It’s been nine years since I woke up one Tuesday morning and turned on the radio as I got ready for the morning on the west coast. The news I heard was not the normal silly morning news stories. Instead, I listened to horror after horror as the newscasters explained over and over that the South Tower had fallen, and the North Tower was still burning. I was still trying to grasp what was going on when they announced that the North Tower had just collapsed. Do you remember where you were when you first heard about the attack nine years ago?

If you want to review what happened, in 2009 I posted a timeline of actions that occurred that Tuesday morning.

Sept. 11th, 2001 at 8:46 am
Sept. 11th, 2001 at 9:03 am
Sept. 11th, 2001 at 9:37 am
Sept. 11th, 2001 at 9:59 am
Sept. 11th, 2001 at 10:03 am
Sept. 11th, 2001 at 10:28 am
Sept. 11th, 2001 at 10:50 am
Sept. 11th, 2001

And to finish setting the tone for today, the following video was released a year ago by Andrew Klavan:

Time magazine reported an interesting survey of Americans:

Nearly one-third of the country thinks adherents of Islam should be barred from running for President — a slightly higher percentage than the 24% who mistakenly believe the current occupant of the Oval Office is himself a Muslim.

So one in four surveyed believe that President Obama is a Muslim, and their belief is labeled by Time as being mistaken. But based on Islamic teachings, President Obama is a Muslim because his father was himself a Muslim. And because Islam defines someone born to a Muslim father as a Muslim, I have titled this article, “Our Muslim President.” He has certainly demonstrated that he has sympathies towards Islam and Muslims, and I’m sure that is due to his upbringing. No, I don’t consider him a Muslim. President Obama has stated clearly that he is a Christian, and I will accept his word on that.

But If you listen to any of his speeches, they are loaded with his view of himself and filled with “I,” “me,” and similar language more than I recall any other politician doing. So based on his actions and words, I see that President Obama believes in Barack Hussein Obama above and beyond any personal belief in Christianity or Islam he may have.

Let’s face it — President Obama is our Narcissist in Chief.

And now for some inadvertent comedy hidden in a survey of Republicans:

Americans who suggest Barack Obama should rot in hell are apparently deadly serious.

Nearly a quarter of Republicans believe the Democrat president ‘may be the Antichrist’, according to a survey.

Who actually asks these sort of questions? I do like the weasel word “may” in the quote, as in “Obama may be an American,” or “Obama may be the offspring of a Martian sheep pimp.” There’s lots of wiggle room in “may.” Anyway, any prominent person “may” be the antichrist, but we’d have to look at his actions and words to know. And as it says in 2 Thessalonians 2:4, the antichrist “sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” Can you think of a prominent politician whom people see as God?

An even greater number compared him to Hitler.

The corollary to Godwin’s law should have stopped this poll right there.

More than half of the Republicans quizzed by Harris Poll, 57 per cent, believed the president was secretly Muslim, something he has consistently denied.

His favoritism to Muslim nations and his antagonism to Israel surely doesn’t indicate anything. Nor does the time Obama mentioned “my Muslim faith.” George Stephanopoulos was quick to correct him. It was a simple mistake, and one I make all the time as mistakenly call myself a Hindu instead of Christian.

And 67 per cent of Republicans who responded believed Obama was a socialist, despite his central leanings.

With the passing of socialized medicine, I believe the answer should be closer to 100% now.

The Drudge Report linked to a small report on the British tabloid, The Sun.

A SCHOOL was yesterday accused of MAKING teachers dress up as Asians for a day to celebrate a Muslim festival.

Kids at the 257-pupil primary have also been told to don ethnic garb even though most are Christians.

The morning assembly will be open to all parents but dads are BARRED from a women-only party in the afternoon because Muslim husbands object to wives mixing with other men.

Just two members of staff a part-time teacher and a teaching assistant are Muslim.

Yesterday a relative of one of the 39 others said: “Staff have got to go along with it or let’s face it, they would be branded racist.

