Now of course, not all muslims want to kill us or rule over us; most of them are nice normal people who wish to live in peace, but they will see no peace either if they do not stop being afraid of offending the lunatics in their midst and to speak honestly and openly about violent political islam. This point is made clearly in a terrific piece written by M. Zuhdi Jasser, founder of The American Islamic Forum for Democracy, in his excellent, thoughtful article, "Why Muslims must look in the mirror", here is an excerpt:
This year, the debate on the development of the Ground Zero mosque brought the discussion of political Islam to the front page of every newspaper. While raucous at times, it provided an opportunity for Muslims who don't toe the line of American Islamist organizations to present an alternative vision for American Muslims -- one based in American values and Muslim reform.January 1, 2011 is World Peace Day and to commemorate that event, Pope Benedict XVI has written a very important message concerning the fact that there can only be peace in the world if there is true religious freedom. You can read the whole thing here (and I highly recommend that you do), below are some excerpts:
Unfortunately, political correctness still too often dominates incidents involving Islamists. This year, the Pentagon released a report on Maj. Nidal Hasan's Fort Hood attack, titled "Protecting the Force: Lessons from Fort Hood." The report was intended to convey to military commanders whatever lessons were learned from the incident, so as to prevent similar attacks in the future. Yet it never mentioned the word Islam or Muslim. Nowhere to be found was any dissection of Hasan's slide into militant Islamism or of his relationship with his homegrown jihadist mentor, Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki.
Meanwhile, President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg used the Ground Zero mosque controversy to tell the more than 70 percent of Americans who oppose the mosque that they were either wrong or confused. Discourse over recent arrests of jihadists in Portland and Baltimore focused on Islamist claims of FBI entrapment, rather than overdue introspection and calls for reform. Worries of Muslim victimization still rule the day.
Our national inability to discuss religious issues honestly is keeping American Muslims from having to accept the reforms needed to defeat political Islam and bring our faith into modernity. The victimization mantra feeds more Muslim isolation and radicalization. Read the whole thing
...It is painful to think that in some areas of the world it is impossible to profess one’s religion freely except at the risk of life and personal liberty. In other areas we see more subtle and sophisticated forms of prejudice and hostility towards believers and religious symbols. At present, Christians are the religious group which suffers most from persecution on account of its faith. Many Christians experience daily affronts and often live in fear because of their pursuit of truth, their faith in Jesus Christ and their heartfelt plea for respect for religious freedom. This situation is unacceptable, since it represents an insult to God and to human dignity; furthermore, it is a threat to security and peace and an obstacle to the achievement of authentic and integral human development.
Religious freedom expresses what is unique about the human person, for it allows us to direct our personal and social life to God, in whose light the identity, meaning and purpose of the person are fully understood. To deny or arbitrarily restrict this freedom is to foster a reductive vision of the human person; to eclipse the public role of religion is to create a society which is unjust, inasmuch as it fails to take account of the true nature of the human person; it is to stifle the growth of the authentic and lasting peace of the whole human family.
For this reason, I implore all men and women of good will to renew their commitment to building a world where all are free to profess their religion or faith, and to express their love of God with all their heart, with all their soul and with all their mind (Matthew 22:37). This is the sentiment which inspires and directs this Message for the XLIV World Day of Peace, devoted to the theme: Religious Freedom, the Path to Peace.
...Our nature appears as openness to the Mystery, a capacity to ask deep questions about ourselves and the origin of the universe, and a profound echo of the supreme Love of God, the beginning and end of all things, of every person and people (Nostra Aetate, 1). The transcendent dignity of the person is an essential value of Judeo-Christian wisdom, yet thanks to the use of reason, it can be recognized by all. This dignity, understood as a capacity to transcend one’s own materiality and to seek truth, must be acknowledged as a universal good, indispensable for the building of a society directed to human fulfillment. Respect for essential elements of human dignity, such as the right to life and the right to religious freedom, is a condition for the moral legitimacy of every social and legal norm.
