Monday, October 25, 2010

Can A ‘Good’ Muslim Be A Good American?

National Public Radio fired Juan Williams for saying that he gets nervous when he sees a Muslim in the plane. Though one may understand the reaction of the network because it amounted to bias, prejudice and islamophobia, but one can easily understand too why Americans could suffer from Islamophobia. First is 9/11, and second, Muslims are involved in almost everywhere in this globe where there is an armed conflict with America. Nonetheless, what if a white woman said “each time I see a black man in the elevator with me I get nervous?” Notwithstanding, perhaps it is sheer hypocrisy, or perhaps it is the attempt to placate Muslims, but one thing is sure; many Americans say Amen to his inner fears. While it may lack any rationale since Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolf were not Muslims, it is still paradoxical since most of the hijackings in planes and attempts to harm America have been done by Muslims. Juan Williams’ words have provoked a debate about the loyalty of Muslims as good citizens of America. Many ask if a good Muslim could be a good American. Perhaps we should flip the question this way: “Can a good Christian be a good American”? The ab ignitio condition of citizenship is not based on religion. Is being an American based on Religion? Is America a secular or a religious state? Is religion a prerequisite to citizenship? That is the purport of this article.

Although Muslims and other false religious worshipers are lost, it would be ludicrous to ask if a good Catholic can be a good American. Although their doctrinal positions are against Christianity, but America is not a Christian nation to the best of recollections. It is this same idea of making a religion a state religion that diluted the importance of true worship during the days of Constantine. America has a Christian background and a form of godliness but denies the power thereof. It is almost as if America and Christianity are diametrical opposites. I believe there are Muslims in the US that will die for America. So are they good Muslims? Yeah! Are they good Americans? Sure!

Some Americans say: “Scripturally, no, because his allegiance is to the five pillars of Islam and the Quran (Koran).” This makes America look like a Christian Nation: thus another religious state or a state with a religious constitution. Others say “Geographically, no. Because his allegiance is to Mecca, to which he turns in prayer five times a day.” Does praying and facing a certain direction determine allegiance to a country or does it even quantify as a sign of good citizenry. What are the elements of a good citizen? Do we become good citizens now just by looking to the west? Ok, one will tell all undocumented immigrants to start praying facing west. Hahahaha.

It is not everyone who professes to be a Christian who is one. More so, founding a country on the word does not make it a religious state. Does it? It must state in its constitution that we are a religious state, and the US does not do so.

A good Christian may not necessarily be a good American just like a bad Christian could be a good American because the country may be doing things that are contrary to biblical tenets and the Christian rejects the laws promoting such actions. A true Muslim could be a good American just like a bad Buddhist could be a good American. Citizenry is not a new religion. It makes one laugh: almost laugh out their lungs when people think America is the place where good Christians go. Don’t forget that there are many good Christians all over the world that will never set foot on the American soil. So these Christians are lost and plundering their time that they are worshipping God. If not it is preposterous to believe that a true Christian is a good American.

Nonetheless, NPR was wrong to fire the journalist. It means that there is less tolerance for personal views despite him having founded fears.  In addition, the Muslims must do more than just complain by actually showing that they are peaceful because Islam encourages violence. However, let us all avert stereotypes and faulty inferences for we need each other.

Until then, be not a bigot but be a born-again.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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