“Who would put their job on the line? They have been told they have to embrace the day to show their diversity. But they are not all happy.”

The day aims to belatedly mark Eid, the end of Ramadan.

Sally Bloomer, head of Rufford primary school in Lye, West Midlands, insisted: “I have not heard of any complaints.

“It’s all part of a diversity project to promote multi-culturalism.” [Capitalization from The Sun -- CM]

At this point, I need to point out that I am part of the “oppressor class,” as defined by multi-culturalists, since I am an adult while male American. And as part of the group of guilty oppressors, I need to be educated to both understand and appreciate other cultures.

I could accept the multi-culturalism goal of expanding my awareness of other cultures if all cultures were equal, but they are not. I’ll give the multi-culturists time to recover from their shocked faint.

I refuse to accept that all cultures are equal. To do so, I would have to accept that Teutonic industry is equivalent to Aztec human sacrifices, or that genital-mutilating African tribesmen are the same as the Pilgrims. I don’t buy the premise of cultural equality, so I don’t see the need to “raise my awareness” of these cultures since that is multi-culty code for “accepting” those cultures. Which I don’t, so that makes me intolerant and discriminating. So sue me.

I find this story from England to be very telling about the nature of multi-culturalism: acceptance flows only one way. The British in the school must dress like and learn about Islam for Ramadan, but is there an equivalent requirement at Easter for everyone to dress like and learn about Christianity? Sure, and I have some Florida property I’ll sell you by the quart.

Whenever there is a clash between American and other cultures, multi-culturists tell us that we need to be sensitive and understanding of their cultures. And do they ever stress to those cultures that they need to be sensitive and understanding of our culture? Don’t be funny! It’s a one-way street of acceptance.

And I don’t accept that.

Ivan Pavlov trained some dogs to look for food by ringing a bell, blowing whistles, and other actions. The dogs got so used to food being served at Pavlov’s signal that they would start to salivate as soon as the signal happened. They had been well trained.

And the western media has also been well trained, but not to drool at the ring of a bell. Instead, the media has been trained to not give offense to brittle Islam. And the media has been so well trained to not give offense that they will silence themselves preemptively. The latest example of the media kowtowing to radial and brittle Islam comes at the expense of Berkeley Breathed and his Sunday cartoon, “Opus.” FoxNews describes the situation in an article posted August 27th, 2007.

A popular comic strip that poked fun at the Rev. Jerry Falwell without incident one week ago was deemed too controversial to run over the weekend because this time it took a humorous swipe at Muslim fundamentalists.

The Washington Post and several other newspapers around the country did not run Sunday’s installment of Berkeley Breathed’s “Opus,” in which the spiritual fad-seeking character Lola Granola appears in a headscarf and explains to her boyfriend, Steve, why she wants to become a radical Islamist.

The installment did not appear in the Post’s print version, but it ran on WashingtonPost.com and Salon.com. The same will hold true for the upcoming Sept. 2 strip, which is a continuation of the plotline.

Breathed managed to show the difference between the media’s response to Christians and Muslims in a 7 day period. His cartoon making fun of now-dead Rev. Falwell ran without riot, but the cartoon poking fun of radical Islam scheduled for that next Sunday caused the salivating media to pull the cartoon and preemptively apologize.

Way to assert your freedom of speech, guys!

In other news about brittle Islam, the U.S. military apologized for distributing soccer balls with the flags from many nations on them. And why did they need to apologize? They made the horrible mistake of including Saudi Arabia’s flag and its inscription of the name of Allah. Oh, the horror! Michelle Malkin calls Islam the Religion of Perpetual Outrage, and for good reason.

As we’ve learned from Rushdie Rage, MoCartoon Rage, Burger King Ice Cream Cone Rage, Koran Flushing Rage, Valentine’s Day Rage, Veil Rage, Pope Rage, Fallaci Rage, Miss World Pageant Rage, and Rushdie Knighthood Rage, they’re pretty damned “sensitive” (read: ready to riot) about everything.

