Pot, Meet Kettle: Islam in Politics

Headline in the LA Times: Majority of Muslims want Islam in Politics

As usual, the comments on these posts are the predictable Islam-bashing. However from my perspective watching American politics as a non-Muslim, non-Christian, over most of my last 50 years, is that most Christian Americans want some form of Christianity in politics. Certainly they’ve been trying to legislate Christian morality, be it laws governing abortion, laws governing same-sex marriage, laws governing alcohol sales or what is open on Sunday, or statements about the US being founded as a Christian nation (I’m sure a lot of folks making this latter statement don’t realize how troublesome it is to those who aren’t Christian). Certainly it is reflected by the fact that not a single president in the entire history of this country hasn’t been Christian in some form (and Deists are a form of Christian) — and no statements about President Obama not being Christian, because that statement is bunk.

So, when someone tells you about this article today, ask them if they think that Christian values should influence American politics in any way, shape, or form. If they think so, point out their hypocracy.

By the way, it isn’t just Christians. Although with respect to the US, Jewish values are often subsumed into Christian values, I’m reasonably sure that most Jews would want Jewish values and aspects of Jewish law to be predominant in Israel, although I’m sure that most progressive/Reform Jews would not want Orthodoxy to be dictating things as they are today.

As for what the article actually says: First, it is worth remembering that a majority of the world’s Muslims live outside of the US. The survey showed that majorities in Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan and Nigeria would favor changing current laws to allow stoning as a punishment for adultery, hand amputation for theft and death for those who convert from Islam to another religion. About 85% of Pakistani Muslims said they would support a law segregating men and women in the workplace. 75% of muslims in Indonesia, Egypt, Nigeria and Jordan reported positive views of Islam’s influence in politics; that number was 50%. Most sided with modernists in the struggle between modernism and fundamentalism. In Lebanon and Turkey, the numbers were as high as 84% and 74%, respectively, in favor of the modernistic approach; on the other hand, 59% in Egypt and 58% in Nigeria leaned to the fundamentalist side. Militant religious organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah enjoyed strong support in Jordan; Muslim countries that do not share strong cultural, historical and political ties to the Palestinian cause, such as Pakistan and Turkey, tended to view Hezbollah and Hamas negatively. Al Qaeda was rejected by strong majorities in every Muslim country except Nigeria, which gave the group a 49% approval rating. Note that the survey was not conducted in America.