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The Problem With Islam, Part II

With the latest controversy regarding Islam in the United States -- the establishment of a mosque and "civic center" two blocks from the site of the former World Trade Center -- a certain often overlooked point regarding Islam: it's more than just a religion.

And that makes dealing with it exceptionally tricky.

Christianity is simple. It's a religion. Period. So it's covered by the First Amendment, with very few places where they conflict.

Judaism is a bit trickier. "Jewish" can mean religion, race, or culture -- or all three. If one follows the Torah (alias "the Jewish Bible" or "The Old Testament," then one is Jewish. Or if one was born of a Jewish mother, then one is Jewish. Or if one was brought up in or lives among Jews and follows Jewish traditions, then one is Jewish. There are plenty of Jewish athiests, where "Christian atheist" is an oxymoron.

Islam is even more complicated. It's a religion. But it's a religion that embraces all aspects of life. It's a faith, it's a culture, it's a political philosophy, it's a legal system, it's a form of governance. Islam, to many, is "one-stop shopping."

But one thing Islam never is, is race. Islam is specific in that it welcomes -- hell, commands -- people of all races. So calling those who oppose Islam "racist" is utterly bogus.

And that's where it runs headlong into the Constitution, and the American way of life. Islam, the religion, is protected by the First Amendment. Period. End of discussion.

But Islamic culture? Islamic philosophy? Islamic law? Islamic governance? Not so much.

Indeed, many of those aspects of Islam are utterly incompatible with the Constitution. Women being treated as property of their husbands or male relatives? Muslims having more legal rights than non-Muslims? The word of a Muslim being more highly regarded than that of unbelievers in court? Blasphemy being a civil crime, punished by the government? Those are all also tenets of Islam, but you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone with even a passing knowledge of the United States Constitution who'd say those were protected by it.

But back to the planned Cordoba Center in Manhattan. As I noted before, it's a "civic center" a considerable distance from any residential neighborhoods. Further, it's very close to Ground Zero, which puts it in the tradition of Mecca and the Temple Mount mosques, where Muslims established their temples atop the holy sites of those they have conquered. Finally, it's named after the Great Mosque at Cordoba, which was the religious capitol of Muslim-occupied Europe (and which was, naturally, built atop the site of a Christian church).

The establishment of mosques is of no great concern to most Americans. We understand that the free practice of religion -- or wholesale rejection thereof -- is absolutely protected by the Constitution.

But it's the rest of the package that gives many of us trouble. To us, the problem is that Islam the religion is inextricably entangled with all other aspects of life, and the proponents of Islamism are using the religious aspect to shoehorn all the rest of Islam's baggage into Constitutionally protected status.


I have no problems with the Islamic religion. I reject it, personally, as I reject all other organized religions (I consider myself an agnostic, but Deism is showing a bit of appeal to me) -- admittedly with a bit more vehemence than I do Christianity or Judaism -- but I feel no great desire to persuade its adherents to leave the faith or impose legal restrictions on its practice.

But I am a creature of politics, and a constitutional militant. I fiercely oppose the politics of Islam, and I believe that the First Amendment's "freedom of religion" embraces the rights of Americans to live completely apart from religion if they so choose -- and that is utterly incompatible with Islam the all-consuming way of life, which commands that "infidels" and "heretics" and "unbelievers" acknowledge the supremacy of Islam and abide by its tenets.


And that's not a polite "no, thanks." That's an in-your-face, "Hell, no!" That's an "Over my dead body!" no.

I will not submit.


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Comments (14)

I will never submit.<... (Below threshold)

I will never submit.

I have the intelligence to refute and refuse all of their ideological and physical advances. If they want to dance then we're gonna party.

OK, I get where your head i... (Below threshold)
rich K:

OK, I get where your head is at but the question is what about the mosque? Should it go up or just be moved away from GZ? And should just new yorkers decide as they are the ones who get to live with it?

Last time I checked New Yor... (Below threshold)
Frankly B:

Last time I checked New York was still part of the United States of America (well, okay, except for parts or Times Square - you know, the fruity parts).

Why shouldn't the rest of us have a say?

The future bombing of the l... (Below threshold)

The future bombing of the legally-built Cordoba mosque will be the excuse for the elimination of the rights of Christians, and usher in the Great Tribulation. And that is not something I look forward to as a post-Tribulation Rapturist.