Many people say Islam is the “Religion of Peace,” but I can’t help but believe it is the “Religion of Pissed.”

UPDATE (8/30/2007 11:48:48 AM): Hehehe. Cox and Forkum do an excellent job with a cartoon they title “Opus Akbar.”

Opus Akbar

This is an article in the series A Look Into Islam.

There has been much written and said about Islam in the last several years, but how much do you really know about Islam? Can you name the five pillars of Islam? Have you read the Qur’an? I must confess that I haven’t read it all either. So how can we learn more about Islam? There are non-Islamic sites that point out the fallacies and errors of Islam, but I am distrustful of each one I have seen, and I won’t link to any of them. I have seen too many anti-Mormon sites use the same ham-fisted bashing tactics that I find on most anti-Islam sites. For example, several sites that purport to tell the truth of Islam claim that everything is carefully researched and documented, but then they proceed to let the accusations fly without any documentation to back up their claims. And I have noticed several sites that have said they would not engage in any ad hominem attacks, but it doesn’t take long before the comments descend into bashing and snarky asides.

So assuming you want to do so, where do you go to learn about Islam? I suggest you go to the source and spend your time on the sites written by Muslims themselves, rather than by their detractors. Only after you gain an understanding of what Muslims believe as expressed by Muslims, then you can spend your time with the detractors.

I did a quick search and turned up three sites about Islam to start off with, but these are by no means the only or best sites. They are merely the first few that caught my eye.

Again, these sites aren’t the best, merely the first I turned up in some admittedly quick searches. And while they are written by Muslims, I don’t think they are the most effective Islamic apologist arguments when I can easily refute them. For example, one under the title “Islam: A Religion of Terror?” asks whether we should judge Islam by the actions of some of its followers:

One of the many short comings which has arisen in the West, is judging Islam by the conduct of a minority of its people. By doing this, segments of Western society have deliberately played off the desperate actions of many Muslims, and have given it the name of Islam. Such behaviour is clearly not objective and seeks to distort the reality of Islam. For if such a thing was done – judge a religion by the conduct of its people – then we too could say that all Christianity is about is child molesting and homosexuality [1] whilst Hinduism was all about looting and breaking up mosques [2].

The two numbers refer to the following footnotes:

[1] By using the many cases of child abuse and homosexuality by priests, Such a generalisation about Christianity could be made
[2] By using the incident of the destruction of the Babri mosque in Ayodya, India in December 1992 by Hindu zealots, such generalisations could be made about Hinduism

Were the “many cases of child abuse and homosexuality by priests” perpetrated in the name of Christianity while the priests chanted “God is great”, or were they the acts of individual sinful men? And if one act of Hindu destruction is sufficient example to typify an entire religion, then the 8,500+ acts of violence committed by Muslims since 9/11/2001 are 8500 times more damning of Islam.

There are many examples of Muslims committing violence and murder in the name of Islam, and often they chant “God is great” while doing so. Clearly they are committing these acts as a form of religious devotion, but is all of Islam to blame for the despicable acts of a few? No, the person who holds the bloody knife is to blame for the death. And what about the people who stand by and chant “Allahu Akbar”? It is clear that they are willing accomplices to the murder. What about an imam who does nothing violent himself, but who preaches bloody jihad in England? Does he share in some responsibility for the violence caused by those who were inspired by his hatred? And what culpability do Muslims have when they stand by quietly and say nothing to condemn the murders committed by their coreligionists? In Latin, “qui tacet consentire videtur” means “he who is silent is taken to agree”; by their silence, are they not consenting to the violence? Frankly, I wouldn’t go that far. It’s very possible that Muslim silence comes from fear of being the next victim, not from tacit consent. After all, the Ummah has shown a remarkably low flash point for anger and violence. Pope Benedict XVI quotes someone from centuries earlier questioning the justice and virtue of Islam, and Muslims around the world blow up and call for his head — literally. Personally, I cannot accept that Islam is the “Religion of Peace” as some people say. It has proven by the actions of many of its followers that it cannot claim that title.

