Thursday, March 17, 2005

Which Privileges for Islam

Daniel Pipes: Front Page Magazine

I found this article very helpful in clarifying and listing some of the many exceptions being made for Islam in European and North American countries. Pipes distinguishes between those accomodations which can and should be made in accordance with already accepted policies or culture and those which are pushing beyond to make Islam exceptions only.

Ok to accomodate:
The key distinction is whether Muslim aspirations fit into an existing framework or not. Where they do, they can be accommodated, such as in the case of:

· Schools and universities closing for the Eid al-Adha holidays.

· Male employees permitted to wear beards in New Jersey.

· The founding of an Islamic cemetery in Tennessee.

Adherents of other minority religions may get a holiday off, wear beards, or dispose of their dead in private burial grounds – so why not Muslims?

Not ok to accomodate:
In contrast, special privileges for Islam and Muslims are unacceptable, such as:

· Setting up a government advisory board uniquely for Muslims in the United States.

· Permitting Muslim-only living quarters or events in the United States and Great Britain.

· Setting aside women-only bathing at a municipal swimming pool in France.

· Banning Hindus and Jews from a jury hearing a case about an Islamist in Great Britain.

· Changing noise laws to broadcast the adhan (call to prayer) in Hamtramck, Michigan.

Allowing a prisoner the unheard-of right to avoid strip-searches in New York State.

· Exploiting taxpayer-funded schools and airwaves to convert non-Muslims in the United States.

· Allowing students in taxpayer-funded schools to use empty classrooms for prayers in New Jersey.

· Deeming the “religious vilification” of Islam to be illegal in Australia.

Punishing anti-Islamic views with court-mandated indoctrination by an Islamist in Canada.

· Prohibiting families from sending pork or pork by-products to U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq.

· Requiring that female American soldiers in Saudi Arabia wear U.S. government-issued abayas.

· Applying the “Rushdie rules” – or letting Muslims shut down criticism of Islam and Muslims.
The not ok to accomodate is pretty troubling to me. This "special treatment" only points out Muslims and creates more animosity and fear.

Pipes has more with all the appropriate links for the ok's and not ok's.

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