Popular Posts

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Bishops and Sharia Law Hysteria

In their editorial criticizing the Catholic Bishops' new statement on religious freedom, Commonweal magazine made the following excellent point:

"strangely absent from the list of examples provided by the bishops is the best-documented case of growing hostility to religious presence in the United States: hostility to Islam. Unless the bishops correct that oversight, their statement will only feed the impression that this “campaign” for religious freedom has been politically tailored. This silence is especially striking in view of the parallels between anti-Muslim sentiment today and the prejudice encountered by Catholic immigrants in the nineteenth century."

The sense that failing to mention a single example of hostility to Islam indicates the bishops have issued a  "politically tailored document" has credibility when one considers that the move to install anti-Sharia legislation in numerous states has been so obviously a strike against religious freedom that the bishops' favorite religious freedom group, the Beckett Fund, has spoken out against this trend in striking language. In a commentary on the profoundly unconstitutional trend to single out Muslims in these anti-Sharia laws the Beckett blog said "Sadly, the notion of shariah, or Islam, “taking over” America in a manner somewhat akin to the Seed Pods from The Return of the Body Snatchers seems to be infecting segments of the national political discourse, despite its inherent absurdity." 

The bishops had a perfect opportunity to not only help Muslim Americans, but to demonstrate the sincerity of their cause and concern for religious freedom for all. Why did they not take it? Before, during and after the 14-day "Fortnight for Freedom", the media should be asking that question.

No comments:

Post a Comment