Note: Moved from a different blog site. Original Post Date 11/09/2010
Today’s Washington Post has a story about members of ADAMS (All Dulles Area Muslim Society) waiting to hear what President Obama will say in a scheduled speech at Indonesia’s largest mosque.
The ADAMS group, according to WaPo, is one of the largest mosques in the U.S., with more than 5,000 families worshiping in a 25,000 square foot facility in a Northern Virginia suburb of Washington.
Imam Mohamed Magid finds himself worrying about Muslim’s place in American society after a year in which things have not gone well. Most recently it was a congregant of ADAMS who was arrested and charged with plotting to bomb several Washington METRO subway stations.
The Post reports that ADAMS quickly issues press releases denouncing extremism whenever there is news of an arrest or a foiled terror plot. This includes after the Fort Hood slayings and the arrest of its own member.
It is reported that the imam worries about the effect on how they are viewed in light of such events, but sees this as a trial by fire through which Islam will come out the other side as an accepted part of society.
Oddly, Magid compares the plight of Muslims to the tribulations of African-Americans, Japanese Americans, Chinese Americans, Polish Americans. These groups of people all had their problems integrating into American society, but they brought with them only different languages and customs, not a religion bent on the destruction of all others. This is not to say that Christianity hasn’t left its violent mark on the world. There’s too much history for any denial of such.
But we don’t have to repeat our mistakes. We can be smart and learn from history. There’s no reason we need to stand idly by as practitioners of Islam sneak their Trojan horse through the door by being the nice neighbor and inevitably demand that we accept their crazy version of what’s appropriate behavior. See the troubles facing English and German governments as Muslims demand their unique, human rights-unfriendly, ideas be enforced.
Christopher Hitchens wonderfully wrote that islamophobia is an incorrect usage to describe the feelings of right-minded folk regarding Islam, as a phobia is an irrational fear of an object or class. There’s absolutely nothing irrational about fearing a surging population of people across the world whose religion preaches violence against all who deny its supremacy.
Discussion of “extremism” without thinking all the way through to its basis is fatal. In the case of Islam, extremists are nothing more than literalist in their reading of the Koran. The Muslim living next door and generally acting within American societal norms, is only acceptable because he or she chooses to ignore the basic tenets of their chosen religion. The same applies of course, to a degree, to your Christian neighbor.
So Obama is stupidly going to speak to a large congregation of Muslims. He’ll say that the U.S. is a tolerant nation where all religions can coexist. Except what he should be doing is not even dignifying their religion with a single comment. He’s our political and economic ambassador, not our religious ambassador.