Exploring the Happy Society.
The imam is on CNN right now threatening violence if the mosque is moved. He is however being very civil about it.
I'm talking about this with my religion 130 class tomorrow. On a related note... how fringe groups of one society can incite fringe groups in other societies is quite interesting.
Who is Abdul Rauf's friend Dr. Faiz Khan?
Another moderate Muslim?
If someone burned a Bible, I would be sad, maybe even sickened a little, but not outraged, because I know that the a printed Bible is just a physical object and isn't "holy" in and of itself. I certainly wouldn't go on a rampage and threaten violence to others, which of course would be in direct conflict with God's Word. Why is this behavior by Islam accepted and excused by the west?
"Why is this behavior by Islam accepted and excused by the west?"It isn't. It is denounced and repudiated. Right here, for example.Burning Qur'ans to outrage Muslims is wrong even if no violence was likely.
"Historically speaking the Catholic Church for centuries burned "Holy books and writings" that were in anyway contrary to Catholic dogma. Burning religious texts and books is nothing new folks. So, why when it comes to the Muslim/Islamic religion do we have a different set of rules? "From the Huffington Post, Sept. 12http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sophia-a-nelson/was-it-the-right-thing-to_b_713832.html
"...why is it that our officials have no concern about those who burn Bibles and flags in places where our Troops are serving on the ground, yet we go into panic mode over a nutty pastor with a small obscure church in Florida who might burn a Quran?"From the Huffington Post, Sept. 12http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sophia-a-nelson/was-it-the-right-thing-to_b_713832.html
I think Sophia Nelson misses the point of what Secretary Gates and others are concerned about. We are at war with some Islamic radicals. There is probably nothing we could do that would make them change their murderous opinion of us.We are not at war with ordinary Muslims around the world. The United States government has been very careful, under both recent administrations, not to outrage ordinary Muslims. This is good. It is not good primarily to avoid violence, but good in itself. Avoiding violence is an additional benefit.Ordinary Americans are free to do things that outrage ordinary Muslims. Their right to do bad and stupid things like that is protected by the First Amendment. The U.S. government, though, is well within its rights, and is acting sensibly, when it asks ordinary citizens not to try to outrage ordinary Muslims. That is a correct position, and also is likely to prevent violence.
I will submit this comment in pieces to make sure it makes it.Generally speaking, burning a Koran, or a Bible, or a flag, or submersion of a picture of Christ in urine, are all bad ideas and not my vision of an intelligent discussion. But it is probably good that our courts view these acts as constitutionally protected speech. Although I am troubled by the apparent double standard - we expect Westerners to act in a civilized way, but expect the “Islamic Street” to behave irrationally - all things considered, it was good that reason prevailed, somewhat.And as one who, for my business, represents religious institutions, including at least one mosque, in trying to overcome local opposition to the building of religious buildings, the GZM dispute has me conflicted. And indeed I am troubled by the recent increase in the rhetorical temperature on both sides. I think that, perhaps, the problem is that Americans do not, for the most part, have a good idea of who the Muslims are within our midst. On one side, the Progressives simply assume that Islam is a religion of peace and, except for a few terrorists who may or may not be motivated by Islam, Muslims are just like Methodists. On the other side there are those who see the stranger among us, the one who only comes to our attention when he shoots up an Army base, or kills his wife or daughter to preserve his “honor”, or attempts to bomb Times Square, or issues Fatwas from Yemen, all in the name of Islam. I suggest that both sides are wrong. And neither is communicating with the other.
