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by Bruce Bawer
The other day the New York Times invited a few contributors to answer the question "Is America's religious freedom under threat?" The answer provided by Salam Al-Marayati, head of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), in an essay entitled "A Campaign Against Patriotic Muslims," was a resounding yes – at least, that is, where his co-religionists are concerned. Among Al-Marayati's assertions: "religious freedom for the Muslim American is under threat….Today's anti-Muslim rhetoric is eerily similar to the pre-Nazi rhetoric against Jews….Hate against Muslim children in elementary and secondary schools is on the rise." There is, insisted Al-Marayati, "an inquisition mentality toward America's Muslims."
People who have written books critical of Islam were described by Al-Marayati as "Muslim-haters" whose "work is reminiscent of the pre-Nazi propaganda…that regarded Judaism as a threat to Germany." Al-Marayati railed about the controversy over the TLC reality show "All-American Muslim," which, he sneered, "became a controversy because it did not include a terrorist." America, he claimed, is being misled by those who, refusing to define American Islam by what he called its "mainstream," insist rather on viewing it "through the lens of extremism." "I love my faith and I love my country," maintained Al-Marayati at the end of his piece. "The fact that some readers still question which country I am referring to indicates a serious level of distrust toward Muslim Americans."
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