Some of the long time readers and holdovers from the heady days of commenting at the old Panama City News Herald website (before they destroyed the comments by moving to FaceBook) will remember our old friend and nemesis, a commenter called “buggerthat”. Bugs was/is a reactionary and doctrinaire “progressive” and was (and I assume still is) absolutely convinced of his intellectual and moral superiority to anyone who doesn’t agree with him.
Part of the tag line for this blog is credited to him – he called me “dishonest, diversionary and pompous” as he was in the process of losing yet another argument about some issue. In typical “progressive” fashion, rather than argue my actual positions, most of the time he created a projection of his definition of my position and argued against that. It’s called a “strawman”. It is very easy to win when you control both sides of an argument and can construct an opposing argument that is weak in exactly the areas where your argument is strong – it isn’t a legitimate form of logical debate but it is a common tactic of the political left. I’ve long said that to “win” a debate, these so called “progressives” must create a caricature of Republicans/conservatives/classic liberals in order for their points to have any semblance of validity.
When the “strawman” won’t fall over and burn, they predictably descend to name-calling.
Such was the case as we debated the Ground Zero Mosque back in 2010. I was called a racist, Islamophobe and a bigot for simply suggesting that building a mosque within eyesight of Ground Zero might not be the best idea and smacked of Islamic triumphalism or a passive/aggressive celebration of the terror attack that destroyed the Twin Towers.
One of the examples of just how bigoted we are in the South that was trotted out was the example of the people in Murfreesboro, Tennessee were discriminating against the Muslim community by trying to stop a tiny, tiny, inconsequential, 53,000 square foot Islamic Center from being built.
The Murfreesboro Mosque, like the idea of the Ground Zero Mosque, in and of themselves are not objectionable. They are but buildings, places of worship. The issues that they bring to the fore are the unanswered questions about the true motivation of the supporters and the funding organizations behind them.
I am not an Islamophobe in the sense that I believe that I personally have anything to fear from individuals adhering to the religion of Islam, I have no feelings of irrational panic when associating with devotees of Islam. I have even publicly argued that I believe that our Constitution does not prohibit the possibility of having a Muslim president.
But I have also publicly stated that I believe that Islam is completely incompatible with the ideals and principles of America. I do believe that there are forces in Islam that seek to destroy America and believe that living a “devout” life of deprivation in hell-holes like Pakistan or Iran is somehow morally superior to living in an open and free society like America. That living in a misogynist society where women must be covered from head to toe and only be seen in public with a husband or male relative and where men engage in addictions to porn, are taught how to beat their wives and prostitution is somehow superior (one of the 9/11 “devout” terrorists, Mohammed Atta, sure loved him some hookers).
Black3Actual has pointed out several instances that are hard to ignore – Calypso Louie claiming that Allah is going to bring down the skyscrapers being just one.
Of course, it is foolish and illegitimate to generalize the behavior of small samples of members of any group to the entire population of that group…but let me state this a clearly as I can – it is just as foolish and illegitimate to reverse that process and ascribe the positive attributes and motives of the larger population to the smaller groups, especially when there is evidence to the contrary.
There is a concept in American jurisprudence that states that if an individual has prior knowledge or witnesses a crime the individual has a responsibility to stop the criminal act or to be considered complicit in the act itself. This is where we get the legal concepts of “aiding and abetting”, “depraved indifference” and being an “accessory” to a crime. In consideration of such concepts, one must ask these questions of the larger population of Islam:
- If you do not agree with the actions of the violent and radical factions of your beliefs, why are you not working to isolate and eliminate them?
- Does your silence not indicate a depraved indifference to the acts of Hamas, Hezbollah and al Qaeda?
- You claim that these factions “do not represent Islam”, yet you do nothing. However, when an individual leaves the Islamic faith they are declared an apostate and are marked for death – why do you not ascribe the same punishment for apostasy to the people who “do not represent Islam”? Is that not the same issue?
- Does not your silence (or ineffective denouncement) actually indicate acquiescence?
Where so many of the American non-Muslim defenders of Islam fail is in their equivocation of Islam to post-Reformation Christianity – there is no equivocation.
- Rather than a patchwork of denominations who believe in 99.9% of the same things, yet only differ in how to worship, Islam abides no deviations in belief or process.
- Reformation of Islam is not possible – where Christians believe that the Holy Bible was written by man and inspired by God and therefore open to interpretation, Muslims believe that the Koran is the literal and exact word of Allah, and is not to be “interpreted” – only followed.
