The uproar over the Ground Zero “victory” Mosque— which, thankfully, is gaining momentum—is not a test of our commitment to the freedom of religion, but rather a test of our ability to discern threats to every freedom that we enjoy. I am thankful to see that almost 70 percent of Americans are against the Mosque (64 percent in the latest fox poll. CNN found the same).
Saying that 64 percent of Americans are against the Mosque does not mean that 64 percent of Americans are against freedom of religion. It just means that they have enough insight and sensitivity to realize that the Ground Zero Mosque is a bad idea.
But, the argument continues to center around freedom of religion. So, this is my statement concerning freedom of religion in America:
Any individual or group can worship anything or anyone it wants to so long as that worship does not interfere with another person’s choice of worship so long as that group’s values do not threaten the freedom that others enjoy.
Now, that is a simplistic statement that would need mean caveats if it were to be seriously discussed. But it gets to the issue at hand.
Examples of the freedom of worship in this country and how the line can be crossed resulting in a loss of freedom:
The Ku Klux Klan—Espouse their hideous doctrines if you want to. Even meet together to say stupid things. But when you put a burning cross in a black person’s yard or threaten bodily harm, you become a terrorist and you have to go.
Christianity—We are free to espouse the teachings of Jesus and rejoice over the founder’s faith, etc. We are free to say out loud that we believe abortion is wrong and that homosexuality is a sin. But the second we blow up an abortion clinic or bring bodily harm to homosexuals or lesbians, we have broken the law and become terrorists. (A more radical view may say that violence against abortion clinics and doctors who perform them is more like declaring war on behalf of unborn children, but the fact is, it is legal in this country to have abortions so we must use peaceful means. Those who do not are outside the pale of true Christianity and must be dealt with.)
Islam—Believe in Allah, pray five times a day, wear whatever you want to wear (unless it causes a security breach). But when your beliefs espouse a plan to kill all who do not believe as you do, then you become a terrorist and you do not have the freedom to worship in that way.
Peaceful Islam. Really?
Now we keep hearing about a peaceful Islam. Unless there are two Quran’s, I don’t know how peaceful Islam is possible unless Muslims are admonished to only obey the parts of the Quran that they choose (unlikely). But let’s imagine it is possible. When I look around at Islamic states in the world, I don’t see peace, nor do I hear freedom ring. If there are Islamic states that allow the joyful freedom of worship to all people regardless of their religious persuasion, I am not aware of it. But if it exists, I would wager that there is much turmoil and fear. If none of these things are problems in these peaceful Islamic states, then please elevate them so that we can use their example.
So, here are my current questions:
Could someone please (and I am asking honestly) show me peaceful Islam based on the Quran? I’m not talking about some American experiment trying to create something that does not exist. I mean show me in the Quran where Muslims are allowed to peacefully coexist with other people who do not worship Allah.
Second, if this rare bird of peaceful Islam exists, does it exist in the context of radical Islam? I mean, can it hold its own? When radical Islam comes knocking does peaceful Islam fold the tent and say, “Yes, Master. Whatever you want.”?
Of course peaceful Islam exists in America where it has to exist, but when the competition is defeated and it’s only the family, show me peaceful Islam.
Islam is growing in European countries and with it is coming much turmoil.
Here is a final thought. In America we have had to endure those who burn flags. We don’t agree with it but they have been protected. We have seen seasons of protest. What do you think will happen in America when someone burns a copy of the Quran some day? Cartoons of Muhammad in Denmark brought utter wrath! But that could never happen in America because our love of freedom will protect us.
God save, God help America!