Religious freedom is at the origin of moral freedom. Openness to truth and perfect goodness, openness to God, is rooted in human nature; it confers full dignity on each individual and is the guarantee of full mutual respect between persons. Religious freedom should be understood, then, not merely as immunity from coercion, but even more fundamentally as an ability to order one’s own choices in accordance with truth.
Freedom and respect are inseparable; indeed, “in exercising their rights, individuals and social groups are bound by the moral law to have regard for the rights of others, their own duties to others and the common good of all” (Dignitatis Humanae, 7).
A freedom which is hostile or indifferent to God becomes self-negating and does not guarantee full respect for others. A will which believes itself radically incapable of seeking truth and goodness has no objective reasons or motives for acting save those imposed by its fleeting and contingent interests; it does not have an “identity” to safeguard and build up through truly free and conscious decisions. As a result, it cannot demand respect from other “wills,” which are themselves detached from their own deepest being and thus capable of imposing other “reasons” or, for that matter, no “reason” at all. The illusion that moral relativism provides the key for peaceful coexistence is actually the origin of divisions and the denial of the dignity of human beings. Hence we can see the need for recognition of a twofold dimension within the unity of the human person: a religious dimension and a social dimension. In this regard, “it is inconceivable that believers should have to suppress a part of themselves — their faith — in order to be active citizens. It should never be necessary to deny God in order to enjoy one’s rights” (Pope Benedict XVI, “Address to the General Assembly of the United Nations,” April 18, 2008, 337).
...It could be said that among the fundamental rights and freedoms rooted in the dignity of the person, religious freedom enjoys a special status. When religious freedom is acknowledged, the dignity of the human person is respected at its root, and the ethos and institutions of peoples are strengthened. On the other hand, whenever religious freedom is denied, and attempts are made to hinder people from professing their religion or faith and living accordingly, human dignity is offended, with a resulting threat to justice and peace, which are grounded in that right social order established in the light of Supreme Truth and Supreme Goodness.There is more, lots more, that is well worth reading, but I especially do not want you to miss this:
Religious freedom is, in this sense, also an achievement of a sound political and juridical culture. It is an essential good: Each person must be able freely to exercise the right to profess and manifest, individually or in community, his or her own religion or faith, in public and in private, in teaching, in practice, in publications, in worship and in ritual observances. There should be no obstacles should he or she eventually wish to belong to another religion or profess none at all.
Whenever the legal system at any level, national or international, allows or tolerates religious or antireligious fanaticism, it fails in its mission, which is to protect and promote justice and the rights of all.In the birthplace of Christianity, not only has most of the Christian community been driven out by acts of persecution, violence and murder, the few remaining are even barred from displaying crosses in nativity scenes for fear of 'offending' hyper-sensitive perpetually enraged muslim extremists.
Even Christmas, the most joyous Christian holiday could not be celebrated openly, in countries all over the world for fear of more violence and horror, but the violence and horror came anyway, in far too many places.
The world and the media looked the other way and even covered for the perpetrators of unimaginably evil acts as Hitler began his campaign against the Jews and when Stalin murdered millions of Ukrainians through government engineered starvation. Will they continue to look away as a new holocaust bears down upon us?
We must not be afraid to talk about the threat to our existence because it might 'offend' people who WANT TO KILL US anyway. It is madness to think that ignoring it will make it go away. Closing your eyes does not eliminate the darkness, shining a bright light does. You will not be safe from a pack of rabid wolves clawing at your door if you opt to call them misunderstood puppies instead - they do not care about semantics and will still kill you the first chance they get.
In the last words of little 3 year old Adam of Baghdad who wandered inside a church filled with the dead and dying victims of islamists (including his own parents) for over two hours before the islamists killed him too,
"Enough. Enough, Enough."
Let 2011 be the year when we finally put the self-destructive fear of speaking the truth behind us and bravely confront that which seeks to destroy us all because that is the only hope for peace and true freedom to prevail.