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Logical Error Made in Religious Comparison
By Ahmed Rehab, CAIR-Chicago


In response to Pueblo Chieftain article: “FAIR enough, but it doesn't help CAIR "

http://www.chieftain.com/articles/2008/10/25/life/local/doc49029ffdf22da641034666.txt

Dear Mr. Nelson,

In your recent OpEd you state:

“It must be recognized, sympathetically, that Muslims face a tough task to decisively distance themselves from cynical killers, like evangelical and fundamental Christians have had to do with, say, David Koresh's troublesome Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas, or Fred Phelps' questionable, vengeance-stained, judgmental theology.”

Don’t you see the logical error you are committing that lies at the core of the pervasive problem vis-ŕ-vis coverage of Muslims? You are comparing “Muslims” to “Evangelical Christians” or “Fundamental Christians,” you are not comparing “Muslims” to “Christians” or “Fundamentalist Muslims” to “Fundamentalist Christians” as you should.

Let’s see how out of line your statement would be if you indeed did compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges:

“It must be recognized, sympathetically, that Muslims face a tough task to decisively distance themselves from cynical killers, like Christians have had to do with, say, David Koresh's troublesome Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas, or Fred Phelps' questionable, vengeance-stained, judgmental theology.”

Really? Did “Christians” at large have to distance themselves from Koresh and Phelps? Did the Pope for example? Did Mandela? Did Oprah?

Why is it that when commentators like you discuss Christianity you are able to recognize the diversity within it and the latitude of pluralism in its adherents, to the point where you (rightly) need to qualify which Christians you are talking about with identifiers such as “evangelical” or “fundamentalist” that cut down the size of the subject from a whopping 2 billion to a more concise 50 million. But when you discuss Islam, it’s just “Muslims,” all whopping 1.4 billion of them. Why do you and others view Muslims as a monolith? Why can’t you detect the silliness in that, as you surely would if you were to substitute it with an unqualified “Christians.”

Respectfully,

Ahmed M. Rehab

Copyright © 2008 CAIR-Chicago





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