How You and I Will Build a More Moderate Islam in Switzerland

As many of you probably know, the Jewish community has mostly come out against the minaret ban in Switzerland. And as someone who isn’t a descendant of Holocaust survivors, I feel obligated to also speak out against what is happening … Read More

By / December 4, 2009

As many of you probably know, the Jewish community has mostly come out against the minaret ban in Switzerland. And as someone who isn’t a descendant of Holocaust survivors, I feel obligated to also speak out against what is happening to Islamicist religious freedoms.

Banning minarets today is a slippery slope to banning other expressions of religious fundamentalism tomorrow, and part of a wider, disturbing pattern of oppression of Jihadists. For instance, France’s ban on burkas was an infringement on the very personal choice of women, their spiritual guides, and the watchful militants patrolling neighborhood streets.

Regardless if the efforts of Switzerland and France are efficacious or not, the most important thing about challenging Islamicist aims is not to generalize, and to accuse everyone who attempts to change the trajectory the West is currently on as doing just that.

As David Harris of the AJC noted,

"While there are certainly understandable concerns in Europe over Islamist extremism, these cannot be legitimately addressed through a blanket assault on Muslim communities and their religious symbols," he added.


Indeed not, and we should remember that Islamicism is an important, fast growing segment of the West’s Muslim population. You say “appeasement,” I say, “It’s not everyone.”

And who is better to dictate the direction Islam will take than the Christians, or even better, the Jews? No one likes taking spiritual directives from the Christians and especially the Jews more than the Muslims do.

As French Ambassador Christophe Bigot noted,

"What is important in Europe is to work for moderate Islam, for an Islam that is based on education, openness and freedom.”

Exactly! Finally, a sure-fire, tactical, detailed plan, instead of all that "ban this, ban that, let’s stop importing people who don’t want our way of life" stuff. And if we haven’t yet achieved it by repeatedly trying the same failed approach as we have incessantly babbled about for years already, we can at least insist on trying the same failed approach in the future. After all, it delays indefinitely having to make some tough policy decisions.

As for the “will of the people,” thing, well…fuck them. We disagree. Let the courts clean up the mess of that riffraff.

“U.S. Sen. Benjamin Cardin, chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) and his co-chairman, Rep. Alcee Hastings, expressed concern over the minaret ban.

"The Swiss vote to ban minarets is worrying for a number of reasons, including the fact the Swiss people have seen fit to limit the religious practice of one particular group," Cardin said. "I trust the Swiss government will work swiftly to be sure the Swiss are not viewed as an intolerant people.”

And don’t forget the dialogue. It’s all about the dialogue.

“I hope the Swiss courts will overturn this referendum, andthat the Swiss government will double its efforts to implementanti-discrimination laws and have an open and honest dialogue about religious and ethnic tolerance," Hastings said.

And even (some) of the Orthodox agree.

Rabbi Pinchas Dunner, executive director of the Conference of European Rabbis, an Orthodox organization, said "a war on religious freedom cannot defeat Islamic extremists. The best weapon against radical Islam is support for moderate elements in the Muslim community and promoting interfaith dialogue."


Those Islamic radicals were probably shitting themselves when they read that. I would hate to be in their shoes…with Rabbi Dunner pointing his big-ass dialogue weapon at them. I know his dialogue detonator would definitely make me think twice.

Another important aspect of legitimate protest against Islamicist aims and especially violence and terrorism is the devastating press release. This sort of thing also really hits the radicals where it hurts.

As CST (a British version of the ADL/Wise Men of Chelm), noted in their histrionic denunciation of a Danish organization that presumptively invited the Jews to join them on the streets for an actual protest without first obtaining CST permission to do so,

“This has nothing to do with the necessary and legitimate work to counter extremism and antisemitism wherever and whenever it genuinely occurs. CST has raised awareness of the activities of extreme Islamist groups in the UK for many years.”

You guys rock. Keep raising that awareness, mates.

And we should keep raising awareness as well. And we will. We will raise awareness. We will change Islam’s direction. Through dialogue, sensitivity, and of course, press releases denouncing those who generalize.

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