Being a blog, we get letters from special interest groups asking us to please use our private forum to espouse their private interests. Sometimes I reply, usually I ignore them.
In fact, one of the reasons why I have been shamefully reticent about blogging for so long is that my "Irish" is up, not the least because of the 9/11 anniversary which I dreaded because I feared
Recently (shortly before the 9/11 tenth anniversary), one special interest group has been particularly adamant for me to post their plea for support of the cause of Islamic Acceptance. Finally, I declined, with reason.
Here is the original email, asking me to "sponsor" (by presenting their message) a group which wishes to portray Islamic Americans as just more "Americans". I like the idea, but not the manner in which their video proposes their message.
Incidentally, I do not ascribe to the philosophy of many radio talk-show host, especially Micheal Savage (who was extensively quoted in the video), because their format tends to demonize groups rather than the actions of individuals. On the other hand, some groups tend to have too many members who are just as fanatic as (for example) Savage ... except sometimes members of these groups use physical violence to further their aims. I don't like Savage, but I fear Jihadists who believe that the world should become a Caliphate, even by the Sword. To put it in simplistic terms: Savage is a nut; islamicists are a danger to innocents.
My Fellow American is a film project in the United States devoted to recognizing that Muslims are our neighbors. I am reaching out to you because you addressed the recent events in Oslo, Norway, on Cogito Ergo Geek and I am hoping you will share this message of tolerance with your readers. We’ve put together a 2 minute film that I believe you will be interested in sharing, watching, and discussing:
I would love it if you could post or tweet about this and share the video. If you can, please let me know. I am here if you have any questions. Thank you so much.
And I am reminded of President Theodore Roosevelt's speech regarding "HyphenatedAmericans" ... which includes Islamic Americans:
There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all... The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic... There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.I will discuss the subject of "Islamic-Americans" later in this post. Briefly, I think that's the crux of the problem. And no, the term "Islamic-Americans" is not mentioned in the video.
Just so it's clear, I think that our allegiance should be to our country, rather than to the unique religious choices we make. On the other hand, I realize that many people of every religion would disagree with me. For many people, their religion-of-choice is their primary guideline, and that's fine ... as long as they abide by the existing laws of their espoused country. For me, the deciding factor is whether our political or religious beliefs allow the slaughter of innocents.
The slaughter of innocents. That's a powerful term. And either our political or religious beliefs may take precedence, depending on our national culture. Still, we should not support any belief system which encourages us to murder our fellow man because he doesn't believe the same things as we do .... as long as his beliefs are similarly accepting of the right to exist.
In the U.S., we went through a terrible period of "Racism", where 'innocence' was often defined by race. We've pretty much got through that, even though we're still struggling with residual hatred. But it is not a national policy, and it is not supported by federal law (more on that later). We're making progress, even if it's slow.
Getting back to the video, it shows friendly, cheerful and productive Islamic American citizens who are free to practice their religion in public. If you are not an Islamic , you cannot practice your religion in ... for example .. Saudi Arabia. Do you know that you cannot bring a bible into Saudi Arabia? And they are a friendly country to the United States. How multi-cultural is that? Are they working to get past that? No, they are not; it is national policy, and national law.
Here's how "Multi-Culturalism" is working out in Europe:
(From "Mark Steyn Online: The Department of Sharia /September 20, 2011 and also published in National Review Online)
And in Egypt, also a Friendly State to America and generally considered one of the most 'liberal' of Islamic States (actually, not generally considered an "Islamic State", even though they are becoming more Islamic daily), if an Egyptian citizen held up a sign stating "Christianity Will Dominate The World: Islamic Statism Can Go To Hell" --- that person would be lucky to be arrested before the mobs murdered him (as was Egyptian Presidant Anwar Sadat after he had ratified a peace with Israel in 1981) ... or sexually assaulted her.
No, I do NOT believe that every Islamic is a terrorist. However, in the past ten years, every Terrorist has been an Islamic.
And before you say it, I am quite aware that this particular catch-phrase has been used so often that it has become associated with anti-islamic hysteria for the past ten years. As in; since September 11, 2011.
Name me one terroristic act in the past ten years which has NOT been perpetrated by an Islamic?
It use to be that we could point our fingers at the Irish. Sinn Fein seems dormant. The IRA hasn't made a lot of headlines lately, although it still active ... 22 terrorist acts in 2009, 39 in 2010.
