Farah Pandith, who in February was appointed to the freshly created position of senior advisor for Muslim Engagement in the State Department’s European and Eurasian Affairs Bureau, has pointed to her own life experience as an American Muslim woman of Indian origin to illustrate how it is possible for Muslim immigrants to successfully integrate into United States society. “I understood from very early on that whether Christian, Jewish or Muslim, education put me in the game,” Pandith told a conference in Rome on Monday on the topic of Literature and International Dialogue.
“I also learned – and this is something that Americans work assiduously at – to balance pride in my cultural heritage with a deep attachment to the values of America,” Pandith, who as a baby emigrated with her parents to the United States from Srinagar in 1969, said….
The “Muslim experience in America does prove that Muslims who live their religion can be unqualified democratic Americans,” she told the gathering held at Rome’s American Studies Centre. — from this article
She came to this country as a baby. Her understanding of Islam is clearly deficient. Her experience of Islam, in societies suffused with Islam where there is no need to mute or hide it, is apparently non-existent. How does she, this young and smiling young girl, take in, make sense of, the Qur’an, Hadith, and Sira? Does she know about the latter two at all? Does she know what goes on in mosques? How does she know?
Is the American government completely run by the naive? Does it think this is a useful exercise, to make it appear that the United States wishes to “reach out” to Muslims — in Western Europe, for god’s sake, as well as elsewhere — and tell them untruths?
One of those principal untruths is the proposition that Islam and the values of an advanced Western democracy, with its emphasis on the individual rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights, or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, are perfectly compatible. In fact, the spirit and letter of collectivist Islam does not permit freedom of conscience (including the right to leave Islam). Nor does it permit freedom of speech (and if Muslims in Europe had their way, the freedom of speech in Europe would be severely curtailed to meet Muslim requirements, as the death-threats and demonstrations over the Muhammad cartoons convincingly showed). It likewise does not permit any number of things, and certainly does not admit of true pluralism, though it is currently accepted as long as it helps Muslims fend off any intelligent and informed critical scrutiny of their doctrines.
Here’s an idea. Form a committee to advise the government on Islam. Let it be secret, if necessary. Let it include Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ibn Wararq, and others who were born into, and raised within, Islam. Let there be, on this committee, students and scholars of Islam — not apologists, not espositos and ernsts, but those who would have no trouble understanding, or being understood by, the great Western scholars of Islam, from C. Snouck Hurgronje and Joseph Schacht to Henri Lammens and Georges Vajda and Arthur Jeffery and St Clair Tisdall. Let this not be devoted to “winning hearts and minds” but to identifying, in Islam, the doctrines central to it that pose a permanent problem to the wellbeing of Infidels — to the continued existence of their own countries civilizationally and to themselves, physically.
No more smiling nonsense from a pretty charmer, whose own Islam is essentially benign, in her ignorance. She likely describes herself as a “cultural Muslim,” which means she is a “Muslim-for-identication-purposes-only” Muslim, or, amended, a “Muslim-for-identification-and-careerist-purposes-only” Muslim, who is a guide to nothing and nowhere. But — innocently, because of that charm, because of that ignorance of Islam — she can stand up before Infidels in the corridors of power and mute, or silence, those who want simply for some realism to prevail in those corridors leading to those offices of power. Such people are made, in the presence of such people as this girl, to seem merely malevolent, and begrudging, and overly-suspicious, when they are simply trying to bring some sense of realism to the American government, at its ignorant, and confused upper levels.
A tall order. And a mad world, my masters!