My response to the book The Myth of the Muslim Tide: Do Immigrants Threaten The West?, reviewed by Joseph Serge, is that the point of whether Muslims will form a majority in the West is irrelevant (“‘Muslim takeover’ is a myth,” Sept. 13). What is relevant, however, is that it only takes a minority of fanatics to topple a government and take control. The silent, peaceful majority becomes irrelevant, as it did under the totalitarian regimes of Communist Russia, Communist China and pre-World War II Japan. What happened in Nazi Germany also demonstrates how the peaceful majority’s acceptance of a fanatical minority group, the National Socialist Workers’ Party, eventually led to its rise in power.
Today the equivalent of Nazi Germany’s murderous ideology is spreading globally by a minority of fanatical Muslims. They seek the global imposition of Islamic law and the re-establishment of an Islamic empire. It is this fanatical Muslim minority that slaughters Christians throughout Africa, that bombs, beheads, and kills rape victims and homosexuals, as well as teaching its young to become suicide bombers. It is this minority that staged riots around the world over the video Innocence of Muslims. It is this minority that is assaulting our right to free speech, one of the fundamental rights in a democratic society. History has proven that it is the fanatical minority that determines the future of a nation, and it always begins with the assault on free speech.
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Muslims need tolerance for criticism
The video Innocence of Muslims, depicting the Muslim Prophet Muhammad in the most derogatory terms, is stupid and ill-conceived. Likewise, the outrageous reaction to the film, if that indeed was the catalyst, was equally stupid and totally unnecessary. To some extent, it is understandable reaction by Muslims, who for years lived under governments that only sanctioned movies and articles, were published under the government’s authority. With this uninformed background, they could well believe the odious film had the approval of the United States government. Yet the rioting did not stem from the masses, but from reasonably enlightened leaders who would know that in democracies, where freedom speech is a given, such films are able to see the light of day without government approval. In the end result, religious leaders moved their masses to riot, murder and destroy simply as a way to attack American values.
If ever there is to be peace between Muslims and other religions, the Muslim leaders must instill in their followers a tolerance for criticism, no matter how offensive. Even when there was a cold peace between Israel and Egypt, the Egyptian press printed editorial cartoons showing Jews with long noses biting into babies and sucking their blood. In Iran, a contest was run for the best way to depict Jews in the worst possible light. The winning cartoon showed Orthodox Jews praying at a building identified as Wall Street. Iran’s president continuously slanders Jews and the State of Israel, calling the state a cancer that should be eliminated from the face of the Earth. Notwithstanding, Jews did not take to the streets and riot, and following the teachings of their Christian brethren, they turned the other cheek. I do not think it is too much to ask of Muslims and their leaders to do likewise and behave in a civilized manner.
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Small group pressured Church
Gerald Steinberg implies that Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) was able to pressure the United Church of Canada to adopt a boycott policy against Israel (“The United Church, Israel-bashing and token Jews,” Sept. 6). According to Canadian Dimension magazine issue of last November, IJV has only 250 members. Just like the rabidly anti-Zionist Neturei Karta, who comprise only a few hundred haredi members, both have a knack for attracting media attention. While Britain’s Jewish population at 270,000 is one-third smaller than Canada’s, its main anti-Zionist Jewish group, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, numbers 1,700, many of them distinguished citizens, seven times as large as its counterpart in Canada, IJV.