Islam in America: Is there a cause for concern?
Is Islam compatible with American values? This is a very tough question that needs to be discussed in a fair and balanced way. However, due to the lack of objective journalism in the U.S. the issue is rarely discussed nor fairly analyzed. Instead we have only the two most extreme views presented by liberals and conservatives. These generally center around two the two extreme concepts that either Islam is a curse to America (e.g. Trump’s proposed ban on all Muslim’s entering the country) or the liberal view there is no problem at all, and you are a “Racist” for even considering otherwise. As with most issues, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Since the media can’t be trusted to fairly explore this concept, I had to go to the source to find my data. Probably the best, least biased, and most comprehensive surveys on the views of worldwide Muslims was conducted in 2013 by the Pew Research Center.
I would encourage everyone interested in this topic to read the final report entitled: The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics, and Society.
“This report examines the social and political views of Muslims around the world. It is based on public opinion surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center between 2008 and 2012 in a total of 39 countries and territories on three continents: Africa, Asia and Europe. Together, the surveys involved more than 38,000 face-to-face interviews in 80-plus languages and dialects, covering every country that has more than 10 million Muslims except for a handful (including China, India, Saudi Arabia and Syria) where political sensitivities or security concerns prevented opinion research among Muslims.”
Reading through this report, there were some items that struck me as concerning:
- There are huge groups of Muslims that want Sharia Law to be the “law of the land”. This is clearly incompatible with American values. There is one legal system for everyone here, and it is based on fairness, freedom, and equality. Can we say the same of Sharia?
- As an extension of Sharia, there are huge groups of Muslims that feel stoning is an appropriate punishment for adultery. Let’s think about this. An adulterer (almost always woman by the way) is buried in a pit up to her neck and the entire village stands around and throws rocks at her until she is dead. Is this an appropriate punishment? Literally millions of Muslims feel it is.
- There is a smaller minority, but still a shocking total number of Muslims that feel suicide bombing is “Often or Sometimes” justified in defense of Islam. Let’s take Egypt as an example. 29% of Muslims feel suicide bombing is justified. There are 80 Million Muslims in Egypt. Therefore there are 23 million people that think suicide bombing is “often or sometimes” justified. That is the nearly the population of Texas (25 million)!
- The majority of Muslims seem to feel that homosexuality, drinking alcohol, and abortion are immoral. I wonder how liberals would react to Donald Trump saying this? He would fall under intense scrutiny, but somehow Muslims dont seem to fall under the same scrutiny when they judge these personal decisions as ‘immoral” without any comment by the media. I am not sure how compatible these views are with our free society.
- Huge groups of Muslims feel that woman should “obey their husbands.” This clearly runs afoul of our free and equal society. Again, if Donald Trump said this, universal condemnation would result. But again, this slips past quietly without much discussion when the topic of gender equality in Islam comes up.
Now I cherry-picked some of the “worst” of this report, and I would encourage everyone to actually read this, as the overall report gives a bit more balanced view. For example, the majority of Muslims (but not all) feel Sharia should only apply to Muslims, etc. However I for one am not very interested in the majority, as it only takes very few suicide bombers to cause mayhem. This small, but exceedingly violent minority is cause for my concern along with the broader trends in less violent stances on issues incompatible with freedom in my view.
If we want to take queues from History, only about a third of U.S. citizens supported the war of Independence from Britain. The other two thirds were either against it or neutral. Yet this minority population was able to instigate a war across the entire continent and plunge all citizens (regardless of their stance) into its chaos. The same can be said of Nazi Germany, and also Imperial Japan during World War II. It didn’t matter that the vast majority of Germans were not Nazis…. The rest were plunged into the conflict with them, as the “neutrals” stood by idly. While I don’t think any reasonable person could consider that we are on the cusp of a war with Islam on U.S. soil, it is an interesting concept to consider how few radicals it takes to stir the pot with consequences for all
Why Liberals continue to ignore all these stances that are diametrically opposed to their liberal social agenda. This I will never understand. For me, I suppose the crux of the issue is this. Do Muslim’s come here to “be in America”, or do they come here to “be Americans.” If it is the latter, then I would expect them to adjust to our values (freedom, equality, and justice) and not the other way around. If they did adapt and assimilate, I don’t see an issue with Islam at all. The real questions is do they want to do this? Only time will tell.