By L. Rob Werner
We’ve all heard of the terrible massacre of people at the Al Noor Mosque in New Zealand. But have you heard that mosque produced at least two Al-Qaida terrorists whose parents claim were radicalized by teachings at the mosque?
In our country, we value freedom of religion and insure this via the First Amendment to our constitution which states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
Many American settlers fled the old world because the established religion did not tolerate their religion. Our founding fathers did not want the government to establish a national religion. The reference to “free exercise thereof” should not be used as a shield to excuse a religion’s abuses that violate our laws.
Most religions have at some point in their history engaged in persecutions. When Moses led his people to the promised land, it was occupied, and he ordered their extermination. Christians have the inquisition and crusades while the Muslims have their invasions and mass killings in the Christian world.
Religions within the United States have almost universally moderated their views to accept coexistence with competing religious thoughts. The odds are that if you attended a Christian or Jewish service which advocates butchering people who don’t accept your faith, you would speak up. You would do something to bring attention to this horrid behavior. You would seek the exclusion of this teaching from your house of worship. You might seek criminal prosecution of the advocate.
Islam is an old-world religion which lacks reformation. Orthodox preaching, if accepted, justifies physical and sexual abuse, as well as murder. Practicing another faith is penalized by execution. A major difference in the Muslim community is that those who do not practice Jihad do not fight against its preaching in their schools and houses of worship. Many of the Muslim faith still hold onto the cruelties inherent in an ancient religion. Muslim-run countries are not democratic, and citizens are not allowed to question established views. American Muslims enjoy our freedoms enough to speak against our country but not enough to speak out against their religion’s teachings. Maybe this is because the first is advocated by their religious leaders and the second is not tolerated.
There are people who want America Muslim. Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor to President Obama stated in her 1977 Stanford University Yearbook, “I am Iranian by birth and of my Islamic faith … using freedom of religion in America against itself.” The problem with this is that it would be a violation of our constitution for the Muslim faith to be our national religion. Nor would our founders have extended the definition of “free exercise” of religion to include practices that destroy other rights guaranteed by our constitution.
Our nation can fight back by revoking citizenships and seeking criminal prosecutions of violators of the law but this is not enough.
It is time for Muslims who value freedom, who love this country, who don’t accept the violent preaching to speak up and act to preserve their liberties. Albert Einstein tried to teach us a lesson when he said, “The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”