Doostane Farsi Zabane Man

The Dark Side of American Politics

In Uncategorized on December 10, 2010 at 4:32 am

This is a relatively old post that I just found on the website of the Islamic Society of Western Massachusetts. It’s only from the end of November, so it’s really not that old, but I thought it was interesting:

“Religion has a dark side and, as we have bitterly experienced, religious extremists can be deadly. But, as Park 51 and recent congressional elections have demonstrated, no thanks to some politicians and bigots, religion can be also be exploited to feed division and hatred.”
Continue reading here.

This post reminds me two New York Times articles:
1) This letter to the editor about Muslims being bullied (published Oct. 28, 2010).
2) An op-ed I read in the NY Times a while ago about how we, s a country, have become racist against anyone from the Middle East.

The direct reference in the first article to Sharia law “creeping in” to secular law also reminded me of a thought I had when I read that Oklahoma overwhelmingly passed a law banning Sharia from entering legislation. My first thought was “Well, now isn’t this interesting? We can base laws on Judeo-Christian morals, but not on Islamic morals” (don’t get me wrong, I’m Christian myself, so I’m not trying to bash Jews or Christians). My second thought was “But the First Amendment says that ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…,’ so why should we ever allow blatantly religious laws into our society?” Third thought: “This is just violence and intimidation against Muslims, and that is absolutely not acceptable.” My fifth thought (this was obviously a long train of conflicting thoughts) was that if Sharia law was allowed to be made law in any way, this would make religious law trump the Constitution, which is the foundation for the United States’ legal system in the first place. My last thought, which is kind of still where I am today, is “Why does it matter, other than for reasons of principle? Supporters of this law are calling it a ‘preemptive strike.’ A preemptive strike against whom? The roughly .8% of the population of Oklahoma who are going to suddenly rise up in the name of Allah and somehow get Sharia law into the Oklahoma legislation? What are the people of Oklahoma so afraid of?”

Anyway, that was a kind of long and rambling post, but you should check out at least one of the two links. They’re both very short articles, and I think you will enjoy them.

Amy Katuska
Program Director

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