Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Muslims in Britain- A Fifth Column?

"Death to Fousesquawk!"

As someone who has lived in three foreign countries (Germany, Thailand and Italy), I am a firm believer that if you want to be treated like a welcome guest, you should act like a guest. Furthermore, as someone who is married to a legal immigrant (from Mexico) and teaches English to foreign students, I welcome foreigners to our nation as long as they come legally, respect our laws and our customs-and act like guests. I still believe that the overwhelming majority in America do. Unfortunately, many don't. This is not true only in America, but other countries as well. I would specifically like to deal with Muslims living in Britain.

First, I am fully aware that many of Britain's Muslims are native born, originating from parents who came from the former British colonies, such as Pakistan. Nonetheless, the Brits today are dealing with a population of Muslims who are largely disaffected from British society and values. In addition, the whole issue of international Islamic terrorism has come home to roost big time in Britain, most notably with the infamous July 7 subway and bus bombings. Aside from the underground movement of Islamic radicals who are working to destroy the society they live in, it is particularly outrageous that so many Muslims and their clerics in the mosques openly call for violence against those who they think are "enemies of Islam". Consider the following:

Following the Danish cartoon flap of a year ago, Muslims in Britain took to the streets carrying banners calling for the beheading of those who "disrespect Islam." They also openly call for the imposition of Islamic Shariah law in British society. Talk about Chutzpah!

Following the action of Queen Elizabeth in the past few days bestowing knighthood on British writer, Salmon Rushdie (author of "The Satanic Verses"), Muslims again go berzerk, once more calling for the Fatwa execution of Rushdie, originally issued by the Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran several years ago. Now we await the final reaction of the British. Will they again bow to political correctness and take away the honor, or will they stand firm and basically tell the Muslim world to keep their noses out of British affairs? In spite of their military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq at the side of the Americans, the Brits have been very careful not to offend Muslim sensibilities at home, often going to silly extremes.

The situation in Britain is not unlike the situation in several other European countries, where Muslim immigrants live largely outside the host culture and do not accept the local traditions-in many cases, openly defying local law with such imported customs as "honor killings", for example, something that can never be tolerated in a free democratic society based on the rule of law.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the World, in Australia, Prime Minister, John Howard has publically told Muslim immigrants that if they cannot assimilate into Australian society and respect Australian values of openness, tolerance and respect for local laws, that they should leave and return to their countries of origen.

As for Mr Howard's lesson for Britain, Europe and America, I have no desire at this point to call for a witchhunt against local Muslims. We all want to believe that the majority of our Muslim population are loyal to the countries to which they have immigrated. In America, we would be wise to remember the mistake our government made after Pearl Harbor, when Japanese-Americans on the West Coast were placed in internment camps for the duration of the war. We know now that there were no cases of disloyalty against the United States among these people. The point I would make, however, is this: In our free societies, there is no room for the forced imposition of any religion and a theocratic form of government nor hatred toward Jews or other religions.

I can understand why Muslims in the West dislike many of the aspects of our culture that they find immoral or distasteful. So do we. When they feel that their religion has been disrespected, they should remember that in America, Christianity is denigrated daily. Western Europe, with few exceptions, has become mostly secularized. We Christians are not happy about these developments, and we complain; however, we don't resort to violence to defend Christianity (or Judaism). To be blunt, Muslims in the West have to make a choice. Our countries are under attack by Islamic terrorists who want to take away our way of life. We expect all of our citizens to stand with us. All of them.

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