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Reader comment on item: The Swiss Ban on Minarets: A Possible Turning Point

Submitted by LOU FROM QUEENS, NYC, USA (United States), Dec 1, 2009 at 10:53

Interesting on how only the Democratic Western World is supposed to be tolerant when it comes to religion. There are no churches, synagogues, or temples allowed in Saudi Arabia, in fact you are not even allowed to bring in another religious book, like say the bible. Personal religious symbols worn on the body are prohibited.

The same holds true for many other Islamic countries. Many Western people have noticed that first comes the Mosque, then comes the radical Imam, religious schools, and businesses all of which seem to prevent Muslims from integrating into the main stream culture. I live in the most ethnically diverse region of the world, at least 178 different ethnic, and cultural groups living within a 15 mile radius in Queens, New York City. For the most part Muslims seem to group together, and have very limited contact with the rest of their community, and neighbors. It seems that many have adopted, or imposed upon themselves a separatist philosophy, voluntary removing themselves, and their children from the main stream culture.

Being a world traveler I am sensitive to being culturally aware of the countries that I visit, for instance my wife would not wear a pair of shorts, and a tank top if we were visiting certain areas of the world. So excuse me if I feel somewhat annoyed by seeing a women dressed head to toe in a black burka walking down the streets of my city. And by the way costumes, and masks and other clothing that hides a persons identity are not welcomed in many banks, retail stores, restaurants', due to the crime problem. Many cities have laws on the books that enforce this concept, should the individual rights of a religious person have precedent over the security, and safety of the whole ? And just because a mosque has better financing then the local church, should they be allowed to build a structure that dominates a community that is predominately non-Muslim ?

It seems to me that many Muslims have forgotten that they themselves have moved into the lands of Dar al-Harb, which are in fact predominately nations whose cultural foundations, and legal system, are based on Judeo-Christian ethics. We do not practice polygamy, stone to death adulterers, or people who covert to another religion, stifle our women, censor free expression, or ban music here. And we will not tolerate such activity in our own homelands by immigrants. Never forget that most of the Islamic world does not believe in separation of church, and state, while many leftists in the West suffer from mirror vision believing that there exists such a separation between that religion and its political, and judicial systems. In reality no such demarcation exists in the lands of Dar al-Islam. And that is why anybody living in an Islamic country under Sharia law that is not Muslim is without a doubt in most cases, a second class citizen. Perhaps someday the Islamic moderates will have a louder voice, and more powerful response to their radical brethren, until then tensions will remain high between our societies.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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