Monday, April 17, 2006

Softening Islam

There were two interesting pieces in today's Detroit Free Press. One was this column by Brian Dickerson. The other was an op-ed by guest columnist, Donna Gehrke-White.

According to Mr. Dickerson,
First there was suicide by cop, wherein perpetrators bent on self-destruction deliberately put themselves in the way of police bullets.

Now comes suicide by jury, the courtroom farce in which 12 law-abiding Americans in Alexandria, Va., appear poised to give the world-class whackadoo known as Zacarias Moussaoui the one-way trip to paradise he clearly craves.

Moussaoui, 37, is the only person to stand trial in the United States in connection with the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Federal prosecutors have spent most of this month trying to persuade jurors that he deserves to be executed, a thesis for which the defendant himself has offered the most convincing testimony.
As his penalty trial peters out, four possible answers to the riddle of Moussaoui's identity have emerged:

True believer: He's the real deal, a committed religious zealot who sincerely believes that killing Americans (and being killed by them) will secure him the eternal companionship of 70 dark-eyed virgins.

Delusional narcissist: He's a pathetic cipher whose claim that Al Qaeda had designated him to lead a fifth suicide mission on 9/11 is utterly unsubstantiated.

Pathological pawn: He's a certifiable schizophrenic, and Al Qaeda handlers expertly exploited his mental illness for their own ends.

Crazy like a fox: He's secretly collaborating with his attorneys to convince jurors that he is deranged and thus an inappropriate candidate for capital punishment.
In true MSM fashion, the words Islam, Muslim, and terrorist are never used. That would be showing racism and islamophobia, I imagine.

Meanwhile, Ms. Gehrke-White informs us of the great strides Muslim women have made in the United States.
She should be one of those red-white-and-blue success stories: An immigrant, she worked her way through med school and now directs the laboratories of two Florida hospitals. She passed her career drive on to her daughters: One just graduated from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing; the other is an investigator for the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office.

This feminist vision of a successful family, though, has a flaw: Shahida Shakir and her daughters, Sadia and Sofia, are Muslim.

They're supposed to be downtrodden. Or so that's what most Americans think.

In a Washington Post/ABC poll last month, nearly half of Americans admitted that they have a negative view of Islam. In a poll conducted for the Council of American-Islamic Relations, most people also said that they would feel better about the religion if they thought Islam treated women better.

The evidence is in our own back yard: While researching my book, "The Face Behind the Veil: The Extraordinary Lives of Muslim Women in America," I found Muslims are among the most achieving women in the United States. They are doctors, lawyers, engineers, professors, social workers and artists.

Indeed, we should be exporting the success story to the rest of the world.

I found Muslim women achieving from coast to coast. They are leading worldwide humanitarian groups in Washington, presiding over juvenile court in Baltimore, delivering babies in Los Angeles, teaching in Miami and helping the homeless in Las Vegas.
To her credit, she does not try to make us believe that all of the problems of Islam have been solved. But she does, like Brian Dickerson, want us to forget that Islam is the most imminent threat facing the world today. Muslim women are acheiving in America because they are, for the first time in history, allowed to acheive by the country they live in. We also have to assume that their husbands (if they are married) have given them this permission. Will this translate into an Islam willing to live in peace with the rest of the world? I don't know, but trying to portray a vicious terrorist as a lone nut with a death wish as Brian Dickerson does, won't help. Neither will pointing out that Muslim women have taken advantage of the unique opportunities the United States offers its citizens.

The women profiled have succeeded because of their contact with the West and in spite of Islam. If this were the Islamic society CAIR and other "moderate" Islamic organizations wish it to be, these women would be pressed into service as human martyr factories.

And on a day that the Free Press tries to soften our view of Islam, a homicide bomber murdered 9 and injured dozens of Israelis in Tel Aviv.
. . . the Hamas-led administration defended the attack as a legitimate response to Israeli "aggression."
Hamas, in case you've forgotten is the terrorist organization that was freely elected to rule the Palestinians, who, we are told deserve their own state. Of course we were also told that now that Hamas is in power, they will moderate their "hard line stance", you know the stance that demands the destruction of Israel.

It's going to take a bit more than a few editorials to soften the view that Islam is a violent religion. It's going to take major reform on the part of the Muslim world.

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At 11:08 AM, Blogger makdom said...

Peace be with you.

There are billions of Muslims in this world. Each of them are suposed to have read the 'Quran' and abide by it. There are some of them who interpretes the verses to justify their own selfish reasons. There are bad and the good in everything.

At 12:11 PM, Blogger Harry said...

Yes, there are bad and good in everything. There are good Muslims who wish to live in peace. Unfortunately, they are being overshadowed and marginalized by the Islamic terrorists and their supporters. And yes, I am justified in associating Islam with terrorism since Muslims are murdering innocent people around the world. You can't ignore that fact. Rather than ignore it, or try to rename terrorism, as you do on your blog, if you are serious about the holiness of Islam, you should battle the terrorists.

Peace be with you too. I would rather be able to discuss matters with you as a friend, as opposed to an enemy.

At 12:30 AM, Blogger Valannin said...

When I see the "billions of Muslims who abide by the Quran" protesting their violent brethren in the streets, then I'll believe in that "good and bad", "let's all give peace a chance" nonsense. Until that day comes:

Not every Muslim is a terrorist.
But every terrorist is a Muslim.

That's a tautology I can live with.


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