"Changing the narrative to something that better resembles reality will not only take time, but it also is a battle that must be fought on multiple fronts."
"Because personal relationships can inoculate against bigotry, Green advocates for more opportunities for people of differing backgrounds to engage each other."
Kind, patient Muslims want to be your friend to inoculate you against bigotry. Todd Green knows. What better way to find out about the peace and tolerance of the real Islam than from a Muslim neighbor, classmate, colleague at work, instead of wasting your time trying to read and make sense of the Qur'an? Just ask that new Muslim friend to explain things to you; you'll be getting your Intro To Islam from the horse's mouth, instead of from some anti-Muslim bigot. Todd Green has warned you — they're all over the place. Or perhaps Muslims don't want to be our true friends, but will feign friendship to obtain their ends. Is that possible? Has Todd Green ever heard of taqiyya, the religiously-sanctioned dissimulation to protect both the Faith, and Believers, that originated with the Shi'a but is by now generally-accepted among Sunnis as well? Is he aware that Allah himself is often described in the Qur'an as the "best deceiver" or "schemer" (see Qur'an 3:54, 8:30, 10:21)? Does he know that Muhammad said that "war is deceit"? Why should we trust those personable Muslims, well-versed in taqiyya, rather than learn about Islam from the texts — Qur'an and Hadith — themselves, the same texts that Muslims read and follow? Questions for Todd Green: Do you object to non-Muslims studying the Qur'an to find out what Muslims are commanded to do? Have you done so yourself? If you did, what did you discover in the Qur'an about Jihad and terror? Please be specific. If you haven't studied the Qur'an, do you plan to do so?
"Personal relationships have the greatest potential to move the needle against prejudice, and we need to invest more energy and effort at the grass roots level in fostering an environment in which such relationships can materialize and deepen," he said.
Personal relationships have the greatest potential for deceiving unwary Infidels, who did not grow up in a culture of deception, are too often impressed with outward displays of deep sincerity, and unused to the wiles that come naturally to those who grow up in a faith where Allah is praised as the "best deceiver" (imagine the Christian God being similarly praised!), where Muhammad claims that "war is deceit," and where Believers are past masters at the practice of Taqiyya.
Although Muslims are not a race, they are often treated as if they were — "as a monolithic entity and suspect population deserving of discrimination," Green said. Government watchdogs must be on alert for discriminatory policies that presume guilt. Many of these — mosque surveillance, anti-sharia legislation, unwarranted detention — came in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and are well-documented in the books.
Where and when have Muslims been "treated as a race"? Isn't it Muslims and their apologists who keep bringing up that charge, so that they can claim to be victims of "racism"? Is mosque surveillance a sensible security measure, or is it, as Todd Green wants you to believe, some manifestation of "discriminatory policies that presume guilt"? Haven't we learned that the first place where Muslims have been "radicalized" are the mosques? Why wouldn't one want to monitor what is being taught and discussed inside? As for anti-sharia legislation, David Yerushalmi, who has been the moving force behind it, has said that the purpose of the anti-sharia movement is not to pass legislation banning sharia law in the courts, but "to get people asking this question, 'What is Shariah?'" As for "unwarranted detention," without concrete examples it is impossible to say when detention is, or is not, "unwarranted." If anyone were to express on social media admiration for a terrorist, or a desire to emulate him, many would think taking such a person into custody –"detention" — is warranted. But not, I suspect, Todd Green.
Media consumers also must be willing to respond to false connections and discriminatory rhetoric.
"As we speak out against Islamophobia, and as we build relationships across religious boundaries, we must never lose sight of the larger goal — to create a movement that will dismantle the systemic discrimination faced by Muslim Americans," Green said.
While there may be any number of American cities where such a message could be heard and nurtured, it should ring the loudest in Cedar Rapids.
If you believe that all across America, innocent Muslims are enduring an epidemic of hatred — Islamophobia, anti-Muslim bigotry, racism, false connections, systemic discrimination — then Todd Green is just the man for you.
On the other hand, if you believe that there is no such epidemic of hatred, but rather an insensate desire to defend Islam, and to dismiss all sober islamocriticism, based as it must be on the observable behavior of Muslims over the past 1,400 years, and on the study of the main Islamic texts (Qur'an and Hadith), as "Islamophobia," then Todd Green just won't do. Instead, you might want to look into Winston Churchill or John Quincy Adams. Here's what our sixth, and most learned, president wrote about Islam:
In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab of the lineage of Hagar, the Egyptian, [Mohammed] combining the powers of transcendent genius, with the preternatural energy of a fanatic, and the fraudulent spirit of an impostor, proclaimed himself as a messenger from Heaven, and spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth. Adopting from the sublime conception of the Mosaic law, the doctrine of one omnipotent God; he connected indissolubly with it, the audacious falsehood, that he was himself his prophet and apostle. Adopting from the new Revelation of Jesus, the faith and hope of immortal life, and of future retribution, he humbled it to the dust, by adapting all the rewards and sanctions of his religion to the gratification of the sexual passion.
He poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain, by degrading the condition of the female sex, and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind. THE ESSENCE OF HIS DOCTRINE WAS VIOLENCE AND LUST: TO EXALT THE BRUTAL OVER THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE [capitals in original].
Between these two religions, thus contrasted in their characters, a war of twelve hundred years has already raged. That war is yet flagrant; nor can it cease but by the extinction of that imposture, which has been permitted by Providence to prolong the degeneracy of man. While the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace upon earth, and good will towards men. The hand of Ishmael will be against every man, and every man's hand against him. It is, indeed, amongst the mysterious dealings of God, that this delusion should have been suffered for so many ages, and during so many generations of human kind, to prevail over the doctrines of the meek and peaceful and benevolent Jesus...
The precept of the koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God. The vanquished may purchase their lives, by the payment of tribute; the victorious may be appeased by a false and delusive promise of peace; and the faithful follower of the prophet, may submit to the imperious necessities of defeat: but the command to propagate the Moslem creed by the sword is always obligatory, when it can be made effective. The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force.
On the subject of Islam, John Quincy Adams is just the man for me. What about you?