Intolerance and Islam since 9/11

Martin Luther King Jr. once said that time is neutral – it can be used either destructively or constructively. The … Continued

Martin Luther King Jr. once said that time is neutral – it can be used either destructively or constructively.

The forces of intolerance in America have used the time since 9/11 to destroy the bonds of our diverse nation. They have established a well-funded, highly organized “Hate your Muslim Neighbor” campaign. They have best-selling books, highly trafficked websites, rallies that bring together thousands, speaker programs that reach tens of thousands, crisply divisive email campaigns that get forwarded around to millions.

They have defined the terms: “Ground Zero Mosque.” “Radical Imam.” “Muslim triumphalism.”

They have framed the debate. It’s simple in their minds: “Us vs. Them” is “Americans against Muslims.”

What we need now is a concerted “Love All Your Neighbors” campaign. Because, as Theodore McCarrick, Cardinal Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Washington, said “America was not built on hate.”

We have watched what the forces of intolerance can do. Let’s see now what the forces of inclusion can do.

Let’s invite to our pulpits, bimas and minbars speakers of other faiths. My friend Bob Roberts – a conservative Evangelical pastor in Texas – is doing just this at his Global Faith Forum, an impressive conference he’s organizing in November which will welcome a number of exceptional and unlikely speakers to his Northwood Church pulpit, from Prof. John Esposito to HRH Prince Turki Al Faisal, Former Saudi Arabia Ambassador to the USA.

Let’s demand that our nation’s top leaders tell the story of American tolerance and pluralism.

We know that Mayor Michael Bloomberg isn’t afraid to do this. In response to the controversy around Park 51, he said, “This nation was founded on the principle that the government must never choose between religions or favor one over another. The World Trade Center site will forever hold a special place in our city, in our hearts. But we would be untrue to the best part of ourselves and who we are as New Yorkers and Americans if we said no to a mosque in lower Manhattan.”

Let’s train a critical mass of interfaith leaders on our college campuses – young people who can bring people from different faiths together in projects that serve others. Our Interfaith Youth Core Fellows on two dozen campuses across the country are in the midst of organizing interfaith initiatives around this issue to bring together their campus communities.

As Edmund Burke said, “All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” In the spirit of Martin Luther King, the forces of pluralism have to use this time constructively.

Let’s not be having this same conversation on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.


  • Rongoklunk

    Sam Harris recently gave an example of the kind of comment he would love to hear from leaders in the Muslim community – like Mr Patel.”Like all decent people, I am horrified by much that goes on in the name of ‘Islam,’ and I consider it a duty of all moderate Muslims to recognize that many of the doctrines espoused in the Qur’an and hadith present some unique liabilities at this moment in history. Our traditional ideas about martyrdom, jihad, blasphemy, apostasy, and the status of women must be abandoned, as they are proving disastrous in the 21st century. Many of Islam’s critics have fully justified concerns about the state of discourse in parts of the Muslim world–where it is a tissue of conspiracy theories, genocidal ravings regarding the Jews, and the most abject, triumphalist fantasies about conquering the world for the glory of Allah. While the scriptures of Judaism and Christianity also contain terrible passages, it has been many centuries since they truly informed the mainstream faith. Hence, we do not tend to see vast numbers of Jews and Christians calling for the murder of apostates today. This is not true of Islam, and there is simply no honest way of denying this shocking disparity. We are members of a faith community that appears more concerned about harmless cartoons than about the daily atrocities committed in its name–and no one suffers from this stupidity and barbarism more than our fellow Muslims. Islam must grow up. And Muslim moderates like ourselves must be the first to defend the rights of novelists, cartoonists, and public intellectuals to criticize all religious faiths, including our own. By Sam Harris.

  • Secular

    I see Jihadist is active on this thread, trying to turn the tables WMarkW using his words. But he can run but cannot hide. I had challenged him and his friend Yousufi along the lines of Mr. Patel’s commentary. Mr Jihadi do you find any intolerant verses in Koran, that you are willing to publicly repudiate in this forum? the previous challenge was more general, but this is more specific. the same challenge goes to teh author of this commentary MR. Patel, too. Mr. Patel, as one who as penned this very high minded essay, will you identify the intolerant passages in teh Koran and publicly repudiate them on your Faith Divide forum in Washington Post. Until you can do that your splendid commentaries will be sounding rather self serving and hypocritical.

