Sunday, March 25, 2007

Right-wing Mis-information

I'm posting this to set straight something I read yesterday on WorldNetDaily. I don't usually get my news from this site, but a Christian end times/prophecy site I passed through was linked to it and I clicked through. I know that many believers only get their news from sites like WorldNetDaily, Rush Limbaugh, Mike Savage, and Fox News, so I want to comment on some of the inflammatory mis-information that is going out on WorldNetDaily.

Below I will pull quotes from an article called Is Islam compatible with a republic? by Ellis Washington posted yeaterday. (link)

If you think I write from hyperbole, just try building a church or a synagogue in an Arab nation. They won't even allow you to bring a Bible into most Arab countries. Not even our well-traveled secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice (who earlier this year was in Saudi Arabia), is allowed to read a few comforting passages of peace from the book of Psalms in the land of Mecca and Medina as she lies down to sleep. No! It is forbidden by the Quran. Islam will tolerate no other gods before it.

I've frequented the most conservative of Arab countries and I'm here to tell you that if a Westerner wants to bring his Bible into the country, he is permitted. So don't worry, Condi, read those Psalms all you want.

Arabs EXPECT all Westerners to be Christian (just as we EXPECT all Arabs to be Muslim) and allow them to carry their Bibles into the country. You can walk around with it. Westerners are permitted to gather together and worship as Christians.

What Westerners are not allowed to do is bring Arab language translations into some Arab countries. Those have to be smuggled. And smuggled they are because many Arabs want to know what the Bible has to say about the God that loves them.

Off the top of my head, here is a list of Arab countries that have churches and/or synogogues: Yemen, Jordan, Egypt, Morrocco, Nigeria, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. All of these countries have had Jews and Christians living in them and worshiping God long before the Gospel made it to the Northern Forests of Europe. From before the Crusades until the present day, Christinas and Jews are permitted to gather and worship in the most conservative or Arab countries.

What Christians are not legally permitted to do in almost all Middle Eastern countries, including Israel, is evangelize. But it happens anyway.

Islam's command from Quran in the book of Sirah – "Kill the infidel where you find him" – has been the rallying cry of the majority of Muslims despite the sham protestations of the so-called "moderate" Muslims to the contrary whenever the world community demands contrition at the most recent Muslim bombings that occur worldwide almost daily.

To say that this the rallying cry of the "majority of Muslims" is completely false. It is the rallying cry of a very small (yet growing) group of men that come from mostly poor, very remote places in the Arab world like Yemen. Places where there is little or no economic or educational opportunity. Promises of Paradise and sex with perpetual virgins are promised by Imams who live off of contributions.

But that is not a description of the majority of Arab culture. The bombs are being exploded in their countries by their countrymen. The Arabs I've talked to in the streets and schools HATE terrorists, are weary of war, desire peace, and want to live in safe, crime-free neighborhoods with water, sewers, and electricity just like you and me.

...or will real men rise up, demand that the FBI put every mosque and imam in America under constant surveillance (as J. Edgar Hoover would have done) and find out what is really going on with our Muslim friends here in America?

I don't think that J. Edgar Hoover is remembered fondly for this. We can pre-judge every Arab-American, but this generation will not be rembered any more fondly than the American generations before us that pre-judged any other race or religion.

To be fair, I emailed the author, Ellis Washington, some of the thoughts I shared above. His response to me was much more humble and diplomatic than my emal to him. Here are some links to a few of his other articles:

  • Symposium: Should public education be free? link
  • FDR's Legacy: Tyranny link
  • 3 Classical Views on the Role of Government link


Anonymous said...

No, J. Edgar Hoover is not someone we need to emulate.

But don't you hate it when you write a letter, blasting some faceless person, only to receive a humble letter in return? Most of my letters of outrage have gone unanswered; one, written just a few years ago, brought a letter expressing gratitude, of all things, for the points I had made, and asking for suggestions for correcting the kinds of errors that were made. Out of that developed a web-friendship and a constant reminder to me that, in all likelihood, my letters will be read by human beings. My tone is usually more moderated, now, than before that occurred.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing was an interesting read.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for being a truth-teller in a sea of opinion-masked-as-truth tellers.
It's a good reminder to be careful with what I write, for words have power.
As for Ellis Washington, while it's great that he replied humbly to your letter, it'd be even better if he'd publicly correct his errors. There's more than enough anti-Arab sentiment without "journalists" like him adding fuel to the fire.