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Bryan Fischer: No longer alone in Bigotry

22 July 2011 Loonwatch.com 4 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

Bryan Fischer

Bryan Fischer

Bryan Fischer: No longer alone in Bigotry

GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain has revealed himself to be, for various reasons, the biggest bigot and buffoon in the race. He kicked up a firestorm with his recent comments on Fox News Sunday in support of the “right” to ban American mosques. Apparently, Cain thinks that freedom of religion means freedom to ban religions:

CAIN: They could say that. Chris, lets go back to the fundamental issue that the people are basically saying they’re objecting to. They’re objecting to the fact Islam is both a religion and a set of laws, Sharia law. That’s the difference between any one of our other traditional religions where it’s just about religious purposes. The people in the community know best, and I happen to side with the people in Murfreesboro.

WALLACE: You’re saying any community, if they want to ban a mosque?

CAIN: Yes. They have a right to do that. That’s not discriminating based upon religion.

Discriminating against Muslims is not discrimination because they’re Muslims! Kind of like the argument we hear from racists that discrimination against black people is not discrimination because black people are more likely to be criminals.

Many religious leaders took Cain to task for his comments, but not everyone. In fact, more than enough far right wingers are gleefully embracing his call to deny American Muslims their fundamental American rights.

Bryan Fischer is a Christian fundamentalist who is one of the loudest voices of intolerance on the right wing. For example, he has argued that Muslims should not serve in the military, law-abiding Muslim immigrants should be “sent back home,” and all American mosques should be banned:

Permits, in my judgment, should not be granted to build even one more mosque in the United States of America. This is for one simple reason: each Islamic mosque is dedicated to the overthrow of the American government.

Did you get that? Each Islamic mosque is “dedicated” not to the pillars of Islam (faith, prayer, charity, and fasting) but to the “overthrow of the American government.” As if all the Muslims of every denomination (Sunni, Shi’ite, Sufi, liberal, conservative, etc.) are acting with one will, one goal, like the Borg (resistance is futile, you will be assimilated). He must have read that somewhere in the Protocols of the Elders of Mecca.

Anyway, it is this last point that has Bryan Fischer super excited: he is no longer alone in his Bigotrynow that a big shot GOP candidate has legitimated his effort to ban all mosques. On what grounds can they so brazenly defy the First Amendment? The bogus talking point about Islam being a political ideology, not a religion:

In point of fact, in Islam the church IS the state. And since Islam allows no room for freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom of conscience and equal rights for women, it’s view of culture is so bizarrely un-American as to be dangerous and destructive to civilized society in all its forms.

This is quite ironic coming from a man whose goal in life is to impose his backward religious opinions on an unwilling society. Don’t mind our homegrown Christian fundamentalists who reject separation of church and state. They don’t count.

In reality, the Gallup polls of the Muslim world reveal the exact opposite of Fischer and Cain’s claims:

•Large majorities cite the equal importance of democracy and Islam to the quality of life and progress of the Muslim world. They see no contradiction between democratic values and religious principles.

•Political freedoms are among the things they admire most about the West.

•Substantial majorities in nearly all nations say that if drafting a new constitution, they would guarantee freedom of speech.

•Most want neither theocracy nor secular democracy but a third model in which religious principles and democratic values coexist. They want their own democratic model that draws on Islamic law as a source.

•Significant majorities say religious leaders should play no direct role in drafting a constitution, writing legislation, determining foreign policy, or deciding how women dress in public.

Another poll reports that less than 1% of Egyptians want the radical fusion of religion and state like Iran:

Egyptians… express little interest in recreating their country in the image of Iran, as has been the fear among some Western commentators. Less than 1% say the Islamic Republic should be Egypt’s political model, and most Egyptians think religious leaders should provide advice to government authorities, as opposed to having full authority for determining the nation’s laws. The majority of residents in the Arab world’s most populous nation desire a democracy informed by religious values, not a theocracy.

The numbers concerning Muslim attitudes toward women are equally destructive to Fischer’s arguments:

•Majorities in most countries believe that women should have the same legal rights as men: They should have the right to vote, to hold any job outside the home that they qualify for, and to hold leadership positions at the cabinet and national council levels

•Majorities of men in virtually every country (including 62 percent in Saudi Arabia, 73 percent in Iran, and 81 percent in Indonesia) agree that women should be able to work at any job they qualify for.

•In Saudi Arabia, where women cannot vote, 58 percent of men say women should be able to vote.

•While Muslim women favor gender parity, they do not endorse wholesale adoption of Western values.

So, while scientific polling of the Muslim world (not to mention American Muslims) reveals broad support for democratic principles, a rejection of theocracy, and support for women’s rights, that won’t stop the far right from parroting the thoroughly debunked but politically potent talking point that Islam is somehow uniquely anti-democratic, oppressive to women, and dangerous.