But don’t take my word for it. Go take a look for yourself at what Islam preaches and what it practices, and come up with your own informed opinion. After all, isn’t it high time you learned about Islam?

There are moments of moral clarity in life when the obscuring fog of confusion and doubt are blown away by a blast of information that brings everything into sharp detail. One of these occurred last night as I read the following from a FrontPage Magazine article about the actions of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) (hat tip to Little Green Footballs):

Seven years earlier in November 1999, two Saudi students on an America West flight from Phoenix to Columbus were detained after landing because they had made repeated attempts to enter the cockpit area of the plane during the flight.

In both cases, CAIR rose up to defend the offenders in question and engaged in their now standard grievance theater protest politics. In the most recent case, CAIR has tried to capitalize on the publicity surrounding the incident by backing the “Flying Imams” and supporting their lawsuit against the airlines and passengers for responding to their bizarre behavior. The lawsuit is being handled by a Muslim attorney associated with CAIR.

When it comes to the November 1999 incident, any mention of CAIR’s involvement or defense of the Saudi students has been scrubbed from the organization’s website. It’s no wonder, as the 9/11 Commission Report (page 521, footnote 60) explains that the FBI now considers the incident as a “dry run” for the 9/11 hijackings. And the two men involved? As the 9/11 Commission Report explains, Hamdan al-Shalawi was in Afghanistan in November 2000 training at an Al-Qaeda camp to launch “Khobar Tower”-type attacks against the US in Saudi Arabia, and Mohammad Al-Qadhaieen was arrested in June 2003 as a material witness in the 9/11 attacks. Both men were friends of Al-Qaeda recruiter, Zakaria Mustapha Soubra, who drove them to the airport that day in Qadhaieen’s car. Another friend of Shalawi is Ghassan al-Sharbi, another Al-Qaeda operative that would later be captured in Pakistan with high-level Al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubaida.

There is a connection between these two incidents, as the leader of the six “Flying Imams” this past November is none other than Omar Shahin, the former imam of the Islamic Center of Tucson, where the two Saudi students from the November 1999 incident attended. Counterterrorism expert Rita Katz told the Washington Post in September 2002 that the mosque served as “basically the first cell of Al-Qaeda in the United States; that is where it all started”. (Len Sherman’s Arizona Monthly November 2004 article, “Al Qaeda among Us”, provides greater detail about the connections between the Saudi pair involved in the November 1999 event and the Al-Qaeda cell that operated in Tucson and Phoenix.)

These links helped me to understand with clarity something I had long suspected: CAIR is an organization of quislings, willingly assisting the Islamic terrorists who labor to kill Americans and overthrow our nation’s rule of law to replace it with Shari’a. CAIR is actively using civil rights lawsuits as a smoke screen for terrorists. Groups like CAIR insist on the current insanity at airports that requires 80-year-old grandmas and a former Vice President to pull off their shoes and receive pat-downs. We mustn’t profile, because that would get airport security sued for racism. But Islam is a religion, not a race.

I refuse to listen to any further grievances voiced by terrorism-tainted CAIR, or by any other group that functions as a support system for those who seek the Islamist overthrow of these United States and the world.

Two news stories intrigued me today. The first was a news report from bonnie Scotland (hat tip to LittleGreenFootballs), where local officials are expanding what is considered Islamophobia:

PUPILS and teachers have been told by an official body not to stare at Muslims for fear of causing offence.

A document intended to educate against religious intolerance and sectarianism urges teachers to “make pupils aware of the various forms of Islamophobia, ie stares, verbal abuse, physical abuse”.

But Learning Teaching Scotland (LTS), which issued the advice to schools north of the border, has been criticised by politicians and Muslim leaders for going “over the top”.

The document states: “Some Muslims may choose to wear clothing or display their faith in a way that makes them visible. For example, women may be wearing a headscarf, and men might be wearing a skullcap. Staring or looking is a form of discrimination as it makes the other person feel uncomfortable, or as though they are not normal.”

