An Open Letter to American Followers of Islam & Mona Eltahawy
As you may or depending on the state of the public schools where you live, may not know the first Europeans to permanently settle in what is now called the United States were people fleeing religious persecution, people who’s ways of worshiping God were different than those around them and suffered for it.
When they came to America the various churches massed in various colonies and based upon their own level of tolerance for other religions enacting laws restricting the practice of other religions until finally with the adoption of the Bill of Rights in the New constitution in 1787 the principle of freedom of religion was firmly established as a national policy.
We’ve had a few bumps as Catholics in Pennsylvania and Joseph Smith could tell you but by and large we’ve done an excellent job allowing people of any and all religions to practice as they please.
Islam has been around for quite a while, as a Roman Catholic I see several things good about it, particularly it’s devotion to regular prayer which is the basis of any devotion to God.
As an American I freely welcome you to practice Islam in America. Worship God as you see fit.
As an American I freely welcome you to make public your practice, hold festivals, have parades, share cultural events, let your culture be part of ours as so many other cultures have before you.
As an American I freely welcome you to use all the freedoms promised to protect religious belief under the laws of the United States and of the individual states to make sure your right to worship is respected.
As an American I freely welcome you to make your best case for Islam, explain your religion, proselytize, I invite you to make the finest argument you can that Islam is the best way to get closest to God and to live a better life that you can, both in public and in private.
As an American I freely welcome you to make the case against my religion, any other religion or no religion at all. If you say Islam is truth explain why other religions are false or have it wrong in print, in media and on the net.
As an American I freely welcome you to attempt to convert people even a Catholic like me. Convert the entire United States if you can
As an American and as a Catholic in America In return I Demand the following:
You MUST NOT prevent others from Worshiping God as they see fit
You MUST NOT restrict the public practice of other religions, festivals or any other celebration or expression of any other religion.
You MUST NOT violate the laws of the United States nor the individual States where you live in the practice of your religion.
You MUST NOT prevent others from making the best case they can, in public or in private, for their religions or religious denominations, nor prevent others from making their case to follow no religion at all.
You MUST NOT prevent others from making the case against Islam, for explaining the flaws in your belief and declaring that you have it wrong in print, in media or on the net.
You MUST NOT prevent others from converting followers of Islam nor must you harm those who do. Islam must be able to stand on its own two feet
You will note that I do not request these things, I do not entreat of you these things as a courtesy, I do not say you SHOULD NOT do these things. I say you MUST NOT do these things.
This is part of the American compact, America is not just a place where free commerce can get you anywhere economically, it’s a place where everyone competes in the battlefield of ideas and competes freely.
If you do otherwise:
If you choose to practice and excuse things such as Honor Killing
If you attempt to pass laws to restrict critique of Islam.
If you attempt to silence the voices that would argue against you by physical action or vandalism
If you commit violence against those who would preach another creed even in towns where you are the majority,
If you attempt to slay those who would choose to leave Islam.
If actively and material support those who would overthrow this nation and it’s laws or target America & Americans for slaughter.
Then I say you have broken the compact of America, and I will fight you in word or deed to my dying breath.
The choice is entirely yours.
My own Church the Catholic church predates your religion by hundreds of years. In nearly two dozen centuries it has had ups and downs. It has had success and scandal and it has been loved or as we see lately in America despised, attacked and ridiculed by those in power and media.
This doesn’t worry me. The message of Christ and the Church is a true message, it has faced obstacles for centuries and still endures and flourish. It will continue to do so.
I submit that if you truly believe Islam is worth the paper it’s printed on or the Arabic script it’s written in, then it can stand on it’s own in the marketplace of ideas regardless of it is despised, attacked or ridiculed by those in power or those in media without the need of violence, threat or intimidation to back it up and if it can not, if you can not allow it do to so, that tells me you have neither faith in the truth of your own religion nor in “Allah” himself?
We can either be friendly rivals both honestly arguing for he best for ourselves, our families, our neighbors and our country, or we can be enemies.