I’m not Islamic, so I never expected to take a position defending Islam. But several people have forwarded me email purporting to explain how “good Muslims” cannot be “good Americans”. This is such a distortion of American law and liberty that I can’t let it slide.
The quoted sections below are from the original email:
Can a good Muslim be also a good American as we would hope?
Theologically – no. Because his allegiance is to Allah, the moon God of Arabia.
Good Americans can have allegiance to any god or gods they want, or none at all. That’s the Freedom of Religion portion of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
And Allah is not “the moon God of Arabia”. That is a myth spread by Christian Fundamentalists as a ploy to reperesent Islam as a pagan religion (to people who don’t have any clue what Paganism is about).
Many Christians and Muslims believe that their two religions actually worship the same God.
Religiously – no. Because no other religion is accepted by his Allah except Islam (Quran, 2:256)
Good Americans aren’t required to “accept” any particular religion, or any religion at all. Furthermore, what Qur’an 2:256 actually says is “Let there be no compulsion in religion”.
Scripturally – no. Because his allegiance is to the five pillars of Islam and the Quran (Koran).
Good Americans can have allegiance to any religious scripture they choose, or none at all.
Geographically – no. Because his allegiance is to Mecca, to which he turns in prayer five times a day.
Good Americans can pray in any direction they choose, or none at all. See the “free exercise” clause of the First Amendment.
Socially – no. Because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews.
That is consistent with freedom of association. Although the U.S. Constitution does not explicitly call out freedom of association, the Supreme Court of the U.S. has ruled that it is a fundamental element of personal liberty, and protected by the First Amendment. Good Americans are not required to be friends with anyone.
In any case, allegiance to Islam does NOT forbid making friends with Christians or Jews, as Christians and Jews are also “people of the book” (at least according to orthodox Muslims.
Politically – no. Because he must submit to the mullah (spiritual leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and Destruction of America, the great Satan.
Strawman. Not all mullahs teach such things. Only a relatively small percentage, the radical fundamentalist ones, do that. See previous point.
Domestically – no. Because he is instructed to marry four women
They’re allowed to marry four women, but not required to. I see no indication in the Qur’an that they cannot comply with law limiting them to a single wife.
and beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him (Quran 4:34).
Poor translation. The use of a light beating is a last resort punishment for disloyalty and ill-conduct, after admonishment (first step) and refusing to share their bed (second step).
IIRC, the Christian bible offers plenty of advice on beating people too, but I haven’t heard this used as a justification for a claim that Christians can’t be “good Americans”.
Intellectually – no. Because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be corrupt.
The U.S. Constitution is not based on biblical principles. It specifically establishes a secular government, which is thus not incompatible with Islam.
Philosophically – no. Because Islam, Muhammad, and the Quran do not allow freedom of religion and expression. Democracy and Islam cannot co-exist. Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic.
That is both a false dichotomy (democracy vs. Islam), and based on false premises. An Islamic government is by definition a religious government, which will work by religious principles, not democracy. But there is nothing in the Qur’an prohibiting Muslims from living in secular states, and many do. Thus there are in fact many Muslims who practice democracy.
Spiritually – no. Because when we declare “one nation under God,”
A “good American” doesn’t have to “declare ‘one nation under God’”. “Under God” wasn’t even part of the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954. Americans are not legally required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
the Christian’s God is loving and kind,
Tell that to the children who made fun of Elisha for being bald; in retribution God sent two bears out of the wood to kill them. Read it for yourself in 2 Kings2:23-24. Doesn’t sound loving, kind, or even just to me.
while Allah is NEVER referred to as heavenly father, nor is he ever called love in The Quran’s 99 excellent names.
Therefore after much study and deliberation….perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country. They obviously cannot be both “good” Muslims and good Americans.
Therefore after a little study, it is obvious that we should be very suspicious of ALL INTOLERANT PEOPLE SPREADING THIS NONSENSE in this country. While I’m not aware of any formal definitioni of “good American”, I’d personally consider such bigoted and intollerant people not to be “good Americans”.
Call it what you wish…unfortunately, it’s still the truth.
It’s complete and utter rubbish. The truth doesn’t seem to enter into it very much.
If you find yourself intellectually in agreement with the above statements, perhaps you will share this with your friends.
If you find yourself intellectually in agreement with the original statements, you are apparently a Christian fundamentalist to the extreme of being incapable of thinking for yourself.
The more who understand this, the better it will be for our country and our future.
The more who “understand this”, the WORSE the future of this country will be. This path leads to a radical fundamentalist Christian state, every bit as bad as the radical fundamentalist Islamic groups.
Pass it on Fellow Americans. The religious war is bigger than we know or understand.
I’ll be happy to pass it on complete with my comments. Those that believe that tripe are part of the problem and are likely to make any religious war worse, not better.