Why exactly they think that Western cultures must embrace them so openly is not entirely clear, since their own Islamist societies are in fact extremely intolerant. Let's look at a few examples.
The stewardess, who has not been named, claims that she has been subject to discrimination because of her faith. She is understood to have deep religious convictions and carries a Bible with her at all times. But bmi, which is the only British scheduled carrier to fly to the country after British Airways pulled out of the route, insisted that it was only following Foreign Office advice.
The dispute has erupted as British Airways seeks to settle its own dispute with Nadia Eweida, a Heathrow check-in worker, who has been banned from wearing a cross on a necklace while on duty.
A spokesman for bmi said the airline was complying with Saudi law and added that the stewardess had been offered the opportunity to switch to working on its short-haul routes. It could not, however, alter its long-haul rosters to accommodate her.
The Foreign Office website informs travellers to Saudi Arabia: "The importation and use of narcotics, alcohol, pork products and religious books, apart from the Koran, and artefacts are forbidden." A spokesman said last night that the Saudi authorities would automatically confiscate a Bible from anybody trying to bring one into the country and it would not be returned. A spokesman for Christian Solidarity Worldwide said: "It is worrying that a British company should be instructing its staff to conform to practices which are in violation of international standards on religious freedom."The Saudi government prohibits the public practice of other religions and the possession of non-Islamic religious objects has often led to arrests."
Muezza was the Prophet Muhammad’s favorite cat. The most famous story about Muezza recounts how the call to prayer was given, and as Muhammad went to put on one of his robes, he found his cat sleeping on one of the sleeves, and instead of disturbing the cat he cut off the sleeve and let him sleep. When he returned, Muezza awoke and bowed down to Muhammad, and in return he stroked him three times.
"please do not confuse Islam with the Arab countries. Many majority Islamic countries such as Senegal, Indonesia, Malaysia and Turkey are experiencing a kind of democracy, even though it is not perfect. This has nothing to do with Islam and very often the religion is used as an instrument to forbid people the right to dissent."
In fact, all Islamic countries are officially intolerant of any other religion. In
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
At the Dallas Morning News the other day, our editorial board received a delegation from the local Muslim community. They came in large part to complain about editorial coverage of the community, which is to say they came mostly to complain about me. Which is fine: they accurately recognize that don't believe their claims that they are completely innocent of radicalism, and are wholly victims of irrational fear of Muslims. Once again, I came away from a meeting with them even more convinced of my views in this regard. I recorded the entire meeting, and hope to have the time in the next week or so to post lengthy excerpts. In summation, though, the group was defensive, evasive, and wouldn't give a straight answer to simple questions.I asked the delegation's leader to clarify something he'd said to me and some colleagues last time we met, about his belief that homosexuals should be killed, adulterous women stoned, etc. He launched an elaborate defense of this position, saying that Judaism and Christianity are against homosexuality. Yes, I said, but they don't require that gays be killed for being gay. Do you believe that they should? An imam jumped in to explain why the sharia is right to require hand-chopping of thieves. Later, the delegation's leader said that if I'm asking him to apologize for what his religion requires, he's not going to do it.Trying to get at the heart of the matter, I asked if they thought sharia should be the law of the land in our secular pluralistic democracy. Another round of long-winded answers, amounting to, "It would never happen here." That's not what I'm asking, I said; should it happen here. Someone explained that Muslim community would never be big enough in this country to make that happen. Which is, of course, entirely beside the point, but we moved on. I had my answer.
In 2003, after I'd only been in
It was a hysterical performance, and one that raised far more questions than it answered. I believe that many US Muslim leaders try to substitute "How dare you!" for a substantive response to serious and legitimate concerns, in hopes that those asking the questions will withdraw them out of shame. Sorry, but that doesn't work with me, and it ought not work with anybody who didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday. In the meeting here the other day, when the topic of Sayyid Qutb's thought being part of a quiz competition at the big local mosque came up, Mohamed and some of the others tried to minimize Qutb's importance. You might have believed that if, like most Americans, you know nothing about Qutb. But anybody who knows anything about him understands his absolutely central role as the philosopher behind modern jihadism. To learn that Qutb's thought has been welcomed into a mosque does not put one's mind at ease. Here, for example, is Qutb on the possibility of building bridges between Muslims and non-Muslims, i.e., those living in Ignorance:
The only way to bridge the gulf between the two is for Ignorance to liquidate itself completely and substitute for all its laws, values, standards and concepts their Islamic counterparts. The first step that should be taken in this field by the person calling on people to embrace Islam is to segregate himself from Ignorance. He must be separated to the extent that any agreement or intercourse between him and Ignorance is absolutely impossible unless and until the people of Ignorance embrace Islam completely: no intermingling, no half measures or conciliation is permissible, however clever Ignorance may be in usurping the role of Islam or reflecting it. The chief basis of the personality of the person inviting others to Islam is the clear manifestation of this fact within himself and his solemn conviction of being radically different from them. They have their own religion, and he has his. His task is to orientate them so that they may follow his path without any fraud or pretence. Failing this, he must withdraw completely, detach himself from their life and openly declare to them: "You have your own religion, and I have mine." This is a sine qua non for the contemporary advocates of Islam.
Now, you simply cannot tell me that teaching the thought of a man who believed the only way to relate to non-Muslims is entirely on terms set by Muslims, who should intend ultimately to destroy non-Muslim beliefs and way of life and substitute Islam -- you can't tell me that exposing kids to this way of thinking in the biggest mosque in Texas is not something worthy of the larger community's concern. You can't dismiss him as a fringe figure, or dismiss his being taught here as nothing compared to all the good that the mosque does. You just can't, not credibly. We are seeing in England the poisonous fruits of the wider community having turned a blind eye to the spread of this poisonous ideology among the youth. We can't afford the same mistake here.To ask these questions is not to show hatred for Muslims, and to assert such a thing is transparently an attempt at moral bullying. On the contrary, asking hard questions and expecting credible answers is to take Islam and its doctrines and believers seriously. And it is to take the journalists' role seriously. I mean it sincerely when I say that I welcome dialogue with our Muslim neighbors. Dialogue, not monologue. Mohamed seems to believe that dialogue is only possible if the outcome is predetermined, and it can only be agreement with his side's views. I respectfully but firmly dissent.
That is what they expect us passively to tolerate. As Patrick Henry said, "Forbid it, Almighty God!"