Robert George has posted on both First Things and Mirror of Justice an open letter to the Florida Family Association (FFA) on the topic of their campaign against The Learning Channel's reality show All-American Muslim. On their web site, the Florida Family Association says:
The Learning Channel's new show All-American Muslim is propaganda clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Muslims who are advancing Islamic fundamentalism and Sharia law. The show profiles only Muslims that appear to be ordinary folks while excluding many Islamic believers whose agenda poses a clear and present danger to liberties and traditional values that the majority of Americans cherish.
In the open letter, George and his co-author, Dr. Jennifer Bryson, Director of the Witherspoon Institute's Research Project on Islam and Civil Society, say:
All-American Muslim is a reality television show featuring five families; it does not purport to be a documentary about the whole of Islam. The important point we wish to make, however, is that the vast majority of our Muslim fellow citizens are indeed ordinary folks. They are good people and good Americans. They share our fundamental moral values and our commitments to democratic institutions and civil and religious liberty. . . .
Of course, there are violent extremists and enemies of freedom who act in the name of Islam—no question about that. . . . Like you, both of us believe that Islamist terrorists and radicals must be resolutely opposed and defeated. But it is important to recognize that this is a view we and you share with the overwhelming majority of American Muslims. . . .
In our view, it is fundamentally unjust to tar all or most Muslims with the brush of extremism; and, as Christians and Americans, we must never countenance injustice. . . .
It is not our purpose to condemn you or your organization. We do, however, believe that you are making a mistake—a correctable one—in opposing All-American Muslim. And, as fellow Christians, we believe we owe it to you as well as to our Muslim brothers and sisters to say so. We would be happy to discuss our concerns with you and to hear your point of view. . . .
I commend Robert George and Jennifer Bryson for what they have done and what they have said in standing up for All-American Muslim and in defending what I too believe to be the vast majority of American Muslims. I was troubled, however, when I looked at the Florida Family Association's web site to find this:
Campbell Soup sponsors Islamic conference, please send your email to company officials Campbell Soup’s involvement in sponsoring an Islamic conference was uncovered at the time it was learned the company was also having the Islam Society of North America (ISNA) certify their “halal” soups for Muslim consumption. . . .
Amerimar Enterprise hotel sides with Islamic extremists, cancels Preserving Freedom Conference designed to combat Sharia law. Amerimar Enterprise has chosen to side with Islamic extremists who want the United States to be ruled by Sharia law over patriotic Americans who want to preserve freedom . . .
Welcometotampafl.org to warn about Islamic progression in Tampa. Tampa officials and political allies who hold strong progressive beliefs are embracing and empowering Islamic rules without regard for how their implementation could seriously diminish traditional American values. . . .
I am quite sure that Robert George is not troubled by the Florida Family Association's militantly anti-gay stance, but unless the web site's appearance and content don't really reflect what the Association stands for, FFA seems to be just as concerned about a Muslim menace as a homosexual menace. Indeed, they make a connection themselves in the story about the Campbell Soup Company:
Pamela Geller, the activist who helped uncover plans to build the mosque at ground zero in New York City also reports that Campbell Soup helped sponsor the “Islam Relief Canada” conference referenced in the below online promotion. . . .
The liberal media is slamming Pamela Geller and taking up the cause to defend supporters of Islam against criticism in the same ferocious manner that they have defended the homosexual agenda against legitimate objections. . . .
I still commend Robert George and Jennifer Bryson for their efforts, but I do wonder if they have not dignified FFA more than it deserves by addressing it directly and taking such a deferential tone. The chances of meaningful dialogue between Robert George and the Witherspoon Institute, on the one hand, and the Florida Family Association, on the other, appear to me quite slim unless they agree to disagree on Muslims in America and stick to topics like Gay Day at the Magic Kingdom.