Tuesday, September 21, 2010

about Islam, E. Moon, and the not-a-mosque-not-at-ground-zero

The discussion at Elizabeth Moon on Islam has ended, but Brad R. Torgersen left a comment on mixed feelings about Elizabeth Moon's citizenfail (yes, I apologize for giving in and using a "fail" construction). I dunno if I have more to say about this, but I thought my reply to him was sufficiently general that I would put it on my main blog as well as there:
Brad, sorry about the tone, but you've been making enormous generalizations about Islam and Muslims. I don't think reading Reza Aslan's No God But God will necessarily change your mind, but it will help you with the complexities involved. There's a decent review of it here.

The sins you accuse Muslims of--violence, intolerance--are sins that Christians, Jews, Buddhists, and Hindus are also guilty of, if you're willing to damn the majority for what a tiny, tiny few have done.

As a lover of the First Amendment, I have trouble imagining any knowledgeable American speaking against Park51. It seems to me that such a person would be saying, "Chill, y'all. This is America, and they have no connection to 9/11. Muslims died in that attack. Some of them undoubtedly were working soon after praying in the mosque on the 17th floor."

Here's a bit from Muslim Victims of 9/11 Attack: "among the many victims of 9/11 were several dozen innocent Muslims, ranging in age from their late 60s to a couple’s unborn child. Six of these victims were Muslim women, including one who was 7 months pregnant. Many were stockbrokers or restaurant workers, earning a living to care for their families. There were converts and immigrants, hailing from over a dozen different countries and the U.S. There were heroes: a NYPD cadet and a Marriott hotel worker, who sacrificed their lives attempting to rescue others. The Muslim victims were parents to over 30 children, who were left orphaned without one or both of their parents." Read the link. There are other examples.
On his own blog, he says something that is very true: "...every major religion in America, including Catholicism, must endure the unyielding, unkind microscope of public scrutiny." But when he says "Islam has been very much set above and apart from all the other religions, in this regard, because of a very active, near pathological fear on the part of many that to examine Islam critically is to engage in racism, Islamophobia, etc." I think he is profoundly mistaken. Everyone who equates Muslims in general with Bin Laden's Wahhabi followers shows profound ignorance about Islam.

Recommended: American Muslim scholar declares: Terrorists are mass murderers, not martyrs (written a few days after 9/11) and a recent post at military.com.

I'm turning off comments on this post because I'd prefer Blogger users left them at Brad's blog or my mixed feelings about Elizabeth Moon's citizenfail. I will leave the comments on at my LiveJournal duplicate blog because LiveJournalers are just so lazy.

PS. See Jim C. Hines' excellent Open Letter to Elizabeth Moon. Jim and Brad discuss this in the comments.