Herman Cain and Islam
Posted by KingShamus on July 18, 2011
One thing about Herman Cain–the man does not back down from a fight.
Watch the whole thing. The great RS McCain (Alyssa Milano Be Upon Him) snags the clip, then says:
Cain’s public opposition to the proposed Tennessee mosque, as well as his March statement that he would not be comfortable appointing Muslims to his presidential cabinet, have been criticized by many liberals and also by some Republicans. However, the Atlanta businessman told his Maryland supporters during a question-and-answer session at a private home in suburban Montgomery County, he considers Islam not merely a religion, but also a political system that does not recognize separation of church and state.
First of all, is this the politically correct thing for Herman Cain to say? No. Most MSM pundits will tut-tut Cain’s statement. That’s not surprising though. The liberal opinionistas are hopelessly addicted to soft-headed multiculturalism. Anytime a conservative says anything that deviates from the media’s kumbaya narrative, the reflexive screams of racism cannot be far behind.
More importantly for Cain, is this the politically smart thing to say? That’s not nearly so cut and dried. What Herman Cain is expressing is a sentiment many Americans probably share. The distrust of political Islam and of sharia; it’s likely that many citizens have these feelings. Cain just has the courage to say what a lot of people are thinking, but are too nervous to speak.
Now there are people who will respond to Cain’s assertions by bringing up the moderate Muslims out there who disagree with the extremist version of Islam. Okay. Name ten prominent Muslims who have flat-out rejected the Wahabbist/Salafist/Persian Theocratic view of political Islam. Can’t do it? Cool. Name five. Still struggling? You’re not alone.
I would love for there to be a vibrant apolitical strain of Islam to rise. But sadly Zuhdi Jasser, Irshad Manji, Stephen Schwartz, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Wafa Sultan–as great and brave as these folks are–do not make up a mass movement. Unfortunately, they are the weirdos within the greater Muslim intellectual orbit, not the extremists. It’s been ten years since 9/11. If the moderates were going to show up, they’d have done so by now.
Others will argue that Herman Cain’s ideas about Islam reflect the candidate’s ignorance of Islam. In turn, this reflects Americans’ lack of knowledge about Islam. Since 9/11, Americans have learned on the fly what Islam is about. They may not be able to name the Five Pillars or tell you what the Eid-al-Fitr means, but they’re sure there are a lot of Muslims that constantly pop a boner at the thought of killing Americans.
In short, Americans have plenty of real-world experience dealing with the consequences of real-world Islam. More importantly, when Americans ask supposedly non-radical Muslims to denounce terrorism, what is the typical response? It sure as shit isn’t the full-throated renunciation of violence that most folks want to hear. Instead groups like CAIR hem and haw, play the moral equivalency game with Israel and then roll out their lame ass woe-is-me poor victim drag act complaining about the non-existent backlash against Muslims in America.
Herman Cain being okay with communities banning mosques doesn’t sit well with the basic and noble American idea to live and let live. It’s also true that most Americans are probably uncomfortable with the idea that his standard could be used against their churches or synagogues. I understand why many voters–including some strong conservatives–would reject Cain’s position. I know I’m not all that comfy with the implications of Cain’s policies.
But is Cain right about the basic questions here? Is he right about Islam being a political ideology as much as it is a religious faith? Is he right that Islamists, in both their overtly violent and politically subversive forms, are a grave threat to the American way of life?
Voters told the pols in 2010 that they were amenable to hearing some hard truths. Cain might just be the man to educate voters about some more uncomfortable realities.