Katha Pollitt writes in the left-wing magazine The Nation: "Fear of Muslim rule is even more preposterous than what it has so efficiently replaced—fear of communist rule—and one day it will look just as bizarre."
I remember the typical leftist arguments, especially in the 1980s, that we really had nothing to fear from the Soviet Union. This was nothing but ignorance and delusion. The Soviet Union was a real threat, if anyone bothered to look closely. Reagan knew it, and was demonized by the left for his stance. (Even today, liberals fight the strategic missile defense program, which would defend us from rogue missile attacks. This is absolute idiocy, bordering on insanity).
But we prevailed, and the Soviet Union collapsed and millions of people now live in more democratic states. Ask anyone from Eastern Europe if they'd like to go back to living under communist rule. Tyranny of all sorts is the norm in human history; democracy is the exception.
Many, many imams, authors, leaders, and Islamic scholars have taken the stance that the goal of Islam is the Islamization of the world. It is written in the Qur'an. Do we just ignore what they say? We must be careful, and be vigilant. Our debate over the Cordoba House is not based on prejudice, or bigotry. It is about sensitivity. Many Muslims have stated that they'd like to see America destroyed. It is more about the preservation of our way of life. Another question that must be answered is: Is Islam just a religion, or is it more? An ideology? Islam does not separate religion and politics. This is against our core beliefs. It is an open book that many Muslim children are taught to hate other religions and races. Israel doesn't appear in maps in schoolbooks. I could go on how Islam is not a tolerant ideology. You could say this is cultural, but in a Muslim country, everything derives from Islam.
Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who Imam Rauf calls "“the most well-known legal authority in the whole Muslim world today," wrote in his book, of which the Saudi Gazette excerpted:
As Islam is a comprehensive system of worship (Ibadah) and legislation (Shari’ah), the acceptance of secularism means abandonment of Shari’ah, a denial of the divine guidance and a rejection of Allah’s injunctions. It is indeed a false claim that Shari’ah is not proper to the requirements of the present age. The acceptance of a legislation formulated by humans means a preference of the humans’ limited knowledge and experiences to the divine guidance: “Say! Do you know better than Allah?” (Qur’an, 2:140) For this reason, the call for secularism among Muslims is atheism and a rejection of Islam. Its acceptance as a basis for rule in place of Shari’ah is downright apostasy.Just because we're told this would be a moderate "cultural center" doesn't make it so. Imam Rauf seems a reasonable man. I've read his book, and he seems to be moderate. See "Ground Zero Imam Says U.S. Worse than al-Qaeda." There will be other players involved as well. And the fact that the U.S. taxpayer is supporting his Mideast fund-raising tour should have the ACLU up in arms. (Would they be quiet if the State Department was sponsoring a Christian in this way?)
This conversation would be better if those in support of the "Cultural Center" would not continually play the race card. This has nothing to do with that.
Another question one might answer. Do we allow extreme fundamental Christian groups that preach hate and violence to exist in our neighborhoods? I find it interesting that the same people who are against any display of Christianity in this country, would support this issue in the name of "freedom of religion," which is not "freedom to build anything you want anywhere you want."
The debate should continue, but do not call us racists or bigots because we want to question the wisdom of the Cordoba House as it is currently conceived.