But good Muslims should welcome fair questions and not dismiss them as manifestations of bigotry. Most Americans have no a priori view of Islam. As far as they are concerned, it is one more religion that its practitioners ought to be able to practice in peace just as the members of every other faith in America do.
I know I have questions, and I know they come from a non-prejudiced place. And I can back up this claim.
Between 1982 and 1992, I moderated an extremely popular weekly radio show in Los Angeles on ABC radio. It featured a Roman Catholic priest, a Protestant minister and a rabbi. Beginning about 1987, I regularly invited Muslim representatives, marking the first time that Muslims were given such wide exposure on mainstream American radio or television. I developed such a good rapport with the Muslim community and its leaders that I was repeatedly invited to speak at the Islamic Center of Southern California, one of the largest and most prestigious institutions and mosques in the country.
And I in turn invited Muslim leaders to speak before major Jewish institutions.
Given this background, it is with the greatest sadness that I feel compelled to ask two questions:
First, is there anything in Islam or in the way Islam is now taught and practiced that dulls the conscience and thereby enables many religious Muslims to engage in or support atrocities that other groups, religious and secular, find inconceivable?
Second, the laudable condemnations of Islamic terror made by the Islamic Center notwithstanding, why are there virtually no public demonstrations of Muslims against the unspeakable evils committed by its adherents?
And while posing questions, here are two for liberals: Why are almost the only people asking these questions aloud conservative and religious? Where are you when it comes to acknowledging evil?
Yes, some people do shoot children, and good people have a right to ask why.
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