Intolerance abounds in Islam Imam Rauf supports such as Iran.
- 8/23/10, "'The Ground Zero mosque' debate is about tolerance-and a whole lot more," Slate by Christopher Hitchens
- The more one reads through his statements, the more alarming it gets.
- the Iranian elections in 2009. Regarding President Obama, he advised that:
- based on the idea of Vilayet-i-faquih, that establishes the rule of law."
- Iranian society is under
- the permanent stewardship (sometimes rendered as guardianship) of the mullahs.
- whose rule is impervious to elections
- they are not considered to be real citizens of the Islamic Republic.
I do not find myself reassured by the fact that Imam Rauf publicly endorses the most extreme and repressive version of Muslim theocracy.
- The letterhead of the statement, incidentally, describes him as the Cordoba Initiative's "Founder and Visionary." Why does that not delight me, either?
Emboldened by the crass nature of the opposition to the center, its defenders have started to talk as if it represented no problem at all and
- as if the question were solely one of religious tolerance. It would be nice if this were true.
But tolerance is one of the first and most awkward questions raised by any examination of Islamism.
- We are wrong to talk as if the only subject was that of terrorism.
As Western Europe has already found to its cost, local Muslim leaders have a habit, once they feel strong enough, of
- making demands of the most intolerant kind.
- Sometimes it will be calls for censorship of anything "offensive" to Islam.
Sometimes it will be demands for sexual segregation in schools and swimming pools. The script is becoming a very familiar one. And those who make such demands are of course usually quite careful to avoid any association with violence.
- They merely hint that, if their demands are not taken seriously, there just might be a
- teeny smidgeon of violence from some other unnamed quarter …
As for the gorgeous mosaic of religious pluralism, it's easy enough to find mosque Web sites and DVDs that peddle the most disgusting attacks on Jews, Hindus, Christians, unbelievers, and other Muslims—to say nothing of insane diatribes about women and homosexuals. This is why
- the fake term Islamophobia is so dangerous: It insinuates that any reservations about Islam
- must ipso facto be "phobic."
A phobia is an irrational fear or dislike. Islamic preaching very often manifests precisely this feature,
- which is why suspicion of it is by no means irrational.
From my window, I can see the beautiful minaret of the Washington, D.C., mosque on Massachusetts Avenue. It is situated at the heart of the capital city's diplomatic quarter, and it is where President Bush went immediately after 9/11 to make his gesture toward the "religion of peace."
- A short while ago, the wife of a new ambassador told me that she had been taking her dog for a walk when a bearded man accosted her and brusquely warned her not to take the animal so close to the sacred precincts.
- Muslim cabdrivers in other American cities have already refused to take passengers with "unclean" canines.
...At the United Nations, the voting bloc of the Organization of the Islamic Conference nations is already proposing a resolution that would circumscribe any criticism of religion in general and of Islam in particular.
- So, before he is used by our State Department on any more goodwill missions overseas, I would like to see Imam Rauf
asked a few searching questions about
- his support for clerical dictatorship in, just for now, Iran.
Let us by all means make the "Ground Zero" debate a test of tolerance.
- But this will be a one-way street unless it is to be a test of Muslim tolerance as well."