If unhinged wingnuts can be believed, your own TfK is responsible for Rep. Peter King dropping plans to invite Ayaan Hirsi Ali to speak at his anti-Muslim hearings. Also, a bunch of clergy have asked him not to pursue his race-baiting hearings, as did a Congressman once interned by the US government because of his parents’ nationality.
While Rep. King’s hearings are still seen by sane people as designed “to cast suspicion upon all Muslim Americans and to stoke the fires of anti-Muslim prejudice and Islamophobia,” his changes to the lineup have begun to frustrate the sort of people who can argue with a straight face: “It is a deception to depict [a Belgian nativist party’s] refusal to vote in favour [sic] of a European Parliament resolution condemning the holocaust as Nazi loving.”
All of this happened the same day Ed Brayton posted his take on Islam and Sharia Law, a typically incisive examination of efforts to legislatively ban Sharia under the guise of attacking radical Islam. After noting that radical Islam is bad six ways from Sunday, he points out:
I am the last person on Earth that wants to see anything like Islamic law imposed anywhere, for the obvious reason that my head would be among the first on the chopping block after such a system was established. â¦
But here’s the thing. None of what I said above logically leads one to conclude either that all Muslims believe in such barbarism or that America is on the verge — or even, in our wildest dystopic imaginations, could be on the verge — of being taken over by Muslim radicals who will impose Sharia law on us. Nor does it logically flow from anything I’ve said above that Muslims in this country are suddenly no longer covered by either statutory or constitutional protections of their equal rights.
This is why I mock those who insist that there are no moderate or reasonable Muslims in the world — because I actually know some of them. â¦
This is also why I mock those who think we have to pass laws forbidding judges to enforce Sharia law in this country. We already have such a law — it’s called the First Amendment. And the idea that there is even the most remote possibility that the courts in this country are going to start ordering or upholding the beheading of Jews or infidels is every bit as crazy as those who would favor such laws.â¦
And yes, this is why I aim my derision at those who want to prevent the Park 51 Islamic center from opening in Manhattan. Because there simply is no legal or constitutional justification for preventing it. The First Amendment covers Muslims too, no matter what the wingnuts might wish was the case.
â¦Even for religions that claim to be based upon a holy book, actual behavior often has very little to do with the content of that book. Religions evolve just like every other human institution.
â¦There are any number of ways that Christians long ago reconciled the barbarism of the Old Testament with modern moral reasoning, something that began largely with the mixing of Christianity with Enlightenment philosophy.
The same process of pushing the evolution of a major religion by mixing it with modernist influence is really only just beginning with Islam. Christianity began that process a few centuries ago, when it was about the same age that Islam is now.â¦
The average Muslim wants nothing to do with beheading anyone or stoning anyone. Those Muslims who work side by side with me and others to fight for equality for women and for gays and lesbians, and who fight for freedom of speech instead of against it, are doing the same thing that liberal Christians do — ignoring the most barbaric elements of their holy books and focusing instead on the many verses that encourage compassion and decency and kindness.
As I’ve said many times, there are enough conflicting statements in both the Bible and the Quran that one can pick out support for nearly anything. Hateful, bigoted, barbaric people can easily find verses supporting their hatred and bigotry; decent, caring, nurturing people can easily find verses supporting their decency and caring.
And you know what? That’s fine with me. We can argue all we want about the finer points of Biblical or Quranic exegesis until the cows come home, but all that matters to me in the end is what people stand for. And if they stand for the things that I stand for, I don’t really care whether we share the same starting point. That’s why an atheist and a Christian can stand side by side at a soup kitchen, doing their part to help those less privileged. And that’s why an atheist and a Muslim can work together for LGBT equality and not give a damn about the other person’s religious views.
Read the whole thing. And ignore the wingnuts.