He said he still hoped that one day the United States would be a Muslim country ruled by Islamic law, "not by violent means, but by persuasion."
"Every Muslim who is honest would say, I would like to see America become a Muslim country," he said. "I think it would help people, and if I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t be a Muslim. Because Islam helped me as a person, and it’s helped a lot of people in my community."
This is a ludicrous and frankly stupid thing to say. America is already the greatest Islamic nation in the world. Muslims of all sects within Islam can pracctice their faith freeely here, build masajid, pray. There is no nation on earth that officially calls itself "Islamic" that accords all believers the same freedom of faith. None.
UPDATE: Eteraz has more.
UPDATE 2. Via Ezra, Shadi Hamid comes along and now says that it is incumbent upon American muslims to repuduiate Shakir's remarks. That's equally insulting. Can American muslims for once have a dialog about faith and poliltics without pseudo-fatwas about what a "true muslim" feels or what is "incumbent" ? Ezra points out that Shakir's remarks would be unexceptional in a Christian framework, whch is certainly why Hamid is wrong to insist that they be the subject of a "loyalty test", no matter how aggravating the remarks were. Any non-muslim pointing to Shakir's remarks as proof of impending dhimmitude is just giving vent to their inner jafi. However, American muslims have every right to be indignant and outraged - if they so choose, Ms. Hamdi! - by yet another attempt by someone to import religious sensibilities from abroad, and designate themselves as our mouthpiece.
We muslims in America will choose our own leaders. Both Shakir and Hamdi would do well to reflect on that.
I also note that I do consider myself a traditionalist muslim, not a "progressive" one. I am just put off by attempts to assert what I as an "honest muslim" should believe.
(note: some interesting discussion on my cross-post at Dean's World).