*Prologue: Before I begin this post, I should mention that in choosing to bring up this subject, I may well be banned from SDMB by Tomndebb, since in a previous thread of mine a few weeks ago he called me a “one-trick pony” (apparently the rules about personal attacks outside the Pit do not apply to Tom). He implied that I would be asked to seek another venue to air my opinions. If this occurs, I would like to thank EVERYONE who has participated in my posted threads, including those who opposed me. Accepting and living with opposition and contradiction, whether comments or cartoons or books, without resorting to violence and murder, is one of the noblest accomplishments of our Western enlightenment and one that I would gladly put my life on the line to defend. So if I am banned, whether you supported or opposed me, I thank you all equally. To Muslims I say that I have never sought to demonize or denigrate you. What I want to defend is our secular democratic way of life in which law is based on reason rather than revelation. It is the political ideology or Islam, not individual Muslims, that threatens our freedom. *
Now let’s get down to business. According to this article and this article there is supposed to be a demo in New York today by a coalition of over 100 interfaith, nonprofit and governmental organizations against a planned congressional hearing on Muslims’ role in homegrown terrorism.
The coalition says Thursday’s hearing will send the wrong message to U.S. Muslims by “demonizing” them.
What is there to hide? If the hearings show no evidence of a higher incidence or radicalization and no higher propensity to terrorism among Muslims in America than among Mormons, Seventh-Day Adventists or Presbyterians, then I should think America’s Muslims would welcome such a conclusion. If it is revealed that radicfalization is making headway in the Islamic community in America, I would think the vast majority of peaceful Muslims we are constantly told about would want to know so they can do something.
Especially interesting is the comment of Representative Keith Ellison, a Minnesota Democrat, the first Muslim elected to the House, who says that while it’s proper to investigate radicalization, he thinks it is wrong to single out a religious minority.
Mr. Ellison is a former Roman Catholic who converted to Islam. Whichh is his right, of course. But let’s hope he never decisdes to renounce Islam, because the killing of apostates is still widely approved of in the Muslim world. For example, Pew Research showed in a poll of Muslim countries last fall that in some countries like Egypt, over 80% agree that apostates should be killed.
Now, I do not expect that Representative Keith Ellison would be gunned down tomorrow morning if he changed religions, but then again, if he ever did renounce Islam, I would advise him to think about protection of the kind needed by famous apostates like Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Statistically speaking, there must be tens of millions (not to say hundreds of millions) of Muslims who believe he should be killed if he ever renounces Islam. And it just takes one person with a gun to do it.
Of course the majority of Muslims are not terrorists. I am sure that if Keith Ellison ever renounced Islam and had someone shooting at him, he would take great comfort in that fact.
Now then, how many people in the west do you know who have renounced Christianity? Have you ever heard of a single one of these people needing personal protection? I renounced Catholicism 50 years ago. Never once in my life did it occur to me to be afraid of retribution.
But by all means, just to be fair, let us hold hearings into home-grown terrorism among Presbyterians, or Jehovah’s witnesses.
Or Roman Catholics. And if we DO find some American Irish Roman Catholics raising money for IRA terrorist activities, let us deal with them.
Or would that be “demonizing” Irish-American Roman Catholics?
Finally, a question: If you were a radicalized Muslim terrorist who is recruiting young American Muslims for terrorism and spreading radical jihadist ideas in Muslim communities in the US, would YOU be in favour of these hearings? Or would you join those opposing the hearings at today’s demo?