I have just listened to Duncan Moon's September 18 piece on Islamic
reaction to the terrorist attacks on the United States. I do not doubt the
sincerity of the moderate Islamic clerics who spoke in this piece, but I do
doubt that Mr. Moon knows anything about Islam and especially about the
central scripture of that religion, the Koran.
Like the rest of the U.S. press corps, Mr. Moon has passed on without
question the statements by moderate Muslims that "Islam does not endorse
violence." We will not as a nation come to understand how and why the
events of September 11 occurred until we take the time to study Islam and
develop an understanding of how a large number of people in the world use
religion to justify violence. The simple and undisputable fact is that
there is clear and explicit language in the Koran that:
<> endorses the use of violence against "unbelievers"
<> requires that Islamic countries institute legal discrimination against
<> demands unequal treatment of women
How do we, as a free people, come to terms with these facts? How do
moderate Muslims rationalize their calls for peace and tolerance in light of
the clear and unambiguous text of their scripture to the contrary? How can
democracy flourish in cultures where a religion based on that scripture is
enshrined in law? These are the hard questions that our contemporary
cultural relativism apparently makes it impossible to ask. By dodging these
questions, NPR does not encourage a pursuit of truth, but rather becomes
complicit in our civilization's unwillingness to come to terms with them.
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