It all started when a Pennsylvania State Representative, Stephanie Borowicz, prayed this to open a legislative session: “Jesus, you are our only hope. At the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Jesus, that you are Lord.” Outrage ensued among Pennsylvania Democrats, culminating in a Qur’an reading in the State House by a Muslim State Representative, Jason Dawkins. Democrats applauded that. It shows where they are now.
Another Muslim Pennsylvania State Representative, Movita Johnson-Harrell, began the orgy of indignation, rage, and virtue-signaling over Borowicz’s prayer by declaring that the Christian prayer was “highly offensive to me, my guests, and other members of the House.” She added that the prayer “blatantly represented the Islamophobia that exists among some leaders — leaders that are supposed to represent the people. I came to the Capitol to help build bipartisanship and collaborations regardless of race or religion to enhance the quality of life for everyone in the Commonwealth.”
Johnson-Harrell may have been right about one thing. Rep. Borowicz’s prayer may have been inappropriate in a setting in which not everyone present was Christian. We have, however, seen many imams say prayers at various legislative bodies that are not non-sectarian, but manifestly Islamic and even condemning of Jews and Christians, while the non-Muslim lawmakers stand with oblivious heads bowed.
But was Borowicz’s prayer really “Islamophobic”? This illustrates how absurd charges of “Islamophobia” are, and how any manifestation of faith other than Islam is sometimes seen as offensive to Muslims. A few years ago, when jihadis attacked AFDI’s Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest in Garland, Texas, some Christians castigated Pamela Geller and me for co-sponsoring and speaking at the event. They said that we were being needlessly provocative, poking Muslims in the eye, goading them, etc.
These charitable and enlightened Christians said that Christians should instead be deferential to others’ religious sensibilities. At the time, I responded to these people by explaining that giving in to violent intimidation (our event was a response to the jihad murder of the Charlie Hebdo Muhammad cartoonists in Paris) would only encourage more violent intimidation, and that given the fact that Muslims frequently found even basic expressions of Christian faith to be “provocative,” they were effectively cutting the ground out from under themselves and their children, making it impossible for them to practice Christianity in the future.
Movita Johnson-Harrell has now provided more proof that this was correct. By calling Borowicz’s prayer “Islamophobic,” she is in effect saying that the public expression of the Christian Faith mocks Islam and despises Islamic teachings.
The lesson is clear. If the advice of the cosseted, suburban Western Christians who were excoriating us for the Garland event is to be heeded, Christians should make no public expression of their faith at all, and convert to Islam, so as to avoid mocking, provoking, and offending Muslims, and poking them in the eye.
And when it comes to it, that is most likely the exact thing that those Christians will do. It’s already beginning: Pennsylvania House Minority Whip Jordan Harris, a Democrat (of course), stated: “Let me be clear. I am a Christian. I spend my Sunday mornings in church worshiping and being thankful for all that I have. But in no way does that mean I would flaunt my religion at those who worship differently than I do. There is no room in our Capitol building for actions such as this, and it’s incredibly disappointing that today’s opening prayer was so divisive.”
So Harris says that Christians must not flaunt their religion. Not coincidentally, that is exactly what Islamic law says about Christians: that they should carry on their worship quietly, behind closed doors, and never make public display of it. Oh, and by the way, speaking of flaunting one’s religion, Movita Johnson-Harrell wears a hijab. Harris is not on record objecting to that kind of flaunting one’s religion.
The Christian Harris who deplores Rep. Borowicz’s prayer should calm Movita Johnson-Harrell’s rage by converting to Islam and thus removing the source of her feelings of offense. Watch for it.
Meanwhile, according to Fox News, “State Rep. Jason Dawkins, another Muslim lawmaker, opened the session Tuesday by reading from the Quran, prompting applause in the chamber.” The favored religion on the Left is one that has moved some of its adherents to wage war against the West for 1,400 years, as The History of Jihad illustrates in detail. Is it just coincidence that the Left seems to oppose every counterterror and national security measure, and always to denigrate Judeo-Christian tradition while exalting Islam? Would it be “Islamophobic” to notice a pattern here?
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His new book is The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.
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