Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Are Muslims the Enemy?

Most Americans support congressional probe on Muslims

Many Americans are not aware that there are congressional hearings on what is called the radicalization of United States Muslims coming soon. Yet, surprisingly, more than half who have heard about these hearings are in favor of them. Many Americans surveyed believe that United States Muslims have not done enough to fight the extreme or radical activities and members of their own people.

Sixty-two percent of Americans think that Muslims are an important part of the American "religious community." Seventy-two percent surveyed believe that Congress should investigate any religious extremism in any religion including the Muslim community.

Peter Gottschalk, co-author of Islamophobia: Making Muslims the Enemy summarized these statistics as reflections on recent waves of anti-Muslim rhetoric. This anti-Muslim feeling is expressed in the news surrounding the burning of Korans and the opposition to the building of Mosques in this country.

Gottschalk says, "The Muslim community has been fairly successful at demonstrating themselves as neighbors, but the question becomes are they good neighbors?" He also makes this thought provoking statement, "There's a double standard that Muslims are responsible for extremism by people who happen to be Muslim, but all Christians aren't responsible for abortion clinic bombers or the KKK."

      -- Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of Americans haven’t heard anything about the upcoming hearings to investigate U.S. Muslim extremism.

-- A majority (56 percent) believes that a hearing on American Muslim extremism is a good idea, including most Republicans (71 percent), people who trust Fox News (76 percent), and white evangelicals (70 percent). The hearings find less support among Democrats (45 percent), people who trust CNN (45 percent) or public television (28 percent), and white mainline Protestants (50 percent).

-- Nearly half (49 percent) of Americans do not believe Muslims in the U.S. have been unfairly targeted by law enforcement; more than one-third (36 percent) believe Muslims have been targeted unfairly.

-- One in five (22 percent) Americans believes U.S. Muslims want to establish Shariah law here. This view is far more common among Republicans (31 percent) than Democrats (15 percent), people who trust Fox News (35 percent) than those who trust public television (9 percent), and white evangelicals (34 percent) than white mainline Protestants (20 percent) or white Catholics (22 percent).

What do you think?
This post does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Gospel-driven Disciples or myself. It is offered to garner your opinions on a topic that has forced itself into the limelight of both government and Christianity.


Misha said...

I find it really sad that such a double standard can exist.

I find it tragic that people think that it's ok.

It isn't.

Scott said...

The big difference here is that "radical" Christians are a fringe element; whereas radical Islam is a dominant force worldwide. The mainstream church does not teach blowing up abortion clinics, whereas a major branch of Islam, some would say worldwide THE major branch does teach the total destruction of their enemies.

Furthermore, Muslims DO want Sharia law, etc. We just had an entire delegation, along with the ACLU show up in our state capital lobbying for that very thing. We're not making this stuff up, it's happening right in front of us.

So in the end, this is apples and oranges. Isalm, by its very teachings, is a radical, violent belief system. Christianity is not. Sure you can bring up the crusades, that huge blight on Christian history. But ask yourself, who were the crusaders fighting against? Answer, the violent Muslims who came into the middle east and took by force those lands to begin with. Don't hear much sympathy for the Christian and Jewish folks who lived there before their arrival, now do you?

Gregg said...

@ Scott - excellent comment brother! I came across this article and thought wow, here is a real quag-mire or mine field. So I posted it for response - maybe I should have put a caveat that this doesn't necessarily reflect the opinion of the poster.

You are right on in your thought process, thanks!

Gregg said...

@Misha - Here in America we are full of double standards and inconsistencies - which are wrong and sinful. However, the Islam is an enemy of the gospel and of the church and truly is an enemy of society as a hole. Is there away to practice religious freedom without limitations, I don't know. I don't have an answer. I fear we as a church and country awake far after it is too late to do anything about it.

Michael Wright said...

Must say I'm with Scott on this one. This is really a double-edged sword, and because of the way our "tolerant" society works, you know who would be taking the most flak from a large radical investigation. (I doubt it would be the Muslims.)

welcome to my world of poetry said...

As always food for thought Gregg.

Thanks for visiting my world and lovely comment.

the Ink Slinger said...

I'm with Scott on this one.

And since you brought this topic up...

Q. At the center of a crossroad is a $100 bill. To the North is Santa Claus; to the South is the Tooth Fairy; to the West is the Moderate Muslim; and the East is the Radical Muslim. Who will reach the money first?

A. The Radical Muslim. All the others are fictional characters.

Cathy M. said...

I can't add much to what Scott has already said. A Muslim who is faithful to the teachings of Islam will always assume a threatening posture towards non-Muslims and women. A Christian who is faithful to the teachings of the Holy Scripture will be a characterized by 1 Cor. 13:4

Way to get a conversation started, brother!

Penned Pebbles said...

I have to agree with Scott also.

As to your question, "Is there away to practice religious freedom without limitations?" I would say No! From a biblical perspective; freedom without limitations is quite scary, religious freedom without limitations even scarier!

Thanks for making us think!

Pat Donovan said...

coran beleiveing Muslims are radical its the nature of that Religion.

anthony stemke said...

Very interesting, I tend to believe Scott.

Susan said...

Hi Gregg,

I hesitated to comment on this because I think my thoughts step away from the content of your post...that being said now, I'll share what I think...

I agree that Islamic beliefs are wrong, outright, antiChristian, false, and evil.

However, I also do not think we (the U.S.) should therefore declare our "Christian nation" status (which I do not buy, there is no such thing as a "Christian nation") and kill people for their wrong beliefs. That is about as antiChristian as you can get.

There are alot of false beliefs, including the ones our own government has foisted upon us (in the way of "false flag events") and I'm very tired of the "we are the most perfect nation" diatribe....it is making other nations (rightfully) suspicious of us.

Pat Donovan said...

I believe they pulled the trigger first.

Pat Donovan said...

I wish to apoligise for the tone of my comments, I do not desire to sound hatefull. I have first hand experience in muslim cultures, where people are muslim so they won't be put to death or sold as slaves like cattle. Is America perfect? NO but people who claim to be christian and are not do so with out force. most of the muslim world can't read or right and only know what they are told the coran says. most just want to be left alone by radical islam and americans. Just like us they want to be free to live there life in pease. But they can't.

Just so you know I went to Iraq twice and know this does not make me an expert.
Please for give any perceived hatfullness.

Scott said...

Gregg, I can't tell you how glad I am you posted this. I haven't seen the phrase "I agree with Scott" so often in one place before. I'm thinking of posting it on the wall at our church: "See, someone agrees with me!"

Kansas Bob said...

My thinking is the power of the gospel is greater than the power of any other religious message. The problem is that the church is splintered and has abandoned any semblance of support for others who name the name of Christ because of minor theological issues. And religions like Islam often do not seem any different when compared with the way many see the church.

John said...

No offense, but you guys are very uneducated about Islam, aren't you? Really, maybe a few of you should learn a bit more about Islam before you make comments such as "Islam, by it's very teachings, is a radical, violent belief system."

Let me back up a bit. I came to this website because I was looking for information about Islam for a project, and this website came up. The article itself is pretty informative, but obviously most of the commenters have neglected studying Islam.

After a week of research, I can already say unlike what Scott said about "radical" Islam being a dominant force, only 6.5% of Muslims are actually terrorists. Only 7% of Muslims worldwide believe that Americans deserved what happened during 9/11.

@the Ink Slinger - Moderate Muslims are majority of Muslims. Great job getting your facts straight.