June 29, 2009
A remedy for fear of the American Muslim takeover
That noise you may now hear is the collective wailing from the small crowd of folks who are convinced America is on the verge of becoming an Islamic theocracy.
The sound erupting from the host of web sites that purport to keep us safe from the coming takeover is a result of two happenings: One of the nation’s most prominent Muslim groups announced Friday it will give copies of the Quran, Islam’s revealed text, to 100,000 state and national leaders. The other is the fact a second major Muslim organization is preparing to hold a convention that will bring 40,000 Muslims to Washington, D.C.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights organization is giving away the Qurans to leaders. In the past, it has attempted to raise money to put Qurans in every American library — all in the name of trying to educate them about Islam.
“Through this ground-breaking outreach initiative, we hope not only to educate policy-makers and opinion leaders about Islam, but also to provide an opportunity for American Muslims to reach out to their fellow citizens of other faiths,” CAIR Board Chairman Larry Shaw, a state senator from North Carolina, said in a press release.
The announcement of this “Share the Quran” campaign comes just ahead of this week’s 4-day convention in Washington of the Indiana-based Islamic Society of North America, which could draw as many as 40,000 Muslims to the nation’s capital over the Fourth of July weekend.
Both CAIR and ISNA are two groups that are frequent targets of criticism of the blog watchers. I know CAIR a little bit. They have a reputation of being bullies — toward reporters, toward businesses, toward politicians. But they are prized, among many Muslims, as a group willing to take a stand for their civil rights when few others will.
ISNA, however, is into such radical things as building friendships with Jews, Christians and people of other faiths. They have urged for the greater inclusion of women in mosques. They are working with government agencies to build better relationships between the U.S. and Muslim countries. Really subversive stuff.
For those who will go into a full-blown conniption over these moves over the apparent Muslim takeover, there is a remedy.
Call a local mosque. Ask if there is a Muslim there with you who will sit down and talk. Be polite. They might be afraid of such a rare entreaty. Sit down and talk to them about what they value about America. Report back here what you find. You might be surprised that what they treasure isn’t so different from you.
Most people who hate Muslims, I find, have never met and talked with a Muslim. But don’t rely on what you read on the Internet, even folks like me. See for yourself.