Fair and balanced. Can you imagine Fox, or any other news outlet, running a piece like this proselytizing for Christianity? Exhorting people to revere and follow Pope Francis? Media Matters would be in an uproar, it would be all over the networks, and Fox would remove the piece and apologize. But this one is just fine with everyone.
"Meet the Muslim Mandela," by Qasim Rashid for Fox News, December 28:
A recent FoxNews.com op-ed asks, "Where is the Muslim Mandela?" While alleging that such a person does not exist, and that Muslims do not seek such a person, the piece provides a laundry list of injustices done by extremists in the name of Islam -- and holds 1.56 billion Muslims responsible.Click on the link and read the piece to which Rashid is referring. He doesn't tell you that it is written by a reformist Muslim, Qanta Ahmed. Rashid caricatures Ahmed's piece as holding "1.56 billion Muslims responsible" for jihad terror, obscuring her valid and important point that peaceful Muslims who claim to reject jihad violence need to act against it rather than simply contenting themselves with issuing pro-forma condemnations.
Why would Rashid want to obscure that point? One clue may be in the fact that, although he is an Ahmadi, and thus a member of a group that mainstream Muslims violent persecute as heretical, he consistently carries water for his persecutors, whitewashing the reality of jihad violence and Sharia oppression. Rashid has lied about the Qur'an's sanction of deception of unbelievers; lied about the presence of violent passages in the Qur'an; lied about the Qur'an's sanction of beating disobedient women; lied about the nature of Sharia; and called for limitations on the freedom of speech and expression to outlaw behavior and speech some Muslims may find offensive. So it is hardly surprising, given these revealing indications of his true sentiments, that he would object to a piece calling upon peaceful Muslims to fight actively against jihad terrorists.
While the piece may have been well intentioned, it has some notable omissions.It is odd that Islamic supremacists like Rashid find these moral equivalence arguments so compelling, since they establish exactly nothing: even if one granted his point that "every faith has extremists" who are more or less equivalent to one another, would the existence of Christian extremists somehow excuse Muslims from the responsibility to clean their own house? If Christians do evil in the name of Christianity, does that somehow make it all right for Muslims to do evil in the name of Islam? Certainly atrocities have been committed in the name of all manner of religions and ideologies, but Rashid obscures the fact that while all the mainstream sects and schools of Islamic jurisprudence teach warfare against unbelievers and their subjugation under Sharia, no sect of Christianity teaches apartheid or killing, maiming, or raping.
It ignores that every faith has extremists. After all, the colonialists who championed South African apartheid were ostensibly Christian. The Lord’s Resistance Army is a Ugandan terrorist organization that has killed, maimed, raped, and displaced over 100,000 people -- all in the name of Christianity.
In Norway, Anders Breivik claimed he was a Christian warrior in his murderous rampage of 77 innocent people. Yet, somehow only Muslims are painted as potential extremists.
Rashid is pretending that Muslims committing violence in the name of Islam are doing so in violation of its teachings, just as Christians practicing apartheid or killing, maiming and raping are violating the teachings of Christianity. This will reassure ignorant non-Muslims and keep them complacent about the jihad threat, but it will do nothing to blunt the force of the arguments from the Qur'an and Sunnah that Islamic jihadists routinely use to justify their actions and make recruits among peaceful Muslims. Does Rashid have any interest in combating those Qur'anic arguments? He has never shown any.
Also, by the way, in contrast to jihad groups, the Lord's Resistance Army is not in any way inspired by the texts and teachings of Christianity, and is backed by no Christian clerics. Even the late Christopher Hitchens, who had no love for Christianity, acknowledged that the LRA’s leader, Joseph Kony, was “obviously far away from the Christian ‘mainstream.’” In fact, “his paymasters and armorers are the cynical Muslims of the Sudanese regime, who use him to make trouble for the government of Uganda, which has in turn supported rebel groups in Sudan. In an apparent reward for this support, Kony at one stage began denouncing the keeping and feeding of pigs” – hardly orthodox Christian behavior. (God Is Not Great, p. 189.) Likewise Breivik wrote that he was "not an excessively religious man." He did not and could not invoke any Christian teachings to justify his mass murder.
