'Our Time has Come' Or Has It?

Some Muslims are organizing a Capitol Hill Prayer Meeting for this Friday, September 25th. They are claiming that 50,000 American Muslims will peaceably assemble to offer prayers on the grounds of one of the nation's most cherished sites. Their theme is "Our Time Has Come." They quote President Obama's victory statement from last fall.

Shortly after the September 11th attacks in 2001, Adrian College professor Muqtedar Khan, a Muslim immigrant, spoke to his fellow Muslims. He said America was the best country on earth for freedom to practice Islam. He noted that in every country where Islam predominates, Shias oppress Sunis, or Sunis oppress Shia, or everyone suppresses Sufi Muslims. To underscore his point, Prof. Khan offered any American Muslim who disagreed with him a one-way ticket "to the Muslim country of your choice." I haven't read if the offer got any takers.

Prof. Khan was then teaching political science at a small Michigan Catholic college. That fact alone should have alerted us to the extraordinary religious liberty Americans enjoy. But that liberty is not a sure thing. It must be defended daily.

Shari'ah law is in many of its manifestations radically inconsistent with American liberty and constitutional guarantees. Any attempt to bring Shari'ah to our shores must cause the most serious of social, political, and legal conflicts.

The UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights dates from 1948. It was an attempt, spearheaded by Eleanor Roosevelt, to prevent a repetition of the horrors of World War II -- including but not limited to the Holocaust, the Japanese brutality against POWs and occupied peoples, and religious persecution throughout the world. Article 18 of the Universal Declaration asserts the right of all humans to profess their faith publicly and to change their religion if they believe God is calling them to do so.

Virtually all those nations in which Islam predominates have seats in the UN. Some of them are even on the misnamed Human Rights Council. Yet, in none of these states can a person freely and openly change his religion without fear of death. In none of these states is Article 18 of the Universal Declaration respected.

When Afghan Abdul Rahman in 2005 converted to Christianity, leaders of that government which U.S. arms and sacrifice had installed called for his murder. We are not talking about the Taliban, but about the "democratic" government the U.S. was backing.

Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council, took up a vigorous defense of Abdul Rahman.

Only after then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice hastened to Kabul for a summit meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai was the threat to Abdul Rahman's life averted. I doubt you could call that a "come to Jesus" meeting, but I do not doubt that Secretary Rice explained to Karzai that if Abdul Rahman was murdered that millions of American Christians would be outraged by the savagery his government permitted. American blood and American treasure were then-and now-being poured out to keep Karzai's shaky government in place. Abdul Rahman was quietly freed. But he was freed only on condition that he leave Afghanistan forever.

That is not religious liberty. That is not democracy. If 99% of Afghan women vote and 99% of Afghan men vote, and together they all vote to murder their neighbor who practices a different religion, the result is no democracy. And it will not matter how many purple fingers they raise.

We will be watching this Friday's Muslim prayer meeting on Capitol Hill with great interest. We respect the constitutional rights to peaceable assembly and religious free exercise of all Americans. But we continue to view with alarm the spread of any ideology that countenances slavery and murder. Let us all pray that we hear strong and convincing condemnations of terrorism coming from this Friday's gathering.

Ken Blackwell is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and a visiting professor at Liberty University School of Law.
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