Muslim Moderates Speak Up

The mad but brave pastor who wants to burn Korans is not relenting. He is not yielding to pressure, from the liberal press, from the Pentagon or from the White House. Suddenly, the pastor made the claim that Imam Rauf had agreed to forget the Islamic cultural center in return for his not burning Korans. I am skeptical until there is much confirmation.

The intellectual confrontation will not disappear, whatever the outcome is. I wonder how many Muslims in the world understand that burning their sacred book is the pastor’s constitutional right. I wonder how many understand those two words.

Right” means that he does not need permission, at all, from anyone. “Constitutional” has a specific meaning in America that even many Americans don’t understand. Governments at all levels is required to protect people’s rights; that’s their only reason for being. Not only does the Federal Government have no business telling the pastor what not to do, it has an obligation to make sure he is able to do it without interference other than verbal.

I suspect that most French people would not understand this set of simple ideas. Yet, the French Republic was born at the same time as the American Republic and under much the same intellectual influences. In an orderly, civilized Muslim country such as Morocco, a country I know a little, I think you could find about one hundred intellectuals to get it. Most would have extensive legal training. (I hope someone will contradict me on this pessimistic guess. I know some people who are in a position to do it and who read this blog.) Even, in this country, it’s not rare to hear schoolteachers, for example, declare that rights imply (entail) responsibilities. No, teach, they don’t. Rights are unconditional. Teach, go back to school!

The likelihood that millions, or hundreds of thousands of Muslims, or tens of thousands, used to authoritarian rule only, will understand much of this is tiny. Should we wait a couple of hundred years until they grasp them to exercise our rights, any of our rights?

Perhaps responding to my entreaties, Imam Rauf appeared on CNN recently. He is the guy who will be in charge of the Near Ground Zero Islamic Center if it ever happens. I had deplored that he had not come on the American media to explain his case to the millions of Americans who object to the project (while stating clearly that the Imam and his party had the right to build and operate it). His appearance on CNN cleared the air for me.

His answers to the CNN very mild questioning demonstrated that he did not quite understand what the outrage was about. Some call his side “insensitive.” I think “clueless” is a better description. I have met that attitude among Muslims I know well: The nineteen 9/11 assassins were Muslims? So, how does this concern me? I am a good guy; I have never killed anyone.

You can’t (cannot) hold this individualist attitude and think the umma, the community of Muslims is something special. You are part of community or you are not. You can’t use a Western view of the supremacy of the individual and hold communalist religious views at the same time. That’s hypocritical. The Koran condemns hypocrisy repeatedly.

There is worse: In answer to a direct question, the Imam said he was not thinking about moving the location because it would cause bad and dangerous reaction in the Muslims world. He argued that such a move would facilitate the task of (Muslims) radicals in recruiting terrorists and endanger American lives. This is blackmail by proxy. It’s unacceptable, It says if we piss off Muslims they will kill us. Well, they are trying to kill us now for reasons that are obscure or morally unacceptable. (There is still resentment in the Muslim world about our getting rid of Saddam Hussein who slaughtered and gassed 150.000 Iraqi Kurds and an equal number of Iranians in a war he provoked. Both are low estimates; they don’t include the Iraqis he murdered one by one and a few dozens at a time.)

Mark my word: There will be no Islamic center at the proposed address. Some Islamist strategists will count this defeat a victory, of course. It will prove that “Christians” (that includes atheists, agnostics and Jews, in the Muslim mental world) are just as intolerant as they are. There will be a more modest something elsewhere in Manhattan.

I am invigorated though by the mass protests in the Muslims world and among American Muslims with regard to the adulterous Iranian woman. Her condemnation to death by stoning was confirmed recently. She has already been whipped savagely. There are reports that she was raped in jailed repeatedly. Given the Islamic Republic record in that area, I think the reports are correct.

OK, I have not seen or heard any such protests. I was making it up. We must “respect” those people? Why?

About jacquesdelacroix

I am a sociologist, a short-story writer, and a blogger (Facts Matter and Notes On Liberty) in Santa Cruz, California.
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4 Responses to Muslim Moderates Speak Up

  1. gary says:

    Jacques – you said “The mad but brave pastor who wants to burn Korans is not relenting. He is not yielding to pressure, from the liberal press, from the Pentagon or from the White House. ”

    I would like to weigh in.