  • woodstock-41

    “Little Brethren”: Before i[WE] begin: Hint; In the Subconscious of Pure “A M E R Ka/o/’s All this Anti-Ishlami [Mad Man] /Easaumi [Sold His 'Birth Right, let alone Wrongs etc..] is to blame (yaya;ppoint da fingers against dem “White Hating Cracker”s [Nationa of iSlam] N.O.I.; an Imported, NOT MADE-IN-AMERIiCA, SuperStupidstitious [Contrary to Quran/Koran Message(s) etc..) Abrahahamic, wannabe, religion/faith/Belief.. SYSTEM:Now; Brother Fareed Zakaria [a Great Mentor et al] saith, “WE, r Safer Than We[i] Think’th” [Similar said]. Or Why U.S. A’s's over-reacted [To Ishlami/Esauite Phobia].Yet The Brother gots to understanda thata “Ishlami-Phobia/o” is as real and Righteous , as the past (current pre-Islamish Scare) COMMY Finkil-Faggariono-Scare during Post N. Korian Scare , Then Vietnami era/epochs.He Also Freudianly saith, “… It [Hate of] has created suspicions about U.S. Ishlami’s who are more assimilated than in any? other Country in the World…!”???POiNT: If (before Ishlami-Scare in PARIS, France (Riots) or England, London (Riots): THAT, then If Sweet Sweet “YO Oss of A’s, Did’nt hath “COMMY-Phobia; Then U.S. A. as we Knew Would Never hath Existed.!??Sooo, Today: Ishlami Phobia, Spread/Creep via “Elders Of Al-Taqiyahists (Not Elders Of Zion… anymore) , but via their (NOt our) ELDERS Of Wahhabi-Bi’s/Ayatollahs; Is Real; NOT A ILLUSION (Magog); Sooo Think “G O G” (Truth)! MIND 1st; Heart 2nd, Gutt 3rd and Oss 4th, Aye?! Note: TiME IS The BEST MEDICINE; aka “Patience is the Essence of TiME(TEMP//immortal)”!

  • woodstock-41

    O’… That last post was meant for SisSTAR Pamila T. & Co.In Shallah! Allah Karim!Happy EiD!Happy Everyday! [Lika Birth-day Yo!).Hugs n a kiss’ to ALL, EVERY & Any of da “Automatic Born Citizens/Denizens” of Bless’th (never Curs’th/Sin’th: And SEXUAL Guilt-Free) S.pace s.hip Earth!, aka S.S. GAiA, S.S. GEOiD, S.S. TELLUSng somethn+!

  • WmarkW

    As Edmund Burke said, “All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” They went after Salman Rushdie, and I am not a novelist, so I did not speak out.If they ever come for me, will there be anyone left to speak out?

  • AKafir


  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Appealing to Christians for tolerance is not a very good appeal. Christians are not known for tolerance. That is part of what makes Christianity and Islam so much alike. I am afraid that this impasse between two stubborn religions is not going away any time soon. It is the very nature of the twins, Christianity and Islam, to seek to do away with each other. That is the way the world is made. There is not much that can be done about, but to let the two sides slug it out.I think that if we could get Muslims to burn Bibles in retaliation for Christians burning Korans, then that would be progress.That is what I am hoping for.

  • yasseryousufi1

    Secular, no need jump up and down like a clown! You aren’t enlightened enough for the Quran to be discussed with you. Have you teared off you Mahabharta yet?

  • AKafir

    Fascinating. Jihadist, why don’t you simply answer why is it that there is so much hate and discrimination built into the laws of your country towards the non-muslims? Is it part of the Malaya culture? Where does that hate come from? Could it be from the Quran by any chance? The Shariyat court judges are very very knowledgeable in Islam are they not? Why do they treat the non-muslims as third class citizens?Inter-faith Dialog is not very productive till the Muslims decide to be truthful and honest with the non-muslims, but that they cannot do. If Eboo wants an interfaith dialog honestly with the Kafirs of America, then he should start addressing honestly why is there so much hate for the non-muslims in Islam. Why is there so much hate towards the non-muslims written into the laws of nearly all muslim countries? Why do the muslims here aspire to bring such hateful laws into America under their Sharia? The answers that jihadis and Yasser give speak for themselves. It really should not be that difficult for Jihadist to tell us why 1) a muslim woman cannot, no matter what, marry a non-muslim man in Malaysia; 2) why a distant muslim relative inherits all the property and benefits of a dead muslim husband rather than his non-muslim wife; 3) why the non-muslim spouse loses all parental rights to their minor children (who automatically become muslims) as soon as the spouse converts to Islam. I could go on with other “Islamic Sharia Laws” that govern the lives of Kafirs in many Islamic countries just as they do in Malaysia.

