Islam – Phobia or Simple Misunderstanding?
The very politically incorrect joke goes, "The Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, George Bush, and a moderate Muslim are standing on four corners of a road with a ten dollar bill in the middle. Who got the ten dollar bill? George Bush of course. The other three are fairy tale characters."
The problem we face at the Mosque and elsewhere is not one of moderate Islam versus an extreme or perverted version. The problem is with the fundamental nature of Islam itself. Read the Koran, listen to the Imams. One need not be selective in the passages he chooses, just try to understand what the Koran is commanding the faithful to do. For anyone who still has doubts after that, play back the tape of millions of wildly cheering Muslims from Cairo to London after the 9/11 attacks.
The US is a Christian nation. No, you don't have to be Christian to be a citizen, but we are a nation of laws, and our laws are derived from natural law and are consistent with Christian teachings. Simply put, laws are born of values, and in the US that means Christian values. Most faiths share these values, and thus practicing them presents no problem. However, Islam and Sharia law are different. They are inconsistent with those values, inconsistent with our laws, and therefore Islam should be treated like any outlaw organization that sets itself above our law.
Why are we obliged to accept the presence of Sharia and Islamic laws or values anywhere in our society if adherence to them demands the violation of our laws? Must we accept this simply because they arrive under the banner of religion? Is not freedom of speech a basic right for all Americans, even Muslim women? Sharia says no. Are those women chattel? Should all religions be subordinated to Islam (if tolerated at all) in civil society? Should we not prosecute honor killings? Do we want legal sanctions, as Sharia has, for violating dietary laws (Michael Bloomberg, the trans fat Mayor of NY not withstanding). You get the point.
Foreign law has no standing in the US (liberal justices notwithstanding), and neither does religious law. We should use every means possible to eradicate illegal and often treasonous teachings from all sources which require the breach of our law. There is nothing inconsistent with following Christianity (or Judaism, or Buddhism, or Scientology), and following American law. But there is a huge conflict between following Islam and following US law. If we are to remain a nation where the law, our law, continues to reign supreme, it is not only our right but our obligation to fight against any person or organization that would undermine them.
The Mosque Must Go
The argument that the proposed mosque near Ground Zero is an issue of religious freedom misses the point. We all agree that worship is constitutionally protected. The real question is, does anyone have the right to build a monument where ever they want to what they believe was a great military victory over the United States? Would the United States have the right, under private property laws in Japan, to build a monument to the bombing of Hiroshima or Nagasaki on those sites? I think not.
The argument that this proposal will be a monument to a battle victory of radical Islam at Ground Zero has a lot of evidence supporting it. Certainly throughout history Islam has built monuments in the form of Mosques on the sites of many battle victories. Imam Rauf, the promoter, has said many things (you have heard them all) that supports that contention here. If this would simply be a place of worship with the added purpose to reach out to Islam's neighbors, why would the Imam fight for this particular sight? He would create a mountain of goodwill before even breaking ground if he went elsewhere. But if this is a victory monument, fighting for that location makes good sense. I think his refusal to change locations betrays his real motive.
To those who would argue we can not know what is in his mind, rather we can only guess at his innermost motives, I would agree. We can not know with absolute certainty, in fact we can not even know beyond a reasonable doubt. But knowing with that degree of certainty is not necessary for the state to exercise its authority. This is not a criminal case. Different standards of proof are intentionally set in different areas of the law. A civil case need not meet the standard of proof that a criminal case does. If the smell test were applied, this proposal would fail miserably. I believe that whatever standard is ultimately applied, the Imam’s own statements leave only one reasonable conclusion. The mosque should not be built.