9/11 Mosque: Intolerant religion must be checked
Posted by paulipoldie on May 31, 2010
May 28, 2010, Other views
By Rebecca Bynum
These local battles over mosque construction underscore the need for a national debate on the impact Islam is having on America, including Muslim immigration rates and the building of mosques in particular.
For their part, Muslims seem to view Judeo-Christian values and culture as a threat to Islam, which is why there are no Jews, much less synagogues, remaining in places like Saudi Arabia. Christians are not allowed to take up permanent residency there, much less to build churches or to worship freely. The oppression of the Copts in Egypt and Christians and Jews in Iran is well known. Baghdad which, as late as the 1930s boasted a large Jewish population, now harbors perhaps a dozen or so old Jewish men who are too frail to leave. Iraq’s ancient Christian population is rapidly declining, driven out by the Muslim majority there, a stark illustration of American impotence in the face of Islam. Less well known are persecutions of Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh, Buddhists in Thailand, Christians in Indonesia, Christians and animists across Africa from Sudan to Nigeria, and the list goes on.
Most Americans, however, do not view Islam, intolerant as it is, as a real threat to our values and believe we should demonstrate the virtue of tolerance at all costs, otherwise we will have lost the values we are trying to defend. However, tolerating the intolerant is a one-way street towards intolerance, and so we have to debate the issue openly. When is it wise for tolerance to be temporarily suspended?
Pressure to reform
If we are going to influence the Muslim world at all, we have to use what pressure we can reasonably bring to bear. So until such time as Christian churches, Jewish synagogues, Jain, Hindu and Buddhist temples are allowed to be built freely in Muslim lands, other faiths are free to proselytize, Muslims are completely free to leave Islam without fear of retaliation and Christians, Jews, Hindus and all non-Muslims face no more persecution at the hands of Muslims, no more mosques should be built in America, as a matter both of fairness and in order to pressure Muslim countries to reform.
Then there is the further question of what is being taught in the mosques. In Nashville, one of our most prominent educators on Islam, Professor Awadh A. Binhazim, president of Olive Tree Education and who regularly teaches courses on Islam at Vanderbilt University, stated before a Vanderbilt audience in 2006 concerning the Muhammad cartoon controversy, “Islam is not something to ridicule” and “all Muslims” view the publication of cartoons depicting Muhammad as a “provocation.” He also stated that 99.9 percent of Muslims feel deeply offended by the cartoons even if they have not responded violently and that they do not share the value of freedom of speech as it is recognized in this country. It is clear Islam carries a deep scriptural animus towards Jews and that women are not considered the equal of men, certainly a benchmark of modern civilization.
So we must ask ourselves, do we want to aid and abet the spread of these ideas by allowing the unhindered building of mosques in America?
Rebecca Bynum, who lives in Nashville, is publisher and managing editor of the New English Review. Her e-mail address is http://www.newenglishreview.org.