Hopefully this will open the eyes of our nation before it's too late!
* A Response to a stupid chain email
* A family relation sent another closer family member the following when she found out that I’m voting for Obama, even though he’s (black). And I knew that mattered to these folks, but I didn’t realize they bought into the following. Mind you, my people aren’t responsible for inventing this, its obviously an email myth spread around the tubes of the internets.
I’m not a cultural genius or a religious scholar, so the following are my ideas of the proper responses. Maybe I made some mistakes myself. But this is just dumb and I had to try SOME response.
The following original text is cut and pasted from the way it got to me with a few blank spaces and >>> thingees taken out, but generally no attempt to correct spelling, change wording, etc.
>>> > CAN MUSLIMS BE GOOD AMERICANS?
* Because of course there haven’t been Muslims in America for more than what, 2 years so we can’t just look down the street and say “how good of Americans are those folks?”
>>> > This is very interesting and we all need to read it from start to Finish and send it on to anyone who will read it. Maybe this is why our American Muslims are so quiet and not speaking out about any atrocities. Can a good Muslim be a good American? This question was forwarded to a friend who worked in Saudi Arabia for 20 years. The following is his reply:
* First a general problem, a logical fallacy here I think falls under “Appeal to Authority.” This WHOLE thing is based on the opinions of one guy who lived in the most severe Islamic country. We aren’t told who this guy is, so maybe he never existed, but if he did, we have no way of verifying whether he is a noted theological and cultural expert or a crank who also thinks the Apollo landings were faked. Even if you grant his opinions to have a degree of credence, your still saying you can judge the range of beliefs among a billion and a half people in a hundred countries by the experiences of one guy who’s visited a couple of those countries and talked to, what, a few thousands, tops?
Even given his expertise, he's criticizing worldwide Islam because of practice in Saudi Arabia, home to Wahabi extreme Islam. That's sort of like writing a criticism of worldwide Christianity based on your time in a Mormon-separatist/polygamist compound.
>>> > Theologically - no. . . . Because his allegiance is Allah, The moon God of Arabia.
* I don’t know the etymology of Arabic words but I do know that Muslims believe Allah to be their word for the God of Abraham and Moses and, although they believe very different things about his ultimate importance, Jesus of Nazareth.
>>> > Religiously - no. . . Because no other religion is accepted by His Allah except Islam (Quran, 2:256)(Koran)
* I looked this verse up on an online English translation of the Quran, and it seems an odd verse to quote for this assertion. Like Christianity, Islam sees itself as, essentially, the only way a truly pious person is supposed to seek God. But that verse is apparently used by some people to argue AGAINST strong-arming people into Islam; I’ve read interpretations that the verse means people will believe what they want to so it's no good trying to force them. Sort of off your point, you may want to find a better verse to make your case.
>>> > Scripturally - no. Because his allegiance is to the five Pillars of Islam and the Quran.
* Hmmm, didn’t the Romans make this argument against Christians? Isn’t this a potential problem for every religious believer if he believes his core values are in conflict with those of the state? Can you state some specifics about these five pillars and statements in the Quran that totally prohibit Muslims from paying their taxes, raking their leaves, attending the local PTA meetings and everything else big and small you’d associate with good citizenship?
>>> > Geographically - no . Because his allegiance is to Mecca , to which he turns in prayer five times a day.
* Sounds like an argument that was made against Kennedy in 1960—“He’s a Catholic and you know they all get secret orders straight from Rome.” So they bow towards a city, that doesn’t stop any Muslims in Egypt, Lebanon Iraq, etc. from being hyper-nationalistic about their own country. It doesn’t even stop some Muslims in Saudi Arabia from being terribly opposed to their own government which oversees Mecca. Why couldn’t they be patriotic here?
>>> > Socially - no. . . Because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews.
* Wait, this is just false. The best proof is that our current President (Bush 43) and his father (41) are good friends with several Saudi princes. There’s one prince that’s supposed to be such good friends of the Bush family that he’s called “Bandar Bush.” George HW Bush was reported to be meeting with his good friends the Bin Laden family on 9/10/2001.
But… if Obama is a Muslim who can’t have non-Muslim friends, why are you constantly pointing out his supposedly disreputable non-Muslim friends?
>>> > Politically - no. Because he must submit to the mullahs (spiritual leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and destruction of America, the great Satan.
* Couple things. Islam DOES mean “submission,” but to God, not specific earthly leaders or power structure. Islam has no “Vatican.” There are at least 2 major divisions, the Sunnis and Shi’a, and dozens of smaller schools of thought. Some mullahs do teach death to Israel and America, but lots of others teach the possibility of a peaceful resolution. Unlike certain Christian churches that DO suggest its followers must follow the specific teachings of a very defined set of leaders. That said I’ll grant that there are some Muslims undoubtedly under the sway of certain mullahs or imams in a cult-like total devotion fashion. But that’s not true of all 1.5 Billion in Islam.
>>> > Domestically - no. Because he is instructed to marry four Women and beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him (Quran 4:34)
* I want to make sure the person passing this around was not a prior supporter of Mitt Romney, because his church also has this potential problem. A FEW modern Muslim countries seem to encourage polygamy, but I don’t think all do, and I am talking countries where Muslims have their own way. Plus, while the verse you quote approves of marrying multiple wives, it doesn’t say every man has to marry exactly four. It was written at a time when their people lost a lot of people in war and that was their idea of how to take care of the widows and orphans. Not my preferred solution for TODAY’S widows, but I’d think someone who lived in Saudi Arabia would know that bit of historical context.
