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Where is the reciprocity?

Reader comment on item: Shoeless George Bush
in response to reader comment: I am confused

Submitted by Pat (United States), Jul 4, 2007 at 00:19

Chris,

You are right that there are many Muslims who don't believe in violent jihad, but they are not the ones with the power in the Muslim world today. Islam is a multitude of sects and tribes, each with its own traditions and interpretations. Of course the most visible are the Shi'a and the Sunni. It's not clear to me what you expect of the president.

Islam has shown itself to be infinitely malleable, able to change its views depending on the audience. The New York Times reported on July 1, 2007 how suicide bombers were treated in Afghanistan. They were not admired and they were not being given Islamic burial. In one case a mullah arrives at graveside to oversee a burial.

When he is told the deceased is a suicide bomber, he waves his hand derisively, proclaiming as he stalks off: "We do not say funeral prayers for someone who kills himself. We are Muslims, and Islam does not allow anyone to shed either his own blood or that of his brothers."

That is not the sole viewpoint. Other Muslims are "not willing to judge". A case in point:

"Suicide is condemned in Islam, but it is not for me to judge whether a man blows himself up as a matter of suicide or in the righteousness of jihad," said Noor ul-Haq, a mullah in Kabul.

Blowing yourself up is righteous? Put these men side by side and how are we expected to tell the difference between them and pick out the "moderate"?

You also ignore the doctrines of Islam which, for better or for worse, say it is the duty of all Muslims to engage in jihad against unbelievers. They are to be converted, reduced to second class status (dhimmi) or killed. These dreams may be grandiose and unattainable, but some are going about their business, doing what they can to bring it about. People all over the world have been killed in the pursuit of this goal.

You say: "respecting the religion of Islam is not "appeasement" as long as you respect those who follow peaceful and tolerant interpretations of the religion." Well, what do we do about the others? It's the others we are fighting, the ones who are trying to kill us. Where is the responsibility for those who follow "peaceful and tolerant interpretations"? This is their religion. If they remain silent I can only take that for approval or, at the very least, tacit acceptance. I shouldn't have to seek them out. Their voices should be the loudest and they should be condemning acts of terrorism, not cheering as 3,000 people die.

What about their responsibilities to us? Look at the people who participated in this latest attempted attack in the UK. They were doctors. As members of the medical profession, they would have been accorded a special trust not automatically given to strangers. They abused that trust. How are we to know which of them we can trust? I am expected to put my life in the hands of a doctor who wants to kill me?

Where is their acceptance of us? They placed a bomb because women were at a nightclub. The second was planted in order to kill the first people on the scene, who were there to help the injured. Cabdrivers refuse to pick up travelers who are carrying (not drinking) alcohol. Where is their responsibility to others in the society? I would say if your religion requires you not to carry alcohol then find another job, one that won't put you in contact with travelers. Instead they expect travelers to make their way along the line until they can find a non-Muslim cabdriver. A woman in New Jersey wanted to wear something over her face when obtaining a picture id, defeating the purpose of the id.

There are Muslim leaders all over the world who are "passionate about fighting extremism". Two questions: can you give us some names, and what do they consider extremism? Many writers have shown that the moderates may use different methods, but they have the same goals as the 'extremists'. Would they allow Christians to worship freely in Muslim lands? Would they let workers bring the bible with them when they go to Saudi Arabia? Would they allow non-Muslims to set foot in Mecca? This week Yemenis attacked a three thousand year old tourist site. Several years ago the Taliban dynamited ancient Buddha statues. Islam considered them idolatrous. Cartoons in a newspaper were an excuse for violence because they were not Islamic. Where is Muslims' respect for other cultures? Why are we expected to do all the giving? Why is it necessary for us to learn about Islam? How about their responsibility simply to behave in a civilized manner?

How many people must die before we find enough Muslims willing to renounce violence and change the Quran to reflect that, because that is what it will take. They are using our constitutional guarantees of freedom to whittle away at our secular society. Why aren't they required to modify their behavior to accommodate the neighborhood where they live? When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Instead we have leaders who will not allow church bells to be rung giving approval for the call to prayer and placing footbaths in an airport, where there is no logical need for them.

Wednesday is Independence day. Our forefathers were willing to risk "their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor" in the cause of freedom. Why aren't Muslims willing to do the same? Their actions say far more than any claim of moderation.

I have spent the last six years trying to understand Islam. My feeling is Muslims who can't accept Western values should not live in Western societies. We should not have to worry about which Muslim is which. I don't consider that militant. You think we can "do much to improve relations with the Islamic world in order to jointly fight against terrorists who seek to kill the innocent regardless of their religion."

How much more are we supposed to do? We spent more than eight years trying to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We came to the aid of Bosnian Muslims and Kosovars. We protected the Saudis and other oil states from Saddam Hussein. All we got for our efforts was 9/11. Since then, the rhetoric has only grown more strident. Americans helped Muslim countries hit hardest by the Indian Ocean tsunami. It meant nothing. Osama bin Laden is the most popular person in the Muslim world and more Muslims are naming their children after him. They have given me no reason to trust them. If there are really as many "moderates" as we have been led to believe, it's time for them to act. We're waiting. Until they do, we have every right to defend ourselves.

Submitting....

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