This and That
This is one of those compare and contrast posts. First, from Huffpoo, an article by Howard Schweber who is upset at the “selective outrage” of Catholics who are concerned about the contraception issue, but don’t share his OUTRAGE regarding the rights of moslems:
Just imagine any period since the 1960s in which law enforcement agencies send agents to infiltrate and spy on religious communities. We are not talking, mind you, about following a lead on a suspect that leads to a religious organization, we are talking about spying on congregations in the hope of finding something incriminating on some of its members. That is what the New York Police Department has been doing, both in New York City and in cities as far away as New Jersey. The NYPD Intelligence Division sent agents to infiltrate mosques and report on what was said during religious services, snapped pictures and collected license plate numbers of congregants as they arrived to pray, eavesdropped in cafes and monitored Muslim neighbourhoods. Muslim student groups were infiltrated, and new Muslim converts who took Arabic names had those names compiled in police databases.
Who is he upset at? No so much the Obama aministration. No he’s upset at the Republican Candidates and Catholic leaders.
Here, unmistakably, is a pattern of infringement on religious liberty taking place during Obama’s presidency. And in the face of this obvious governmental intrusion into the lives of religious communities the position of the GOP candidates thus far has been… nothing. The same goes for the Conference of Catholic Bishops (at least, nothing that I can find on their website, or publicly proclaimed to the congregations in sermons and to the media in press conferences) and various evangelical organizations of the religious Right. Dolan is Archbishop of New York — one might have thought that his principled stand on behalf of religious freedom extended at least as far as his own bishopric. But apparently nothing that the government has done to infringe on the religious liberties of Muslims has caused any of these spokesmen for the cause of religious liberty any discomfort.
So, while the author should be upset at the Obama administration for allowing this to continue, instead he sums it up thus:
So I repeat, I am in agreement with the complaints of Romney, Santorum, Gingrich and Cardinal Dolan that freedom of religion in America is threatened. And I will take those complaints very seriously — the instant they show signs of extending that freedom to any religion but their own.
And, then there’s this:
In America, the First Amendment still protects against the criminalization of criticizing Islam. But we face at least two threats still. The first is extra-legal intimidation of a kind already endemic in the Muslim world and increasing in Europe. In 2009, Yale University Press, in consultation with Yale University, removed all illustrations of Mohammed from its book by Jytte Klausen on the Danish cartoon crisis. It also removed Gustave Doré’s 19th-century illustration of Mohammed in hell from Dante’s Inferno. Yale’s formal press statement stressed the earlier refusal by American media outlets to show the cartoons, and noted that their “republication…has repeatedly resulted in violence around the world.”
Another publisher, Random House, rejected at the last minute a historical romance novel about Mohammed’s wife, Jewel of Medina, by American writer Sherry Jones. They did so to protect “the safety of the author, employees of Random House, booksellers and anyone else who would be involved in distribution and sale of the novel.”
The comedy show South Park refused to show an image of Mohammed in a bear suit, although it mocked figures from other religions. In response, Molly Norris, a cartoonist for the Seattle Weekly, suggested an “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.” She quickly withdrew the suggestion and implied that she had been joking. But after several death threats, including from Al-Qaeda, the FBI advised her that she should go into hiding—which she has now done under a new name.
Here. In the US. A woman has gone into HIDING for suggesting an “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.” There is a FATWA on her head.
Hiding for her life.
Yea, so – you know what? I’m not really gonna care that much that the spooks are watching their mosques and keeping track of converts and what not.
I’d like them to do MORE of this.
And obviously so would some Muslims
mong the speakers was Dr. Zudhi Jasser, the narrator of “The Third Jihad,” a documentary about the dangers of radical Islam that the NYPD showed in the lobby of a police training area and has since disavowed.
“We are not here to criticize the NYPD but rather thank them for monitoring extremists, a job that Muslims should be doing,” Jasser said.
Jasser and others, including activist Manda Zand Ervin, said that the danger is clearly coming from within the Muslim community and that it’s up to other Muslims to help law enforcement stop the threat. They said Muslims do not want to give up civil rights and are behind transparency in police work but it is wrong to suggest that all Muslims are somehow afraid of the NYPD, the nation’s biggest police department.