Osama Saeed, a spokesman for the Muslim Association of Britain, accused officials of going too far. “There are far more serious elements of Islamophobia. People look at all sorts of things — that can just be a glance. A glance and a stare are two different things — glances happen naturally when all sorts of things catch your eye whereas a stare is probably gawking at something.

“Personally I have not encountered much of a problem with people staring. I don’t know how you legislate for that.”

Murdo Fraser, deputy leader of the Scottish Conservatives, said: “In a multicultural society like ours there are people with all different forms of dress and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect children in particular to look at those who are differently dressed from them. To describe this as a form of discrimination seems to go completely over the top.” [emphasis mine - CM]

Staring or looking is now a form of discrimination, thanks to LTS. But Osama Saeed makes a great point when he asks how to legislate for looking. Do we need cops armed with stopwatches following Muslims around the schools, timing how long people are allowed to look at them? “You looked at her for 3.5 seconds, and that is .5 seconds over the allowed time limit! I’m taking you downtown for questioning to see what other Islamophobic tendencies you have.”

Sound farfetched? But just follow the logic: if there is a rule against staring, then there must be a way to judge between a look and a stare, and there must be a punishment for looking too long. All of these actions would be needed to combat Islamophobia. Now let me take a moment to rant at people who twist the known meanings of words. A phobia is an irrational fear of something. It does not mean disagreement with or hatred of something. But people started using the term “homophobia” to mean anyone who doesn’t agree with gay and lesbian agendas, not just someone with an irrational fear of same-sex attraction. Now expect to see more people use “Islamophobia” as a verbal cudgel to beat anyone who doesn’t automatically accept the superiority of Islam. You can’t look at that Muslim, you infidel! Avert your eyes and accept your status as a dhimmi.

The second news story comes from the Katherine Kersten article in the Star Tribune (hat tip to Power Line Blog):

The [Muslim Accommodations Task Force]‘s eventual objectives on American campuses include the following, according to the website: permanent Muslim prayer spaces, ritual washing facilities, separate food and housing for Muslim students, separate hours at athletic facilities for Muslim women, paid imams or religious counselors, and campus observance of Muslim holidays. The task force is already hailing “pioneering” successes. At Syracuse University in New York, for example, “Eid al Fitr is now an official university holiday,” says an article featured on the website. “The entire university campus shuts down to mark the end of Ramadan.” At Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, Mich., “halal” food — ritually slaughtered and permissible under Islamic law — is marked by green stickers in the cafeteria and “staff are well-trained in handling practices.”

At Georgetown University, Muslim women can live apart in housing that enables them to “sleep in an Islamic setting,” as the website puts it. According to a student at the time the policy was adopted, the university housing office initially opposed the idea, on grounds that all freshman should have the experience of “living in dorms and dealing with different kinds of people.” That might sound appealing, Muslim students told a reporter in an article featured on the website. But in their view, the reporter wrote, “learning to live with ‘different kinds of people’ ” actually “causes more harm than good” for Muslims, because it requires them to live in an environment that “distracts them from their desire to become better Muslims, and even draw[s] weaker Muslims away from Islam.”

Where is this happening? Why, Minnesota, of course! I am not all that surprised. I don’t have a problem with people wanting to eat their own permissible foods; schools with large Jewish student bodies have served kosher meals for years, and just try buying beer — or even caffeinated soda — on the Brigham Young University campus. But when people start demanding “separate but equal” accommodations, I see a problem. I find it interesting that the same people who claim to champion diversity will also agree to a plan that removes diversity from Muslim lives. Did you notice at the end of the second paragraph that Islam is so fragile its followers must be sheltered from anything and anyone who isn’t Muslim? I have observed before that religious proselyting is strictly forbidden in most Muslim countries, and I have to believe this is so because Islam is too fragile a religion to survive scrutiny. This is why Muslims claim a need for separate-but-equal dorms, and people had better not stare at them.

