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9/11 Mosque: Intolerant religion must be checked

Posted by paulipoldie on May 31, 2010

May 28, 2010, Other views

By Rebecca Bynum

Published on May 28, 2010


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.

One Response to “9/11 Mosque: Intolerant religion must be checked”

  1. perceptor1 said

    Triumphalism is what fuels the Cordoba project.

    There is no American Nuclear Association building beside Ground Zero in Nagasaki.

    There is no Turkish mega mosque next to the Amenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan.

    There is no 40-storey Shinto temple next to the USS Missouri Memorial.

    No one needs to ask why not.

    But Muslims don’t know why not next to Ground Zero in NYC.


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