Monday, August 23, 2010

The Ground Zero Mosque and "Islamophobia"

We're now hearing that the country has"Islamophobia?"  John Esposito says "The history of our great country has been plagued from colonial days by religious and racial discrimination and exploitation: slavery and centuries of racial discrimination, the demonization and marginalization of Native Americans, the denial of the right to build synagogues in New York and anti-Semitism in America, discrimination against ethnic Catholic immigrants, and the collective punishment of Japanese Americans during WW II. "  There are stains on our history that relate to tolerance but opposition to the mosque is not based on tolerance.

The country did have periods where we did not operate to the highest standards of tolerance.  We are a better place than we were a hundred years ago or even a decade ago.  Opposition to the building of the mosque so near to a sacred site is based on at least two principles.  First, the people who perpetuated the horror on 9/11 were Islamic fundamentalists.  That is not to suggest that all Muslims are of the same persuasion but the attack on the US came from people on a single set of beliefs.   In other countries that would have meant a pogrom or a jihad against people of those beliefs.  Not here.  But there is a sensibility that the supporters of the mosque should recognize.  The 9/11 attacks were a cowardly set of acts.  No measure of geopolitics or discrimination can be used to justify 9/11. Yet many in the Islamic community have failed to acknowledge that simple fact.   

Second, no Islamic county has been supportive of inclusion for Christians in their country.  You cannot carry a bible into Saudi Arabia.  All over the Middle East Christians are persecuted for their beliefs.  So while one behavior does not condone a like response until Islamic countries are respectful of other religious beliefs we owe them no similar treatment here.

Islamophobia is one of those terms that comes from the therapeutic and secular left.  It is a way to ignore the underlying issues.    We are not against Moslems exercising their religious beliefs, so long as they abide by a fundamental principle of the American system that is acceptance of diversity of beliefs.  The mosque should not be built near Ground Zero because it is in bad taste not because of some fear of different beliefs.  All the politically correct nonsense that liberals want to lay down is simply that - Nonsense.


trencherbone said...

'Religious' tolerance?

The privileges of being classed as religion should be withdrawn from Islam.

If Hitler had claimed that 'Mein Kampf' was dictated by God, would we be forced to tolerate the Nazi Party as a religion? Islam is first and foremost a mind-destroying, totalitarian political ideology that spreads through the Body Politic like a virus.

Winston Churchill gave the correct diagnosis over a century ago, when he compared Islam to a contagious virus or meme - 'as dangerous in a man as rabies in a dog'

Consequently, Islam should be reclassified from 'RELIGION' to 'PUBLIC MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEM' - a virulent contagious mental illness. It could then be contained by the methods used to prevent the spread of typhoid and other lethal epidemics: enforced exclusion and quarantine of carriers, eradication of foci of infection, immunization of the susceptible population etc.

Anonymous said...

We don't have the right to tell other countries how to operate vis-a-vis religion.

Dr. Tax in Sacramento said...

Indeed we do not have the "right" to tell other countries. But we do have the ability to make distinctions among countries that follow a common set of values.