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From: Hugh McInnish [Email him]
On August 13 Obama made a speech at the White House Iftar dinner, the dinner that Muslims traditionally have each day after sunset when they break their fast. They fast during the day throughout the month of Ramadan. In his speech Obama said that Muslims "have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in the country," and further that "that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances."
His remarks lit a firestorm, and Obama tried to clarify them, but without much success. It's hard to clarify something that's crystal clear to start with.
Now, what have we here?
First of all, what Obama said is true. Muslims do have the same rights of worship as the rest of us. And they do have the right to do with their property what anybody else has the right to do with theirs. In this country we look upon discrimination with a vengeance more visceral than that with which Nature views a vacuum.
Second of all, the truth just stated comes from our laws, which in turn flow from our traditions and our present attitudes. And it is a hell of a problem. We Americans have over the decades gathered a massive momentum against discrimination, have fueled a monstrous locomotive steaming down the tracks, and now that it's time to slow this dangerous, hurtling mass, or to shift its direction, nobody knows where the brake is, and few would have the nerve to apply it if they could find it.
Discriminate? Oh, no! Never!
Well we had better reevaluate our attitude here. There are some things against which we should strongly discriminate. The first to come to mind is Evil. And what is more evil than murder? On 9/11, Muslims, carrying out the dictates of their Prophet to kill the infidels, murdered some 3,000 of our citizens. And now our laws and customs forbid us to stop them from building a celebratory structure near the place of their atrocity.
Islam is called a "religion," but it is not just simply that. It includes a codified set of prescriptions, the Koran, which is mandatory for adherence by every Muslim. And that code calls for the destruction of Jews and Christians.
Eventually we must ask these questions: How is it best for Muslims to fit into American society? Can they ever fit, or are their traditions and goals so inimical to Americanism that they can never fit. And, finally, how do we protect ourselves against those who insist on being "good" Muslims, that is, those who follow the Koran, and are dedicated to our destruction?
It seems that honest answers to these questions, if they ever come, will force a reevaluation of our views on discrimination.