To the second part—I’m not a fan of what I perceive as a general Muslim attitude toward women, but that attitude is differs between Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, Indonesia and American Muslims.
>>> > Intellectually - no. Because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be corrupt.
* First, a BIG misconception to lance. While the US Constitution was created by people who knew the Bible with an intimacy modern theology students might not have, they did not make it the “basis” for the Constitution. What part of Genesis was used to delineate the separation of duties between the House and Senate? The Constitution had its basis on English law, colonial practice and some brilliant new invention by those old white guys in Philadelphia.
Second part, find me a quote from a Muslim who actually condemns the US Constitution. Usually Islamic critics are unhappy with a perception of the way we use more concrete military or economic power, or our “decadent” culture (in ways similar to conservative Christians). I don’t hear Osama complaining about the way the powers of the judiciary are laid out in Article 3, he just hates foreigners in any part of his native country.
>>> > Philosophically - no. . . . Because Islam, Muhammad, and the Quran does not allow freedom of religion and expression. Democracy and Islam cannot co-exist. Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic.
* You’ve blindly stumbled on almost a good point. There’s a problem of bad governments across the Islamic world. EXCEPT Turkey is a multi-party democracy that has a way to go but is steadily improving, and Lebanon was making impressive strides toward healthy democracy… until Israel bombed them to the stone age destroying the political clout of all parties except Hezbollah. Oh, and despite grievances Muslims participate in the Democratic process in India, and India has the SECOND LARGEST population of Muslims in the world.
>>> > Spiritually - no. Because when we declare 'one nation under God,' the Christian's God is loving and kind, while Allah is NEVER referred to as Heavenly father, nor is he ever called love in The Quran's 99 excellent names.
* Well, here’s an area that my lack of expertise requires me to give you a point. Let’s make that a half-point. I have no idea if the Quran ever calls God “love” or “father,” and so I'll agree it doesn't. Although I don’t understand how this makes a difference on whether Muslims can live and work in Harmony with Christians, Jews, Agnostics and whatnots. Certainly the fact that Christian translations and interpretations of the Bible that DID call God those things has not prevented a few Christians from doing horrendous things; from the occasional lone crazy serial killer to the organized atrocities of the Ku Klux Klan or Jim Jones.
>>> > Therefore, after much study and deliberation....
>>> > Perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country. - - - They obviously cannot be both 'good' Muslims and good Americans.
* Because that’s what made America great—drawing lines through our neighborhoods and deciding who was a good American and who should sit in the back of the bus. While we’re at it, wasn’t our country more powerful before we let Catholics, Jews and Mormons participate fully in civic life? Maybe we should put THEM in their place too.
>>> > Call it what you wish it's still the truth. You had better believe it. The more who understand this, the better it will be for our country and our future. The religious war is bigger than we know or understand. . ..
>>> > And Barack Hussein Obama, a Muslim, wants to be our President? You have GOT to be kidding! Wake up America !
* Even if all the above were true PROVE THE ASSUMPTION OBAMA IS A MUSLIM!!! Last I heard, everyone was mad at Obama for attending the wrong Christian church for so long. If he’s a Muslim, what’s with the Rev. Wright controversy. I suggest you choose why you hate him and stick to that.
>>> > Obama even says if he wins the election, he will be sworn in on the Quran---not a Bible!
* Where did he say this? Give us a source. But I suppose this is part the NEXT section…
>>> > Footnote: He was sworn in on the Quran for his current office and he refuses to pledge allegiance to the United States or put his hand over his heart when the National Anthem is played!
* Sworn in: No he was not. You are thinking of Keith Ellison, a congressman from Minnesota elected in 2006. Ellison set off a mini-firestorm when HE used a Quran in the unofficial photo recreation that some Congressmen get. Oh, and, by the way, Ellison used THOMAS JEFFERSON’S Quran in that incident. And the Republic survived.
* Pledge & anthem: This stupid thing again. Give me your source for the pledge refusal. I’ll point out that the urban-legend website Snopes.com has a section on this issue. It includes an incident where he MAY not have properly been covering his heart during what is reported to be the national anthem. There are also several pictures purporting to be him properly pledging or antheming and a video clip of him DENYING this charge. In case you want to say he was lying or pretending in those clips, I’ll remind you the statement here indicated he was OPENLY hostile to the pledge and anthem, while I can find records of him OPENLY promising to abide by the pledge and anthem protocol.
The Muslims have said they will destroy us from within.
* All of them said this?
Hello! Having a Muslim president would seem to fit the bill! Will you trust this man with our national secrets?
>>> > SO FREEDOM IS NOT FREE.
>>> > THE MARINES WANT THIS TO ROLL ALL OVER THE U.S.
* Let me find the link about the growing number of Obama yard signs appearing on young family housing sections of US Marine bases.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/diane-tucker/younger-military-families_b_133183.html?page=6 Don’t portray this as Obama supporters against Patriots, there are people who love their country on both sides of the spectrum.
>>> > Please don't delete this until you send it on.
* Oh you know I won’t.
One other note. I was heartened to learn while writing this at home that my Word for Mac X program wants me to change “Obama” to “Boatman,” unlike my Word 2000 for Windows at work that keeps suggesting “Osama.” Did Karl Rove do any consulting with Microsoft?