Sometimes, when people get emotional while discussing radical Islam, they tend to paint Muslims with far too broad a brush. There are millions of decent, hard working, patriotic Muslims in this country which explains why, as late as 2000, they were voting 78% Republican.
Unfortunately, we hear from those people far too seldom while the terrorists, radical Islamist shills at CAIR, and the dirtbag building the Ground Zero Mosque seem to grab all the headlines. That makes it easy to forget that there are American Muslims out there loudly and forcefully speaking out against terrorism.
Moreover, across the world, the United States has had traditional alliances with Muslim nations, some of whom have fought side-by-side with our troops. Even in hostile nations like Iran, large numbers of Iranians held spontaneous candlelight vigils to show solidarity with America. To view Muslims like that as our enemy seems rather foolish to me.
Along similar lines, some people on the Right argue that Muslims who don't believe in violence or jihad don't understand their own religion. This doesn't seem to be very...wise or helpful? Obviously, there are hundreds of millions of Muslims who don't believe that their religion is violent. Telling them that if they understood their own religion as well as non-Muslims that they would be murdering us seems like a lose/lose sort of argument to make.
All that being said, because of political correctness and the genuine desire by the American people to be polite and tolerant, a lot of extremely important issues are simply not being discussed – and that’s a big problem.
When you refuse to talk about important topics because they make people uncomfortable, animus, distrust, and anxiety inevitably spread. On the other hand, when you have an open and honest dialogue about the real issues people debate privately, you can build comfort and trust and start to reach solutions that would never be possible in an environment where people are attacked and demonized simply for asking basic questions that most people have, but are afraid to speak out about.
So, with that in mind, here are 10 questions you're not supposed to ask about Islam.
1) Why do so few moderate Muslims speak out against Islamic extremism? How can we get more moderate Muslims to speak up and amplify their voices?
2) Of the "moderate Muslims" who have spoken out in favor of moderation or against terrorism, a number of them have later been tied to terrorist groups or have advocated radical policies. This causes a great deal of difficulty for people who want to ally with Muslim groups because the "moderate" they're talking to today may very well make them look bad by advocating radical policies in a month or two. What's the best way to deal with that?
3) Because of the concept of Taqiyya, many non-Muslims believe that Muslims have few qualms about lying to non-believers. Is this a legitimate concern? If not, why not?
4) When it comes to immigration, how does the United States tell the difference between radical Islamists and moderate Muslims? If we can't tell the difference, should that affect our immigration policies?
5) Widely accepted practices in large swathes of the Islamic world -- like shariah law, honor killings, and death for apostates -- are absolutely, unconditionally incompatible with western civilization. Should we be asking Muslims if they oppose those practices before we allow them to enter our country? Granted, they could lie, but the very fact that we would publicly label those customs as barbaric would send a strong signal.
6) Why does Islam have such "bloody borders?"
7) Much of the Islamic world has an extremely backward attitude toward women. Is this something that goes along with Islam or is it a cultural issue in the nations where Islam happens to have taken root?
8) Why is there so much rabid anti-Semitism in the Muslim world? Pointing to Israel doesn't seem to be much of an answer, given that what Israel does or doesn't do has no impact whatsoever on the day-to-day lives of 98% of the Muslim world.
9) Islam, as it's practiced, SEEMS to be an EXTRAORDINARILY intolerant religion. Yet, non-Muslims are constantly being told we have to be tolerant to Islam. Why should non-Muslims be so tolerant of Islam when that tolerance is not being returned?
10) While there are certainly individual Muslims who seem to fit in very well in western society, Europe has had a great deal of difficulty assimilating Muslims. So, it seems natural to ask: Is Islam on a widespread scale compatible with the freedom, openness, and traditions of western civilization?