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Subject:  Re: We have a winner! Date:  10/26/2002  3:54 AM
Author:  thenderson1955 Number:  200771 of 2332900

Of course the fact that this guy is a Muslim convert presents those of us who are Muslim with ever more challenges in convincing others that such acts are completely outside the fold of Islam. Sigh...

FWIW, I think most of us "infidels" inderstand this completely.
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What us "infidels" don't understand is why Muslims in general, and American Muslims in particular, do not publicly and loudly decry the perversion of their allegedly peaceful religion. What we see and hear from the Islamic community is mute, passive, silence that amounts, at best, to acceptance of heinous acts and, at worst, to an endorsement of those acts. It is not enough for you to say words to the effect of “don't blame me for what that guy did”. It is necessary for your community to emphatically condemn the criminal acts.

As an American who is paying attention, I see that the goal of Islam is universally to take power and impose its strictures on society. That is not the damning statement that one might think it is on first blush. Many segments of our society have similar goals – witness the pro-abortion vs. pro-life argument, or the pro-gun vs. anti-gun argument. In so far as this is a political process, American society makes plenty of room for this kind of exchange. The difference between Islam and Militant Islam is this: Moslems who accept the basics of American civilization, including the Constitution, and who attempt to achieve their political objectives by working within the constitutionally established political system are pretty much like any other citizen; no matter how much I may disagree with them, they have the right to promote their beliefs, and I am willing to stand behind their right to do so. Moslems who do not work within the constitutionally established political system, but who choose instead to subvert that system through criminal acts and violence, are militants. I repudiate them, I utterly reject them, and I will defend my society from them with whatever moral and ethical means is necessary to successfully execute that defense.

It dismays me no end that militant Islam overwhelmingly dominates Muslim discourse here in America. Where are the non-militant voices? Why are they silent?

It further dismays me that the Muslim discourse in America never seems to acknowledge a separation of Church and state – it seems to me that, from both the Middle-eastern Islamic and the militant American Islamic perspective, Church and state are inseparable, i.e.: there is no secular realm in an Islamic state. Thus, one must conclude that, to a Moslem, if religion and politics are one, and there can be no room for diversity of political opinion in an Islamic society, then the Constitution of the United States is anathema, since it establishes a framework wherein a citizen may freely exercise his will outside of the strictures of Islam.

In America, religious society is separate from secular society; religion is personal, private, and is not a cultural phenomenon. Churches don't pass or enforce secular law and the State doesn't dictate religious belief or action (don't confuse religion and morals here). Though society has sometimes temporarily lost sight of this concept (witness the 19th century treatment of Mormons), in America it is generally true that Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Mormons, Shintos, Buddhists, Atheists, Non-theists, Agnostics, Theists, Poly-theists, Wiccans, Moslems, Moonies, Hindus, et al and etc. and etc. and etc. ad infinitum, all fit under the big tent, without limit, so long as each respects the other. While most folks are glad to share their religion with anyone who expresses an interest, they generally don't give a damn what religion the other guy practices or doesn't practice. As a people, we're willing to be as tolerant of all of these religions as we are of any of them. But if some segment of one of them, in this case militant Islam, keeps crapping under our tent, and the remainder of that religion, in this case non-militant Islam, continues to do nothing to either police itself or to clearly align itself with the offended portion of society, then you can bet that that religion as a whole is eventually going to get kicked out of the tent.

Tom

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