Squabbling and mistrust among those who share values and who recognized the depth of the radical Islamist threat to Western values is counterproductive. One of my tasks as San Diego Chapter leader for Act! For America is to build a coalition of like-minded Americans to protect our precious way of life from the imposition of Sharia and Islamist terrorist attacks. However, I am too often frustrated by unnecessary disagreements among those who should be working in common cause.
The most recent example of this kind of useless conflict has arisen over the issue of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) ads promoting Islam and the counter ads produced by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. Shireen Qudosi wrote an article critical of the counter ads. I will not rehash the details of this dispute.
The differences over outreach to “apostates” are of little significance when juxtaposed against the Islamists campaign. Geller, Spencer and Qudosi share a heartfelt concern for the threat posed by radical Islam. They further share a complete commitment to American Constitutional values. They recognize that we are at war and the global nature of this enemy. They have a common understanding that this war has both violent and stealth characteristics. The three activists harbor serious misgivings with the way the current administration is conducting this war. As such they should join hands while building a vast American coalition prepared to defeat the enemy and embrace all allies.
The dust up over the ads only benefits the enemy. In this same vain, I am troubled by a trend I regularly encounter among too many in our movement. Far too many on our side discourage and push away moderate Muslims because of issues of trust. There are those among us who will not trust anyone who identifies themselves as a Muslim. Because of the nature of those parts of the Koran that permit and encourage deception and other very troubling passages, genuine reformers like Shireen are the object of grave mistrust. This despite the fact that Shireen and others like her put themselves at considerable risk by openly criticizing Islam.
For whatever reason, some raised as Muslims prefer to find a path in Islam, rather than convert or abandon the faith they were born into, even as they recognize the deep problematic nature of the faith. They fully reject all those elements that I need not expound upon, that make radical Islam such a real and present threat to our way of life. Whether one feels that it is impossible or inconsistent to claim to be a moderate Muslims should be irrelevant. The only criteria we need to be concerned with are the values both spiritual and political of those on our side. Based on this standard, Shireen is a champion for American values and warrior against radical Islam.
If we are to win this war, we dare not marginalize allies. Shireen is indeed an ally. I urge Pamela and Robert to reach out to Shireen. She is very young, committed and courageous.
I urge the three parties to embrace one another’s sincerity and find ways to work together. We have enough enemies without creating divisions in our ranks.