Some who claim to be peace-loving Islamics will plead, "But that's not what the Koran teaches!" What I've found is that people can easily make about any book mean almost anything they want it to mean, including the Bible. We can see this presently being done with the Constitution of the United States with Proposition 8 in California. A federal judge thinks he sees homosexuals in the fourteenth amendment. No one has before, but, voila, he says they're there now. And when it comes to the Koran, a lot of folks see "kill them!" written there. And then when you look at the "Moslem world," those countries where the Koran has the most influence, and you find a sad state of human affairs. Bombings. Killings. Pathetic mistreatment. Generally dire conditions. We're really sort of required to tuck our brains neatly in our drawers to believe that something bad isn't going to happen in this country with more mosque building.
And this is where we do reach a quandary for practice of the United States Constitution. I really do believe in the freedom of religion of the first amendment. I also am a big-time believer in property rights---which reminds me that the only thing harder than building a mosque in lower Manhattan would be to build a Walmart. I think we can already find eminent domain being practiced all over the United States to disallow people from using their property like they would please, including churches. To me, this is where the discussion is at. At what point can we say that a religion can't be practiced freely. Here's a paragraph from Wikipedia on "freedom of religion" on this:
Religious practice may also conflict with secular law creating debates on religious freedom. For instance, even though polygamy is permitted in Islam it is prohibited in secular law in many countries. Does prohibiting polygamy then curtail the religious freedom of Muslims? The USA and India, both constitutionally secular nations, have taken two different views of this. In India polygamy is permitted, but only for Muslims, under Muslim Personal Law. In the USA polygamy is prohibited for all. This was a major source of conflict between the early Mormon Church and the United States until the Church amended its position on polygamy.
We have already prohibited certain religious practices in this country, where the practice or religion clashed with what were really Judeo-Christian laws of established morality in the history of the United States. At some point, does a religion that has a record of violence in the practice of its religion become a threat to public safety? Even in the writing of a piece like this, unlike writing about any other subject, I am reminded of the threat of violence that exists against anyone who criticizes Islam at all. Would any other topic make me think about my own safety? You've probably yourself already heard the term fatwa. I don't want a fatwa pronounced against me like it was Salman Rushdie in 1989, requiring his death. I also have to believe that we think that we might have less violence done against traveling Americans if we do more to submit to the demands of Islamics. People think that way, something like: "Maybe they'll leave us alone if we say nice things about their mosque." I believe a religion has reached a certain tipping point when these are automatic thoughts.
Some might ask, "Well, then why haven't we seen more violence from Moslems in this country if they're violent?" I think the answer to that is easy. They're outnumbered here. If they get violent here, they're going to get treated very poorly. They'll be watched more closely, judged more harshly. And if that happens, well, it will be harder to make their bigger plans to kill even more people, something like the nuclear annihilation of a large U. S. city. Some might say, "That won't happen." Really? Is that what people think? I don't think so. I think most Americans, including myself, think that Islamics are right now making the biggest plans possible to kill the most Americans they can. Peace-loving, in many instances, are the conditions necessary to hide very violent intentions.
You do have your moderate Islamics. I'm sure of that. Some might even argue that the moderates are in the majority in the world. Even if that's true, that majority doesn't have the biggest influence for Islam, as seen in the horrible living conditions all over the Islamic world. And from what I see, the moderates are scared of the regulars, extremists, normal Moslems, whatever they should be called. They often wouldn't want to risk their own safety and that of their family to turn in the violent factions. So the places of so-called moderation become hide-outs for extreme violence. And then even the moderates get bitter. They become bitter because of how second-class they are treated, how disdainful people act toward them, which is mainly because of the actions of so many Islamics. And then deep-down, many of these don't mind that America gets hers, is humbled a bit, taught a lesson or two.
Like me, you've probably read about the practice of building a victory mosque on conquered ground (click on picture above to read easier). And it makes sense to me that Islam would have such a practice. Should that be legal? If the Japanese owned property in Hawaii, should they be able to build a memorial celebrating their victory there on December 7, 1941? Some might say that it isn't one of these "victory mosques," that's just right wing propaganda. If it were true, would anyone tell us that this is one of the purposes for the mosque, to celebrate the victory of dropping the twin towers? Probably not.
So I think this mosque issue is understandable. Being against the mosque doesn't mean you're against freedom of religion. You just don't want to be stupid about freedom of religion. Religious tolerance doesn't mean standing in front of a bomb explosion. Islam really is more than just a religion. It is also a political philosophy, much like Marxism isn't just a political philosophy, but a religion too. We're figuring that out and so some confusion exists here. It took us three planes, the Pentagon, the World Trade Centers, a few wars, and several people being killed in order to get it. It's an instinct to preserve life. We're sorting through it right now. We don't want to see ourselves or our loved ones killed before we get it figured out.
Here is a related article worth reading.