“Devout Muslims” in The Government

Recently I was sent information about  Arif Alikhan, a “devout Sunni”, and his appointment to a post with Homeland Security as Assistant Secretary of the Policy Department – or the like.  Another noted another “devout Muslim” – Kareem Shora – was appointed to the Homeland Security Council.  I really do not have a problem with either gentlemen.  They are Americans, but the choice of those in Government making their announcement and proclaiming in the “news release” these persons as “devout Muslims” makes me think.  What if these persons were not Muslim, say Catholic or Christian or Jew and their release noted in the curriculum vitae they were “devout” Catholics or Christians or Jews.  Soon there would be Media Matters, the New York Times, MSNBC, and others all over the statement used and the inclusion of the term “devout” emphasizing their religion.  What is up with not taking a similar posture, avoiding such a label (even if true) when a “devout Muslim” is put into an office in the Administration of President Barack Hussein Obama.  It opens the door to obvious concerns.  And why?  Is Obama trying to tell us something? 

I’d like to be appointed to something in Washington and noted in my News Release, Thomas W. Balderston, a “devout” and committed “Christian” has been appointed to the post of …. At least the Nation would know (if they know anything about the Bible and the ethical and moral values espoused) where I stand and what to expect.  Is that the sense you get from one labeled a “devout Muslim”?  The Qur’an has been interpreted in many ways – with major differences on who the infidels they wish to eliminate might be, whether Allah is the same God as the Christian God, whether they allow their followers to leave their religion without risk of death, or marry outside of their religion without the risk of a father running them down, or the term jihad as it applies to Americans, and so much more.  We know too little and have seen and experienced too much in the name of Allah that has not been good for America.  We hear of Christians being persecuted in Muslim countries, churches burned, the Bible prevented from even being in a Country (Saudi Arabia), and so much more that generates concern and negativism towards Muslims.  The inroads they have made in Europe and their want for Sharia Law where hands are cut off, arms severed and other brutal punishments enacted for crimes committed; where woman (Somalia) are threaten for wearing a bra (yes a Bra) under their Burka’s.  What we are learning about the Islāmic religion is not comforting.  Why then should our Government be so ready to label a new appointee as a “devout Muslim”, when indeed they are, and make America aware of their inclusion in the protection of Americans, most of whom believe in God, not Allah. 

Help me understand?  Help me with my ignorance?  Help me to see what I am not seeing, or to somehow accept what is happening to so many non-Islamic followers in many areas of the world.  Would you be more comfortable in a Christian or Jewish environment as a Muslim than a Christian or Jew in an Islāmic environment.  If so, please tell me why or why we would be wrong feeling that way.

References to Islāmic topics have become an arena for political correctness, more so than Jewish or Christian.  Avoidance of stepping on toes made sensitive to issues raised, even practical discussions has garnered the need for soft-peddling too often violent acts committed by persons that the media subsequently labels “the victims.”  That was the case most recently with Maj. Nidal Hasan, the loner, having social inadequacies, unhappy, and other problems killed 12 soldiers at Ft. Hood.  David Brooks, columnist for the NYT, in a recent Op Ed piece noted, “Hasan was portrayed as a victim of society, a poor soul who was pushed over the edge by prejudice and unhappiness.”  Are we being serious in our assessment of reality in this Country? 

May I refer you to a website, ErgunCaner.com.  His bio briefly: “Ergun Mehmet Caner (B.A., M.A., M.Div., Th.M., Th.D.) is president of the Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and Graduate School at the Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Raised as the son of a Muslim leader in Turkey, Caner became a Christian shortly before entering college. Serving under his Chancellor and President, Jerry Falwell Jr., Caner led the Seminary to triple in growth since his installation in 2005. A public speaker and apologist, Caner has debated Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and other religious leaders in thirteen countries and thirty-five states. The author of seventeen books. ”  At this site you will find much information comparing Allah to God and Christ.  From a Muslim (which he was prior to conversion) perspective he provides a comparative that an objective mind may find useful in drawing their own conclusions. 

We are Americans.  We make every effort to be tolerant of others, yet acceptance is another issue.  From Brooks Op Ed piece, “…the war narrative of the struggle against Islam is the central feature of American foreign policy.”  This may be the truth, and yet we as Americans remain willing to have as our neighbor people of all religions.  Being realistic is, however, normal as well – the realism is that the majority of terrorist acts, acts of aggression against Americans, worldwide hatred towards Americans, negative rhetoric towards Americans is heard mostly from centers of Muslim life – quite possibly that of the more fundamentalist Islāmic ideals, yet that represents too great a percentage (and growing) of Muslim culture and should be of concern to all Americans, and others throughout the world that are not of the Islāmic religion.  Until we see and sense a trend otherwise the world needs to be on-guard to the potential threat from unknowns and the act of “profiling” cannot be disregarded or viewed as wrong.  It is in fact justified.  We all must protect ourselves from the threat or potential for harm.    This is not just a Muslim or Islamic avoidance, this is what we do to avoid criminal intent.  It may be unfortunate that Muslims have been tainted by the actions of many fundamentalists as well as practices in cultures that emphasize and make obvious a dislike for ‘infidels’ that they are as a whole under suspicion, but what else is a person to do?

In general, to be safe we walk in lighted areas, with a companion and not alone, avoid ATM’s at night, be careful not to display expensive goods (like jewelry), remain alert to our surroundings, make note of problem areas and stay away, among other actions to not engender harm or as a defensive measure,  taking whatever precautions are necessary.  This is an everyday responsibility for persons to remain free from criminal intent or actions.  Such activities suggest “profiling” of any possible person or situation that might be dangerous.  This is not a Muslim thing in general.  But when it comes to the worldwide conflict the “devout Muslim” is today regarded by many as the more “fundamentalist Islāmic” supporter and may indeed be profiled for the magnitude of destruction that can be caused so quickly.  They are more the shooters and bombers than the thiefs – stealing our lives and our freedom. 

So why is the communication department of our Government so willing to make note of the fact that members of the Obama Adminstration (Homeland Security) are “devout” Muslims.

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