Among the things that irk us here at this site, in no particular order, are intolerance, double standards, hypocrisy, truth twisters, people without convictions and principles, and so called preachers who do not practice what they preach. They could be called other things as well but let’s leave it at that for now. Applying some degree of ‘common sense’ can easily identify these individuals or groups when they act, demand or threaten others or society as a whole.
About two months ago, we asked in a column if ‘Islam is really a peaceful religion?’ Not that we expected a lot of responses on this question but we would have welcomed a comment from someone in the know. So, we decided to look into the religion of Islam for ourselves and see if we could answer the question ourselves. Here are some of the facts we found:
Islam’s Holy Book, the Koran is quite voluminous and has, it seems, something for everybody based on personal interpretations by whoever is reading the entire Koran or just portions of it. How else can one explain the belief by Islamic terrorists that they are doing the right thing, i.e., Allah’s will when they declare a jihad against all non-believers based on the Koran. While the vast majority of Muslims do not agree with these fellow Muslims, we have not seen a groundswell of open outrage and attack by the majority against this evil minority. Giving lip service to us non-Muslims is not enough in this day and age, we would expect to see more.
One thing that could be changed for instance is the teaching of Wahhabism in all countries where it is being taught, first and foremost in Saudi Arabia. Wahhabism is named after its founder Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab who lived from 1703 until 1792. It is reportedly the harshest and most intolerant creed within Islam and is the only version of Islam allowed in that country. The so called Wahhabis differ from the orthodox Sunnis in that their laymen do not follow any specific method or school of jurisprudence but claim to interpret the words of the prophet Mohammed directly themselves. Isn’t this like when some Christian group or sect would decide which one of the Ten Commandments are good and therefore to keep and which ones are to eliminate? Wahhabis see their role as a movement to restore Islam from what they perceive to be innovations, superstitions, deviances, heresies and idolatries. For example, they believe that there are many practices that are contrary to Islam:
- Listening to music
Photographs or drawings of human beings or other living things which contain a soul
Praying while visiting tombs (such as the tomb of Mohammed, the prophet of Islam)
Non-literal explanations of God’s attributes
Celebrating the birth of the prophet
What they call innovations in matters of religion
When the Wahhabi al-Saud dynasty conquered Mekka and Medina in 1924, the Muslim holy cities, it gave them control of the Hajj (the annual pilgrimage) and the opportunity to preach their version of Islam to the assembled pilgrims. In subsequent years until the present, many Saudis including its ruling family have donated untold tens of millions of dollars for the establishment of Koranic schools also known as the Madrassas (religious schools for boys only) in many Islamic countries where the imams teach only the Wahhabism version of Islam. They apparently do not teach math or sciences, history or geography or other such topics. They only learn endlessly to recite the verses of the Koran. It is generally perceived that all those who have joined the Islamic extremist groups have attended these Madrassas. Wahhabism is the form of Islamic religion that none other than Osama bin Laden and the membership of Al-Qaida firmly espouses. One can easily deduce that the Madrassas are the recruiting grounds for Islamic terrorists, past, present and future if allowed to continue. Has anybody ever heard a Muslim cleric, Imam, Mullah or other explain this in a rational way to the non-Islamic people of the world, or more particular here in the United States?
To the contrary, we are Not being told anything of substance by them and their silence is deafening on this topic. All we hear from them and unfortunately also from our Christian political leaders is that Islam is a peaceful religion and we, the non-Muslims, have to respect them, their religion and their associated dress codes and traditions. After America was attacked on September 11, 2001, by Muslim extremists, we, the people, were asked to go on with our lives but to be also more vigilant in our surroundings and report any suspicious behavior to the authorities. This brings us to the following incident and its aftermath:
On November 20, 2006, six Muslim Imams acted suspiciously at the Minneapolis airport before, during and after they boarded a US Airways flight to Phoenix and their behavior caused great concern among the other passengers and the flight crew. Passengers became nervous when these six Imams prayed and chanted in Arabic loudly before boarding the plane. On the plane, the Imams asked for seatbelt extenders with heavy buckles and since they were not seated in one section of the plane, they moved freely among themselves from the front to the rear of the plane and continued their more than suspicious behavior. As a result, airline personnel asked them to leave the plane and after a security check, the plane departed without them. This outraged them to such a degree that they have filed a lawsuit against US Airways and now threaten to file a lawsuit against passengers of their flight. The clerics claim that they had been humiliated and are seeking unspecified damages from the airline, the Minneapolis airport and some ‘John Does’ (passengers to be named later).
It is outrageous to think that these individuals think that they can behave any which way they want and when being told that this is not acceptable, they SUE! This kind of double standard is simply not tolerable! Anybody who acts suspiciously, and there are many examples, on an airplane would warrant this result. The occurrences of 9/11 have heightened the awareness of suspicious behavior. But when you are a Muslim in America, you can do whatever you want including behaving ‘suspiciously’ on an airplane. You have rights under the United States Constitution and that includes the right to file a lawsuit against anybody who might humiliate you when you behave in a way that is dubious and not normal under the circumstances. This kind of arrogance is simply not acceptable and has to be confronted and fought.
In our humble opinion, the judge who gets assigned this case should throw out this lawsuit as frivolous, period! We do not know anything about the background of these six Imams, not even their names. The print and television media has suspiciously kept silent on this matter. Are the members of the media afraid of some legal repercussions, i.e. getting sued by the Imams as well? That would be ridiculous and irresponsible. The media should in fact present profiles of these six Imams inclucing their country of origin (if not born in USA), their background, their specific brand of Islam, the places where they worship etc, etc.
We here at Back to Common Sense believe that it is time for people to be treated equally regardless of their cultural and sociological background, religious beliefs, lifestyles and professions in an effort to wipe out certain double standards that are being applied under the guise of being tolerant towards some members in our society. We would expect any group of Rabbis, priests, pastors and bishops to be treated equally if they had behaved similarly. We are doing this with all others who behave irrationally or unruly. Let us not repeat in reverse the way the Japanese population was treated in America after the Pearl Harbor attack. By not holding everybody without exception to acceptable behavior in public is detrimental to our way of life. We all have to behave civilly to preserve this standard and whoever thinks otherwise will have to accept the consequences. There are no exclusions to this rule and no exceptions will be granted be they for cultural, religious or other reasons.