyre un-American. For all the imperfections inherent in any system constructed and maintained by fallible human beings, the United States has a record of justice that should be the envy of the world, and even France. We believe in the due process of law and the right to a fair trial. Rogue police are dismissed and vilified. Lynchings have been eradicated. The morality of the death penalty causes protracted national agonizing.
Thank God that relatively few Muslims in America (CAIR puts their number at seven million; the State Department at just over four million) have been on the receiving end of hate crimes of any kind. Judging by the FBIs statistics, Muslims in the United States have generally experienced the generosity and keen sense of justice that characterizes Americans at their best. There must be some reason why immigrants from Muslim countries are still streaming into the U.S.
So how would I like to be a Muslim in America today? Well, what are my alternatives? A few representative incidents:
If I were a Muslim living in Iraqi Kurdistan, I may have relatives or friends among the 500,000 to one million people murdered by Saddam Hussein in Operation Al-Anfal, The Spoils of War, named after the eighth sura of the Quran. If I were a Shiite Muslim in our friend and ally Saudi Arabia, I wouldnt be able to build a mosque and would suffer numerous restrictions on my freedom to practice my religion.
In Iran, the Muslim scholar Hashem Aghajari was sentenced to death for insulting Islam after questioning the Shiite Iranian regimes hard-line interpretation of the religion. The sentence has now been lifted under international pressure, but Aghajari is not alone. An Iranian Muslim cleric, Hojjatoleslam Hasan Yousefi Eshkevari, also seems to have received a death sentence (the details, understandably enough, are not easy to get out of Tehran) on charges of corruption on earth and war with God. Eshkevaris sentence was also reduced after an outcry, although he lost his clerical status. Fatemeh Govarai, a journalist, was sentenced to six months in jail and fifty lashes for a newspaper interview the government didnt like. And the list goes on and on.
In Egypt, Amnesty International reports widespread tortures and detentions without trial. Nor is this secular state much more hospitable to freedom of thought than Saudi Arabia or Iran: Islamic hardliners attempted a third-party divorce (hisba) an arcane but recognized maneuver under Islamic law to separate feminist writer Nawal El-Saadawi from her husband because of elements in her writings that they considered heretical.
Even in Jordan, a relative beacon of sane government and human rights in the Islamic world, the State Security Court this week sentenced three journalists to prison terms for blaspheming the Prophet Muhammad. Their crime? Publishing an account of the Prophets marriages and sex life based on Sahih Bukhari, a collection of traditions about Muhammad that Muslims generally consider to be the most reliable such collection in existence except, evidently, when its blasphemous.
All in all, if I had a choice between being a Muslim in America or in any of these countries or other nations with Muslim majorities, I would choose the land of the free and the home of the brave. On the basis of freedom and justice, to say nothing of living standards, theres just no comparison.
Not only that. If I really were a Muslim in America today, I would invite the FBI into my mosque. I would do everything I could to help root terrorists out of mosques. I would put up with the inconveniences this would cause me because of my commitment to our nations safety and prosperity.
Those words come from CAIRs first full-page New York Times ad designed to promote a better image of Islam. It would be nice if this airbrushed, squeaky clean, Brady Bunch version of Islam were the only version in the world today. But it doesnt even tally with the words and deeds of CAIR officials. CAIRs concern for Americas safety didnt stop its Executive Director, Nihad Awad, from declaring his support for the terrorist group Hamas. It didnt stop Siraj Wahaj of CAIRs advisory board from testifying on behalf of terrorist Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman. Wahaj even invited Rahman to his mosque to give a speech, despite the fact that the blind sheikhs religion doesnt quite square with CAIRs Rotarian Islam: Jihad and killing, the now-imprisoned Sheikh has declared, is the head of Islam. If you take it out, you cut off the head of Islam.
Despite the fact that huge numbers of Muslims worldwide subscribe to Sheikh Omars version of Islam rather than that of CAIRs ads, and that it is absolutely undeniable that many of these radicals have entered the United States and have already been found operating in mosques, CAIR has called on the FBI to stop counting mosques as part of anti-terrorism investigations. Where does CAIR, with its commitment to our nations safety and all, expect the FBI to find Muslim terrorists? At the malt shop?
How would I like to be a Muslim in America today? Because CAIR is in this country, it is free free to publish its ads, to smear honest inquiries into the roots of terrorism as incitement, and to continue to pursue special victim status for American Muslims. But we may hope that American Muslims will ask themselves Chris Cores question and answer it honestly. And that doing this will lead them to repudiate CAIR, with its shadowy ties to terror and irresponsible attempts to tar anti-terrorism efforts as discrimination.
After all, if the terrorists have their way, America will ultimately cease to be a refuge for immigrant CAIR members and other Muslims who are fed up with the tyranny of their homelands.
So they can kill us from within.....
This is the Muslim approach to receiving a trespass. The Christian approach emphasizes forgiveness and excusing those who repent.
And not just rhetoric. The FBI reported 481 hate crimes against Muslims in 2001 up from just 28 in 2000. Of these 481 incidents, 66 were classified as simple assault and 27 as aggravated assault. 296 were termed intimidation. No murders were reported, although a Sikh was mistaken for a Muslim and killed shortly after 9/11.Interesting.....it may not have been a so-called "hate crime" but Waqar Hassan Choudhry is no less dead. If one steals money I suppose it doesn't count. The most spectacular anti-Moslem attack around here involved a drunken yahoo driving his Mustang into the front door of a mosque at 80mph, apparently immune to the irony of aiming a vehicle at an occupied building.
The fact that Muslims are treated better in the United States than anywhere else in the world speaks well of us, not badly of them. The same can be said about most Jews, Scientologists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Chinese people, and entrepreneurs. It's certainly no justification for treating them differently than anyone else.
It would be a helluva lot safer than being a Christian in some Muslim-dominated third-world cesspool.
I think an apt comparison here is between the Muslims of today and the Japanese of the 1940s. Today the Muslims complain about ill treatment (probably with justification), while the Japanese of the 1940s under far worse treatment went to great lengths to prove their "Americanism".
This should not be necessary but human nature being what it is, it becomes necessary. If Muslims want Americans to see that they are as American as them they should volunteer for the armed services in large numbers, they should speak out against terrorism more openly, and they should seek to educate the rest of us about how Islam can be compatible with a wide open democracy.
Frankly I think you've got this one right.
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