“Anti-Muslim” Event At Michigan Church Cancelled Quite Unnecessarily

Under pressure, a pastor in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan cancelled what some have billed as an “anti-Muslim event” that was scheduled to take place on 9/11. The story is here:

A Bloomfield Hills Baptist Church is canceling [i.e. cancelled] an anti-Muslim event scheduled for the 9/11 anniversary after facing condemnation from Michigan representatives and organizations.

Bloomfield Hills Baptist Church announced in a one-sentence email that it will cancel [cancelled] the two-day “9/11 forgotten? Is Michigan surrendering to Islam?” event that was originally scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.

The event was slated to host two speakers, who would address topics like “How the interfaith movement is sabotaging America and the church” and “How Islam is destroying America from within.”

The church’s pastor, Donald McKay, defended the event to Fox 2 last week, telling the station that “Islam is a growing threat in the United States of America,” and that while he couldn’t speak for his church, “we don’t hate Muslims, we hate the ideology they are identified with.”

“I am an Islamophobe, I wear that badge proudly,” said McKay, who told Fox 2 at the time that he did not plan on canceling.

The event quickly gained attention from political leaders and organizations in Michigan, who condemned the discussion and called for its cancellation.

In a joint statement on the issue, U.S. Democratic Reps. Andy Levin and Debbie Dingell said there is “no place for hate in metro Detroit, in Michigan or anywhere in the United States.”

We implore the Bloomfield Baptist Church to forgo the anti-Muslim events planned for next week and instead recognize America’s rich cultural and religious diversity as we reflect on one of the most painful days in our country’s history and heal from recent acts of white supremacist violence,” Levin and Dingell said. “As people of faith, we ask Michiganders to unify in peace and celebrate our shared humanity to help prevent future acts of hatred.”

Do Andy Levin and Debbie Dingell have any idea that this notion of a “shared humanity” is not to be found in Islam? How can there be a “shared humanity” when Muslims are described in the Qur’an as “the best of peoples” and non-Muslims as “the most vile of created beings”? How can there be a “shared humanity” when Muslims are commanded in the Qur’an not to take Jews and Christians as friends, for “they are friends only with each other”? How can there be a “shared humanity” when 109 Qur’anic verses command Muslims to “fight” and to “kill” and to “smite at the necks of” and “strike terror in the hearts of” Unbelievers?

Dawud Walid, executive director of Michigan’s Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) chapter, said the anti-Islam rhetoric the church was promoting was “troubling,” especially in light of the frequency of hate crimes against Muslims.

Dawud Walid, a director at unindicted co-conspirator CAIR, finds “troubling” the “anti-Islam rhetoric” promoted by the Baptist church in Bloomfield Hills. Will any reporter dare to ask him the obvious? To wit, do you, Dawud Walid, find anything “troubling” about those Qur’anic verses that command violent Jihad against the Unbelievers as, for example, 2:191-193, 4:89, 8:12, 8:60, 9:5, 9:29, 47:4? Are you in the least bit “troubled” by the description of all non-Muslims as “the most vile of created beings”? Are you at all troubled by Muhammad’s claims in the Hadith that “war is deceit” and “I have been made victorious through terror”?

“Though we believe that houses of worship have the right to preach their doctrine, we find it incredibly irresponsible for a church to invite someone who has the objective of spewing clear anti-Muslim bigotry,” Walid told the Free Press.

Thus did the event in question, which might have contributed to an understanding of Islam, instead become an occasion for a craven surrender to those who wish to shut down all criticism of Islam, and Pastor Donald McKay ends up having been painted as a bigot.

Pastor McKay left himself quite unnecessarily open to criticism when he boastingly described himself as an “Islamophobe.” Instead of accepting that tendentious term, he ought to have held a news conference, where he could have forthrightly refused it, insisting that “I am not an ‘Islamophobe’ as some would have it; I am an islamocritic, who has read and studied the Qur’an. The term ‘Islamophobia’ is used to insinuate that all criticism of Islam must reflect an ‘irrational fear’ rather than a perfectly rational anxiety about the texts and teachings of the faith; it is an attempt to shut down all criticism of Islam, which is surely an illegitimate aim. My anxiety about Islam is not an ‘irrational fear,’ but, I believe, a rational one. I would ask the Representatives – Andy Levin and  Debbie Dingell — who want to shut down the discussion of Islam at my church, without knowing what will be said, to come as guests, to listen to what our speakers have to say, and if they disagree, to speak out at the church itself rather than to try to prevent such a discussion from taking place. Of course, I request that they do the same homework beforehand that I and the members of my church have done – that is, read the Qur’an.

