Selling Islam in America

When Tulsa, Oklahoma, police captain Paul Fields refused an order to attend a mosque, he was slapped with a two-week suspension and permanent demotion. Captain Fields resisted the order based on religious freedom: He is a Christian. But his objections were not good enough for his superiors or the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled against him.

The chief of police had ordered officers to attend the mosque to hear a discussion on Islamic beliefs, Muhammad, and Mecca; learn why and how Muslims pray; and consider buying Islamic books and pamphlets. In December 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

The Fields case is but another in a bewildering campaign to sell Islam to Americans while denigrating Christianity and, as in the Tulsa decision, rejecting the rights of individuals or groups holding other religious convictions.

Such capricious actions, though motivated by a professed desire to be sensitive to followers of Islam, actually have the opposite effect. Even Muslims should reject them based on their own self-interests. No one has benefited from the radical polarization of Americans over the past few years. Religious intolerance and deteriorating race relations threaten to alter or destroy this society.

Muslims have a long history in America. Although dates regarding their arrival are more speculative than verifiable, it is believed the first Muslims were brought to North America from Africa during the slave-trade period. The first mosque in America was built in 1929.

Over the decades, Muslim immigrants, like virtually all others, have grown numerically and benefited equally from the freedoms and abundance that characterize this nation—a country that encourages exceptionalism and offers opportunities found nowhere else on the planet.

It is, therefore, extremely problematic when practitioners of discord and division are allowed to foster a climate of suspicion and hatred that can lead only to destruction.

Unfortunately, those accused of “hijacking” the Muslim religion are doing just that. They will settle for nothing less than global Islamist conquest. And though conquest of the West could not be achieved in the early days of Islamic expansion, radicals today believe it can be accomplished through terrorism and massive immigrant infiltration—a tactic that has borne fruit in Europe to the point that many Europeans are now pushing back.

In some places the situation is so volatile that more instability and violence seem inevitable.

Here in America, we are binding ourselves up with virtual gag orders that forbid any reference to Islam or use of the word Islamic when Islamic terrorists commit violence. Identifying the criminals as “Islamic,” we are told, implies we are at war with all Muslims everywhere.

How absurd. There is indeed a war being waged—bloody, violent, and unrelenting. It is a conflict in which Christians, Jews, and Muslims who disagree with the fanatics are being slaughtered in ways not seen since the dark ages. And, yes, these extremists are committing unspeakable atrocities in the name of their religion.

To think you are protecting innocent Muslims by denying what is happening is erroneous and juvenile. Even Jordanian Muslims, Iraqi Muslims, Saudi Arabian Muslims, Egyptian Muslims, and a host of others don’t buy into such reasoning.

Until the rise of murderous Islamist revolutionaries, America’s Muslims, Jews, Christians, and those of other persuasions lived together in relative peace and prosperity. In a very real sense, the war now being waged against our way of life threatens us all. If successful, none of us will escape.

If they appreciate anything American, moderate Muslims must speak up and stand against the radical forces intent on destroying everything all immigrants have gained in the free world. Although there are exceptions, intimidation seems to have silenced the majority.

As for Christians, much the same can be said. Christians are being slaughtered by the thousands in Muslim countries. Yet few Westerners protest, and little action is taken to rescue our brethren who are paying a terrible price for their allegiance to Jesus Christ.

The attacks against Christians by terrorist groups such as Boko Haram in Africa and ISIS have become almost daily affairs. As awful as inaction is, it sometimes spawns an even greater tragedy: a complacency that produces a dangerous, learn-to-live-with-it state of mind.

The absorbing question is this: “What type of America do we choose to live in?” Is it one of freedom, strength, unity, and resolve? If not, the alternative will be apocalyptic.

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