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Mosques in America – Religious Freedom or Political Agenda?

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Contributor:
Dallas Boyd
Dallas Boyd

An email message was forwarded to me (and almost 200 others) entitled, “From a Muslim woman, read completely.” A warning at the top of the email said the message would, “scare the life out of you.”

Written by Nonie Darwish, who was born in Egypt as a Muslim before moving to the United States, converting to Christianity, and delivering “a wake-up call to the western world”, the message described how women live as slaves (well… do you call a girl forced to consummate marriage at the age of 9 a woman?) They can be raped, traded, and killed at will to preserve notions of “honour”. The warning of the message was that the liberty based values of the Western World are being torn in two, as Muslim men living in the United States are starting to demand and impose Muslim Shariah Law so that (among other things) women cannot obtain divorces and men can extend their control. The warning culminates with the statement that “In twenty years there will be enough Muslim voters in the U.S. to elect the President by themselves! Rest assured they will do so....”

While a large number of people do support the right of Muslims to build Mosques for worship, including interfaith groups such as Protestants, Catholics, and Jews, many others within the United States are openly fearful – and angry – at the concept that not everyone allowed religious freedom will reciprocate the same liberty of religious freedom to others. Radical Shariah Law apparently teaches that non-Muslims should be subjugated or killed… which does not exactly exemplify the American Dream.  Although recent controversy surrounding the proposal to build a mosque near the site of Ground Zero has caught the attention of the media, the 9/11 angle, while emotive, is not really the crux of the issue. Instead, this case is merely a high profile example of the growing resistance to the spread of mosques everywhere, with large protests taking place across many cities in the United States where other mosques have been built. 

One study has shown that modern mosques actually help to prevent radicalism and militant views, but some ex-Muslims continue to campaign against the religion as being “inherently violent”, identifying Mosques as a place which spawns and fuels war, jihad, and aggression against non-believers. They speak at rallies, write books, and draw quotations from the Koran as evidence of this intolerance towards non-Muslims.

So what is the answer? Personally I have always believed that human rights cannot be accepted without great responsibilities. Through accepting the right of religious freedom, you take on the responsibility of selflessly allowing others access to that same right. If there are people in the world – Muslim or otherwise – who refuse the basic human rights of others (as the Nazis once did to certain groups of society that they deemed unworthy), then perhaps intervention is necessary, least we experience anymore variations of ethnic cleansing within our world.

“I do believe everybody has a right to freedom of religion,” Nonie Darwish said. “But Islam is not about a religion. It’s a political government.”

 

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