Muslim Cultural Festival Leading up to Democratic Convention Sparks Controversy


In an effort to bring in to the open the Islamic faith, several hundred Muslims held Friday prayers in a park in North Carolina to coincide with the Democratic National Convention.  In addition to the prayer service, there is to be town hall meeting and cultural festival open to non-Muslims.  The events were planned to bring about more openness and to show people what Muslims must deal with due to biases.  One of the organizers points to the erosion of Muslim civil rights, including the Patriot Act to make his point.  Of course the reason for holding this cultural festival at the Democratic National convention and not the Republican convention is the Democrats are generally perceived as more liberal and open-minded.  It would not have gone over as well at the Republican convention.  As it turns out however, there has been some very negative reaction.  But why?   Why, when the Muslim community is making overtures, are so many still not interested in listening?  The answer to the question is actually quite simple.  US citizens do not trust the intentions and motives of Muslims.  There are two main points to be made regarding the mistrust or anger at Islam in America.  1) Muslim women, even though they don’t seem to mind, are second class citizens by American standards.  I am not even referring to how they dress, I am referring to their status in the family.  Servicing men, while considered noble in Islam, is not an American virtue.  It doesn’t gel with everything we teach our daughters. 2) Since there is No Democracy in the Muslim World, we Americans conclude there can not be Islam and Democracy.  Those two things appear to be mutually exclusive.  One can discuss all of the relevant topics as we head in to the November election, but one thing is most important, #1, to every single American, FREEDOM!  Patrick Henry famously stated in a speech to the Virginia Convention, “Give me Liberty or give me death”.  That’s what is so frightening to Americans and why Islam in America may never be widely accepted.  Until Muslims demonstrate, by actions, not by words, they truly want to be part of American society and culture, they will never be trusted.  The ball is in their court.

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