Bryan Fischer is the face of the grassroots prejudice to which Herman Cain is appealing and which will not likely be criticized by the rest of the GOP candidates. American right-wing politics has sunk to a new low. No longer is shredding the First Amendment considered fringe, crazy talk.

Fischer is not a lone anti-freedom bigot anymore. The GOP is right there with him.

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4 Comments »

  1. So then if no more permits are to be granted for Mosques. Then can we do the same for Christian Churches since they seem to have the same thought process in turning America into a Religious Theocracy. Just sayin!?

  2. No. That wouldn’t make things right, Michael.

    Studies have shown that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. That’s why we hear about bigots opposing the expansion of Islamic centers and mosques all around the country.

    The current churches can accommodate the Christians who attend churches. That same thing cannot be truthfully stated about mosques accommodating the Muslims who attend the mosques.

    By the way, I caught you weak stab. This has nothing to do with any theocracy. It’s an individual’s matter of the faith that they practice and where they want to worship.

  3. What studies show Islam is the “fastest growing religion in the world”? I have seen this statement made many times usually by Muslims but never see any proof.

  4. hera,

    i wouldn’t discount that islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. after the islamic revolution in iran the ayahtollah komeni said we’ll out breed the infidels. if you followed the arab spring you’ll have seen that much of north africa and the middle east has doubled their population in the last 30 years just like iran.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_population_growth_rate

    According to Guinness Book of World Records, Islam is the world’s fastest-growing religion by number of conversions each year: Although the religion began in Arabia, by 2002 80% of all believers in Islam lived outside the Arab world. In the period 1990-2000, approximately 12.5 million more people converted to Islam than to Christianity” (Guinness World Records 2003, pg 102).[29] In 1990, 935 million people were Muslims and this figure had risen to around 1.2 billion by the year 2000, meaning that around this time one in five people were followers of Islam. According to the BBC, a comprehensive American study concluded in 2009 the number stood at 1 in 4 with 60% of Muslims spread all over the Asian continent: A report from an American think-tank has estimated 1.57 billion Muslims populate the world – with 60% in Asia.[30][31] The report was done by the Pew Forum Research Centre.[31] The forum also projected that in 2010 out of the total number of Muslims in the world 62.1% will live in Asia.[30]

    However the report also included a statement saying While the global Muslim population is expected to grow at a faster rate than the non-Muslim population, the Muslim population nevertheless is expected to grow at a slower pace in the next two decades than it did in the previous two decades. From 1990 to 2010, the global Muslim population increased at an average annual rate of 2.2%, compared with the projected rate of 1.5% for the period from 2010 to 2030.[30] The report also made reference to the fact that Muslims are estimated to make up 23.4% of the total global population in 2010 (out of a total of 6.9 billion people) and that by 2030 Muslims will represent about 26.4% of the global population (out of a total of 8.9 billion people).[30]

    According to the Christian Plain Truth Magazine (issue February 2nd 1984), and republished in a readers digest almanac, states that, between 1934 and 1984 Islam grew by 235%, with Christianity second with 46%.

    Projections[40]

    Estimated 2000 Projected 2025 Projected 2050 50 Year Projected Growth 2000-2050
    Religion Adherents % of world Adherents % of world Adherents % of world New Adherents % Growth
    Christianity 1,999,563,838 33.0% 3,016,670,052 33.4% 3,651,564,342 35.3% 1,052,000,504 52.61%
    Islam 1,188,242,789 19.6% 2,184,875,653 26.1% 2,629,281,610 28.0% 1,041,038,821 87.61%

    The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace using the 2000-2005 edition of the World Christian Database, concluded that high birth rates were the reason for the growth in all six; however, the growth of Christianity was also claimed to be attributed to conversions.[12]

    Encyclopædia Britannica

    The following table has been quoted as taken from the 2005 Encyclopædia Britannica.[41] Its figures for percentage growth come from the 1990 to 2000 version of the World Christian Database given above.[41]
    Religion↓ Births↓ Conversions↓ New adherents per year↓ Growth rate↓
    Christianity 22,708,799 2,501,396 25,210,195 1.36%
    Islam 21,723,118 865,558 22,588,676 2.13%
    Hinduism 13,194,111 -660,377 12,533,734 1.69%
    Buddhism 3,530,918 156,609 3,687,527 1.09%
    Sikhism 363,677 28,961 392,638 1.87%
    Judaism 194,962 -70,447 124,515 0.91%
    Baha’i Faith 117,158 26,333 143,491 2.28%
    Confucianism 55,739 -11,434 44,305 0.73%
    Jainism 74,539 -39,588 34,951 0.87%
    Shinto 8,534 -40,527 -31,993 -1.09%
    Taoism 25,397 -155 25,242 1.00%
    Zoroastrianism 45,391 13,080 58,471 2.65%
    Global population 78,860,791 N/A 78,860,791 1.41%

    This table illustrate that, globally, one of the largest factors of absolute increase in number of members is simply population growth. This table also neglects the number of conversions to the “No religion” category.

    //John Mathew

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