I often tell folks that when tolerance becomes a one-way street, it leads to cultural suicide. I have no problem respecting others, but it MUST be a two-way exchange. Recently, we learned of the U.S. ambassador in Indonesia who made the decision — or someone did — to change the 4th of July celebration at the embassy to 4th of June. This was done to respect Ramadan. Needless to say, the ambassador has forgotten that an embassy is sovereign U.S. territory and all festivities easily could have been done after sunset — you know, fireworks, hot dogs, hamburgers and such.
And now our men and women serving in the Middle East have received a reminder about respecting Ramadan. As reported in the Weekly Standard:
A top commander in southwest Asia reminded U.S military personnel stationed in Muslim countries in the Middle East of the restrictions placed on them during Ramadan. According to a report by the U.S. Air Forces Central Command Public Affairs, Brig. Gen. John Quintas, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander in Southwest Asia, said that the U.S. is “committed to the concepts of tolerance, freedom and diversity.” But he added that soldiers should “become more informed and appreciative of the traditions and history of the people in this region of the world… [R]emember we are guests here and that the host nation is our shoulder-to-shoulder, brothers and sisters in arms, risking their lives for our common cause to defeat terrorism.”
During the 30-day religious celebration of Ramadan, even non-Muslims are expected to obey local laws regarding eating, drinking, and using tobacco in public. Violators can be fined up to $685 or receive two months in jail. A spokesperson for United States Central Command [CENTCOM] said that “we are not aware of any specific instances of anyone being arrested” for such violations.
For military personnel outside of U.S.-controlled areas, the only exceptions for the rules are for those “performing strenuous labor.” Such personnel are “authorized to drink and consume as much food as they need to maintain proper hydration and energy.” It is unclear what constitutes “strenuous labor” or whether additional exceptions might be made during a heatwave affecting some areas of the region that has taken hundreds of lives.
Again, I’ve no issue with respect, but already our troops in the region are told not to display crosses, Bibles or anything that might be considered offensive to Muslims. And did you know that no non-Muslim is allowed to visit Mecca or Medina? Can you imagine if we in America said no Muslims could visit Washington, D.C.? Here in the United States, recall the instances of Muslim student organizations — with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood — demanding the film “American Sniper” not be shown on several college campuses — Universities of Missouri, Michigan and Maryland.
So how much acquiescence must be granted? There’s actually a term for this, dhimmitude, which means subservience. Now, the islamapologists and others will call me a bigot and hate monger. But heck, I’m just asking questions and pointing out inconsistencies. Not a lot of mutual respect being shown to Christians in the region — Assyrians, Chaldeans and Coptics — whose historic communities existed long before Islam.
Consider this: what if the U.S. military chain of command came down and mandated respect for a Christian celebration? And don’t start frothing because last Christmas season the dining facility at Guantanamo Bay (GITMO) was ordered taken down. Also, we know religious references and symbols at the venerable Air Force Academy Chapel’s windows were assaulted by atheist groups. So is there a bit of a hypocrisy in ordering our military to observe the celebrations of one religion while challenging another’s?
At GITMO, the guards are told to wear gloves when handling the Koran. Hate to bring this up, but these unlawful enemy combatants are in GITMO because of incendiary verses from that book. And yet, our men and women in the military are ordered to show respect to that book — while over in the Middle East theater or in Islamic countries, they’re told to not show the Judeo-Christian holy book, the Bible.
Yes, I know, the liberal progressive socialists and allies of the Islamo-fascists are fuming mad at me — why? All I’m advocating is for equity in respect and regard — nothing more. Is it no longer possible for us to hold our own heads up in pride? Remember that after conquering Mecca (circa 628 A.D.) in the Battle of the Trenches, Mohammed issued a letter to the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius demanding conversion, subjugation (dhimmi status and jizya tax) or death. That’s articulated in the traditions of Mohammed known as the Hadith’s and historically accurate.
See, there’s an interesting new definition of the word “coexistence.” It means surrender. It means that whether in Islamic or western lands, we’re told what’s acceptable — and sadly, we’re acquiescing. Now, I’m not talking about being disrespectful. But I ain’t about to just be punked either.
The statement, [R]emember we are guests here and that the host nation is our shoulder-to-shoulder, brothers and sisters in arms, risking their lives for our common cause to defeat terrorism — for me, shouldn’t mean that we don’t consent to mutual respect. I would also say, “remember you are guests in America and placing our citizens on fatwa hit lists is unacceptable.”
I have respect for Islam, everything prior to 622 AD — but y’all lost me after al Hijra. And if there are folks out there who don’t know what I’m talking about, then get a book and read. And stop being a dummy dhimmi.