  • yasseryousufi1

    “Secular” would rather not challenge or criticise “saffron terrorists” and Hindutva extremists.He gets his knowledge on America from “Time” and “Newsweek” before migrating to the States. **********************************Apparently he doesn’t pick up the signs too well. People ignore him for a reason. His intentions are to spread hate and misrepresent the facts. He hides behind a false acronym like other Hindu’s on WaPo perhaps embarrassed no one takes their religion of talking monkeys and 12 headed Gods seriously. Kafir falsely hides behind a former muslim identity. Both are clearly identifiable from their bigoted, anti-muslim, upper caste Brahman stances.

  • abrahamhab1

    Eboo says:This implies that whoever objects to the proposed location of this mosque is necessarily anti Muslim. Secondly is not this “Us vs. them” the way your Allah taught you to look upon those who do not believe in His “Favorite prophet?” Why have we never heard you or any other Muslim question this discriminatory principle when applied to others such when your coreligionists label the people of the world as belonging to either the House of Peace (Muslims= Paradise dwellers) or the House of War (non-Muslims of all stripes= dwellers of hell).

  • Secular

    Yasser, what kind of god devotes an entire chapter of his own book, on behalf of the nephew, about a quarrel between an loving uncle and his intransigent nephew. The kind of god is the narcissistic & megalomanaical nephew’s alter ego. Thats what that 5 verse chapter is all about. The point is not how Abu Lahab died. The point is that your prophet or profit the original Mr. 20% (like your Prez Mr. 10%) is a low life to think the way he did about his aunt & uncle who had rejoiced in that ingrate’s birth. As I said earlier you have shown your true colors, you are one of those totally deluded brainwashed automaton who just blindly follows that vile turbid tome.

  • Jihadist

    Yousufi, & Jihadist, one thing about both of you is you both are so predictable. – Secular*******************************************And I had thought that you are so predictable on Islam and Muslims in On Faith threads. Predictable posts needs predictable reactions – a wee variation of Newton’s Third Law.

  • yasseryousufi

    AAh Secular! Now I see why you were getting so puffed up. You read a new Chapter in Robert Spencer book on Islam ‘eh? Had to find a muslim to argue this with! Abu Lahab’s punishment was absolutely in line with the severity of his crime. He was the biggest enemy of Islam and Prophet Muhammad having physically and verbally abused Prophet Muhammad many times. Whats the big deal with that? Did you hear what happened Remeses II who took on another Prophet of God, refused to see the signs? People of Lut who disobeyed the Prophet of God or the People of Noah! What was the fate of Rawan?

  • yasseryousufi1

    Kafir writes,Jihadist a muslim from Malaya who obviously knows next to nothing about muslims of Pakistan asks questions about Islam in Pakistan, and YasserYousufi, a muslim from Pakistan, stays silent because the the questions are “uncomfortable”.*****************************************Kafir, you’re way too cute! It wasn’t Jihadist asking questions about Pakistan, it is infact you who is asking the questions about Pakistan. Jihadist merely pointed out to you why a supposedly madrassa educated, Karachi born former muslim Pakistani and a self confessed expert on Islam can’t answer these questions. I would just like to know, since I’ve lived alomost all my life in Karachi if you can tell me something original about your madrassah or Karachi itself that one cannot readily look up on the internet.