- Christianity respects and tolerates competing beliefs, Islam considers all other religions inferior and illegitimate and punishes those who leave it with charges of apostasy, punishable by death.
- Christianity has a documented history, a proven legacy of existence. Islam has no such historical record and only appeared around 700 AD.
The two couldn’t be more different.
Therein lies my issue with many who ignore facts before them and minimize the danger (and, yes, I believe that Islam is a danger) of the growth of Islam in America.
I was reading an post at Robert Spencer’s site, Jihad Watch, by Eric Allen Bell, a guy who went to Murfreesboro to make a documentary in support of the mosque and after he witnessed the chicanery, deception and political correct blindness that have conspired to allow the construction to go forward, he became an opponent:
But the most important thing I learned from Sheikh Ossama Baloul was this – and I had to watch this footage over and over to finally get what he was saying. There is no such thing as “moderate Islam”. There is only “modified Islam”. These are not his words, they are my own. But basically what he had to say with regard to the implementation of the brutal and often sadistic Islamic Law (Sharia) was that no one in America had anything to worry about. Why? Because Muslims are taught to follow the laws of the foreign land they are living in. This does not mean then that forced amputations or killing someone for leaving Islam, or even for being an enemy of Islam is against Islam – against his beliefs as the main Islamic spiritual leader in Murfreesboro. He never said that. Only that they would not do that here, if the law forbids it. The moral outrage that I feel, when considering the Sharia, didn’t seem to affect him in the same way.
Bell points out that the actions of Islamists in America MUST be held to critical, objective scrutiny. We must be honest with who these “factions” are and who is supporting them:
The Muslim Brotherhood is the largest Islamic organization in the world. Its most famous slogan, used worldwide, is “Islam is the solution.” As Robert Spencer points out repeatedly, in many of his public talks and books, the Muslim Brotherhood is the direct forefather of both Hamas and Al Qaeda. This organization does not go by “The Muslim Brotherhood” in America. But perhaps you may have heard of some of its front groups: Muslim Student Association, Muslim American Society, Islamic Society of North America, Islamic Circle of North America, North American Islamic Trust, International Institute of Islamic Thought, and several others. And they were all listed in this Muslim Brotherhood “Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Brotherhood of North America”, which states:
The process of settlement is a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” with all the word means. The Ikhwan (militant religious brotherhood dedicated to the purification and the unification of Islam) must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.
Bell echoes my concerns that the ultimate goal of Islam is not growth of the faith in America because the Islamists see this as a mutually exclusive proposition – in order for Islam to succeed, America must fail – not only fail, but be destroyed:
Islam is thought of by most Americans as simply a religion. When they hear about proposed legislation to ban Islamic Law (Sharia) from our courts, it often strikes them as a form of religious persecution. To most of the media, ideas such as “Creeping Sharia” or “Stealth Jihad” sound like paranoid conspiracy theories. Attempts to stop the construction of any mosque are perceived generally as the work of Christian religious fanatics who don’t want to lose the home court advantage. Why is this? The answer is quite simple. Americans are not educated about Islam.
Organizations such as CAIR spin every one of these stories to look like a civil rights issue. Much of the media uses their press releases as source material for their stories, and this is where most Americans are getting their information. So the illusion that Islam is nothing more than just another religion is one that is maintained, paid for by Islamic petrodollars, and strictly enforced by the strong arm of the Hamas front group, the Council on American Islamic Relations.
But Islam is in fact a tyrannical political system, a brutal and sadistic legal system – thinly veiled in a theology which technically grants it the status of a religion, at least according to the US Department of Justice. Therefore, to oppose construction of a mosque is seen as a form of “religious persecution”.
In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. A Sharia-compliant mosque (which would basically be all of them) is antithetical not only to American values, but to American laws. A mosque, more times than not, is a place where treasonous ideas are taught, often times by people who are not even citizens of this country. The fact is that Islam and human rights cannot coexist. Islam and free speech cannot coexist. Islam and gay rights, women’s rights, the freedom to leave your religion without fear of being killed – these beliefs and practices, which are at the core of Islamic teaching – cannot coexist with freedom and liberty – the foundation upon which America was built.
Read all of Eric Allen Bell’s post at the link. It is illuminating.
Asking honest questions and understanding facts is not Islamaphobic. We as Christians, ask questions of our own religion all the time in a quest for greater understanding – such questions are not allowed in Islam.
Recognizing a danger to the Republic is not a character fault or bigotry.
And remember: the Constitution is not a suicide pact.