I saw a “Coexist” sticker while taking my wife out to dinner last night. If you haven’t seen one of these stickers before, they use different religious and cultural symbols together to spell the word “Coexist.” I have a problem with this sticker, but not because I dislike differences. Frankly, I don’t have any trouble coexisting with people who look, act, and believe in ways different from me. While our similarities make us comfortable, I have found that our differences make life interesting. Imagine combining all the different ethnicities of humanity together like some huge Will It Blend? test. What would we look like? (And yes, I’m talking about intermarriage, not something that looks like bloody goo. Yech.) Since over half of the world is Oriental or Indian, the results of our thought experiment might probably end up looking something like a darker-skinned Michelle Saram. [Image 1] [Image 2] Michelle’s parents are Indian and Chinese.

I think I could live with that.

Jerry Jaspar sells the “Coexist” sticker he created at his PeaceMonger.org site along with other items. He admits that while it is tempting to make his site “all positive – all the time,” he just can’t help making fun of President Bush. But it’s OK for him to do that because as he writes, “You are NOT my president!” He’s all for peace, unity, and happy coexistence, but he doesn’t want any of those things with President Bush. Oh, and money. He certainly wants your money. By the way, that aroma you’re picking up is the fine scent of hypocrisy in the morning.

No, the problem I have with the “Coexist” sticker is that not everyone can tolerate differences; no, not even Jerry Jaspar. And it is this lack of tolerance of others that is the ultimate problem with this sticker. There is a large group of people, spread around the world, that has shown a distinct lack of ability to accept the differences of others. No, not all of them, but a too-large group has shown — in words and actions — that it has a problem coexisting peacefully with its neighbors, and instead demands that others change to conform to its ideals. I won’t point to any specific names, but I will give a short list of places where this lack of coexistence has been an issue, and close with a photograph that clearly sums up an attitude that suggests conquest over coexistence.

Here’s the list: Darfur, Thailand, Indonesia, Chechnya, the Balkans, and pretty much any part of the Middle East as it relates to Israel. And here’s the picture:

Intolerance

The “Coexist” sticker is preaching to the choir since it is directed, in English, to people who already tolerate and/or embrace differences. I will believe differently about Islam when I start seeing stickers that say تعايش in places like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. But until then, how can we coexist peacefully with those who will not coexist with us?

UPDATE (7/26/2011 1:35:00 PM): Updated the link to go to the April 7th, 2007 image taken from archive.org. Just to be clear, I haven’t met or spoken with Jerry Jaspar. I only have his words and products to go by.

I’ve never tried to hide the fact that I am a Mormon, here or anywhere else. But I do my best not to be pushy with that information. Nor do I demand that other people espouse my particular religious beliefs, although I invite those who are interested to investigate and join my church. Notice, though, that I said “invite” and not “force.” My religion doesn’t allow me to force others to convert:

We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may. (Article of Faith 11)

Abstinence from alcohol is a fairly well-known tenet of my faith, but the fact that I and other Mormons are forbidden from drinking doesn’t mean that non-Mormons are likewise forbidden. Alcohol abstinence is required for practicing Mormons, but not for non-Mormons — just as eating kosher is required for observant Jews, but not for non-Jews. From my quick searches, it appears that Muslims, too, are required to abstain from certain substances:

“He has forbidden you only carrion, blood, the flesh of swine, and that over which name of other than God is invoked; yet whoso is constrained, not revolting nor exceeding limits, no sin is upon him; God is Forgiving, Merciful.” (Surah 2:173) [emphasis mine - ed]

If I understand this passage correctly, Muslims are forbidden to eat pork, but that constraint is directed specifically at believers, i.e. Muslims. The Qu’ran doesn’t seem to have any injunctions against non-believers who choose to eat pork. And interestingly enough, the commandment to abstain from pork doesn’t appear to be absolute. Sura 5:3 reiterates the forbidden status of pork (among other items), but ends with the following: “However, if any is constrained by hunger, without willfully inclining to sin, then God is Forgiving, Merciful.” So in times of hunger, Allah even allows Muslims to eat pork — as long as they don’t do it along the lines of, “Boy, I sure am hungry. Make mine a bacon cheeseburger with extra bacon.”

