Republicans Can Learn What Religious Freedom Means from Muslims

One of over 600 Christian churches in Iran
One of over 600 Christian churches in Iran

It is no surprise why there is an anti-Muslim backlash in America that began after the non-Muslim murderers in ISIS claimed credit for the brutal attacks in Paris, and later in San Bernardino. Republicans and their evangelical talking heads have made portraying all Muslims as extremist killers their current cause célèbre due, in part, to the party’s lack of policies or an economic agenda that benefits all Americans; Americans who are far too easily distracted for their own good. There has been a constant drumbeat among the aforementioned hatemongers to convince Americans that this nation’s true enemy is Islam, as if a country can battle a religion, when the world’s 2nd leading faith is fundamentally more tolerant, more peaceful, and more charitable toward all peoples and faiths than this country noted for equality and religious tolerance.

It is remarkable that while America is lurching toward sheer fascism, and incrementally changing religious freedom to apply only to white Christians, Islamic nations are adamant in protecting the rights of all religions within their borders as an important adherence to their Islamic faith. It is true; the Muslim devotees that Republicans and their growing cabal of intolerant fascist base claim exists to exterminate Christianity and Judaism do precisely what their religion teaches; “no compulsion in religion.”

According to the Islamic Holy Book, the Quran, “under no condition should an individual be forced to accept a religion or belief against his or her will;” the conservative Christian and Republican anti-Muslim rhetoric is all the more despicable due to their lies about Muslim intent. Although Americans are likely ignorant of this holy edict, it is relatively well-known among regular and academic Muslims and founded on something evangelical Christians deny the majority of Americans; freedom to choose their own religion or no religion without penalty. Further, Islam also mandates that non-Muslims be provided with considerable economic, cultural, and administrative rights that are strictly enforced in nations governed under Islamic Law; rights that are rapidly vanishing in what evangelicals and Republicans claim is “Christian America.”

This concept of religious freedom, particularly in Islamic countries, for adherents of faiths other than Islam is relatively universal in the Middle East. As an aside, only America’s oil “friend” and largest weapons customer Saudi Arabia does not allow Christian churches in country. It does, however, allow Christians to enter the Islamic nation and practice their faith which is the converse of what fascist Donald Trump and his supporters believe as Christian conservatives and so-called “freedom-loving Americans.”

Although Christianity teaches tolerance and love for all humans, regardless of their chosen religion, it is not a teaching that false-Christians and Republicans believe or put in practice personally or as the people’s representatives in government. Besides being hypocrites, Republicans have used the American public’s ignorance of  Islam, and preyed on their arrogance that anything American-Christian is “exceptional;” including spreading hateful lies solely to portray Islam and its adherents as a dangerous enemy. In fact, Republicans regularly criticize President Obama and Democrats for not publicly proclaiming that America is at war with Islam. Even though Islam is not at war with America, or Christianity for that matter. Look, if Islam was at war with Christianity and existed to wipe it and its adherents of the face of the Earth like conservative Christians claim; does it not seem reasonable they would have already started exterminating the millions and millions of Christians living, worshipping, and attending churches within their Islamic national borders?

As an example of just how tolerant Muslim nations are, and how devoutly they adhere to their Holy Book the Quran, it is noteworthy to look at a nation Republicans and their Israeli masters desperately want America to wage war against; the Islamic Republic of Iran. One wonders how many Americans know that in Iran there are at least 600 Christian churches under the Islamic government’s protection in a nation of about 77 million people. America has about 1,000 Mosques/Islamic Centers in a population of well over 320 million and many of them are regularly targeted by “real American” patriots and Christian terrorists.

It is also worth noting that in Iran, like the majority of Islamic nations, besides even attempting to force compulsion to Islam, the Christian churches and their adherents are guaranteed government protection, equal rights, representation in parliament, and special family law. America’s Constitution guarantees the same rights to Muslims, but Republicans like Donald Trump and his fanatical supporters are rabid to eliminate those rights.

In every religion there are fanatics who debase the chosen faith, and like extremists in ISIS America has its share of barbarians that claim Christianity as their religion. ISIS is no more a representation of the Islamic faith than an inordinately  increasing number of American evangelicals and Republican politicians represent Christianity, or America’s renowned religious freedom. Religious freedom is something Republicans and evangelicals will have to look to Islamic nations to understand what it means and why the Founding Fathers included it in the Constitution.