Thursday, September 9, 2010

Cordoba Mosque to be moved – Quran burning cancelled|main|dl1|sec1_lnk1|169470

The above article seems to be from the AP news service; although it appears on a site called Aol News. According to this article, Florida Pastor Terry Jones has called off his 9/11 burning of Qurans because the Cordoba Mosque leaders have agreed to build their mosque elsewhere. Apparently this information came from Pastor Jones as a result of people dealing directly with him. AP was not able to confirm the report from any other sources. The idea that Jones is making this up doesn't seem credible; so I am inclined, in the absence of any contradictory information, to believe that the mosque will indeed be moved.

What frightened American politicians and Moderates (sort of) on the Islamic side was that a book burning would without doubt cause a violent response not only in Florida but throughout the world. If toleration is an important cornerstone of Western Civilization, it plays no place in Islamic Civilization whether we have in mind Islamism or traditional Islam. Even if this particular bullet has been dodged, there are others out their soon to be fired. With some exceptions, such as the Secular Islam of Turkey and the Sufi minorities at various places in the world, Islam is intolerant. When I name "Islam" here, it is the intolerant faction we in the West are being confronted with. Perhaps we in the U.S. have a First Amendment guaranteeing Freedom of Speech and Religion, but Islam does not.

It is worth noting that the West, even after the advent of the "Enlightenment" was as intolerant as Islam is today. The matters that Muslims take offense at today would have been offensive to Fifteenth-Century Europeans. They would have understood modern-day Muslims and if the Islamic attitude could be recast in Christian terms would have agreed with them. A burning of Bibles, for example would have been dealt with severely throughout Fifteenth-Century Europe.

But now we Westerners have "progressed." Perhaps only a minority in the U.S. has a wish to burn Qurans, but like Voltaire we can say that we might disagree with something someone says, but we will defend to the death his right to say it. I rather doubt that Voltaire would have said that if he were able to visualize all the uses that principle would be applied to in the Europe, but nevertheless, it is our principle, and we are not willing to back away from it . . . or are we?

If any of the well-established American Christian denominations were to become as intolerant and pugnacious as they were when they were young, The ACLU would ignore their "Religious Freedom" and crack down on their "intolerance," that is, their inevitable restriction of the right to criticize them by recalcitrant members or conflicts they might have with state and national laws.

Why then do we as a nation as well as organizations such as the ACLU accommodate the intolerance of Islam? Is it because they are large in number and violent in inclination? Could Christians obtain that same level of accommodation if they were somehow to reacquire the fanaticism of bygone years? Is this a matter of principle or of force? Does the force of Islamic fanaticism trump American and European principles of free speech? Are we seeing nothing more than another case of "might makes right?"

"Well look," a naive Leftist might say. "Their moderateness is being demonstrated. They are moving their Mosque, aren't they?" As to that, I read an article not so long ago indicating that in nations where Islam forms a very slight percentage of the population, as it does in the U.S., it is willing to back down before political and popular pressure, but once their numbers rise above 5% then they are far less willing to back down. We see burning cars and violent demonstrations in such places as France and the Netherlands not because their Muslims are different than ours, but because they have more of them -- at least according to the article I read in regard to which unfortunately I can recall neither the citation nor the author.

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