Are Muslims in Denver taking us back to the Reconstruction days of Plessy v. Ferguson? Americans instinctively recoil nowadays at the thought of “separate but equal” laws. How can we possibly single out a group of Americans based on their skin color, ethnic background, or religious preference? Such separation denies basic freedoms inherent in the Constitution.
And yet, Muslims in Denver might ironically be asking for separate but equal treatment in order to remain true to Islam. There is an ABC News story concerning a controversy at the Denver International Airport. The controversy has to do with whether it is legal or not for the airport to announce the times of the Catholic Mass.
In former times, the airport announced the services without a problem. Then, someone complained. Now, the airport will no longer announce the services. That is the basic summary of the controversy. The real issue that caught my eye, however, was a throw-away line from the ABC story.
At the very end of the story, the writer says the chapel (in which the Roman Catholic services are to be held) is jointly owned by an organization of Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Muslims. The Muslims, however, have a separate (but equal?) meeting room. A number of websites have reported that the separation is on account of Muslim refusal to share the same chapel space with Christians.
So, I thought it would be interesting to learn more about sacred space in Islam. Some websites quoted Surahs in favor of Muslims maintaining strict separation from Christians and Jews. Do any of you know what Islam teaches about sharing a public meeting space with people of other faiths?
If the situation is actually as it currently appears, then tons of other questions will be raised in my mind concerning the interaction of Muslims with the various other faiths represented publicly in the USA.
Reviewing the various articles about 2016: The Movie leaves one wondering what we ought to think about Dinesh D’Souza’s recent portrayal of our President. NPR thinks it’s the work of a Right-Wing political hack (which D’Souza is not. He is a principled conservative with a compelling argument, whether he is correct or not).
ABC News thinks the movie is disingenuous. Rupert Murdoch gives it a big thumbs up. None of the criticism was unexpected. But what was unexpected by the movie makers was the cold shoulder the film has received from Christian media outlets.
According to this report from the Christian Post, outlets like Christianity Today and World Magazine have avoided coverage of the movie so as to avoid appearing partisan. I suppose I agree with the tenor of that position, but I would say also that it would be nice to appeal to reason and, thus, transcend either political party.
In other words, each political party would try to manipulate the position of a Christian news agency–either to minimize their influence or maximize their appeal for political purposes. I am not sure that voluntary neutering is the answer to that dilemma. It seems to me that the film should be critiqued on the basis of the strength of its argument.
I’m curious what others are thinking about the movie. I thought there were a few elements which were over the top–such as the assertion that there may be a United States of Islam. Honestly, I can’t see there being enough cooperation between the states mentioned for that to ever happen–much less that it would happen in the next 4 years. Little exaggerations like that, I found distracting.
However, the movie overall offered a compelling narrative of the life and mission of President Obama. Claims that the President is a Muslim have always seemed too artificial. D’Souza does a good job of presenting his case for President Obama seeking to fulfill the dreams from his father concerning an equalizing of third world nations with western powers.
Have you seen the movie? Should Christian news outlets review it? What were your thoughts about the movie?