  • zakaria_belal

    In Islamic Prophecy there is one aspect CanadaJal(networking) as evil as via internet . World religion vs Canadajal read as ”Canada dajal” literally means one eyed uncompromising.This makes so called Patel’s N Americal vs Muslims or people of religion(all) i.e. democracy wealth vs freedon of individual via religion.suppression of religion or rights suppression of individual by hook and crooke.This is Prophecy too and facts( to conceal for self promotion).In fact it has been going on past 40 years.Netanyahu came recently and offered joint research using this.Stephen Hawkings came denied God and promoted his own ufo own version of Time Travel.This high radiation Monitor screen lights =conspiracy theory of trio .Or is it rather Canadadajal as none religion democracy and what they conceal amid world turmoil.This has been on going which they will not take no for answer.Preventing disclosure is what Canada conceal via canada networking (irrelegious group) .They do truly exists in co ordination with high priced Lawyers major law firms within world of IMF Loans networking water pollution (even via tar sand). This group is all nothing but ficticious work on behalf of theft devil.Mind you it is not necessarily Govt of Canada or Govt of Ontario or Govt of BC or Alberta Sand .But it is rather individuals ( Muslim Hindus Sikhs Jews Christians inclusive special brand).i.e. truly evil.I could not get through seeking basic right which do even exists(by force by merciless cruelty).It can be safely said that democracy does not exist.They are truly evil oriented.i,e America vs world in true sense.

  • AKafir

    Jihadist: “AKafir still can’t tell us why he is so against a peaceful Muslim like Eboo Patel, presumably his fellow Indian American – a minority group in the States.”Mr. Jihadist, I have asked you a few questions multiple times asking you to tell us why there is so much hatred towards the non-muslims in Malaya Islam (but that applies to Islam anywhere else), and you who have been so eloquent in telling all the problems and shortcomings of Americans to the other American posters have suddenly lost your tongue on that issue? Consider this an Inter-faith Dialog. I am A Kafir and I proclaim myself to be one. I have asked you serious questions about Islam. For the sake of the other non-muslims who read these pages, why don’t you answer them?

  • AKafir

    Jihadist: “he is above and beyond being asked on what he said and do, as he is protected by free speech like Terry Jones?”The First Amendment and the right to free speech is what is at the core of our freedoms in America. That is why a brown-skinned muslim-named ex-muslim like myself wears his loyalty to America on his sleeve. That free speech is the real weapon against the Islamic jihadists. Islam needs to get rid of its hatred of the non-muslims if it wishes to live in the modern world, and there are many many muslims who want to do that. They are unable to speak while sitting in Muslim lands because they get killed by the religious. That is why you can have a Asra Nomani in America but not in any Muslim Land. Go look up and see who she is. She is a muslim who is honest and has real Inter-faith Dialog.

  • abrahamhab1

    Eboo quotes Blumberg as saying;Can Blumberg, Eboo or anyone else explain to me why two hundred cab drivers and street vendors in lower Manhattan need a 100 million fifteen story skyscraper to “worship “in? And why the promoters are insisting on this particular spot which is a stone’s throw from the scene of a massacre carried out in the name of the religion of the proposed edifice?

  • zakaria_belal

    All religion is based on the worship we do to our own way to a God or Godess or Devil or Atheism(do nothing eat die and so called end of it).Not quite says God go or come willingly or unwillingly – paradise or Fire(acidic) hel do existl.Almost all is bound for hell of earth universe or galaxy.We created past Umma(presumably Dynasaur) and we will replace Human yet with other Creation says Quran(last religion on earth).I am stuck in Dilemma myself using religion and continents (I travel to find the link to happening).To pin point I have reasearched between God replica and claimants from series of prayers from series of priests of different faith based upon availibility tracking it down to last to earliest reasoning .This is where the clue to whole problems exists Darwin Einsteins water Lights hurricanes snw storm thunder lightening and drop of rain in the middle of snow freezing rain amid dancing northern lights of arctic and strange events taking place around the globe.Says Quran : ”Correct your affair before you die”.These research materials by God claimants Scientific research Claims do exists.Finally I found differentiation of God and others with the help.

  • zakaria_belal

    With my latest posting in Washington Post The book of religion ‘ Cana dajal ‘one eyed Monitor High radiation screen networking has been established as culprit(as disclosing).This has come with all the evidence (red handed).These are true facts (ongoing).They have come true with Probably Prez Obama may have some excitement (historical).I do not know yet.With other story of Yahoo photograph of Toronto Blurred Vision photo of Karl one eyed Tornadoe coincided with Kashmir Hazrat Bal Mosque .These are related to current death on Quran Burning _ Indian soldiers killing Civilian.This isJordanian King related as well as is 90yr old and other life drama unfolding.May be something with Eboo Patel related too!

  • zakaria_belal

    Only few short paragraph in three Washington Post :’under God Bishop quotes Bush”why god wont go away’ and Eboo Patel’s'intolerance’ I have proven everything needed to know about Universe Uf0 neutrinos Cana dajal networking plus in person only.

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