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Not merely an Islamist problem

Reader comment on item: Stealth Islamist: Khaled Abou El Fadl

Submitted by Rory Ward, Jun 1, 2004 at 03:19

In spite of the loud complaints from CAIR and other Islamist groups, it is not Islam that is retreating before numerous secular initiatives in the West. And are secular organizations like the ACLU worried that militant Islam will occupy the ground other religions (Christianity, Judaism) have recently lost? Hardly.

So far, they seem to agree with CAIR that it's Islam (militant or not) that's under attack. And in Canada, where these trends are somewhat further advanced, the Bible is increasingly viewed in law as hate speech, but Shari'a Law has gained a foothold in the legal system.

So it's time to admit that unless the notion of religious freedom is reworked soon, we'll likely end up with the Islamic version of it – a result few were probably expecting at a time when gay marriage rights were just being discovered in the Constitution. But militant Islam can do us a favour here. It's too extreme, of course. It's simply incompatible with governance in post-enlightenment societies. But it has a voice that must be listened to, whereas Christianity and Judaism unfortunately do not. The secularist solution to those religions (already well under way) is to ban them in stages like cigarette smoking, leaving, unfortunately, not a healthy society with strong public morals, religious freedom and limited government, but a weak, amoral society that would be easy prey for exactly the militant religious revolution the secularists fear.

Maybe Khaled Abou El Fadl is not being honest. But then, that is the case the secularists have feared, and of course because the threat is real, banning the religion will not work. Maybe we can find a better way before we lose our own religious traditions.
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