While I do not drink alcohol, there is no prohibition against my selling alcohol to others. For instance, I could be a waiter in a restaurant and pour wine for patrons without compromising my faith. I could even be a liquor store attendant or a bartender, although I personally wouldn’t choose these last two careers because I consider them incompatible with my espoused beliefs. How could I recommend a cocktail if I don’t drink? Likewise, in my admittedly quick search of the Qu’ran for information regarding “swine,” I did not come across a verse that forbids contact with pigs or pork products. But it appears that some Muslims in Minnesota have a problem with touching pork and transporting alcohol, to the point that it is affecting their ability to do their jobs.

To summarize the two links above, Muslim taxi drivers at the Minnesota airport have refused to transport people carrying alcohol or using guide dogs (dogs, like pigs, are considered unclean by Muslims), and in some Minnesota supermarkets, Muslim checkers refuse to swipe pork products like bacon. Either the customer must swipe the offending item past the bar-code readers, or another checker is called over to do the job. I have to wonder why Muslims have chosen these jobs if they see a fundamental conflict between carrying out their duties and obeying the tenets of their faith. As pointed out above, you’re not going to find too many Mormon bartenders because most Mormons would see philosophical conflicts between their beliefs and the job requirements. A cab driver’s job is to drive passengers from place to place, be safe and courteous, and collect a fare. If he believes his religion forbids him from picking up certain people even if they can pay the fare, why is he even in that business? Likewise, a cashier’s job is to ring up customers’ purchases. If she cannot or will not handle certain purchases because of religious constraints, why did she choose to take that job? If I’m hired to dig ditches, but I can’t perform the job requirements, why am I in that business? To quote Frank Waturi from Joe Versus the Volcano, “I know he can get the job, but can he do the job?” That’s pretty much the question every employer has to ask about a possible new hire. And if the answer is, “He can’t do the whole job because his religion forbids him from doing it,” why is that person even trying for the job?

If these Minnesota Muslim cabbies and checkers were refusing to serve because of some universal Muslim tenet of faith, I could better understand their commitment. However, based on the articles being written, these incidents appear to be happening only in Minnesota. Muslim cabbies and cashiers who live elsewhere seem to have no problem with transporting customers carrying alcohol or swiping pork-based items at the checkout stand. So what exactly is going on? I suspect it has something to do with the social practices of Muslim groups in Minnesota. Remember the “flying imams” who were kicked off their flight because of their peculiar behavior? That was in the Minnesota airport. The imams in question had just attended a gathering in Minneapolis, and I suspect their unusual actions in the airport were triggered by something that took place in that meeting.

This makes three separate incidents in the past few months where Muslims in Minnesota have kicked up a public fuss due to their religious beliefs. I can no longer believe they are merely coincidental. But the next obvious question is: why are they behaving this way? What is the purpose of demonstrating zero-tolerance, in-your-face Islam to non-Muslims? I’m not sure I have a definitive answer, but I do wonder whether we are seeing the first attempt to prepare the United States to accept Shari’a law. If so, the Muslims are taking actions that seem more coercive than persuasive.

UPDATE (4/17/2007 9:34:10 AM): Action is being taken in Minnesota to make sure taxi drivers actually do their job. Based on this report, the Metropolitan Airports Commission has voted for newer and stronger penalties for taxi drivers who refuse to take a fare. They are looking at a 30 day suspension for the first violation and two years for the second violation. Now comes the expected whine of violated rights.

“We see this as a penalty against a group of Americans only for practicing their faith,” said Hassan Mohamud, an imam and an adjunct professor at William Mitchell College of Law.

But Professor, if doing the job right is a violation of their faith, then why are they even taking the job?