The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

Posts tagged ‘Sharia law’

THE MILLION MUSLIM MARCH

Twelve years after the original 9/11, theories surrounding what really happened that day are flowing as fast as the blood in Cairo.  It’s fifty years since the JFK assassination and that is still the subject of new books.  And it’s almost seventy years since the Holocaust and there are still those who deny that it ever happened.

Interestingly, some of those who claim the last event is a fabrication and whose co-religionists are widely blamed for the first event will be marching for “Muslim rights” in our nation’s capital – if things go according to plan.  Truly, these are strange times in which we live.

In all probability, the “March,” if it comes off will have far fewer participants than the organizers’ goal of one million.  From the admittedly inaccurate numbers of perhaps 2.6 million Muslims in America, that would require nearly every other Muslim to participate.  Islam, which is the fastest growing religion in our prison systems, would have to secure a one day release for some of its incarcerated adherents to achieve its goals.

But the issue isn’t whether a million people show up in Washington.  It is a matter of the presumed motivation which is causing the organizers to make the effort to pull this event off.  That is, theoretically, “to combat the discrimination that Muslims endure in America and to give us non-Muslims a better understanding of what Islam is really about.”

Perhaps I’ve been fortunate.  My third and fourth years of college I lived across the street from Elijah Muhammad’s Temple of Islam #2.  There were always a few young men, nicely dressed in suit and tie who stood outside the Temple and made sure that no incidents occurred there.  This was about a mile and a half from the complex that Muhammad Ali built.

Because I lived in a very well-integrated neighborhood – not just in terms of race but in religion as well, I knew a number of Muslims who were proprietors of stores.  One family started in this country with one brother who came from Pakistan, who worked two jobs and saved enough to buy a Standard Oil gas station.  He then brought over two other brothers and his wife and all of them worked in the family business and purchased several more gas stations.

These were people who came here for opportunity, worked hard in what has clearly become the old-fashioned and now passé way and were well-integrated in their communities.  But that is my experience and one that is not shared by a lot of Americans.

What is the American perception of Islam?  It is rather different – and perhaps more accurate than mine.

The Twin Towers; the Taliban; accurate stories about the suppression of women’s rights in countries in which Sharia law rules the land; the Boston Marathon; the persecution of Christians; the constant defamation of Jews as pigs; Afghanistan; Pakistan; Iraq; the issuance of fatwas against anyone who speaks ill of Islam; well, the list goes on and on, but you get the picture.

In some respects, the presumed “persecution of Muslims in America” is very little different than Al Sharpton’s categorization of how blacks are mistreated in this country.  And the problem is that when any group engages in what most of us consider to be uncivilized behavior, it is hard for even the objective observer not to extrapolate from that and conclude that is how all members of that group behave.

It is understandable to me that Americans who see constant reports about the number of violent deaths which occur in Chicago and our other major cities and see that the assailants and the victims are mostly black conclude that blacks are violent.

It is understandable to me that Americans who read about young girls in Islamic countries who are the victims of rape or refuse the advances of a male whom they spurned being stoned to death or being the victims of “honor killings” conclude that is the way Islam works.

Well, although it isn’t the politically correct thing, there is a tremendous amount of violence in our inner city black communities.  And there is a tremendous amount of medieval behavior in countries where Islam is the majority faith.

If we start by admitting that, perhaps we’ll look for the path which will lead us to fixing those problems.  And that would be worth a great deal more than having a march on Washington – or anywhere else.

MUCH ADO ABOUT JESUS

As I recall, the first eyebrow raiser written about  the life of Jesus hit the bookstores in the mid-‘70s.   A least it was the first one that was published in my lifetime that caused a stir.   It was entitled, “The Passover Plot”.  It sold so successfully that it was turned into a movie – which was also rather successful.

Now the purpose of this post is not to detail a history of books which contest the orthodox Christian view of who Jesus was and what he did.  Nor is it my purpose to defend that traditional view.  The catholic understanding of who Jesus was,  was rather nicely codified in 325 A. D. at the Council of Nicaea.

So it comes as a bit of a surprise that a new book by a former Christian, now converted to Islam, is making such a hit as a best seller.  And what surprises me more is that when the author, his motivations in writing the book, the scholarship which he has gained through his education, are questioned, a significant part of the country, the secular humanists – to be found everywhere – seem to make of those inquiries a connection to the Grand Inquisitor Torquemada.

Frankly, I assume he wrote the book to make money.  And if that was his goal, he seems to be doing pretty well with his plan.  Since I like to find the simplest reason that things happen – I will stand by my simple explanation for the author’s motives – until proven wrong.

Now I don’t have a great deal of experience in child-rearing – but I did have the responsibility of directing a fairly large children’s choir at church.  Mostly the children were there because they enjoyed singing.  But as will be found among a large group, whatever its composition, there are always a few who want to throw a sabot in the machinery and mess things up – just to see if they can.

We had a few (thankfully, a very few) like that.

What I learned as their director was that they were less interested in creating a disturbance than they were in drawing attention to themselves.  Perhaps they had an underdeveloped ego or something along that line.  And I found that the more I turned my attention to them through admonition, the worse they behaved.  So I made things simple for the rest of the children and myself.

If those few kids got out of line at a rehearsal, I simply sent them home and told them that if they wanted to continue in the choir they would need to follow the same rules of behavior that I expected and could rely on from the vast majority of the children.

Not only did doing this cause most of these children to shape up and behave during choir rehearsals, I think it improved the general decorum of all the kids in the choir – who suddenly realized that as nice as I am, there were limits to what I would accept in the way of behavior.

Of course, there were two children, Jamal and Jasmine with whom this technique simply was not effective.  But I’m not sure that anything with which I was familiar would have been more so.  Ultimately, I found it unfortunate but necessary to terminate their relationship with the choir.  This, of course, led to a few nasty calls placed by their annoyed and flustered parents.

“My little J. is an angel.  I can’t believe you threw him/her out of the choir.”

“Well, Mrs. _. – it’s like this.  I have no doubt that your child is an angel.  But you know the demons in hell were also angels.  I simply think that your little J. is trying to emulate the wrong ones.”

The point of my relating this is not to give you an amateur’s advice on child-rearing.  But it is to point out how the Christian community is causing a book of suspect scholarship (or so I hear – I’ve not read it) to gain far more notoriety and increase sales to fatten the author’s bank account than it might have otherwise achieved if it had been published and ignored.

Incidentally, the book is entitled, “Zealot” and the author is Reza Aslan – just in case you want to add it to your Christmas list.

The thing that I find most amazing in this entire brouhaha over Mr. Aslan’s book is not his thesis but that he has the freedom to publish that thesis without interference by any government authority, here in a country built on Judaeo-Christian principles – the very ones that apparently must be in error if we are to accept his notion about the historical Jesus.

It is interesting that Mr. Aslan is able to renounce his Christian faith and convert to Islam without fear of repercussion from those who are among the clergy of the churches.  The same may not be his fate should he try to further broaden his religious horizons since apostasy from Islam is punishable by death – or so the Koran and the imams tell us.  And they carry out those sentences with piety and swiftness.

This week in Saudi Arabia, a young man was sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes because he even suggested the notion of talking about religion and politics and “parental obedience”.  While the U. S. has officially “protested” this sentence, Raif Badawi will soon be forgotten as we unload the next shipment of oil from the Arab kingdom.

You don’t need to be a Messiah in order to look at a faith that treats its adherents in such a manner and shed more than a few tears.  At least I don’t.  And for those who want to establish the same Sharia law here in the USA – let me tell you that I would be one of the first in line to opt out.

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