We should distinguish between Muslims in the United States, and Muslims elsewhere, and between what I would call, for lack of a better term, Enlightenment Muslims and pre-Enlightenment Muslims. It was not until the European Enlightenment, particularly in the English speaking lands, that religion and law were separated. Religion and religious observance were made voluntary. Religious distinctions were no longer made in the law or, for the most part, society. Religious law was no longer enforced though the power of the State. And there is no legal sanction for blasphemy or defamation of religion (which is why, perhaps, we have to burn a Bible and a Koran every once in a while, just to preserve our legal right to do so). The Enlightenment has never, in this sense, come to Muslim majority lands. I think the question that Americans have to answer is, fundamentally, whether Muslims in America have adopted the Enlightenment. And if so they should, except for the terrorists, be treated just like Methodists. But if they have not, then there needs to be a larger discussion. In a sense, the First Amendment was adopted with the underlying assumption, which was at that time true, that all religious groups present in the United States shared the Enlightenment even if they differed on theology. This is what makes our religious diversity possible.
It is difficult for me, and I think most Americans, to answer that question. Having some Muslims as friends or business contacts helps, but is merely anecdotal. What troubles me is that Muslim organizations and “spokesmen” spend most of their time demanding various legal rights for their community, and never denounce Muslim nations for their treatment of Christians and Jews. They complain about fairly minor violations of civil rights here, but ignore the stoning of women for adultery in Iran. They may condemn terrorism, but not the causes for which the terrorism is being pursued such as the destruction of Israel or the imposition of Sharia by force. I think there would be more mutual understanding here if Muslims here were visible calling out the pre-Enlightenment Muslims elsewhere.And similarly, the tone of this administration, and to some extent the prior administration, has been, I think, overly solicitous of the pre-Enlightenment actions and statements of Muslims around the world. If our leadership called out the Saudis for not allowing churches, or the Iranians for stoning, or the Egyptians for discriminating against Copts, while calling for good relations with our Enlightenment Muslim neighbors, there would be less room for the extremists among us. Our leaders have the power to craft a message which condemns particular barbaric practices without condemning the religion as a whole. By doing so they cut off those who will conflate the religion with these pre-Enlightenment vestiges.
I think there are about as many violent Muslim fundamentalists in the United States as there are violent Christian fundamentalists in the United States. We should treat both with active surveillance and a clear readiness to stop them before they kill.We should also not take them as typical of the rest of their religious community.The main Muslim leaders do denounce Muslim terrorism and oppression all the time. And our leaders, especially in the State Department, do press Muslim governments to liberalize, which is done more effectively behind the scenes than in public.
"I think there are about as many violent Muslim fundamentalists in the United States as there are violent Christian fundamentalists in the United States."When was the last time a "violent Christian fundamentalist" anywhere did any violent act in the name of Christianity?And I wish you would cite examples of Muslims standing up for Israel's right to exist, or against stoning, or in support of Christians in Saudi Arabia.And lastly, people want someone to stand up for their culture and civilization. If it isn't our leaders, political and intellectual, the kooks will step in.
Assassinating abortion doctors. The Centennial Park bombing. Oklahoma City.
Those were not in the name of Christianity. Some of them just happened to be nominal Christians. No Christian leader has supported these actions, or attempted to defend them. And I don't see the Christian angle at all on Centennial or Oklahoma City.And what about examples of Muslims denouncing barbaric practices of other Muslims?
The violent wing of the pro-life movement is most certainly in the name of Christianity. The violent militias are explicitly Christian. Rudolph and McVeigh said they were moved by Christianity.
As to Muslim denunciations of Islamic violence, this is one of many statements from many mainstream Muslim groups, in this case the Islamic Supreme Council of America:"The term "Islamic" is grossly abused by extremists who attribute to the religion all kinds of rulings, which in fact contradict the essence of the religion in spirit and in particulars. Among them is the fatwa that justifies the use of terror tactics such as suicide bombings of civilians and attacks against non-combatants in marketplaces, schools, offices, and places of worship. Similarly they have issued a fatwa legitimizing the use of drug money to finance their campaign, despite the fact that narcotics are strictly forbidden in Islam. "
We'll just have to disagree with whether those guys were Christian in any sense of the word.But as for your example, yes they do repudiate the tactics. But what I was asking for is something repudiating the aims for which the terrorism is employed such as destruction of Israel, imposition of Sharia, and so on, or an example of their saying that Muslim governments that discriminate against Christians, or stone adulterers or impose Sharia are wrong to do so.
