Nonsensical Fear Mongering, Declining Economy Spurs-On Islamophobia
by Dan Ehrlich

American Muslim Leaders Must Reject "Them and Us" Thinking
Islamophobia, a fear of Islam, seems to be growing in post 9/11 America partly on the belief among a few less well educated and worried people that Muslims here are planning an eventual takeover of the country. This is the same nonsense that circulated through Europe and the US during half of the last century about a Jewish conspiracy to dominate the world. Such notions become virulent during economic hard times.

The big difference between the Jews and Muslims is Jews never had a design or desire to take over the world (they would probably prefer to be the lawyers who brokered the deal) and they don't proselytize their religion. Muslims, on the other hand, like Christians, do proselytize and are taught all people will someday bow to the will of Allah. But this is more fantasy than reality...yet it's a fantasy being bought by a growing number of citizens.

The bulk of Muslims are Third World people, united only in their faith, have little real power and as immigrants away from their homelands they tend remain isolated in host communities. So, even working towards any such world dominance goal, let alone achieving it is a near impossibility for the few who actually wish for such a world.

But, Muslims in America don't seem to do much to quell these fears. As with so many ethnic and religious people who came to America, Muslims tend to live in close knit communities, not just of their faith but often divided into their national origins. For example, in New York there are Afghan communities separate from Arab areas.

Yet, the “faithful” are united in one thing...the world is divided into the believers and non believers (the infidel). And in Islamic societies, infidels are not quite as equal as the believers. This, and the Imperial universal nature of the faith can easily be seen by liberals and conservatives alike as un-American or worse.

What must be done to fight Islamophobia? A first big step would be for all the Islamic leaders in America to prepare a statement declaring equal respect for all religions and refuting the idea of Islamic superiority. This might soothe and reassure some concerned Americans with limited intelligence.

However, it's doubtful this will happen since this view comes from the Koran, a holy book regarded as infallible by Muslims. A main problem some Muslims have adapting to western society is being able to live a life guided by the Koran, yet live lives of normal Americans, too. On the other hand, a generation or so down the line and many will hopefully have been assimilated into the fun loving decadent American scene.

The planned Ground Zero Islamic Center may seem a great idea to Imam Rauf, but it's deeply offensive to most Americans polled. Common sense would dictate having the center somewhere else. The trouble is, Muslims do what they want to do, possibly because they feel as believers of the one true faith, they have a right.

Yet, as history has taught us, religious fervor, mainly among less educated and sophisticated masses, has lead to many brutal wars. Karl Marx's comment about religion being the opiate of the masses was fairly accurate.

Islam was formed in the 7th Century from the need to reign in the Arab masses who had become unruly and barbarous pagans after the fall of Rome. There was a time under Islam when the Middle East was the seat of intellect and innovation. Then came the Christians and all that was washed away.

Later, when the region fell to harsh Turkish rule in the 15th Century, the Arab identity and self determination was stamped out until WW1. Still, during the 18th Century a Conservative Sunni Islamic sect based on the teachings of Muhammad ibn Abd-a-Wahhab was formed in what today is Saudi Arabia.

Now Wahhabism is the dominant form of Islam in Saudi Arabia. And it has developed considerable influence in the Muslim world through the funding of Mosques and schools from its oil wealth. It's main thrust is strict observance of Islamic teachings, Sharia Law and a rejection of all non Wahabbists, including other Muslims such as the Shi'ites.

Osama bin Laden, a Saudi follower of Wahhabism, and others who openly spout threats against the western infidels are what drives Islamophobia. And this is something that can only be minimized when Muslim leaders reject such talk and reject the idea of Islamic moral superiority over non Muslims.

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