Wednesday, January 17, 2007

al-Farooq Masjid, or Mosque, in Atlanta: the AJC's take

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution had an article this past Sunday Jan. 14th, (subscription only, sorry), on the opening of a big new mosque in Atlanta. So intent were the writer and editors on their multi-culti story template, that they didn't ask some basic questions. Who paid for this mosque? Wahhabist fundamentalists, backed by limitless Saudi petro-billions, are building and funding mosques and madrassahs all over the world. This particularly merciless, desert-dried sect of the One True Faith has, because of these efforts, supplanted the more easy-going types of Islam in Nigeria, for example; directly causing the religious strife there in recent decades. Their money and hence influence in America is not hypothetical. Wahhabist money and influence = trouble, everywhere, in a big way, without fail. I would have liked some commonsense recognition of this fact, and some reassurance of the absence of the Saudi hand in the building of this mosque.

Other than that shortcoming, the article is the predictable NPR All Things Considered type of happy-clappy multi-culti heartwarmer. The principal of the article is an medical professional who left his homeland Pakistan 38 years ago. Professional suburbanite, professional wife, great all-American kids--you know the stereotype: everyone is essentially the same except for headgear and cuisine, and could live in harmony together if not for those ignorant, intolerant rightwingers.

But, as the formula for these types of stories continues, after 9/11, the dark night of fear descended over the embattled Muslim community here in racist South of racist, racist America. We are regaled with yet more arm-waving about the loudly deplored (but completely non-existent) oppression of Muslims in America. Why, someone tossed a board with an insulting grafitto into the mosque's construction site. Americans actually observed out loud--within hearing of the local Muslims, if you can believe the barbarity of this--that Islamic terrorists were responsible for Islamic terrorism. Business travellers were questioned. Friendships cooled. Children grew despondent. But now, with the opening of this new house of worship, the Muslim community can take pride in its heritage and message, and can educate the public, dispelling the climate of fear and the proverbial "misconceptions" about Islam.

At this point, it's always good to remember Jamie Glazov's maxim: Islam is what Islam does. The main interviewee in the AJC article is originally from Pakistan. So, let's reverse the scenario. Imagine a big Christian church being built in, say, Hyderabad, with its congregation proudly declaring their intention to reach out to the Muslim majority. What would happen? Oh, you're so right!

Look at what life is like for Christians in countries where Islam rules. Look at what life is like for Muslims in America. And look at what life is like for everybody in countries where the tipping point is approaching. So congratulations on the new mosque, folks. Enjoy it in good health. It's a free country, after all...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! Please keep your comments civil and on-topic. Spammage will be cheerfully removed.