Amid all the talk about the manufactured debt ceiling “crisis”, I thought I would weigh in on an issue that has nothing to do with finances. Should the religion of Islam be protected by the First Amendment? The amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

There were a couple of new articles that caught my attention about this issue. The first was an article talking about a new television show called the All-American Muslim, scheduled for this fall on the TLC Network. The purpose of the show per TLC’s official description is to feature different families who “share the same religion, but lead very distinct lives that often times challenge the Muslim stereotype”.

To be sure not every Muslim is the same and so they should not be discriminated against because of their religious beliefs, but I wonder what the purpose of the show really is. Maybe it is just a puff piece similar to the puff pieces it does on Christians who share the same religion, but lead very distinct lives that often times challenge the Christian stereotype.

Whatever the show is about it will be doing a disservice if it does not show how Wahhabism is being brought to America by the Saudi Arabians. Should we be concerned by that? Wahhabism is a very dangerous sub-sect of Islam (Many would say it is the dominant sect) that includes in its belief system that countries should be ruled by Sharia Law and that all other religions are infidels and must be forcibly converted or be killed. “Moderate” Muslims are often considered infidels as well and are cowed by the Wahabi sect. That is part of the reason that Wahhabism is spreading and has such influence.   

This brings me to the other story that caught my attention today and that was Republican Presidential candidate Herman Cain being reported as “endorsing the idea that any American community could bar construction of mosques.”

I do not know Herman Cain’s motivation for this statement but I would give him the benefit of the doubt and guess that it is not because he is a religious bigot, but because he is concerned about the Wahabi “invasion” referred to above. If that is true, his concern for the country’s security might be correct but his measures are probably unconstitutional, if the proscribing of mosques is only because of a desire to ban a religion from practicing in America. I say probably unconstitutional because the First Amendment restricts the Federal government, not States or municipalities, however as a matter of practice such a law would come under some serious challenges and is kind of dangerous for all of our religious freedoms which are already under attack.

It seems to me there might be a better way to restrict Wahhabism in America, because I do think we need to figure it out. It seems to me that maybe the way to do that is by enforcing laws against inciting to insurrection, treason or overthrow of the government. Since it is a statement of faith for Wahhabism to establish Sharia law, this is a specific threat to overthrow the U.S. government and so I would think that preaching this brand of Islam could be construed as fomenting insurrection.  Maybe it would be possible to make Wahhabism illegal for that reason similar to making domestic terrorist organizations illegal.

In addition, many mosque’s are funded by Saudi Arabia, maybe barring foreign financed mosques would be a way to go. It does not seem to me that allowing foreign governments to fund and build training centers for the propagation of training centers to turn the U. S. into a Sharia state should be legal. It probably is not, so it seems we should be seeking to enforce these types of laws.

Finally, if American citizens wanted to build non-Wahabi mosques, I would be open to that. Going after the violent strain of Wahabi Islam financed by foreign powers would go a long way to allay fears of many Americans about the threat of Islamic terrorism. It would also help peaceful Muslims to worship and integrate into American culture in a healthy way and it would help those of us who want to be accepting and understanding of other people groups, cultures and faiths, to do so without the concern that we are enabling the destruction of our culture and our faith.

Herman Cain is probably too reactionary against Wahabi Islam and using a blunt instrument rather than a scalpel and TLC is probably too naïve about the real dangers posed by Wahhabism. Both Herman Cain and TLC could do a lot to improve relations between Islam and Americans who are largely christian by being clear and speaking the truth. They both have something to offer but lets not obscure the issues by extremism.