Wednesday 2 February 2011

BBC "Heart and Soul" discussion of Islam

This is a catch-up Post, something I'd missed posting in October, but is still relevant owing to the spotlight on the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.....  it was an email letter to the BBC (part of which they read out in a follow-up):

“Hostility to Islam”? (E. J. Dionne Jnr, speaking on “Heart and Soul” with Matthew Wells, 27 October).

What about the clearly-enunciated, oft-stated hostility of Islam to the very structure of democracy and the US Constitution.  The Muslim Brotherhood [1] is active in the US (not covertly, not conspiratorially, but quite openly), via the Council of American Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America, the  the Muslim Student Associations, and many Islamic organisations throughout the country.  The Muslim Brotherhood has clearly stated that its aim is to overthrow the US Constitution.

Muslim Brothers “must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and "sabotaging" its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions.”[2]

The spokesman of CAIR, Ibrahim Hooper, has said that he would like to see the flag of Islam flying over the White House. Is it crazy and paranoid, to be concerned about the spread of Sharia, given these statements?  Even if that concern is expressed by the Tea Party loopies?

E J Dionne’s comparing of the concerns about Islam with previous anti-Catholic feelings is bogus.  It’s a tired moral equivalence that does not stand up even superficial scrutiny.  You (the BBC) ought to know that, surely.  Christopher Hitchens has some good comment on that [3].

It’s important to note that after 911 there have been very few anti-Muslim “hate crimes” -- indeed the numbers are declining and there are more  anti-Jewish hate crimes.  
FBI Statistics for 2007 show that most hate crimes were against Jews, not Muslims.  Fully 70% of all hate crimes were against Jews, while 9% were against Muslims.   Why the constant harping on the fears of Muslims about hate crimes against them, unless they are playing a victim card? [4]

Matthew Wells finishes off his report with some words about the Judeo-Christian tradition, giving a clear impression that he somehow finds it wanting (perhaps I’m being unfair to him).  If so, does he think that Judeo-Christian values and ethics are not at the heart of the West’s values?

Peter F

Hong Kong

[1]Muslim Brotherhood
An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Brotherhood for North America.  Mohamaed Akram, Shura Council of the Muslim Brotherhood, May 1991.  This document also contains a list of all Muslim Brotherhood organisations in North America.
[3]  Christopher Hitchens on this: “Free Exercise of Religion?  No Thanks”.  Slate, September 6, 2010.  Here.
[4]. FBI Statistics on Hate Crimes, 2007. Here.

BTW: I am an atheist and erstwhile “leftie”, having voted Aussie Labor all my life.  The concern about Islam, worldwide, is NOT the preserve of Christian Fundamentalists, or Tea Party nutters.