Sunday, February 15, 2009

The death of democracy and freedom

As a child, one of my favorite books was The Arabian Nights, 1001 tales purportedly told by Queen Scheherazade to the Sultan who had vowed to take a wife, sleep with her one night and then kill her. Scheherazade was the last queen because she saved her own life by captivating the Sultan with her stories. My ideas of Islam were born among those tales of Djinn and Mamelukes and flying carpets.

When I read The Infidel by Georgia Elizabeth Taylor, I got a different view of Islam, the view of beautiful blinding white cities in exotic Spain where women were educated and even taught in colleges, owned property and had the run of the city. They were intelligent and beautiful and free and had converted from Christianity under the spell of the beauty of Islam's fair laws and generous heart. By contrast, medieval Christianity was barbaric, a religion that espoused filth as the way to heaven, where bathing was a sin and reading, writing and learning punishable by pain, torture and even death, especially for women. Islam was an enlightened religion that protected the rights of slaves and women among luxury and beauty unknown anywhere in the world. Astronomy, mathematics and medicine were nurtured in the greenhouse under Islam's warm glow.

And the decadent Spanish Muslims were persecuted by the Christians who plundered their cities, raped their women and slaughtered thousands as they took Islamic gold and luxuries. Spanish Muslims were also persecuted by their militant African and Middle Eastern brothers who looked upon the wealth and beauty of their cities and their just and flourishing society as apostasy, sin of the highest order, and they were either converted or killed. It is the same world in which we live today.

There are peaceful Muslims who deal openly and generously with those who do not share their beliefs, but more and more the world is being overrun by Muslims intent upon the absolute conversion or death of all infidels -- the rest of the world. Jews are first on the list and then Christians, but you can be assured that no one will escape unscathed. No one is safe. That is the Islam of today, a world in which radical Muslims are taking over countries from within, spreading their religion of hate and destruction assured of a place in Paradise by their sacrifice -- and no sacrifice is too great, not even the lives of women, children or themselves. To die in the service of spreading their message of hate is the highest honor.

Geert Wilders, a peaceful man and a film maker from The Netherlands, made a movie and wished to show it in Parliament in Britain, one of the oldest homes of a living democracy in the world. Wilders was declared persona non grata, an unwelcome person, by the leader of the Labour Party and met at Heathrow airport by security. He was manhandled and taken to a holding area where he awaited the next plane back to The Netherlands. He was invited by Parliament to return and show his film, Fitna, about Islam. It takes about 15 minutes, but the images and the information are worth the time.

Fitna is about the Quran and about the radical Muslim agenda. The World Trade Center, the Atocha station bombing, the bombing of a triple decker bus in London and all the other atrocities committed in recent years by Muslim extremists are part of an agenda of hate aimed at spreading Islam's message of hate throughout the world. No one is safe, not even peaceful Muslims.

It is at times like this, after viewing radical Islam's plan for the rest of the world, that I understand why, in the wake of Pearl Harbor, thousands of peaceful and law-abiding Japanese were rounded up and sent to relocation camps. We could not as easily round up and imprison Nazis in our midst because they were indistinguishable from people and families they knew all their lives. In retrospect, the all pervasive fear that created those camps is understandable. America had been touched by the Nazis and their allies the Japanese, came to our country and attacked Pearl Harbor. Was the rest of mainland America next?

Muslims have spread to nearly every country in the world, their slender minarets climbing into the heavens, their shadows spreading across the land and darkening all that falls beneath its influence. Muslims have been welcomed into the government and a Muslim took his oath of office on the Quran before becoming a Member of Congress. As radical Islam spreads its message of terror, death and destruction everywhere it goes, how can people not be afraid that the smiling face across from them at work, in the store, at the bank or even reading the evening news does not hide the heart of a terrorist?

In a land of democracy and freedom, we believe in the inherent decency and honor of all races and religions -- as difficult as that sometimes proves to be. We allow the hateful rhetoric of neo-Nazis, black Muslims, black Christian preachers and would-be terrorists because the very essence of the freedom is the freedom to embrace different ideologies and religions and openly speak about it. Messages of hate stand alongside peaceful protest and opinion in the pages of books and newspapers and on the Internet and each message, regardless of its intent, is protected by law, laws enacted in the democratic process that ensures every adult one vote. And yet, can we ignore the danger in our midst? Will peaceful and educated Muslims stand against their radical and murderous brethren to protect freedom and democracy, stand with Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and every other religion or nonbeliever when the time comes to make a choice?

Freedom and democracy are dangerous in a radical Muslim society because they guarantee the right to think and believe and act against the dictates of hate. Radical Islam is bent on the destruction of freedom and democracy and their weapons are hatred, terror, intolerance, torture and death. Who will stand for democracy and freedom in the face of torture and certain death? Could you?

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