Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Political Islam: 'Why the U.S. Needs a New Loyalty Oath...'

I missed the chance to post this last weekend, but I'd be remiss now if I didn't, with all the news yesterday.

At the Wall Street Journal, "Swearing In the Enemy":
What is political Islam? It is not precisely the same as the spiritual dimension of the faith. Islam is multidimensional. It has a religious and social aspect but also a very strong political dimension. Political Islam is a comprehensive vision of ideas and ideals derived from Islamic scripture as interpreted by various scholars widely accepted as authorities on its meaning. Virtually all of these scholars agree that Muslim societies must accept Allah as the sovereign power and struggle to abide strictly by Shariah law as exemplified in the Sunna (the life, words and deeds of the Prophet). Political Islam prescribes a set of specific social, economic and legal practices in a way that is very different from the more general social teachings (such as calls to practice charity or strive for justice) found in the spiritual dimension of Islam, Christianity, Judaism and other world religions.

All of this, obviously, flies in the face of the American—and more broadly Western—ideals of religious freedom and the separation of church and state. But most Americans ignore the fundamental conflict between political Islam and their own worldview. Perhaps this is because they generally assume that "religion," however defined, is a positive force for good and that any set of religious beliefs, however unusual, should be considered acceptable in a tolerant society. I agree with that.

The problem arises when those who adhere to a particular faith use it as divine license to break the law. It is a wonderful truth about America—one of its powerful attractions for millions of immigrants like me—that you may think and say whatever you wish as long as you do not act on your beliefs in a way that harms others. Unfortunately, a minority of the adherents to political Islam wish to take violent action in support of their beliefs—threatening the lives of innocents like those killed and maimed as they stood watching the Boston Marathon.

It is reasonable to ask yourself: How many more young men like Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are already living a double life in America, ready to take up arms for the cause of political Islam? And how many more will be naturalized this year? None? That seems pretty unlikely.

In a 2011 Pew survey, 1% of American Muslims said that suicide bombings were "often justified"—a tiny proportion, to be sure. The overwhelming majority of American Muslims want to lead peaceful lives. But 7% of those surveyed said that suicide bombers were "sometimes justified," and 5% said they were "rarely justified." Taking Pew's conservative estimate that Muslims now constitute 0.6% of the adult population of the U.S., this means that more than 180,000 American Muslims regard suicide bombings as being justified in some way...
RTWT at the link.