Majid Khadduri and George W. Bush
When he spoke this week at the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Islamic Center of Washington, President Bush said: "In the Middle East, we have seen instead the rise of a group of extremists who seek to use religion as a path to power and a means of domination. This self-appointed vanguard presumes to speak for Muslims. They do not."
There we are again. The Administration and the mainstream media (both Left and Right) take it as axiomatic that the jihad we see all over the world today represents a perversion of Islam, repudiated by the vast majority of Muslims. The American Muslim advocacy industry, chiefly the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has recently been named an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case, has quite successfully portrayed any exploration of the elements of Islam that give rise to and justify jihad violence and Islamic supremacism as a manifestation of "hatred," "bigotry," "Islamophobia." Those who do not accept the iron dogma that Islam contains nothing within it that can reasonably be used to justify terrorism are vilified and marginalized.
However, consider for a moment that if the iron dogma is false, the dogmatists are doing a grave disservice to the United States and even to peaceful Muslims. For if there is nothing in Islam that needs reforming, we cannot possibly offer assistance to Islamic reformers. And if Islam is a fundamentally peaceful belief-system, then we need not reevaluate our immigration policies vis-a-vis Muslims entering the U.S. from a national security standpoint, and we need not call American mosques to account for what they are teaching. If we're just dealing with a few crazies, we need not call upon Muslims in the U.S. and elsewhere to perform a searching and honest reevaluation of their beliefs, and decide whether they want to live in a state of conflict with the rest of the international community on an indefinite basis. I suspect that if the question were posed to Muslims worldwide, many would opt for otherwise universally accepted notions of human rights: the freedom of conscience, equality of dignity of women and men, equality of dignity of non-Muslims with Muslims. But we will never know, because Western leaders wouldn't dare pose the question on those terms. After all, they don't want to be seen as "hatemongers."
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