“I have prepared a list of the dozen Qur’anic verses on which we will be focusing. This dozen that we will be discussing have also been posted at the website of the church. Any fair-minded reporter should include mention of these in reporting on the so-called ‘Islamophobic’ event at the church. These verses include the following:

“2:191. And kill them [the non-Muslims] wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing. And fight not with them at Al-Masjid-al-Haram, unless they fight you there. But if they attack you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.

“2:192. But if they cease, then Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

“2:193. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah and worship is for Allah. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)

“3:110. Ye [Muslims] are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah.

“4:89. They [Christians and Jews] wish that you reject Faith, as they have rejected (Faith), and thus that you all become equal.  So take not Auliya’ (protectors or friends) from them, till they emigrate in the Way of Allah. But if they turn back (from Islam), take (hold) of them and kill them wherever you find them, and take neither Auliya’ (protectors or friends) nor helpers from them.

“5:51. O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.

“8:12. Your Lord inspired the angels: I will cast terror into the hearts of those who have disbelieved, so strike them over the necks, and smite over all their fingers and toes…

“8:60. And make ready against them [the disbelievers] all you can of power, including steeds of war to threaten the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides whom, you may not know but whom Allah does know.

“9:5. Then when the Sacred Months have passed, then kill the Mushrikun [the Idolaters] wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and prepare for them each and every ambush. But if they repent and perform Salat, and give Zakat, then leave their way free.

“9:29. Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

“47:4. Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks until, when ye have routed them, then making fast of bonds; and afterward either grace or ransom till the war lay down its burdens…

“98:6. Those who disbelieve from among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists, will be in Hell-Fire, to dwell therein (for aye). They are the worst of creatures.

“Cf. 8:55. Surely the vilest of animals in Allah’s sight are those who disbelieve, then they would not believe.”

Pastor McKay could continue:

“These dozen verses will also be delivered to all the reporters expressing an interest covering the event. We hope they will read them, and that some of those reporting might even have the scrupulosity to refer to a few of the verses by sura and ayat or even – which would be most helpful of all — to quote a handful. In their reporting, they can also alert their readers to the fact that these dozen can be easily consulted at the website of the church. Thus they will be better able to judge for themselves whether our own discussion about Islam is unfair in any way.”

Pastor McKay should also take issue with Representatives Levin and Dingell for their remarks addressed directly to him: “We implore the Bloomfield Baptist Church to forgo the anti-Muslim events planned for next week and instead recognize America’s rich cultural and religious diversity as we reflect on one of the most painful days in our country’s history and heal from recent acts of white supremacist violence,” Levin and Dingell said. “As people of faith, we ask Michiganders to unify in peace and celebrate our shared humanity to help prevent future acts of hatred.”

Pastor McKay’s reply could be: “It does no good to present a saccharine view of Islam. In order to ‘help prevent future acts of hatred’ by Muslim terrorists, we need to know what prompts their acts: is it something we non-Muslims have done, or is it simply who we are, that is, non-Muslims, that provokes such violence and hatred? Isn’t it essential that we study the Qur’an, to find out the truth of the matter? Why should anyone object to our  reading, studying, examining, discussing that essential text of Islam? Should we shun such knowledge, leaving ourselves unable to comprehend those who wish us no good? Or should we strive to fathom the faith of Islam, wherever that might lead?”

The reports in advance of the event might then have read quite differently:

“Donald McKay, pastor of the Baptist Church in Bloomfield Hills, who describes himself as an “Islamocritic,” has announced that his congregation will be discussing selected verses from the Qur’an on Wednesday and Thursday [September 11-12]. Visitors will be welcome, but seating is limited, so please contact Pastor McKay if you plan to attend. He has posted at the website of the church the dozen verses from the Qur’an that will be the focus of the discussion, and he encourages everyone who intends to participate, including those who will be reporting on the event, to read those dozen verses ahead of time.”

Thus retouched for public consumption, Pastor McKay now comes across not, as previously presented, as a proud bigot (“I am an Islamophobe”), but rather as an inquiring mind, hoping to encourage others to join him in an uninhibited examination of the texts and teachings of Islam. Only those with something to hide — CAIR, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib — could conceivably object to such a program. Turn the tables, put them on the defensive. And never give an inch to those who, whether cunning or terminally naive Defenders of the Faith, persist in misdirecting us.

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