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Middle aged heterosexual, WASP male. Semi retired, semi-sane and semi-serious. And endangered species and I'm not going quietly!!!!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Silence is NOT Golden!

We have some friends who go south for the winter every year!

With the increased security concerns here in North America, it got to the point where when she had to go to her local Member of Parliament to have her signature confirmed on her passport renewal application.

(She is of Middle-Eastern descent and the passport office said that her signature didn't match and they wanted to check her out in person.)

Now it is possible that the signature was a little different for whatever reason, but personally, I believe it was profiling on account of her Middle-Eastern background.

This brings me to the point of this little rant.

People who are perceived to be Muslim here in North America have one hell of a "public relations" problem!

Ethnic profiling is a fact of life here, no matter how much you agree or disagree with it.

It's something that will have to be lived with because it is the Muslim's themselves who are to blame for it. And not in the way you think!

Yes, there is a small group who are extremists, and others who follow old customs and practices that in North America and Europe were abandoned centuries ago, but they are not the main problem.

The problem is that the great "silent majority" of decent, law abiding Muslims have not risen up in anger over incidents like 9/11 and condemned these acts of barbarism with a loud and unified voice.

Instead we get answers from the Islamic community like; "I bet the Jews were behind it!" or "They, (the terrorists) don't represent what Islam is really like!"

Silence is not the answer to the problem that Islam is fostering in the Western World!

A few weeks ago we had an article from Ms. Irshad Manji on this site (Salman Rushdie is not the problem, Muslims are!) where she stated;

I am offended that every year, there are more women killed in Pakistan for allegedly violating their family’s honour than there are detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

Muslims have rightly denounced the mistreatment of Guantanamo prisoners. But where is our outrage over the murder of many more Muslims at the hands of our own?

I am offended that in April, mullahs at an extreme mosque in Pakistan issued a fatwa against hugging.

(The country’s female tourism minister had embraced – or, depending on the account you follow, accepted a congratulatory pat from – her skydiving instructor after she successfully jumped in a French fundraiser for the victims of the 2005 Pakistan earthquake.)

Clerics announced her act of touching another man to be “a great sin.” They demanded she be fired.

I am offended by their fatwa proclaiming that women should stay at home and remain covered at all times.

I am offended that they have bullied music store owners and video vendors into closing shop.

I am offended that the government tiptoes around their craziness because these clerics threaten suicide attacks if confronted.

I am offended that on Sunday, at least 35 Muslims in Kabul were blown to bits by other Muslims and on Tuesday, 87 more in Baghdad by Islamic “insurgents”, with no official statement from Pakistan to deplore these assaults on fellow believers.

I am offended that amid the internecine carnage, a professed atheist named Salman Rushdie tops the to-do list.

Above all, I am offended that so many other Muslims are not offended enough to demonstrate widely against God’s self-appointed ambassadors.

We complain to the world that Islam is being exploited by fundamentalists, yet when reckoning with the opportunity to resist their clamour en masse, we fall curiously silent.

In a battle between flaming fundamentalists and mute moderates, who do you think is going to win?

I am not saying that standing up to intimidation is easy.

This past spring, the Muslim world made it that much more difficult.

A 56-member council of Islamic countries pushed the UN Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution against the “defamation of religion”. Pakistan led the charge.

Focused on Islam rather than on faith in general, the resolution allows repressive regimes to squelch freedom of conscience further – and to do so in the guise of international law.

On occasion, though, the people of Pakistan show that they do not have to be muzzled by clerics and politicians.

Last year, civil society groups vocally challenged a set of anti-female laws, three decades old and supposedly based on the Quran.

Their religiously respectful approach prompted even mullahs to hint that these laws are man-made, not God-given.

This month, too, Pakistanis forced their government to lift restrictions on the press.

No wonder my own book, translated into Urdu and posted on my website, is being downloaded in droves.

Religious authorities will not let it be sold in the markets. But they cannot stop Pakistanis – or other Muslims – from satiating a genuine hunger for ideas.

In that spirit, it is high time to “ban” hypocrisy under the banner of Islam.

Salman Rushdie is not the problem. Muslims are!

Irshad has pretty well hit the nail on the head with her statements.

Silence is not Golden and complacency is not the answer!

Your humble servant;
Allan W Janssen

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God-101 (what the church doesn't want you to know!) www.God-101.com

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