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Davich: Can a good Muslim be a good American?

Jerry Davich.

Jerry Davich.

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Updated: December 21, 2013 6:22AM



“Jerry, is there a media that will print this for all to read? If anyone believes the below is not true, they’re living in fantasy land. I really don’t care to hear anything that contradicts this, as it just shows the ignorance of the general American public. Unless MAJOR changes happen now, it’s farewell United States of America.” — Doug Van Gundy

Farewell to the United States of America, huh? Again, that is, right?

Van Gundy’s forwarded email (which always makes me leery to begin with) posed this intriguing but inflammatory question: “Can a good Muslim be a good American?”

“This is very interesting and we all need to read it from start to finish,” the forwarded email stated. “Send it on to everyone.”

The email then presents the case for a resounding “no” to that question, citing bullet-point reasoning, from theologically to philosophically.

“No, because his allegiance is to Allah, The moon god of Arabia.”

“Religiously, no, because no other religion is accepted by His Allah except Islam.”

“Geographically, no, because his allegiance is to Mecca, to which he turns in prayer five times a day.”

“Socially, no, because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews.”

“Politically, no, because he must submit to the mullahs (spiritual leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and destruction of America, the great Satan.”

“Domestically, no, because he is instructed to marry four women and beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him.”

“Intellectually, no, because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be corrupt.”

OK, you get the point.

“Therefore, after much study and deliberation, perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country,” the email states. “They obviously cannot be both ‘good’ Muslims and ‘good’ Americans. Call it what you wish, it’s still the truth. The more who understand this, the better it will be for our country and our future!”

For good measure, the email also throws in the U.S. military for added muscle, stating: “THE MARINES WANT THIS TO ROLL ALL OVER THE U.S.”

And then, of course, the ubiquitous ending for such fear-mongering emails: “Please don’t delete this until you send it on.”

I replied to Van Gundy, asking simply, “So you really think our country will be taken over by Muslims?” I never heard back from him.

So where do I begin to respond? First, by reminding him and others with like-minded opinions that the same fear-based, bigoted prejudices have been hurled at every ethnic group that has immigrated into our gated community.

Second, whether we like it or not, by 2025 more than half of all children in this country will be minorities. By 2040, our country will brim with 400 million people, half of them minorities and many of them Muslim-Americans.

And by 2050, the U.S. will become a “minority-majority,” making non-Hispanic whites (such as myself and, I’m guessing, Van Gundy) the new minority, statistically speaking.

This is the emerging reality facing our country and all the fearful, regurgitated rhetoric in the world won’t stop it from happening. This includes the mindless “cut, paste and forward” email-mindset that often transmogrifies into a firestorm of blind ignorance.

“Our country is falling apart and it’s (expletive) me off and making me sick,” said another reader, Michael H., a Gary native who left me two voicemail rants on this issue.

“I love this country and I may sound like a hater because I am a hater. I hate where our country is headed. No more appeasing minorities like the Muslims, they can go to hell. They’re trying to take over and I don’t like it.”

Sure, I have my prejudices, too — for instance, against hypocrites who misconstrue patriotism with nationalism and ignorance with arrogance. But I also have faith in two fundamental truths about our country.

First, immigrants won’t change America as much as America will change those immigrants. History has proved this time and again, regardless of ethnicity or point of origin.

Second, our constitutional order has remained relatively intact and we have to remain faithful that this country will survive regardless of who comprises “Americans.”

The question we should be asking ourselves is this: Can a good American be a good humanitarian?

Johnny B: ‘Eat me’

Upon request from a few readers who were unable to tune in to my latest Casual Fridays radio show, with featured guest Jonathan Brandmeier, here is the audio link so you can listen to it at your convenience: http://lakeshorepublicmedia.org/jerry-d-and-johnny-b/.

“Johnny B.” is one class act, chatting with my co-host Karen Walker and me for more than a half-hour about his Chicago radio fame, his rock concerts and his newest podcast show on WGN.FM. He even sent me a surprising email afterward: “JD — Thanks for some very enjoyable telephone time today. You and crazy Karen are a first-class act. Keep up the great work! EAT ME. JOHNNY B.”

Dept. of Corrections

In my Sunday column, I wrongly identified a donated Boeing 737 airplane as a “jumbo” jet, which technically it is not. I regret the jumbo-sized error.

Your three words?

If you could write a note to your younger self, what would you say in only three words?

I asked this question on social media and received more than 200 responses, obviously touching a nerve with readers.

Everything from “Don’t marry him” and “Follow your dreams” to “Don’t give up” and “Have more sex.”

So now I ask you the same question and I’ll print the most interesting responses in a future column. My three words? Start writing sooner.

Connect with Jerry via email, at jdavich@post-trib.com, voice mail, at 713-7237, or Facebook, Twitter, and his blog, at jerrydavich.wordpress.com.



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