I have no idea how I ended up on your mailing list, but I read this & felt constrained to say that there appears to be something lacking in the logic you use.
It ought to be obvious that the things your friend Rick said about Muslim Americans can not be said about other religious groups for the reason that historic American values are not in conflict with Judaism, Christianity or even to any great extent with Buddhism, whereas they certainly are in conflict with the tenets of Islam. Now, faithful Christians and Jews are sickened by modern aberrations like abortion, the acceptance of homosexuality, militarism, etc., but remember, the question was, "Can a Muslim be a GOOD American?" - IE: Can he or she be in agreement with the founding principles of American society? Can a fundamentalist Muslim (and I regard the term Fundamentalist as positive, implying faithfulness to the fundamental principles of one's religion) subscribe to the Constitution of the United States of America? Of course not. It is not even possible for such a person to accept the First Amendment, as Salmon Rushdie discovered to his cost, to say nothing of a certain Danish cartoonist. The reality is that as a Muslim, you have to choose where your allegiance will lie, because, unlike other religions, you don't have the luxury of being able to love both the principles of Islam and the principles underlying American society.
To complain about profiling and demagoguery, is to display the same reaction we see throughout the Muslim world: IE: It's always someone else's fault. I have dear Muslim friends who have been subjected to these things, and I feel a great deal of sympathy for them. But what brought these things down upon their heads? It is not something perverse in the American psyche; it is the threatening words and actions of the religious group with whom they identify. We are not talking about one or two stray nut-cases like Timothy McVeigh as you imply; we are talking about literally millions of people who whole-heartedly shout "Death to America" and mean it! If the Muslim community rose up in outrage, and said with one voice, “The killing of innocent people is an abomination to our God, and we will stand with you against them,” then the average American would have no reason not to treat Muslims the same way he treats Hindus or Bahais. But the reality is, that some demon possessed slave of Satan who just slaughtered some little girls daddy in cold blood is part of the Ummah, and so it is somehow felt to be necessary to find an excuse for what he did. So it is not logical to respond with a litany of America's wrong-doings because you only have to look at opinion polls to see that most Americans, far from excusing the evils done in their name, deeply regret some of the things their government has done recently. When news came through about what happened at Abu Grade, most Americans hung their heads in shame, and the guilty were punished. Conversely, when some innocent foreign electrician is decapitated in Baghdad, and pictures of it are posted on the net, all we hear from the Muslim community is silence, or even attempts to justfy it.
Bush deceived the nation when he committed America to the war in Iraq, but why was he able to sell that thin lie about WMDs? The answer of course is 9/11, bombed embassies in Nairobi, Beirut, etc, and a never ending stream of threats. Blind, vengeful aggression handed him his excuse on a plate.
There is still a lot of good in America, but she is in trouble because her leaders have bought into the same lie as Mao and Khomeini - That power comes out of the barrel of a gun. But there is no security in violence, nor is there the least shred of honour in it. History proves that prosperity only comes when the people themselves walk in humble, daily obedience to God's Word, no matter where we come from.
Consider these words, Jaan: "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." These are Jesus' words (Matthew 5:43-48). When men have lived by these words, nations have been changed and peace has reigned. True, Christ's words run totally opposite to human nature, which relies on our own wisdom, not God's. To most men, Jesus' words seem impractical and unworkable, because their own hearts are full of vengeance and mistrust. But if you've had enough of that evil human nature and all the waste and destruction it causes, you will discover, as I have, that He is able to change you. I mean, change you in a way you never imagined, so that God's kingdom is real to you; eternity with Him is real to you; and peace with God is not just a religious idea, but a happy reality for you, day by day. There is much more to be said about this offer which we call "the Gospel", but the first question has to be, "Do you want it?"
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