Muslims vs Freedom of Speech - AgainI first wrote about Egyptian Coptic priest Zakaria Botros, when I discovered him through Victor Davis Hanson. The gist of Hanson's article was that Fr. Botros, through his radio show, was inspiring huge numbers of Muslims to convert to Christianity. Imagine my surprise, while thumbing through (sort of, since I read it on-line) The Arab American News, that Fr. Botros is carried on a local Detroit station, WNZK (690 AM). If I read the article correctly Botros' program airs every Wednesday from 3:00 to 5:00 PM. According to the whining from the local Muslim community,
Egyptian Coptic priest Zakaria Botros, known around the world for his controversial theological rants about Islam, had been featured regularly for weeks on a Chaldean Christian programming broadcast by WNZK (690 AM), enraging many with frequent assertions that Islam's Prophet Mohammed, was, among other things, a homosexual.and
Muslim leaders feared the weekly programs could cause tension between local Christian and Muslim communities, and sought out talks between interfaith leaders and the station owner about pressuring producers and the host of the show to keep the more radical commentaries off the air, said Ghalib Begg, Chair of the Council Of Islamic Organizations Of Michigan.
Another local Arab Christian leader, Fr. George Shalhoub of St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church in Livonia, said that Botros' outbursts may come from a bitterness felt by many Egyptian Christians, who he said have struggled to practice their faith in that country for years.Mutual what? Between Muslim and infidel dhimmi? Huh? But wait. No defense of Islamic terrorism or the Islamic assault on free speech is complete without the moral equivalence argument.
"Historically, Christians in Egypt have been persecuted," he said.
Religious life for Copts in Egypt, said Shalhoub, whose congregation is made up primarily of Palestinian, Syrian, Jordanian and Lebanese Americans, is much harder than in other Arab countries with large Christian populations, where, he said, there is mutual respect and tolerance between Muslim and Christian groups.
"Father Zakaria is fueled by desperation, but no one should be condemned by other people's faith," he said. "Just leave him alone and he'll go away… There are fanatics among Christians. There are fanatics among Muslims. There are fanatics among Jews. If we pay attention to fanatics, we become fanatic… Don't forget we have freedom of speech here. No one can silence another by force."Our intellectual elites have become so weak and degraded that Muslims no longer need force to shut down debate. All they have to do is claim humiliation and hurt feelings. Their prophet has been insulted - oh dear.
It's obvious that local Muslims are up in arms over Fr. Botros. That makes him A-OK in my book. As AM stations sometimes have weak signals, I hope I can still hear the show. As I have to report back to school next Wednesday, this will be an even bigger problem, but I will at least be able to hear part of the show. I have to assume too, that he's syndicated in other markets, possibly on a station near you.
And another thing. The Arab American News has a lot of nerve complaining about so-called hate speech after publishing their assault on the Israel at 60 Celebration. They can dish it out, but when it comes to taking it . . .
As soon as I'm done with this post, I'll be sending a short email to WNZK in support of Fr. Botros. If anyone else is interested, you can contact Operations Manager:
Mr. Sima Birach at Sima@BIRACH.com.
UPDATE: Fr. George Shalhoub, a local "Palestinian" Orthodox Christian priest who is quoted in the article speaking against Fr. Botros. Shalhoub, demonstrates in this article, that he is a well trained, well behaved, dhimmi.