Pete Wehner does the right thing:
Saudi Arabia is not the standard Americans should use on the matter of religious freedom. As for the second argument: the analogy breaks down because Nazism was intrinsically
It is true, of course, that far too many Muslims in the world embrace a form of militant Islam; to deny that would be to deny reality. Those who attacked us on September 11 did so in the name of Islam. And those are not, by any means, the only attacks the world (or America) has witnessed.
At the same time, we have to be very careful not to conflate American Muslims with al-Qaeda and Wahhabism or argue, explicitly or implicitly, that mosques qua mosques are comparable to Nazism. Some mosques do fan the flames of hatred and violence; but of course many more do not.
It was a tribute to America that, in the aftermath of 9/11, it showed impressive tolerance and respect toward Muslims in this nation. President Bush went out of his way, early and often, to strike just the right tone.
"America counts millions of Muslims amongst our citizens, and Muslims make an incredibly valuable contribution to our country," Bush said at the Islamic Center in Washington, D.C., just six days after the attacks. "Muslims are doctors, lawyers, law professors, members of the military, entrepreneurs, shopkeepers, moms and dads. And they need to be treated with respect. In our anger and emotion, our fellow Americans must treat each other with respect."
Those words apply now as they did then.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.