Just before leaving on my first vacation since 1873, I produced a Klavan on the Culture video on the so-called Ground Zero Mosque, asking the musical question: Does Islam Suck? KOC, of course, is satire, but I addressed some of the same issues more seriously and precisely in a City Journal article entitled “Name-Calling:”
Whether radical Islamic violence, sexism, religious bigotry, and triumphalism are the natural outgrowths of its dogma or a series of aberrations is a perfectly valid question. Likewise the question of Islamic intentions toward Western culture in general and, by extension, the intentions of those behind the Ground Zero Mosque proposal… None of these questions will be answered by simply condemning as phobic those who bring them to the fore.
Checking around the internet on some of the reactions to these pieces, I found a couple of responses I’d like to respond to.
First of all, repeated charges that I’m hateful, racist (against which race???) and Islamophobic deserve a response in kind, so I would just like to say: “Oh yeah? Well, you stink! I’m telling Mom!” Or to put it another way, the fact that leftists think anyone outside the mainstream media is fooled by childish name-calling is a sad comment on the mainstream media. And on leftists.
The slightly more serious charge that I’m “lumping all Muslims together,” is just simply incorrect. In fact, I’m not lumping anyone with anyone – I’m questioning the worth and effect of certain ideas. All ideas should be up for question and examination, including Islam’s. For instance, those who responded with that leftist tit-for-tat silliness about Catholic priest child-molesting being as bad as Islamic violence (as if!), are at least scratching the surface of a legitimate issue. Do Catholic ideas and practices involving sexuality and celibacy encourage priestly abuse? Yes or no, it’s a valid question. As are the questions about Islam listed above.
Finally, one commenter on this website who identified himself as a politically conservative Muslim suggests that the problem isn’t Islam at all – it’s leftism. I have to say, that’s an argument I’ve never heard before and, as the commenter seemed intelligent and articulate, I encourage him to research it and write it up for publication. I’m skeptical – but it’s possible, and it’s certainly an interesting notion worth exploring.