Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Islam in America: A Possible Alternative
Let us prevent Sharia from ever being practiced in America
A first problem is the definition of religion and the acceptability of religious beliefs in America. Religions in general appear to me to have several parts: spiritual, acceptable individual secular behavior, and secular control of society.
Most religions find ready acceptability within their spiritual and secular behavioral parts. One can easily name 15 or 20 such acceptable religions now in America that have a significant membership, and many others that have little recognition and few members. We rightfully pride ourselves on acceptance of the existence these religions in our nation, and have codified this into the law of the land. This much is fully agreed by almost all Americans.
When a religion contains a major emphasis on secular control of society, and has the thrust to force all citizens of that society to adhere to its tenets on pain of death, there arises in most other Americans, immediately upon recognition of this aspect of a religion, a fear, a loathing, and a distrust of such a religion, because it is rejecting fundamental laws of the land-- the personal and religious freedom--that are guaranteed by our Constitution and civil laws.
When one examines Islam in this light, this religion emphasizes the secular control aspect by Islam, the forced acceptance of its tenets on pain of death, and even the penalty of death for apostates as an integral part of the practice of Islam. We have seen these tenets in operation time and time again in Islamic states, and even in the EU and America. The basic tenets of Islam are an anathema to most Americans that have some knowledge of Islam.
While we accept Islam for its spiritual and individual secular behavioral sides, we Americans are truly horrified at the secular control side of Islam, and thus perceive a real dilemma for our nation, both internally and externally. We want to accept the Muslim for his humanity and his religious, spiritual, and secular, moral sides, but we cannot accept his thrust for control of society, such as dhimmitude or death, the role of women in Islamic societies, and numerous other tenets, such as is embedded in Sharia, and its violation of human freedoms that we value so much.
The dilemma is in what we should do about this form of total religion in America. There seem to be several groups of thought on the subject: 1) Leave them alone; 2) Leave them alone, but punish their violations of our laws; 3) Leave them alone, but prohibit the promotion or practice of their form of secular laws and codes of behavior that are inimical to our way of life, and punish their transgressions; and 4) Rid the nation of them altogether.
My own preference is for the third idea, which may amount to simply prohibiting Sharia to be promoted or practiced in the United States instead of or in addition to our own laws. This would allow Muslims to practice their religion, both spiritually and in most secular behaviors, so long as it doesn't violate our laws and our freedoms. To do any less is to jeopardize, however ultimately, our entire way of life, our Constitution, and our freedoms.