About Me

My photo
Hussam has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the poor enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality. Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media. Full biography at: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

America rejects Prager's views.

The last few days presented a good test to how far Americans are willing to allow those who spread fear of Islam to sideline our Constitution and principles. Without any doubt, Americans, from Left to Right, reaffirmed that we are not willing to compromise our Democracy and Consitution.

It is a good day for religious freedom and pluralism in America. The Prager infamous commentary and the swift response to it will offer a good example to the world that we as a nation might disagree on many legitimate political issues, but, for most, we still stand united and committed to an America that is true to its values of liberty and justice for all.

Here are a few interesting commentaries and articles that are worth reading.

Jewish group, ADL, Slams Prager

Dennis Prager’s argument that Representative-Elect Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, should not be permitted to take his oath of office on a Koran is, intolerant, misinformed and downright un-American.

Prager is flat-out wrong when he asserts that Representative Ellison’s use of a Koran would be “damaging to the fabric of American civilization.” ...

Prager’s patriotic prattling is misinformed on the facts, too. No Member of Congress is officially sworn in with a Bible...Prager presents intolerant, ugly views...


Even Conservative Commentator Michael Medved could not agree with Prager
(I have to commend him for his principled and respectful stance)

There is no logical or constitutional basis for denying a duly elected member of Congress the right to select the holy book he chooses to use in taking his oath of office...

Some religious conservatives have made themselves look terrible -- mean-spirited and intolerant and theocratic -- by objecting to this innocuous gesture, and generating a phony controversy over longstanding traditions of religious pluralism...

Unfortunately for conservatives who argue against Mr. Ellison, there's also the inconvenient but highly relevant matter of the Constitution of the United States. Article VI, Clause 3 states: " ... no religious Test shall ever be required as Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."...


First Muslim Congressman has right to take oath on Quran
Dean Koldenhoven, Daily Southtown

The so-called "conservative" radio talk-show host Dennis Prager made quite an issue of the fact that Keith Ellison wants to use the Quran instead of the Bible for his swearing-in. Prager has been stirring the conservative crowd into sending out messages to other elected officials to not let Ellison use the Quran instead of the Bible for the swearing-in ceremony. Mr. Prager should read the Constitution before sending out his biased material...

Perhaps Ellison is targeted by some because he happens to be the first black congressman from Minnesota and the first Muslim to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. Minorities, whether it be race or religion, unfortunately become targets of people who have unfounded fears of minorities...


Prager's un-American rant
Paul Campos, Rocky Mountain News

...A different perspective on religious obligation is provided by Dennis Prager, a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and newspaper columnist. Unlike right-wing buffoons of the Ann Coulter and Michael Savage type, Prager likes to present himself as a serious and thoughtful commentator...

Thus it's noteworthy that Prager has just published a column so idiotic and immoral that it raises the question of whether the political movement of which he is a prominent representative has become fundamentally un-American...


Reform Jewish Leader Supports First Muslim Member of Congress’ Right to Take Oath of Office Using Koran

Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement: (The whole statement is a must read)

"The criticism by Dennis Prager of Rep. Keith Ellison’s use of the Koran for taking the oath of office is irreconcilable with American law and ideals as well as Jewish values and interests...

"No provision has meant more to ensuring that Jews and other religious minorities would enjoy rights as citizens without regard to their religious practices and identity than the Constitution’s Article VI ban on religious tests for office...

"America should be proud of having elected the first Muslim member of Congress. It reflects the diversity of this nation and its openness and tolerance to all people based on their qualifications and merit not on their religious identity...

"I urge Mr. Prager to rethink his position and apologize to Rep. Ellison."



3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Of course Prager was upset. Let's see: the Koran explains the superiority of Islam to any other religion; that a Muslim's first allegiance is to his pure and perfect religion, not his country; that the Koran warns Muslims not to be friends with Jews or Christians, unless such are deemed "morally" acceptable and not a threat to Muslims; that the best conditions for any Muslim is to live ander shariah; that Muslims who criticize their religion risk a fatwa against their very lives, and so forth. Frankly, I wouldn't care if a Buddhist pledged his allegiance using his holy texts, or if "tree hugger" swore his allegiance to the leaves of an oak, but I am disturbed when the Koran is used for fidelity when by its very words, is anti-Christian and definitely anit-Jewish. Also, which is a seque way from my first topic, I am waiting for moderate Muslims to take out a full page ad in The New York Times or some other widely publicized papter to condemn Islamo-fascists/ radicialized Muslims for highjacking their "peaceful" religion. When mainstream America reads that, which will never happen in my lifetime, then many will believe that American Muslims are Americans first, then Muslims.

Hussam Ayloush said...

I try to avoid publishing attacks from "anonymous" people who are not even brave to attach their name to their views. Anyway, I thought it will be good to remind others that we all have a choice to read what the Quran really stands for rather than taking the word of "anonymous".
Visit:
http://www.cair.com/explorethequran/

gayle parker said...

I did not leave my name because I was uncertain if I should. But here I am, Gayle Parker a.k.a Anonymous, letting you know that I have read the Koran, one with explanations by a leading Koranist. I wrote what I wrote because I have found that information in the Koran and in books about Islam. You see, I have read many books about Islam, quite a few written by Muslim men and woman. As a second generation American child growing up, I was taught to respect all religions and never, never, never use offensive names for anyone's religion, nationality, or culture. I was taught that Islam meant peace. Indeed, I believed that until the Taliban emerged and the rest is history. Also, a friend told me recently that only 30 percent of 1.3 billion Muslims are radicalized. Thirty percent hardly seems scary until one does the math. Lastly, if moderate Muslims exist, I fear they fear showing their faces publically for fear of a fatwa calling for their death. All of this saddens me, but more than that, I am alarmed and frightened by what I think is the hidden Sixth Pillar of Islam--virulent anti-Semetism.