Destroying an anti-Islam meme

A friend – whom I like personally, but disagree with politically – recently posted a meme with remarkable inaccuracies.  Let’s break the claims down one-by-one.  The meme includes a picture of Osama bin Laden, with 11 distinct claims of victory “18 years after 9/11”.  

1.  You teach Islam in your public schools
Response:  No more than we teach about Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, or any other major world religion.  We should teach about the great religions.  I’d rather have knowledgeable children than ignorant ones.  By the way, virtually every major religion has as a central concept the Golden Rule.  (As a side note, I can’t help but mention that if we did properly education our population about religious diversity, this meme would have never been posted.)

2.  You allow Sharia Law in your cities

Response:  Where?  Of course it’s untrue – it would be unconstitutional.  Some may choose to follow certain aspects of Sharia law in practicing their faith – just like some choose to follow dietary and other restrictions (from staying away from pork to refraining from birth control).  Of course, where religious law conflicts with civil law, civil law prevails (which is why we’re no longer able to impose an eye-for-an-eye rule).

3.  You had a president who promoted Islam

Response:  The president isn’t identified, or how the promotion took place.  I suspect, though, that the author wasn’t referring to George Washington or Abraham Lincoln (both of whom – as well as every other president – had Muslims under military command, as Muslims have fought in every major war for the US).  In my lifetime, we’ve been blessed with presidents (until the current one) who have been knowledgeable about and respect religious diversity.  I don’t know of a single president who “promoted Islam”.  There have been plenty who have promoted Christianity.  I suspect the meme is referring to President Obama, but no further details, let alone facts, are given. 

4.  You welcome my followers as “refugees”
Response:  Not sure why the word “refugees” is in quotes – perhaps because the author doesn’t believe the US is applying its laws regarding refugees of whatever background?  In any event, I’m guessing that the author is falsely suggesting that any Muslim is also part of Al-Qaeda, the organization with which bin Laden was closely affiliated.  This shows remarkable ignorance about Islam, the prophet Mohammed, and the various sects and sub-groups within that great faith.  Calling all followers of Islam followers of bin Laden is equivalent to calling all Christians followers of the Army of God (or the myriad of other Christian terrorist organizations).  Islam doesn’t have a monopoly on terrorists.  Sadly, every religion has extremists.  We in the US should welcome refugees who have been harmed war or other circumstances.  In our Judeo-Christian tradition, the Golden Rule is hopefully still important.

5.  You bow to their demands for you to change
Response:  Like what?  How have we changed?  Details, please?  Hard to respond to something so general.

6.  My followers wage Jihad inside America

Response:  Again, how so?  Domestic terrorism is indeed a threat to our democracy and institutions.  It wasn’t surprising to me that of the 19 domestic terrorist incidents listed in the article cited, only one had any kind of ties to Muslim extremists.  Far more were related to the far right movement.  

7.  You elect my followers to your Congress
Response:  Nope.  Not a single follower of Osama bin Laden or Al-Qaeda in Congress.  Not one.  If you’re interested in the religious affiliations of the 111th Congress, here’s a good list.  The vast majority are Christian (Catholic, Protestant).  0.04% are Muslim (the same % as are Buddhist).  

8.  Democrats defend those who support me
Response:  I don’t know of a single member of the Democratic Party who defends Osama bin Laden or any other terrorist.  Examples, please?

9.  You are banned from “offending” my followers. 
Response:  Wish the author could learn some basic grammar.  Not at all sure why the word “offending” is in quotes.  But again, we’re left with a bold statement without any basis.  Use of the passive voice prevents the reader from knowing who did the banning.  But I’m not aware of any government, institution, or religion (including Islam) that has banned offending followers of Osama bin Laden or Al-Qaeda.  

10.  You are banned from criticizing my ideology.
Response:  Huh?  Please see my response to No. 9, above.  Only difference that I can glean is the use of the word “ideology”.  No one is banned from criticizing anything in the US or most of the free world.  There’s this niggling First Amendment, you know.  

11.  With the help of your Democratic party, I won
Response:  What did you win?  Your death at the order of a Democratic president?  Then I guess you did win.

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