    Truth is like art; it requires a line be drawn somewhere, and in light of the synthesis that is now the tolerance that has replaced the word truth in the English language with a new word, correctness, as in political correctness, I would say that it is acts of courage, such as this pastor’s, that allow for recreating the balance point prior to the synthesis.*
    When a religion, or rather, when a theocracy makes it clear that they are 100% absolutist with the lives of anyone that disagrees being in the balance, the obvious question that arises is, “does the grace that is built in inside our constitution and inside a Christian ethic, actually work? “. I believe, and largely because I am Christian, that grace is the core of any worthy viewpoint be it philosophy or religion. Selflessness (& grace) is the core of any good law as well, yet the single most narcissistic self centered theocracy in the world today is the Muslim faith.
    The *synthesis is the government’s “truth” that has been brainwashing people with fiat money and fiat mentalities that has resulted in two others words now being virtually meaningless: accounting and accountability. Money created from debt is a shill in the place of accounting, and government sponsored tolerance in the place of reality has removed fear and put feelings and comfort in place if truth so people are now close to 100% narcissistic and this will blindly suck up every entitlement that the state creates: which means the state evolves into the power dragon that will soon consume freedom itself due to people’s resumption on grace.

    Gary

  2. Helene Hagan says:

    In regards to “rights” and more particularly the rights of women in Iran, for instance, the prototype of a Muslim regime, as opposed to Morocco, a much more westernized society, here is a true story:

    Some years ago, I met and befriended a Persian woman from Iran, whose father had been close to the Shah. She related to me that her fifty odd years aunt had been picked up by the street “modesty” police and hauled away to some infamous jail of Teheran where people disappear all the time. The aunt reappeared about a week later at her home, in a horrible state , physically, mentally, and emotionally: she had been raped repeatedly by a number of her jailers until she would admit that she was a whore. The reason for her arrest: a strand of her hair was showing out of her veil. She begged her women folk to take her to a hammam (bath) to purify herself. There she committed suicide.

    Years later, my Iranian friend went back to Teheran to check up on her mother who was going crazy after her father passed away and the mullahs had requisitioned their house for their own use, leaving her a couple of rooms. My friend was delivered a summons to appear with her passport at that very infamous jail where people disappear (as well as their passports) and where her own aunt had been abused. She immediately (fortunately she had the means) put together a hefty sum of money and had it sent by a legal agent to the officer who had summoned her. She was not bothered for the rest of her visit and left as soon as she could, after securing an attendant to look after her mother. She fled Iran. I have to say she has since returned there and I don’t know what has happened to her.

    As far as I am concerned, burning a book would be a symbolic gesture, far less offensive and vitriolic, in my view, than the chain of actions which started with plowing into buildings with airplanes, burning thousands of people alive in the name of a “merciful” god, and then, in the name of peace, wanting to build in that very location a place of prayer to that god, to remind the people who suffered such loss of life, for the rest of their lives, that such a god is merciful.
    The politically correct in the western world and the fear of being the next target of such compassion and mercy drove Europeans, and now Americans to placate all representatives of Islam, without much discrimination. I do not like what I see, what I hear, what I am now witnessing. I thought that by putting an entire ocean between me and the Muslim world in which I grew up, I would not have to fear ever again for my life , my liberty, and my well being, as a woman, as I did in North Africa, and my mother did before me. I don’t like the Islamic invasion of the New World and the agitation it is causing . I detest it.

  3. Lawrence Marcus says:

    Keep it up! It shows that the light of reason is still shining.
    On the other hand; how can our White House ( code for OBAMA )say that a pastor, who by the way was born and raised in America and who believes in God and the Ten Commandments, has attended to Baptisms, weddings and funerals, is unAmerican by not understand the pain and suffering that it will cause amongst people outside our country that have already demonstrated that they hate and are willing to kill nonbelievers in the word of Mohammed, but the people who who want to build the Mosque who are not born in the United States and don’t believe in fairness and openness and “thou shall not kill” somehow get a pass from our White House and don’t have to have compassion for the families that were affected by 9’11 and the 2/3 of the people of New York who have suffered and have been traumatized by this brutal act. The Muslim mosque builders are under no pressure to have compassion for these people. At least I haven’t heard that the Secratary of Defense, The Secretary of State, The White House, the Vatican, the General in Afghanistan The FBI 3 times; to my knowledge have not called the Mosque planners and demanded that they even consider putting off their putrid and offensive plans to build a symbol to Mohammed one block away from where Americans were massacred and bones still lay.

  4. Lawrence Marcus says:

    News Flash!
    Eleven people died in the violent protests in Pakistan ( Afghanistan ) over the possibility that a Koran was going to be burnt in the United States. Let see, who should be held to blame for these deaths? Maybe if there leaders provided jobs instead of incitement these people ……

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