But that is small change, and generally restricted to Ireland and GB. Islamist terrorism is ... may we say it? ... worldwide, and almost indiscriminate.
So why not accept Islamic terrorism with the same seeming equanimity as Irish Terrorism?
The difference is, many Irish are outraged by Irish Terrorism. We heard a lot of that in the Bad Old Days, but now the terrorist acts are so few and so relatively minor (when's the last time the Irish attacked America, or blew up skyscrapers, or tried to blow up airplanes filled with anonymous innocents?) that they pale to insignificance when compared to Islamic terrorists.
But I'm still not a supporter of the brand of terrorism that a few Irish support, even though they didn't demolish buildings and innocents on a grand scale ten years ago. Or ... ever.
And ... getting back to that video that we linked to earlier, with the smiling Islamics in America? Where in that video did anyone refer to, let alone OBJECT to, the terrorist acts repeatedly committed by their coreligionists?
Another reference to Mark Steyn, who recently (September 18, 2011) posted an essay called "MOLLIFYING MUSLIMS, AND MUSLIFYING MOLLIES", where he mentioned, in part:
The President of the United States publically denounced this irrelevant clergyman for speaking his mind
Take this no-name pastor from an obscure church who was threatening to burn the Koran. He didn't burn any buildings or women and children. He didn't even burn a book. He hadn't actually laid a finger on a Koran, and yet the mere suggestion that he might do so prompted the President of the United States to denounce him, and the Secretary of State, and the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, various G7 leaders, and golly, even Angelina Jolie. President Obama has never said a word about honor killings of Muslim women. Secretary Clinton has never said a word about female genital mutilation. General Petraeus has never said a word about the rampant buggery of pre-pubescent boys by Pushtun men in Kandahar. But let an obscure man in Florida so much as raise the possibility that he might disrespect a book – an inanimate object – and the most powerful figures in the western world feel they have to weigh in.
Aside from all that, this obscure church's website has been shut down, its insurance policy has been canceled, its mortgage has been called in by its bankers. Why? As Diana West wrote, why was it necessary or even seemly to make this pastor a non-person? Another one of Obama's famous "teaching moments"? In this case teaching us that Islamic law now applies to all? Only a couple of weeks ago, the President, at his most condescendingly ineffectual, presumed to lecture his moronic subjects about the First Amendment rights of Imam Rauf. Where's the condescending lecture on Pastor Jones' First Amendment rights?
And that, friends in INSTITUTIONAL terrorism, committed by our own Federal Government. It is a matter of national policy that nothing which can remotely be described as detrimental or insulting to Islam will be tolerated in The Land Of The Free and The Home Of The Brave.
Why is that so?
It happens because our national leadership has decided to meddle in the 'national conscience', to determine what is and is not acceptable for us to think about religion, tolerance and acceptance in America. The Constitution of the United States be damned; Obama didn't like it, and so he sent the attack-dog lackeys of the American Press to vilify this private individual.
(Yes, the parson is a jerk. The First Amendment of the Constitution was codified to protect the rights of Free Speech for unpopular opinions. If we liked what he had to say, we wouldn't need a First Amendment.)
It's not enough that the president has infringed on the First Amendment Rights of a private American citizen, but our current culture has gone totally ape-shit in its surge to back the president .... in an attack on a private citizen who had broken no laws. And it is, the press at the same time supported an attack on the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. So much for the white coat-tails of the Fifth Estate.
So, when I get emails asking me to "sponsor" a video which presents Islamics in America as totally joyful and non-aggressive, I have to ask: "Where's the beef?"
What happened to showing both faces of the culture which is not assimilating itself into the American culture? Instead of becoming more American, and speaking out against terrorism ... adherents of this religion expect us to accept it without acknowledging that many of its members have as its basic priority that we should be forced to abandon our culture in favor if its religious fanaticism?
I don't think so.
When I see that the News Of The Day features Americans (who just happen to be Islamics) speaking out against terrorism, I will consider supporting that concept.
But that won't happen until Islamics (who just happen to be Americans), have made it a priority that they don't want to change the American culture.
Today, Islam is not just Another Pretty Face. If they want to be accepted, Islamics must conform to American culture; not we to theirs.