A friend alerted me to the "Day of Islamic Unity" taking place on Capitol Hill today, so I thought I would give my two cents worth about the event. My initial reaction was to think that free exercise of religion and free speech are guaranteed under the First Amendment to the Constitution. As such, I think that they ought to have a right to assemble peaceably.
Some Christians (primarily) and those fearful of Islam are offended by some of the statements and actions undertaken bythe organizers of the event. Hassen Abdellah is one of the organizers. Mr. Abdellah is an attorney and has defended such men as Mahmoud Abouhalima, who is charged in the bombings of the World Trade Center. This I have no problem with. Every man deserves the best legal counsel he can find, and accused terrorists (I believe) are no exception. More troubling is the statement the planners of the event released regarding the purpose of the event and their motto, "our time has come". "Democracy is not revelation, and democracy does not equal freedom, for in democracy you have apartheid, you have slavery, you have homosexuality, you have lesbianism, you have gambling, you have all of the voices that are against the spirit of truth; so no we don’t want to democratize Islam, we want to Islamize democracy. That’s what we want."
This is troubling, and a fairly telling summary of the troubles which Europe has been facing lately. I personally have no fear that Islamists will use force (i.e. terrorist attacks) to Islamize the west. What I find troubling is that Islamists have already figured out how to use the West's democratic measures against itself in places like France and Great Britain. This more subtle threat is graver threat to the West than Islamist terrorism. Any Muslim living in America or the West who is willing to live by the rule of law is welcome to enjoy all of the privileges that come with that. Any Muslim is naturally allowed to speak his mind. But the moment that Muslims begin actively trying through the democratic process to "islamize" democracy is the moment that America needs to turn its political attention to the problem. This has already happened abroad and it can happen in America if we are not vigilant.