Of course, that's only a guess.

Yes, and I've been wonderin... (Below threshold)

Yes, and I've been wondering for a long time what will happen when Muslims demand the right to impose Sharia law on their own community within the United States. Will the First Amendment's guarantee of religious freedom trump the notion that all men (and women) are equal before the law? When a religion (Islam) requires its adherents to convert everyone and impose its law (Sharia) generally, how does that square with our Constitution as a whole? Does the First Amendment amount to a suicide pact for our republican form of government? What about the freedom to profess other religions when Sharia is even partially adopted? Under Sharia the penalty for apostasy is death. What protection will the government provide apostate Muslims who wish to convert to Christianity, or Wicca? If Muslims are permitted to live under Sharia in the US, does that mean that a Muslim woman convicted of adultery by a Sharia court in America may be stoned to death under the banner of freedom of religion?

Someone's going to have to answer these questions, and their resolution will determine whether or not our grandkids or great-grandkids will be bowing toward Mecca five times a day.

Remember the design for the... (Below threshold)

Remember the design for the memorial in the field in Pennsylvania?....A crescent facing east. I haven't heard much about this lately. Are they going forward with it even though the families of the crash victims objected? I am noticing a pattern here. The hyjacking of these 911 disaster sites to honor Islam.

"I fiercely oppose the poli... (Below threshold)

"I fiercely oppose the politics of Islam"

Yes I agree to that wholeheartedly being a Muslim. When the justice system is run by religious institutions like church you get inquisition and when the medieval sharia law is imposed in the society you are in all sorts of trouble. Pakistan incorporated Sharia in 1978 and went ashtray.

If you follow some democratic Muslim countries like Bangladesh and Indonesia -they do not follow Sharia law. Bangladesh uses the age old British law (yes it was a British colony) and Fatwa is banned by court ruling (to prevent Mullah's to exploit rural poor).

Bangladesh has recently banned religious politics and reversed to its 1972 secular constitution. In Indonesia only the Aceh region has local government implementing Sharia and facing Iran like human rights abuses.

The aim of religious politics is to gain and exploit power using all kinds of interpretations via Sharia law. The more wider the religious institutions/parties are from the state and justice the better democratic environment we will get.

So there is no reason Muslim communities in UK or USA should be allowed to implement or even practice Sharia.

To understand why Islam is ... (Below threshold)

To understand why Islam is not just a religion but a political supremacy domination system, nothing beats history. Don't buy a book, master Islam's complete history, terminology and ideology free online with the Historyscoper at go.to/islamhistory

I read recently that "Cordu... (Below threshold)

I read recently that "Corduba" is changed to "Park51". Thanks, muzzies, for eliminating all reference to "in-your-face".(sarc off) I like Carl Palidino's(he's running for NY Gov) take: use eminent domain and make it a war memorial!!

"Christianity is simple...<... (Below threshold)

"Christianity is simple...

Judaism is a bit trickier...

Islam is even more complicated. It's a religion. But it's a religion that embraces all aspects of life."

What about the orthodox Jews and the Christian Religious Right? They also believe that their religion "embraces all aspects of life."

Rance,There are thos... (Below threshold)

There are those on the left that are Christian that also feel that the bible has all the answers...

Rance, feel free to cite ex... (Below threshold)

Rance, feel free to cite examples of either group trying to get civil law to reinforce the dictates of their faith.

And no, abortion doesn't count. There are a lot of secular arguments on that one.


Jay Tea,Ever heard... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea,

Ever heard of blue laws, "Right to Life", prohibition, laws against homosexuality, or "America was founded as a Christian Nation"?

Those are the one I can list given off the top of my head. I can compile you a longer list if you really are interested.

Rance, I'll grant you blue ... (Below threshold)

Rance, I'll grant you blue laws. They're stupid, and oughta be repealed -- but you don't see people getting death threats about them.

Laws against homosexuality? Bishop Eugene Robinson might argue about the Christianity of opposition to them. And there are secular arguments there, too.

Finally... "America was founded as a Christian Nation?" Now you're citing what some people say as a rhetorical device to support other arguments? You're at least one step removed from an actual example there.

I'll worry about the blue laws argument when shops start getting firebombed for opening on Sundays.







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