Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Hate Speech

Imagine that a prominent Christian pastor, speaking from the pulpit, called for the annihilation of gays. Imagine, too, that he referred to them as filth, and that his sermon was put up on YouTube for all the world to see. What do you suppose would be the reaction? Is it unreasonable to think there'd be nation-wide 24/7 condemnation of that pastor's bigotry and his hateful speech?

The pastor would become a pariah, and Christianity would be discredited, don't you think? The left, especially, would be marching outside that pastor's church, demanding he be removed from the pulpit.

Well, recently that very thing happened, sort of, and there's been almost no reaction to the preacher's hatred and bigotry whatsoever. Perhaps, you'll understand why when you read the details. You see, it wasn't a Christian pastor calling for the annihilation of gays in a sermon, it was a Muslim imam calling for the annihilation of Jews in a lecture:
In a July 21 lecture ... Muslim preacher Ammar Shahin spoke in English and Arabic about how all Muslims, not only Palestinians or Syrians, will be called upon to kill all the Jews on "the last day."
Shahin is an Egyptian who has been in the U.S. since 1999. His mosque isn't in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, it's in Davis, California.
In a video translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Shahin also stressed that the Hadith (oral tradition of sayings attributed to the prophet of Islam) does not say where the final battle will take place. "If it is in Palestine," for example, "or another place," hinting at the possibility that such a battle could happen in the United States or Europe as well.

He also prayed that al-Aksa mosque be liberated from "the filth of the Jews."
Here's the relevant clip:
This sort of rhetoric would not be tolerated were it to be delivered by a representative of any other religion or political party. Why is it tolerated when it's delivered by Muslims? Why are Muslims excused from standards of behavior we expect of everyone else in a tolerant, civilized society?

Shahin should be free to cite his beliefs, as repugnant as they are, but that doesn't mean that everyone else should just shrug and say, "Well, that's just what Islam teaches". Hatred of this sort, taking delight in the prospect of mass slaughter, should be exposed and roundly condemned, as it would be were it to come from any other source.

To the extent that Shahin accurately represents mainstream Islamic belief, and according to the article at the link he teaches Sunni Islam to Westerners, it sure makes it difficult to accept the notion that Islam is a religion of peace.