Robbie George and Jennifer Bryson, both conservative Christians and leaders at Princeton’s Witherspoon Institute, have issued an open letter to a Christian activist asking him to lay off the reality show “American Muslim.” Excerpt:
Please know that in our pro-life, pro-family, and pro-freedom work at the Witherspoon Institute, we have found strong partners and allies in many Muslims. They have joined with us in promoting respect for human life in all stages and conditions; in upholding the virtues of modesty and chastity; in fighting the plagues of pornography and marital infidelity; and in working to protect religious freedom and the rights of conscience both at home and abroad.
Of course, there are violent extremists and enemies of freedom who act in the name of Islam—no question about that. They preach anti-Semitism in its vilest forms and seek domination. They have no respect for the dignity and equality of women or for religious and civil liberty. One of us (Dr. Bryson) has first-hand experience in confronting them: she spent two years serving our country as a United States Department of Defense interrogator at Guantanamo. Like you, both of us believe that Islamist terrorists and radicals must be resolutely opposed and defeated. But it is important to recognize that this is a view we and you share with the overwhelming majority of American Muslims. It is certainly the view of those Muslims who have partnered with us in our pro-life, pro-family, and pro-freedom efforts. Their moral values are our moral values—and yours.
In our view, it is fundamentally unjust to tar all or most Muslims with the brush of extremism; and, as Christians and Americans, we must never countenance injustice. Moreover, effectively countering the threats posed by genuine extremists requires us to welcome as friends and allies Muslims who share our opposition to radicalism and violence, who value their American citizenship and American freedom just as we do, and who contribute constructively to their communities and the larger society. When we treat our Muslim fellow citizens justly, and when we welcome them as partners in our efforts on behalf of life, liberty, and human dignity, we are being true both to our Christian faith and to our American heritage.
True, and important to say. My complaint is and always has been that many US Muslim leaders pose as liberals (in the sense that all Americans are liberals), but in fact are Islamist theocrats backed by the Muslim Brotherhood. This is by no means every Muslim, or even most Muslims in this country. The fact that the mainstream news media doesn’t know the difference, and refuses to learn the difference, between Muslims and Islamists doesn’t mean that the rest of us should remain ignorant, and hostile towards Muslims who can be our friends and allies.
(BTW, I first heard this point of view from a non-Muslim who risked her life working as an undercover investigator among Muslim extremists. She was adamant that Americans must oppose Islamism, but also adamant that we must not treat all Muslims as the enemy. My understanding was that some of her best sources were faithful Muslims who couldn’t stand the militants running their American Muslim organizations.)