Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Courier

CAIR never fails. During the week following the foiling of a terrorist plot by 45 Muslim doctors, the Council on American-Islamic Relations e-mails us an op-ed column proclaiming that prejudice and fear toward Muslims is irrational."U.S. can ill afford the perception that we are at war with Islam," says Parvez Ahmed, chairman of the board of CAIR, citing a recent Pew poll that found most American Muslims are "decidedly American in their outlook, values and attitudes." He conveniently fails to mention the most significant finding of the poll, which is that 26 percent of American Muslims under age 30 think that suicide bombings are justifiable under some circumstances.

Ahmed also cites a Gallup poll from last August that found that four in 10 Americans admit feelings of prejudice toward Muslims.

"This irrational fear, or Islamophobia, leads to discrimination against Muslims, the exclusion of Muslims from the sociopolitical process, guilt by association and even hate crimes," he writes, noting a significant rise in acts of discrimination and hate crimes reported by Muslims to CAIR since the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

"Irrational" means senseless or contrary to reason. It's hardly irrational to believe the overwhelming evidence presented in the world's news media almost daily. The vast majority of conflicts in the world today are generated by Muslims.

The most recent terrorist plot, by the 45 doctors in Great Britain, is in some ways the most frightening. Despite everything, somehow we'd hoped that those who've sworn to "first, do no harm" would be trustworthy. But now our rational minds tell us that all Muslims must be suspect — even the hijab-wearing pediatrician in Columbus who eloquently denounced the doctors' plot on Fox News the other day.

Ahmed insists that throughout its history, Islam has flourished because it has "adapted to new realities," and that it "shares common values with other major faiths, favors peacemaking over violence and unequivocally rejects killing innocent people, even in warfare."

If that is true, why are Muslims worldwide plotting terrorism and killing innocent people? Why have Muslims historically spread their faith by the sword?

Since 9/11, CAIR's refrain has been that it's the Americans who need to adapt to Islam. This strikes us as a variation of the "dhimmi" status enforced on conquered nations by Muslim armies of the past. CAIR seems to be trying to force us into submission by browbeating us with our own values of peace and tolerance.

We truly sympathize with the many American Muslims who suffer because many Americans associate them with the extremists of their faith. But accusing Americans of Islamophobia and irrationality is not going to solve the problem. Neither will it help to ask us to believe that black is white.

Only when Muslim leaders worldwide honestly face the fact that their religion is being interpreted to justify terrorism and slaughter of the innocent, will it have a chance to change — to truly "adapt to new realities," as Ahmed writes.

Americans aren't at war with Islam — only with Islamofascism. We don't want to destroy Islam. What we really want is for Muslims to stop all the plotting, violence and killing — at which point, we will happily embrace them as our fellow Americans, in peace.

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