The Two Sides of Islam

Practitioners of political correctness hold that there are two sides of Islam.  One side, by far the larger, consists of the great mass of peaceful Muslims who go to mosques and worship Allah without harming anyone.  The other side, a tiny and distinct minority, is where the Mohammed Attas of the world reside, all the while plotting to destroy us. 
That PC viewpoint was in vogue at Fort Hood on the day Major Nidal Malik Hasan shot thirteen adults and one unborn child dead after yelling “Allahu Akbar.”  The same viewpoint was still in effect days after the massacre when Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey appeared on CNN and said, “It would be a shame—as great a tragedy as this is—it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well.”
The same viewpoint is still at work today as Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf moves forward with plans to establish a mosque in the shadow of Ground Zero, and as Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar walk off the set of ABC’s “The View” because Bill O’Reilly said it was Muslims who attacked us on 9/11. 
The politically correct executives who run NPR fired commentator Juan Williams for offering his opinion on “The O’Reilly Factor.”  Williams said, “When I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried.  I get nervous.”
Such nervousness begs a question:  Are those who hijack planes and blow people up really just a small group of extremists, as Goldberg and Behar believe?  Or is Islam really a unified religious and political system that regards Christians and Jews as infidels who must be destroyed?
Has anyone thought to ask former Muslims?  Yes—there are quite a few people who were born into Islam and born again as Christians.  Some of them are speaking out.  There’s just one problem: The media all but ignore these ex-Muslims, so it’s difficult to get their stories out.  That’s why several of them are gathering on November 21st in Killeen, Texas, just a few miles from the main gate of Fort Hood, at an event called “The Forum for Middle East Understanding.”  They fully intend to tell, without a shred of political correctness, exactly what they know.
One of them is a young former Muslim named Zakaryia Ezzat.  Zak was born in America to an Egyptian father and an American protestant mother.  He says his mother was forced by the Islamic Mosque in Lansing, Michigan to sign a contract to ensure that he and his twin sister would be raised as Muslims.  He says his father whispered in his ear, “la elaha ilallah wa Mohamed rasul lellah” which means “there is no God but Allah and Mohamed is his messenger.”  Zak says his mother was a strong Christian, but after the family moved back to Egypt when he was two, she was not allowed to practice her beliefs openly.
Zak is a soft-spoken young man who must lean close to the microphone when he does a radio interview.  But his words are powerful statements.  He explains that Islam cannot exist in a free society, because “if there is freedom, many people will leave Islam and it will cease as the dominant religion.” 
His mom managed to leave Egypt when he was four, and she brought him back to America.  His father eventually managed to return as well, and when the family was reunited, Zak was made to go to the mosque every Friday.  It was in America, he says, where he learned the fundamental teachings of Islam.  “I noticed in this time,” he says, “that these mosques fostered an incredible hatred toward Jews and America.”  Zak can quote chapter-and-verse from the Quran telling about the “Day of Judgment” that will not come until there is a big war between the Muslims and the Jews—and, presumably, Christians as well.
But are there two Islams?  In a way, yes.  Zak explains it this way:  “One day I was in the Mosque and noticed a guy with a big camera.  I went up to my friend and asked him who the man was.  He told me he was a reporter from the Reno Gazette Journal and he was doing a story on Islam.  He then leaned over to me and said, ‘I had to warn the Imam to be different.’”
Zak asks the question that media reporters never do:  If Islam is a religion of peace, why does the Imam have to be different every time a non-Muslim enters the equation?  By this time, Zak was already a Christian convert, from having read the Bible and through the influence of two men—Walid Shoebat and Kamal Saleem—whom he had invited to speak on his campus. 
After hearing these two men, Zak came out as a Christian.  Since then, he’s been called ignorant of Islam, racist, and Islamophobic.  He responds with Christian love for the ones who hate him, saying, “I cannot counter hate with more hate.”
Zakaryia Ezzat is a handsome young man—exceptionally bright and knowledgeable, passionate, and well spoken, with opinions formed from his own personal experiences.  Someday, he may be a guest on The O’Reilly Factor.  Will he appear on The View or on NPR?  Probably not.