Ramdas Lamb was a “Hindu monk in India from 1969-1978.” He is now a professor at the University of Hawai’i. He engages here in a bit of moral equivalence that fails to take into account the huge difference in content between the Christian and Islamic Scriptures, but otherwise makes many sound points.
“Islam needs more tolerance, not more mosques,” from the Washington Post’s On Faith blog, July 26:
One has to wonder how long the U.S. will continue to tip toe around its relationship with Islam and Muslims. There seems to be so many situations in which anything to do with Islam is treated with kid gloves by politicians and the politically correct in fear of offending its members. If it had been Jewish terrorists who had attacked the twin Towers, would the building of a synagogue at the site even be in anyone’s fantasy? I strongly doubt it. Yet, when Muslims are involved in terrorism, so many of our politicians want to pretend Islam had nothing to do with it. They need to wake up and listen to what the terrorists and their hate filled [followers] are saying. […]
Religious tolerance in the U.S. has increased a great deal over the decades, but as long as Islam continues to be treated differently than other religions, and fundamentalists are given a pass, most Americans will want to have little or nothing to do with the religion or its members. There are those who say that we are the ones at fault, we need to better understand Muslims and Islam, and the planned center and mosque near Ground Zero will help in that process. Actually, our politicians need to stop making excuses for the violence fundamentalist Islam supports, and its perpetrators need to start making room for the rest of the world in their currently narrow and hate filled version of reality. Those who say Americans need to better understand Islam need to rethink the problem. They should direct their efforts instead to attempting to teach fundamentalist Muslims the concept of tolerance of others first, since they are the source of the problem. That would be the best way to begin to inspire non-Muslims in the U.S. and the rest of the world to change their view of the tradition and to see beyond its violence for the good it can hopefully offer the rest of the world.