Two Muslim women wearing ancestral clothing took their respective oaths of office on the Koran prior to entering the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Omar used her late grandfather’s Koran. Rep. Tlaib used the same Koran Keith Ellison used. The media has made stories of the events. So, is this something to celebrate or something to be wary of?
Why would it be something to celebrate?
Rep. Ilhan Omar, standing next to her father in a congressional office building, told CNN that their arrival at the airport was a “very emotional moment… as my dad said, he had high hopes for us about the opportunities we would have when we came to this country. But I don’t think he imagined that someday his baby would be going to Congress just 20 years after we arrived here.”
Omar’s father told CNN that “it was amazing” to see his daughter elected to Congress. Her’s really is one of those stories that underscore just what an amazing land of opportunity America really is. Twenty-three years after landing here ending her flight from violence in Somalia, she’s here helping draft legislation. America invites people who like America for who and what it is. America is a beacon of opportunity that lets one-time refugees get elected to Congress, or in Ted Cruz’s case run for his party’s Presidential nomination.
Is there reason to view Islam and its adherents differently than those of other religious traditions?
There is a profound distinction to be made and it is simple. Islam has no provision for division of ‘church and state’ type powers. Islam is not a religion. Muslims will tell you it is not a religion. Rather, it is better described a complete way of life. Islam is a complete civilizational viewpoint. It does have a religious aspect. Reading the religious documents one finds over half of them deal with the Kafir, the unbelievers. This is unusual because most religions’ doctrines concern themselves with the faithful as opposed those who are not.
A small portion of the doctrine of Islam is found in the Quran. In the Quran there are 91 verses which say Muslims are to follow the way of Mohamed. Every Muslim is to follow the teachings of Mohamed found in the Hadiths and the Sunnah which make up the balance of Islamic doctrine. It is important to understand not all Islamic sects accept all Hadiths. The majority of Islamic doctrine is about the Kafir, non-believers. This means it cannot be religious doctrine because non-believers are not involved with Islam. Because such doctrine concerns non-practitioners, knowledge of, or concern for Islam; it cannot be religious doctrine.
If it is not religious doctrine then what is it?
Since it is not religious doctrine it must be something else. That something is political doctrine made from the Islamic civilizational viewpoint. Sharia, Islamic law, tells me as a non-practitioner of Islam, what I can say and what I cannot say. It tells me what I can do and what I cannot do. When Muslims, as they do on Fridays in parts of the EU, commandeer a street and close it for prayer; the prayer is religious but the street closure is a political act. Whether Muslims pray or do not pray is of no concern. Closing the public street for the religious practice infringes the rights of others use of public streets. Those are public streets paid for with everyone’s tax dollars.
The point is, as Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.” The point where your actions infringe on the freedom of others, that becomes an issue. Should any religion be using political power to close streets for prayer? Is that not getting close to State sponsored religion? Is that not a constitutional issue in America? When we start electing people to make laws for America whose core civilization beliefs are different than those upon which America was founded… well, we are on notice.