Moderate Muslims turning radical?-Unintended consequence of tolerating Islam
By Willam J. Federer
Let's look at the history of Islam's influence in the United States:
1991 – Imam Siraj Wahhaj was the first Muslim to offer prayer in the U.S. House of Representatives.
1992 – Imam Warith Deen Muhammad was the first Muslim to offer prayer in the U.S. Senate.
1993 – Abdul Rasheed Muhammad became the first Muslim U.S. Army chaplin (imam), spiritually instructing about 5,000 Muslim soldiers.
1996 – Monje Malak Abd Al-Muta"Ali ibn Noel Jr. became the First Muslim U.S. Naval chaplain (imam).
1996 – First lady Hillary Clinton hosted a White House reception for Muslims on Id al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan.
1999 – New York City Police Department appointed its first Muslim chaplain, Imam Izak-El M. Pasha.
1999 – U.S. Postal Service published its first stamp honoring a Muslim leader, Malcolm X.
2001, Aug. 1 – U.S. Postal Service issued the Islamic postage stamp, "Eid Mubarak."
2001, Sept. 11 – Fundamental Muslim terrorist attacks.
2001, Nov. 16 – Muslim chaplain of Georgetown University prayed in the U.S. House of Representatives, followed by a dinner hosted by President Bush to honor the occasion.
2001, Nov. 19 – President Bush was the first president to invite 50 ambassadors from Islamic countries to celebrate Ramadan, where, for the first time in the White House, Muslims knelt and touched the floor with their foreheads in a formal ceremony.
2002, Dec. 5 – President Bush was the first president to take off his shoes to visit an Islamic Center.
2005, Jan. 20 – President Bush was the first president to mention the Quran in an Inaugural Address.
2007, Jan. 4 – Nancy Pelosi stood next to Keith Ellison as he swore upon a Quran to become the first Muslim U.S. congressman.
2007, April 5 – Highest member of the U.S. Congress, speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, went to Syria and submitted to Islamic law by covering her head with a Muslim Hijab (veil).
2007, April 17 – President Bush was the first president to appoint a Muslim U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Zalmay Khalilzad.
2007, June – First Muslim prayer meeting began in the U.S. Capitol building, bowing toward Mecca.
2008, Jan. 9 – President Bush was the first president to call for fulfilling the Muslim dream of pressuring Israel to give up sole sovereignty of Jerusalem.
2008 – Barak Hussein Obama, the first presidential candidate whose middle name is that of Muhammad's grandson, told the French magazine Paris Match, Jan. 31, 2008: "Once I'm elected, I want to organize a summit in the Muslim world."
So the question again is: What goes through the mind of a moderate Muslim, who thinks the world will submit to Allah in the distant future, when they see this predominately Judeo-Christian nation going to great lengths to tolerate Islam now?
Though America's actions are done in hopes that tolerance of Islam will result in Muslims being more tolerant of non-Muslims, an unintended consequence is emerging, namely, that these actions are actually radicalizing some moderate Muslims by providing proof that the world is submitting to Allah – not in the distant future – but right now before their eyes!
They become persuaded that that their long-awaited desire of the non-Muslim world "dar al-harb" (House of War) becoming "dar al-Islam" (House of Islam) is imminent.
The excitement many Muslims feel is akin to what Christians and Jews felt in 1948.
For centuries, Old Testament verses about Israel being gathered from the nations to their homeland (i.e., Ezekiel 36:24, Isaiah 66:8) were taken figuratively or thought to occur in the distant future. When Israel suddenly became a nation again in 1948, there was great excitement in Jewish and Christian circles at the possibility these Old Testament scriptures were literally being fulfilled.
Islamic excitement can be understood in the context of honor or pride.
In a football analogy, if a team is dishonored by many seasons of poor performance, fans are humiliated, embarrassed and become passive. But if the team suddenly has a winning streak and is headed toward the playoffs, fans are filled with pride. They come out of the woodwork, put on the team's jerseys, fill stadiums, paint their bodies, mascots are lifted high, and when the opposing team fumbles, the cheering mob roars with enthusiasm. They become radicalized.
In nature, when a fleeing antelope becomes exhausted, the pursing lion charges harder.
This is similar to a presidential candidate no one takes seriously suddenly winning a few primaries. The increased media coverage energizes supporters to work harder, thus catapulting the candidate to be a front-runner.
Islam's rapid growth is exhilarating to fundamental Muslims. The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life (October 2005) reported:
Islam is already the fastest-growing religion in Europe. Driven by immigration and high birthrates, the number of Muslims on the continent has tripled in the last 30 years. Most demographers forecast a similar or even higher rate of growth in the coming decades.
Could it be the more the West exhibits hyper-tolerance, the more it turns some moderate Muslims, who believe the world will submit to Allah in the distant future, into fundamental violent Muslims, who view this tolerance as evidence the world is submitting to Allah now?
"Personal" tolerance in the West is rooted in Judeo-Christian concepts like "love your enemies" and "turn the other cheek," but Franklin D. Roosevelt warned regarding "national" tolerance in a Fireside Chat, Dec. 29, 1940:
"No man can tame a tiger into a kitten by stroking it."
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