Monday, November 9, 2009

A qualified defense of Islam

First the disclaimers: (1) If Maj. Hasan did the shootings, he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. (2) This writer is a Christian, not a Muslim. (3) I believe in protecting our national interest when it is attacked.

I will not speculate on Maj. Hasan's motives -- the mainstream media are doing a good enough job of that. Regardless of what they are, we cannot justify a wave of hysteria directed against an entire religion, that in fact is nearly as diverse as Christianity.

The problems Americans associate with Islam are actually confined to a few ethic groups. Iran has a dictatorship with a figurehead President (Mahmoud Ahmedinejad), but its people are not actively hostile toward the United States (toward Israel, yes, but not toward the United States). European Muslims (Bosnians and Albanians) are not easily distinguishable from neighboring Christians, with whom they lived in peace for a thousand years, until Milošević and Karadić stirred things up. We have long maintained very friendly relations with Turkey, Morocco, Malaysia, and Indonesia, all heavily Islamic nations; not to mention the Kurds in Iraq, whose autonomy we have protected.

There is even a reformation of sorts taking place among some imams in Egypt and Muslim laypeople in the United States, that could help the faith find a peace with modernization that has eluded the others.

Our issue is not against the Islamic religion, it is against the cultures that use their religion and jihad as an excuse for aggression. Our efforts (military and persuasive) should be focused against them; because we can safely leave the rest at peace.

No comments: