This week a FBI training manual chapter on terrorism made the news. The story broke via Wired, but was carried by a variety of outlets. The chapter in question reportedly contained anti-Islamic rhetoric. Muslim activists cried foul this week and as a result the material in question was removed. As you sift through the various news outlets and their specific spin on the story, several common themes appear.
Islamic supporters call for tolerance, diversity, and human rights. This is perhaps hypocrisy at its best – claiming one thing and doing another. I’ve done significant research both in bias and non-bias contexts regarding Islam – including dialogues with educated Muslims. These facts remain:
Islam is not a religion of tolerance. If you are a non-Muslim, you are an infidel. Globally, non-Muslims are treated poorly in Muslim cultures. This is documented fact and supported by Islamic teaching and practice. There is no tolerance for teachings of other kinds – specifically Christian or Jewish.
Islam is not a religion that promotes diversity. Diversity is an American core value. In Islam there is no room for diversity. Check out what’s happening in Europe, North Africa, and in the Middle East regions. Muslim groups in Islamic controlled regions particularly and specifically target Christians in hate crimes. There is no freedom of religion in the Islamic dominated culture.
Islam is not a religion that values human rights. There is no doctrine of human rights in Islam. The doctrine of human rights is a western concept – neither taught nor adhered to in Islam. There is no sanctity of human life in Islam.
Here’s my challenge, if you want to influence my perception regarding the reality of Islam, here are a couple of suggestions that would go a long way with me.
Openly and privately promote and practice tolerance of other faiths in Muslim controlled and influenced cultures. I’m going to define tolerance not as accepting differing beliefs as equal and valid as yours, but respecting and protecting the free exercise of one’s faith. Allow and support the practice of the Christian faith where its practice is currently hindered and prohibited. Cry foul and speak out loudly again intolerance practiced by Islamist across the globe. Bring to justice those who would seek to physically harm and intimidate practitioners of non-Islamic faiths.
Openly and privately promote and practice diversity. Instead of trying to convince people of non-existent similarities between Islam and Christianity, point out the differences. While we use similar words the definitions are very different. Muslim outreach efforts deceitfully and knowingly utilize inequitable terminology thus misinforming hearers. I can spend a whole day discussing terms such as God and Messiah. Don’t be afraid of our differences. Islam is a faith built on works and Christianity is a faith built on grace. Ideologically we are very different.
Openly and privately promote and practice human rights globally. Decry its violation is Islamic controlled or influenced cultures. Affirm the rights of women and children. Protect the less fortunate, the disbelievers, and the persecuted. Practice justice for all and seek to secure the rights of every human being.
Interestingly, Islamists are curiously quiet on these issues when they’re called into question. If a Muslim perceives the current culture as intolerant toward Islam, the rhetoric begins to fly. Christians are called hatemongers, intolerant, and even compared to the KKK. Yet, when a Muslim is intolerant of a Christian in a Muslim context, there is silence. Why is that? Islam calls for tolerance in the western context, yet is unwilling to practice it in other contexts. Why is that? Muslims and the educated students of Islam know why. That I will reserve for another post.
I say to the Muslim, “Prove me wrong!” I realize to do so would require you to deny teaching found in your sacred text. Demonstrate for me tolerance, diversity, and human rights. Take the risk! Change!