The piece also makes an inappropriate comparison between South African apartheid and extremists acting in the name of Islam, stating the latter is “far more heinous than the colonial apartheid of South Africa.”How ironic that Rashid would say this after seeking to dismiss the grim reality of Islamic jihad by pointing to supposed Christian "extremists."
The fact is South African apartheid doesn’t suddenly become "better" because someone else might have it "worse." Atrocities needn’t be compared for recognition.
In this case, the comparison unfairly dismisses the tens of millions of black South Africans who suffered under official or unofficial apartheid governance for well over a century.Christian and Jewish extremists denounce this Muslim as a heretic? Notice that Rashid offers no names, because he can't, because he probably knows that what he is writing is arrant nonsense.
But most remarkably, the piece ignores the real life and living Muslim Mandela who is accomplishing today what critics claim no one has the courage to.
The Muslim Mandela is a reconciler, earning praise and support from both far right Republicans like Peter King and from staunch Obama supporters like Democrat Keith Ellison.
The Muslim Mandela is a beacon of peace, enduring prison patiently for his beliefs, living in exile from his homeland for over a decade for his faith, and forbidding any violent or uncivilized response to the countless acts of terrorism and apartheid against his tens of millions of followers.
The Muslim Mandela is just, emphatically declaring, “we believe entirely in a separation of religion and matters of State,” and in universal freedom of conscience for all people regardless of belief.
Perhaps this is why the U.S. House of Representatives introduced an unprecedented resolution recognizing the Muslim Mandela as “a man of peace.”
Extremists belonging to Islam, Christianity, and Judaism denounce the Muslim Mandela as a heretic even today -- just as the world’s powerful nations denounced President Mandela as a terrorist, even until 2008.
The Muslim Mandela responds to the intense persecution with free hospitals for all in need and free secular education for all children, boy or girl, Muslim or non-Muslim -- just as President Mandela responded to 27 years of unjust imprisonment with forgiveness to his persecutors and service to all humanity, black or white."Reach for Masroor's extended hand" -- imagine the outcry if Fox published a piece concluding with "Reach for Franklin Graham's extended hand," or "Reach for Pope Francis's extended hand." Why is it allowing this dishonest Ahmadi to proselytize?
The Muslim Mandela responds to violence and intimidation with powerful lectures worldwide on Capitol Hill, at the UK Houses of Parliament, at European Parliament, and at New Zealand’s Parliament, championing absolute justice in all affairs -- just as President Mandela spoke before the United Nations and to countless heads of state to champion absolute justice in all affairs. And just as President Mandela conquered apartheid in South Africa, the Muslim Mandela continues to conquer extremism and radicalism in all forms worldwide.
Finally, just as President Mandela spoke with the authority of a president after years of persecution in his home of South Africa, the Muslim Mandela speaks with the authority as the Khalifa of Islam and head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, after years of persecution and now exile from his home of Pakistan.
So come meet the Muslim Mandela -- he is His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad Khalifa of Islam.
His Holiness is the Mandela the Muslim world needs, wants, and is slowly but surely accepting.
Under His Holiness’ leadership, tens of millions of Muslims from Syria and Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Nigeria and Kenya, America and over 200 nations worldwide, Sunni and Shia, are uniting in peace and justice. And they have done so for over 124 years and counting without a single act of violence.
President Mandela extended his hand in peace for 27 years before the world finally embraced it. So, don’t get impatient and ask, where is the Muslim Mandela?
Instead, get informed, and in the name of humanity, education, and absolute justice -- reach for Masroor’s extended hand.
Qasim Rashid, by the way, is just as supremely arrogant, contemptuous of all opposition, rude and insulting as other Islamic supremacists. Apparently his Muslim Mandela has not taught him to respect other human beings or show them basic courtesy. When he sees this piece, he will sneer that he need not respond or explain himself because it is not a peer-reviewed article published in an academic journal. He is apparently unaware that the argument from authority is the weakest of all arguments. He knows he can still sway a few easy marks with it.