I find it interesting that a nut like Pastor Jones steps down when strong-armed by Obama, Petraeus, Defense Sec. Robert Gates and possibly the FBI, but the NY mosque imam won't yield despite a firestorm of controversy and the significant, if not overwhelming, opposition of the American public.I ask you, who's the better man in this situation?
I applaud Jones backing down because he was wrong, not because his plan was controversial. There isn't really any moral parallel between Qur'an burning and mosque building.
You are assuming a moral equivalence between the Bible and the Koran. That is what this all comes to. You also assume the imam is well intentioned and that the pastor is not. You may be wrong.
Is there any good, moral, well-intended way to burn a Qur'an?
Yes, of course, if you think the Koran immoral in its teaching. Women are treated as second class citizens and worse. Adulterers and gays are murdered. Sharia demands no separation church and state. Dissent is met with murder. What would you call that religion?
How is that different from most of the history of Christianity?
Most Muslims do not practice their faith that way. Some Christians do.
There may not be any moral parallel between Qur'an burning and mosque building, but there is between Koran burning and building a mosque at Ground Zero. Both are unecessarily provocative acts that should not be done.
There was already a mosque at Ground Zero--on the 17th floor of the World Trade Center. Decent, American, mainstream Muslims lost as much in the attacks as anyone else.
"Most Muslims do not practice their faith that way. "Gruntled, this statement is objectively false. Most Muslims live in Muslim countries and practice their faith much as Kelli describes not as you would imagine it. I would add that Christians and Jews are discriminated against and treated as Dhimmi, honor killings are common, etc. etc. These things are done in Muslim countries by governments or citizens, usually with the tacit consent of the people, in the name of Sharia or Islam. Even in Malaysia and Indonesia, the two most modern Islamic states, there are religious laws and discrimination. And, of course, Turkey is moving away from modernity. Iraq may, in this case, be moving in the right direction.That is why I say Americans are waiting to hear American Muslims repudiate these practices. The fear is less of terrorism (a tactic) than that Muslims in this country will seek to continue these practices here.
Beau said "How is that different from most of the history of Christianity?"Are you serious? I wish Islam's dark side was history. You loose credibility when when you say that the history of Christianity and Islam are essentially the same in terms of violence.
My in-laws lived for many years in Saudia Arabia, while my father-in-law worked for an oil company. They lived in a walled compound for foreigners. When they went outside of the compound my mother-in-law was required to cover her arms, legs, and head. She was not allowed to drive a car. There were no churches. Their mail was opened and inspected to prevent the sending or receiving Bibles or any other non-Muslim religious materials. They complied with all of this and did not make any waves.As we are an open and free society, Muslims in America are free to practice their religion in any way they see fit, excluding anything that that is against U.S. law, such as honor killings and stoning.But it is outrageous when Muslims here or anywhere in the world seek to suppress our freedom through intimidation and threats of violence. I am aghast and horrified that many Americans seem perfectly willing to submit to those types of threats. I think I'll burn a Koran this weekend, privately, in my own backyard. While I'm at it I might sketch a couple of pictures of Mohammed and through them on the flames as well.While I still can.
Brendan said...There was already a mosque at Ground Zero.Love it when someone links to a story and then the story disproves what they just posted. The story said there was a prayer room not a mosque in one of the towers. Lots of people use this technique which is why I always check the link.
Anonymous: and if the space in Rauf's community center were labelled "prayer room" rather than "mosque" on the plans, none of this would be happening? You're right: my point vanishes in a puff of semantics.
Brendan,I think the salient point is that the Muslim prayer room, or mosque, or whatever it was, existed at the WTC prior to it becoming Ground Zero, where approx. 3000 people were wiped out by Muslim religious fanatics.It just doesn't pass the smell test to construct a new mosque at or near that site, as 70% of the American people are aware.
I wonder if any of the WTC bombers visited the prayer room in the WTC? You know just to revel prior to the the bombing.
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