Is it legal to be Muslim? It is against the law to be religious? What about an extremist? The Peter King Trials, under the auspices of the almighty House Homeland Security Committee, are attempting to put radical Islamists on trial. My question is: when was the last time they cleaned their own backyard? Religions make extreme claims. As long ago as Yahweh thundering from Mount Sinai, adherents to monotheistic religions have claimed that their interpretation of God demands many unsavory actions – genocide, infanticide, war-time rape – all permissible in the Holy Bible. When terrorists draw their inspiration from the Quran, however, it crosses that invisible line in the sand. During the deepest chill of the Cold War nobody thought to bring Russian Orthodox Christians to trial. After all, they are cut from the same monotheistic cloth.
The damage done by Christian extremists is less visible, or at least more forgivable, in American eyes. Innocent mistakes, people doing what they thought that God demanded. It could happen to anybody. As long as they are Christian. As we daily watch the infectious creeping of Fundamentalism and its subtle (or overt) violence against those who are different, in a great move of theatrical diversion, King and his minions try to focus blame on “pagans.” Right belief, the afterbirth of monotheism, has taken on a life of its own. It can brook no rivals. If it is Christian right belief it can support the sale of fellow human beings, the dehumanization of prisoners of war, the starvation of the young. They are, after all, not Christian. Not like us.
In the words of the King, “Too many of the leaders of the Muslim community… are not cooperative and are not willing to speak out and condemn this radicalization that’s going on.” Physician, heal thyself. Radicalization in the name of Christianity is acceptable, even laudable. It is just part of the frontier, pioneering spirit of this great nation. Other religions, however, need not apply for freedom. After all, what do they think this is – a democracy?