On Islam, A Fine Line Between Criticism and Xenophobia

There are serious concerns about radical Islam and political Islam as a movement. It’s something we should be seriously conscious of. I’ve written about this extensively here at TLP.

Given that, there is a very, very fine line between critiquing the retrograde nature of radical Islam and outright xenophobia. I honestly find it hard to discern this line myself, since I am fully ready to call out efforts by Christians, Muslims or any other group to insert religious dogma into politics. Wherever that line is, it is more than readily apparent that many who are protesting the building of a mosque near Ground Zero in New York have crossed it.

There’s a part of the constitution that I’m especially fond of. It’s called the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The “free exercise thereof” doesn’t just mean free exercise of Roman Catholicism, the faith of mosque critic Newt Gingrich, or Lutheranism, the denomination of Michelle Bachmann, another critic. It counts for Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists or Hindus.

  • http://www.islamicsolutions.com/ liza
  • http://knappster.blogspot.com Thomas L. Knapp

    “many who are protesting the building of a mosque near Ground Zero”

    That phrasing itself reveals the scope of the problem.

    To put it bluntly, those who are “protesting the building of a mosque near Ground Zero” are by definition either liars or idiots, and the evidence points toward the former.

    The project planned (and privately funded, to be built on private property) four blocks from Ground Zero is not a mosque. It’s an Islamic cultural center.

    A YMCA or Christian Science Reading Room is not a Cathedral. A Jewish cultural center is not a synagogue. An Islamic cultural center is not a mosque.

    I say that the opponents of the cultural center are more likely liars than idiots because they inveigh at length, and not totally inaccurately, about the historical penchant of Muslim conquerors for building mosques on the sites of their victories.

    That they know this much about Muslims and mosques, yet don’t know that “mosque” has a definition and that the proposed project doesn’t fit that definition, just isn’t very credible.

    Therefore the reasonable conclusion is that they’re lying because they know that their case is more emotionally compelling if it includes a mosque and the attendant aforementioned historical arguments.

    The issue doesn’t hinge on whether or not it’s a mosque, of course. If it’s built on private property with private funds, it’s not Pamela Geller’s business, period.

    The fact that the opponents of the project are lying their asses off about is just the icing on the “these people are evil” cake.