The Need for a New Muslim Narrative

Several weeks ago a representative from Unity Productions Foundation sent me a video and asked me to feature it on this blog. After viewing it, I told her I would indeed write about the video but there was a missing ingredient that had to be addressed.

The video juxtaposes images of every day Americans who happen to be Muslims with a soundtrack of Islamaphobic hate speech. To anyone with an ounce of empathy, the video is extremely powerful.

There is only one problem. The empathetic folks who would find the video powerful are not the folks who need convincing. Islamaphobia is not the byproduct of some psychosis. It is the byproduct of seeing a small but conspicuous minority of one particular religion use violence as a “normal” reaction to achieving political ends and addressing grievances. The folks featured in the UPF video are not the folks inspiring fear of Muslims.

So what is missing from the video? What is missing from the video is the condemnation of religious violence by Muslims from Muslims. You see, after years on this blog defending Islam, the one thing I can no longer defend is the sound of crickets from the lawful Muslim community every time a follower of Islam blows himself up and kills innocents.  If UPF wants to really make a difference they need to publish videos of Muslims denouncing the violent aspects of Sharia law as well as the reprehensible behavior of radical Muslims worldwide.

Very simply and with all due respect to Unity Productions Foundation, fair-minded people know that the grocer, cab driver, research scientist, teacher and soccer coach might be Muslims and they live and love and cry and bleed just like any non-Muslim. What remains to be seen is will they work toward a more peaceful religion and publicly condemn their brothers and sisters who have brought shame upon their religion? That is the new Muslim narrative that we must see if minds and hearts are going to change.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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If Islam is the Problem, What is the Solution?

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Nine years ago, 19 men with a perverted sense of righteous martyrdom commandeered four passenger planes in an attempt to take down The World Trade Center, The Pentagon and the White House. Three of the planes reached their target with devastating effect. The fourth plane, the one headed for the White House, crashed in Pennsylvania when the hijackers were overcome by the heroic passengers. The 19 men had one thing in common that has presented the United States of America with one of its most compelling crises of conscience. The 19 men were all devout, radical Muslims. Now, a country whose fundamental principle is freedom of worship is faced with how to evaluate Islam. Recently, we have seen an evaluation that is frightening in its paranoia, a paranoia that seems to grow the further we get from that terrible Tuesday morning.

Suddenly an entire “industry” has arisen around being “non-Muslim experts on Islam”. I won’t use the word Islamaphobe which carries too much baggage. Let’s just call them self-professed experts. They would have us believe that Islam is not even a religion, but rather a vile social movement disguised as a religion. They cherry pick the Koran to prove how evil the “religion” is.

As they warn us about the evils of Islam, the experts are short on solutions. Let us buy their perspective wholesale. Let’s say that Islam is on the same level as the Nazi party and the KKK. What are we to do about it?

Convene a cross denominational panel to publicly draft a declaration that Islam is not to be further recognized as a religion.

Have the United Nations prepare sanctions against every predominantly Muslim country on the planet, to outlaw the practice of Islam or face penalty.

Engage our ground forces and air force both within the United States and around the world to destroy every existing Mosque, since they are terrorist incubators.

Arrest and detain every practicing Muslim in the United States with conversion to one of the “sanctioned” religions being the only condition for release.

If Islam is the problem my friends then what is the solution? If Islam destroyed the World Trade Center as many would have you believe, then how can we allow Islam to exist?

If the proposed solutions I have laid out are repugnant to you, then perhaps you should reevaluate your attitude toward Islam.

We either believe that religion is a force for good in the world and that only individual men are evil or we commit ourselves to the dangerous exercise of defining the good religions vs the bad ones and then take the necessary steps to root out “evil”.

The next time you go quoting Newt Gingrich, think about what you’re willing to do to solve the problem as Newt has defined it. I say the solutions make it crystal clear that you have defined the problem incorrectly.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

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A Little Religion in the Wrong Hands

I stumbled across this silly video today and it reminded me of the religious debates I’ve been in over the past few weeks regarding Muslim radicals. Here we have a pure ass exercising his right to free speech and suggesting, backed up by his Christian Bible, that women victims of domestic violence should not divorce their husbands. The dialog, if you want to call it that, then devolves into a discussion of cleavage, as prohibited by the Bible.

Clearly, this dude’s twisting of scripture is not comparable to that of a Muslim who thinks he should fly a plane into a building but it clearly supports my assertion that every religion is ripe for misuse by its nuttier followers. That nuttiness can range from harmless to homicidal.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

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