Until now. via Tacitus, LGF has reached a low that shatters my desperate rationalizations.
The topic? a beautiful article in Voice of America about Muslims honoring and celebrating the 4th of July in Philadelphia:
As a crowd gathered on the lawn in front of Philadelphia's Liberty Bell Pavilion, a group of young Muslims kicked off the annual convention. Their ceremony began with a reading from the Koran, followed by a chorus of children singing the National anthem, then a recitation of the Constitution's first ten amendments.
Twenty-five-year-old Azra Awan from New Jersey says she chose to read the Bill of Rights because the document is symbolic to her.
I've been proud to call America the greatest Islamic country in the world, because only here are the principles freedom of speech and religion that are outlined in the Qur'an so beautifully realized and implemented. Far more so than any Abbasid dynasty could ever have attained.
In the context of this muslim perspective on freedom (which is, I gather, also the point of our Iraq adventure which the LGF groupthink so emphatically supports) there are some insiights into balancing the religious responsibilities with the real world:
Ms. Awan felt uncomfortable at first when she decided to "cover," or wear a hijab, at the age of 12.
"It was the Gulf War and I started covering the same day that the war started," she said. "It kind of worked against me in that sense because I had a lot more people teasing me, making fun of me and I remember it being very difficult. I came home the first day and cried. I didn't want to do it again. But I kept motivated and my friends and I, they continued with me, and from then on we just continued growing."
In contrast, 22-year-old New Yorker Sobia Ahmab says there was no conflict between her religious life and her secular life while she and her group of friends were in high school or college.
"We were born and raised here so we don't feel like we are from a foreign country or anything, you know," she said. "But our religion because it takes a precedent in our lives, it goes in hand in hand. Sisters, we cover, everyday going to school covering, but still keeping our identity. We're still hanging out with the girls [non-Muslim friends], doing the projects, doing everything. Lunchtime, whatever, sports, gym, I mean we take part in everything but within the boundaries of Islam - being modest and things like that. So it's not that hard if you are strong in your identity. It's really not that hard to do it."
As the book about my own community, Mullahs on the Mainframe, illustrates, it is no small feat to exist in a wildly diverse and multicultural society such as America and still retain your own culture's values and practices. Identity is the foundation of community.
What is Charles' take on the passage above? "Case in point�an approving article on Muslims in Philadelphia spreading the intolerance and misogyny of fundamentalist Islam over the Fourth of July holiday."
The irony of Charles' attitude towards the successful assimilation of Muslims into the fabric of American culture - which would slove the threat from fnaatic extremism - is clear. And profoundly disappointing.