The battle over the proposed mosque and community center near Ground Zero has sparked outrage and fury.
The argument from those who oppose it: it’s an incredibly insensitive move designed to deliberately provoke the nation from a radical Imam who says the U.S. is culpable for the attacks of 9/11. They’re correct.
What’s surprising is the level of outrage from the other side -- mostly those on the left – who argue we must allow the building of the mosque and community center in the name of tolerance of Islam. Where are these shrieking voices in defense when other religions like Christianity and Judaism are under attack?
There has always been a double standard when it comes to understanding and explaining the Muslim religion verses Christianity.
While many Muslim countries ban women from voting, driving a car, and threaten to kill anyone who speaks of Christ within their borders, you rarely hear those on the left invoke sharp criticism or shake their finger in fury.
Instead, they save the attacks and their selective attention span for the random “Christian” who blocks an abortion clinic.
When the radical Islamic Fort Hood shooter claimed the life of twelve soldiers, the media dubbed him “troubled.”
A CNN.com article, along with many others, only identified him an “Army psychologist” and failed to make any reference to his ties to radical jihadism or make initial references to his religion – even after e-mails were found detailing his extremist views.
But when a Michigan-based militia group was indicted in an alleged plot to kill law enforcement officers with improvised explosive devices they were quickly – and inaccurately – labeled as a “Christian militia group” – not just in the body of an ABC News.com article, but in the headline, too.
In his book “Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity," David Limbaugh details the double standard: The media portrays Christians as unreasonable and violent, charging them with violent acts against abortionists, abortion clinics or homosexuals while at the same time both Hollywood and the press downplay injustices and violent acts committed against Christians.
A favorite media tactic is the use of the pejorative term "religious right" to describe Christian conservatives, implying such believers are "intolerant” and “backwoods fanatics.”
It’s no big deal when newspapers dub Christians “The American Taliban.” And it’s okay for Ted Turner to call Catholics with ashes on their head “Jesus freaks.” But God forbid you refer to the guys crashing the planes into building as Allah freaks.
Comedian and commentator Dennis Miller offered an accurate explanation for why the left and the mainstream media seek to appease the Muslim community and have been defending the Ground Zero mosque so ardently on an August 4 episode of "The O’Reilly Factor": “People are afraid to say anything about radical Islam because they get blown up.”
Instead of staying true to our values so that we don’t let the terrorists win, many Americans (the president included) are shackled by fear or a belief that the nicer we are, the less they’ll come after us. They speak out on discrimination and freedom, except when it comes to defending Christianity.
That’s why the fervent defense of the Ground Zero mosque by those on the left was so unsurprising, and so nauseating. We are a nation of all religions, they chanted. We must stay true to our values, they screamed. Both of these statements are accurate. But why not defend Christianity or Judaism with that kind of passion?
If the Muslims who want to build the mosque for “bridge building” and an “interfaith dialogue” truly wanted to practice what they preach then they will move it or make it an actual interfaith center. Until then, the only bridge I see is the one that’s burning.
As Steven Schwarz, executive director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, wrote in the August 3rd edition of the New York Post, “Traditional, moderate Islam teaches Muslims living in non-Muslim-majority societies to obey the laws and customs of the country in which they reside. They must avoid conflict with their non-Muslim neighbors whenever possible.”
You see, tolerance isn’t a one sided thing. For the extremists that want to blow us up, it doesn’t matter what we say or do. They’ll still plot to destroy us. For the many millions of peaceful Muslims, they’ll respect us more if we equally defend and apply the same standard of tolerance to all religions that we do theirs.