Friday, October 5, 2007

It's What You're Biased About That Counts

Time for an admission. I'm biased.

I'm not a Muslim. Given my beliefs, I can't become a Muslim. Although I've learned to enjoy breathing in my half-century-plus of life, If I were forced to choose between an outward acceptance of Islam and death, I would have to choose death. I'm not being brave, just consistent. I've been Christian all my life, and, God willing, that's not going to change.

I won't kill my children because they "bring shame" on my family. My understanding is that honor killing may not be an integral part of Islam. It seems to be part of the flavor of Islam that outfits like the Taliban and Al Qaeda want to impose on the rest of us.

Then there's my wife. I won't beat her, I even let her drive around town without a male relative. In fact, she and my daughter are out, driving, shopping, and visiting my father-in-law, without a male escort: except for my father-in-law, of course. In Riyadh, that would at best cause remark. Here in Minnesota, it's just the way we live.

"Let her drive around town?" Americans will understand how bizarre that statement is. Or, maybe not.

Given my stubborn refusal to embrace the beliefs of some crazed imam, my insistence on viewing rape victims as victims, and my libertine attitude toward letting my wife get the groceries on her own, my next expression of bias may be understandable.

I don't want Al Qaeda to win. I don't want the Taliban to take over management of Minnesota. I don't want any of these jihadist crazies to make America a caliphate.

I don't care how anti-multicultural or intolerant it sounds: I want America to win the war on terror. Losing this conflict would be a disaster: take a look at what the Taliban's Afghanistan was like, for a preview of a sufficiently Islamic America and Europe.

Related posts, on tolerance, bigotry, racism, and hatred


Anonymous said...

Brian, you are correct. "Honor" killings are not an intrinsic part of Islam. They are believed to have their origins in misinterpretations of pre-Islamic Arab tribal codes. They pre-date Islam by centuries and, in fact, are un-Islamic.

I recently conducted a nationwide survey of "honor" killings in Jordan. In my representative sample, over 20% of the respondents believe Islam tells them they must avenge affronts to family honor through murder. Islam says no such thing. But, unfortunately, a lot of people have a deadly misunderstanding. There is definitely opportunity in the mosques and in the schools to correct this.

Ellen R. Sheeley, Author
"Reclaiming Honor in Jordan"

Brian H. Gill said...

Thank you for that insight.

I hope that more Muslims will become educated about what Islam is.

As you said, this is a time of great opportunity.

Unique, innovative candles

Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle Store


Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.