As the on-going war against Islam continues in Middle Tennessee, I was asked recently how I thought we ought to treat our Muslim neighbors. When my suggestion that we do unto others as we would want others to do unto us was dismissed as Socialism, I suggested we adopt a Tennessee version of the eighth century Pact of Umar.
Under the Pact of Umar Jews and Christians were dhimmis—protected subjects. Jews and Christians were guaranteed the right to practice their religions and to own property, though they were not allowed to build new churches or synagogues, or repair old ones. They were forbidden to hold public religious parades, or proselytize; they couldn’t strike a Muslim, bear arms, or ride horses, and they had to wear clothing that set them apart from the Muslim population. In time new rules were added and Jews and Christians were prevented from building homes taller than those of Muslims, from taking Muslim names, studying the Qur’an, selling alcohol, and serving in the government. And they had to pay a special tax so that they, along with Muslims who are taxed to support the community, would do the same.
So why not pass a bill that offered Muslims the same rights in Christian America as Christians had in Muslim lands? It really would solve a lot of problems here in the mid-state:
1.Allowing Muslims to practice Islam puts us in line with the 1st Amendment
2.Forbidding Muslims from building or repairing mosques ends the debate over mosques in TN
3.Forbidding parades and proselytizing (by Muslims but not of Muslims) would ease the fears of those who worry that Islam is taking over Tennessee
4.Forbidding Muslims from hitting Christians and bearing arms ends Islamic terrorism
5.Many Muslims already wear distinctive clothes, so making it mandatory is no big deal, and
6.Keeping Muslims out of government would ease any worries about Muslims using our democracy to impose their theocracy before we can use our democracy to impose our theocracy
I would make a few changes to the Pact of Umar, however. For example, no special taxes should be levied, as Muslim Americans pay the same tax as other Americans who lack the funds to lobby for and exploit exemptions that permit them to pay little or not taxes. I don’t care if Muslims ride horses, or sell alcohol. I would also permit them to name their kids Matthew, Mark, Luke, John if they want to, and build any size house they can afford, assuming there is no objection from any local mega-church groups. I would also allow Muslims to study the Bible as this might bring them closer to Christ.
So how about it? A Pact of Umar for Tennessee’s Muslims? Our Muslim citizens couldn’t complain about that—it was their idea. Let me know.