Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fitzgerald: Muslims and America

"We have a message: Muslim Americans are as American as apple pie” – from this article in The Guardian about Muslims at the Democratic National Convention in Denver
If Muslims are "as American as apple pie," are they as American as pumpkin pie, the pumpkin pie traditionally served at Thanksgiving, which like Independence Day, Memorial Day, and other national holidays, are not to be observed by observant Muslims, for only Muslim holidays, Muslim history, Muslim everything, counts?

And one more question. If Muslims have no trouble at all being "as American as apple pie" then surely they have no trouble viewing the defining document of the American polity, the Constitution of the United States, as worthy of their complete loyalty. And that includes, of course, the guarantees of individual rights in the Bill of Rights. And since the Bill of Rights is so very close, in so many of its key provisions -- freedom of speech, freedom of conscience (which naturally includes the right to apostatize) -- to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, can we conclude that American-as-apple-pie American Muslims find it puzzling that all of the Muslim countries (save for the Shah's Iran, and most temporarily and temporizingly) have failed to subscribe to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and instead have concocted a Muslim version, the so-called Cairo Declaration, which in every essential respect, involving individual rights, fatally vitiates the original, Universal Declaration?

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