Suhail Khan, an official in the George W. Bush administration, is engaged in a media campaign that claims Islam is ingrained in the founding of the American republic.
In his Foreign Policy piece, titled “Islam is All-American,” (which would later be re-published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette with the title “One Nation Under Allah“) Mr. Khan begins by insisting that American Muslims are under attack–a plea to perpetual victimization that seeks to immediately quash any legitimate debate.
Khan targets GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, insisting he has called for the “registration of all Muslim-Americans,” which is not true. As Breitbart News has shown, this was a media-created suggestion.
Khan claims that “5 million to 7 million” Muslims are living in the United States, without offering any evidence.
He tells us to look to former President George W. Bush for a more “unifying message,” and claims that “poll after poll” demonstrates support for “anti-Muslim sentiment,” without citing one such poll.
What Khan does here, whether purposely or not, is conflate criticism of Islam’s doctrines with “anti-Muslim sentiment” aimed at Muslim individuals. Unsurprisingly, he never addresses whether criticism of Islam is legitimate.
In many Islamic countries, majorities or large percentages of the population favor the death penalty for “apostates,” which includes people who criticize Islam, according to Pew Research. These countries say that the Koranic Sharia law demands they live by such methods.
Across the globe, critics of Islam are slaughtered (see Charlie Hebdo, Bangladesh secular bloggers, Saudi atheists) simply for discussing the “religion of peace.” The “lucky ones,” such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Salman Rushdie, and others, have mere fatwas placed on their head.
While many in the Islamic world react violently to criticism of their religion, others, such as Suhail Khan, seek to delegitimize these free voices as ones that make Muslims “feel singled out.” He insists that our enemy “makes no distinction about our race, ethnicity, or religion – attacking us only because we are Americans.”
Americans turn on their televisions and see hundreds-of-thousands of Muslim men fighting on behalf of Islam, engaged in a wholesale murder campaign against religious and ethnic minorities. The free-thinking American people are gravely concerned to see these deeply-religious Islamic groups, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, targeting people simply because they’re Jews. Or whether it’s Boko Haram, Al Shabaab, and the Islamic State hunting down Christians simply because they’re Christians.
Yet, Mr. Khan tells us that the conflict is our fault. This supposed “anti-Muslim sentiment” trend in America needs to stop, he demands. How dare we start “casting suspicion on an entire faith group,” he suggests.
And the founders of the republic supported Islam, he claims, because they made clear their views on religious freedom, and their assertion that a belief in a particular religion should not prevent a man from holding office.
But in reality, the founders had plenty to say about Islam’s doctrines.
John Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson in 1814, stating that Islam’s Muhammad was a “military fanatic” who “denies that laws were made for him” and “arrogates everything to himself by force of arms.”
Ben Franklin, another founding father, said of Islam:
“Nor can the Plundering of Infidels be in that sacred Book [the Quran] forbidden, since it is well known from it, that God has given the World, and all that it contains, to his faithful Mussulmen (Muslims), who are to enjoy it of Right as fast as they conquer it.”
Thomas Jefferson, who would later become engaged in a war against the Barbary pirates, observed that peace was not possible with Islamic zealots, stating in a letter to Secretary of State John Jay:
“The ambassador answered us that [the right] was founded on the Laws of the Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have answered their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.”
Our 6th president, John Quincy Adams, wrote that the Islamic Prophet Muhammad “spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth.”
“He declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind …The essence of his doctrine was violence and lust: to exalt the brutal over the spiritual part of human nature … As the essential principle of his faith is the subjugation of others by the sword; it is only by force, that his false doctrines can be dispelled, and his power annihilated.”
None of those critiques make their way into Khan’s piece, as he concludes, incoherently: “In this time of real danger, let’s not allow our zeal to defend our ideals destroy them.”