Ask me about the Muslim Mafia

crescent Well, there’s no hiding from the facts. According to several members of Congress, I am a terrorist sympathizer. As an American Muslim and a member of my local Islamic society, I am ipso facto an agent of the “secret underworld that’s conspiring to Islamize America.”

You know, I had no idea. As an Anglo-American convert to Islam, one of the religion’s strongest appeals to me is its tolerance of dissent and heterodoxy. This dates back centuries before my European ancestors finally learned that divergent beliefs about God do not automagically lead to chaos, slaughter, and the murder of kings. (Wars of religion, on the other hand, often bring about the very evils they were meant to prevent, and have contributed to western Europe’s fixed idea that “organized religion” is incompatible with human liberation.)

When Western thinkers finally took up the cause of religious toleration and civic equality for non-Christians, they imagined that they had invented these ideas. We Westerners still enjoy that conceit today, unaware that the Quran stated the principle unequivocally more than a thousand years earlier: There is no compulsion in religion. (2:256)

Muslims are only human, and the history of Islamic states is not as glorious as some Arab or Turkish patriots would make it out to be. Still, it seems to me no accident that what we call the “Renaissance” began in Italy, the part of Europe that had the most routine contact with Muslims and, through them, with India and the Far East. Much more could be said on the subject, but this is only a blog post.

According to four Republicans in the House, though, I’m not being sincere in associating Islam with universal love, open-heartedness, and free inquiry into truth. I’m just feeding you a bunch of reassuring propaganda. As a Muslim in the United States, I am an enemy of the Constitution and an advocate for theocracy under a medieval law code called Sharia. By supporting CAIR (Committee on American-Islamic Relations), I am implicitly supporting a terrorist agenda that aims to cow all of you infidels into submission to my religion, which will require you to “convert or die,” or else to become second-class citizens. It’s true that you outnumber us 99-to-1, but we have an evil plan that we have all sworn to uphold. This plan is sure to succeed unless you all wise up and start jailing and deporting us.

All kidding aside — the congressional press conference promoting Paul Sperry’s new book, Muslim Mafia, quickly inspired a faxed death threat to the director of CAIR. One hopes that that is all the fallout we’ll see.

Here is Rachel Maddow’s report on what I’ll call the latest Green Scare. It’s followed by comments from Eugene Robinson (8:40):

So there you have it. In the interest of national security, I hereby confess myself a member of the “Muslim Mafia” that the honorable members of Congress are warning against. I didn’t mean any harm. Somehow I had the idea that following one’s conscience in matters of religion was laudable in a free society — not dangerous or illegal.

I’m sorry for my mistake. To make up for it, I invite all you real Americans to ask me anything you like about the Muslim plot to destroy America. I’ll do my best to get back to you with the straight dope.

After all, before you contemplate excluding American Muslims from the ambit of U.S. constitutional protections — as Paul Sperry, P. David Gaubatz, and now a few members of Congress would like to do — it would be a courtesy to talk the matter over with real live Muslims.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Ask me about the Muslim Mafia

  1. I guess I’d ask about the secret handshake and decoder ring, if I took these things seriously. But, in terms of this press conference, I’d say the signs all point to a party that isn’t waving, but drowning

  2. “We Westerners still enjoy that conceit today, unaware that the Quran stated the principle unequivocally more than a thousand years earlier: There is no compulsion in religion. (2:256)”

    Hey there wise guy. Ever heard of some thing called the “Abrogation of the Koranic law”, where what Allah has commanded originally gets rendered null and void by what He commands later on in the Koran? What you are quoting was rendered null and void by what Allah commanded later, when he directs his faithful and sobmissive followers to convert the infidel at Dar Ul Harb at all costs and no matter what. I suggest you read beyond the first few chapters of the Koran, and inform yourself thoroughly on the “verse of the sword” and similar verses, that render null and void a thousandfold that quote you have bandied around to misguide some unsuspecting infidel.

  3. Thanks for commenting, Ayesha. I might be more impressed with your comment if you could show me a single Quranic reference to the “dar al-harb,” often translated “domain of war.” That medieval concept (first written down in the 1300s) is only attested in a very dubious hadith, and probably gained favor only because it seemed to excuse Ottoman expansion at the expense of non-Muslim states. So it served roughly the same purpose in the 14th century that the “clash of civilizations” thesis is serving in the 21st.

    Instead of getting bent out of shape about “abrogation,” you might attend to the important matter of context, or “occasion of revelation.” Your cited “verse of the sword” (9:5) refers to fighting against Arab tribes who had banded together to destroy the Muslim community of Medina. In fact, even this verse is only frightening when excerpted. When read in full, the verse pairs its command to do battle with another command to show mercy to enemies. Here is the complete verse, with the most often cited excerpt in italics:

    So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

    That’s the Quran at its most bloodthirsty. If you think I’m cherry-picking a favorable translation, try the quran.com website and compare versions for yourself.

    I have the feeling that my reply will not interest you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s