I recently found the WordPress site creepingsharia and laughed, uncomfortably. I am considering a move to Colorado and had found a 2011 post about a mosque in Ft. Collins with a minaret. I read a comment by an American who was surprised that Muslims had been in the US since 1952.
1952? Muslims have been in the colonies since before the American Revolution, when the slave trade brought them here against their will. It is almost certain that slaves who practiced Islam before their arrival fought in the Revolutionary War to gain their freedom, and establish the freedom for everyone who writes for, comments on, and reads that site. Where are the thanks for these Muslims?
Consider that the structuring of citizenship in the US Constitution specifically used the acceptance of citizen Mahometans, as Muslims were colloquially identified by Protestants then, as the litmus test for a free America [read Denise A. Spellberg’s Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an: Islam and the Founders]. Consider that our founding fathers supported religious freedom – Thomas Jefferson’s own Qur’an is kept as a national treasure in the Library of Congress and George Washington spoke of the value of Muslim citizens of these United States. Consider further that the crescent and star appears on graves throughout US national cemeteries, marking the graves of Muslim service men and women who practiced Islam, fought for the US, and died. Yes, Muslims are fewer in number in the US than those who practice other religions, but does that make them less deserving of respect?
The mentioned comment spells out American ignorance of architecture lexicons. Minarets are simply an architectural element in US mosques and not actually used as a platform for the adhan. And how is a minaret any different from a church steeple in that respect? To begin with, American church steeples often have bells that ring out time, a de facto call to prayer. In all fairness, should we outlaw the ringing of church bells? Shall we topple the clock towers of US train stations and civil buildings built in the Italianate style, because the style invokes the Far East and the clocks might alert Muslims that it is time to pray? [Answer to my fellow Americans, Muslims do not need clocks to know] Should we stop using Arabic numbers to tell time or count? [Think before answering my fellow Americans, most adults can’t get past 8 in Roman numerals; and remember how the US couldn’t handle transitioning to the metric system back in the 1970s? Our education system has only gotten worse since then.] Shall we stop using astronomy, the roots of which were founded in Mesopotamia [for the geographically-challenged, that’s basically Iraq and Syria], to track the travel of the sun and moon, and crawl back into our caves?