I did not know Thomas Jefferson, and I am no Thomas Jefferson. But Jefferson rightly foresaw that slavery and the question of its morality and expansion would be America's “firebell in the night.” We are still coming to terms today with the awful legacy of slavery in a free land.
However, Islam represents today's “firebell in the night.” The so-called “religion of peace” stands as a small, but growing, presence in America, and its slowly increasing demands for accommodation have thus far generally met with acquiescence and ignorance. One cannot help but wonder how long it will be before America awakens to the very real threat within its own borders, a threat not only to life but to freedom as well.
Rifqa Bary provides the latest demonstration that Islam's core DNA is incompatible with Western society. Meanwhile, America continues to heap politically correct platitudes on Islam as if it were merely a misunderstood religion, whose aims are like any other religion. Every so often, I sound the “firebell in the night” as a warning that our failure to assess Islam properly places our very freedoms in peril. Despite my warnings, Islam continues like colonial and antebellum slavery as an issue long-ignored or glossed-over.
Seventeen-year old Rifqa Bary sits in the custody of the state of Florida, awaiting a ruling to determine her fate. Either she will be allowed to remain in Florida on her own or she will be returned to the custody of her parents in Ohio, from whom she fled after receiving death threats for converting from Islam to Christianity. She now seeks refuge with a Christian family in Orlando. Rifqa claims that, upon discovering her conversion, her father began to threaten to kill her as prescribed in Islamic law. Thus, Rifqa claims her life literally hangs in the balance. It is clear in her mind that, if she is returned to her parents, she will be killed.
The real question is, “Does anyone care?” When Rifqa appeared in court last week, her father was present. Rifqa curled up in a fetal position in fear of confronting her father and possibly facing a return to her parents in Ohio. Rifqa awaits her fate. The world awaits the ruling.
At first blush, this appears to be a family feud, where miscommunication has filled a teenage girl with anxiety and fear.. By drilling a little deeper, the obvious reveals itself: Muslim women live a perilous existence, even in America, the land of the free. Rifqa's situation provides insight into key areas where Americans are shockingly ignorant about Islam.
First, America has already experienced the Islamic custom of “honor killing,” where the men in a Muslim family murder one of their own female relatives for having done something that brought “shame” to the family, like being raped or rejecting an arranged marriage. Documented recent examples in Texas, Michigan, New York, and Georgia illustrate the reality of honor killing in America. Most recently, the bodies of seven Muslim girls and women arrived in the morgue of Kingston, Ontario, after having been victims of drowning, with the male members of their own families being the primary suspects for the murders.
Of course, little has been made in the press of these honor killings in America and Canada because it is politically incorrect, even insensitive, to point out the horrors of Islam, even when they occur in North America. To offer a critique of Islam is not only politically unacceptable, it can be dangerous. Witness last week's announcement that the esteemed Yale University Press will not reproduce the famous Danish cartoons of Mohammed in a book they are publishing about, well, those very cartoons. Readers of The Cartoons that Shook the World will find themselves in the unenviable Orwellian position of reading thoughts about cartoons they cannot view. Yale Press said the risk of “instigating violence” was simply too high.
Meanwhile, Islam continues its slow, kuzdu-like creep into American freedoms. The reality is clear. First, prevent freedom of speech by stoking the fear of violent reprisal. Second, squelch the equality of women by slaying those who fail to remember their place and role in the family. Finally, crush freedom of religious expression by executing those who would dare leave Islam for another faith.
It is this last dimension of free religious expression where Rifqa Bary faces the greatest threat. Were her parents to kill her for bringing shame to the family, it would not only be the most recent example of honor killing in America. Even more significantly, Rifqa has also rejected Islam itself. She has made the decision above all decisions in Islam. She has chosen to reject Islam and embrace Christianity instead. According to Mohammed, she must die. By killing his own daughter, Rifqa's father would attain the highest approbation of the Prophet himself.
Islamic Hadith deal specifically with the sin of apostasy and how to deal with the apostate. The words provide little comfort for Rifqa Bary. She not only has dishonored her parents and family, but she has also dishonored Mohammed and Allah.
"Allah's Apostle never killed anyone except .. a man who fought against Allah and His Apostle and deserted Islam and became an apostate." (Bukhari 83.37)
"[In the words of] Allah's Apostle, 'Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.'" (Bukhari 84.57)
The examples of Islam's incompatibility with Western life and values continue to grow. The bodies slowly pile up.The demands for accommodation accrue. May Rifqa Bary not be the next victim of America's desire to turn a blind eye in response to the ugly realities of Islam and its perverted understandings of freedom.
The immorality of slavery continued to rear its head over and over again in various ways as America struggled to come to terms with its existence within a land based on freedom. History books are littered with the Nat Turner revolt, the Dred Scott case, the Brooks-Sumner affair, the Missouri Compromise, and countless other examples of America's great wrestling match with its own ideals of freedom and the reality of slavery and racial division. Resolution finally began with the Civil War, but we are still reconciling that division even today.
One can only wonder how long it will be, and how many dead bodies it will take, before the American people wake up to the firebell in the night that Islam represents with its very real threats to our core freedoms. Should we wait too long to address the struggle, the consequences and aftermath could take centuries.
What is the best course of action? An honest conversation, filled with reality and facts, instead of mindless political correctness and sensitivities, would be a really good place to start.