Monday, June 06, 2005

House Resolution 288

I think US Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) has a wonderful idea!

In case you’ve missed it, several weeks ago Congressman Conyers introduced a bill in the House of Representatives calling for the Quran to be treated with respect, and stating explicitly that “believers of all religions, including the Abrahamic faiths of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, should be treated with respect and dignity”.

In fact, I think its such a good idea that reciprocal resolutions should be adopted simultaneously by the governments of Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan, and all other Islamic countries, with a few minor additions.

Imagine the repercussions on the streets of Riyadh, or Damascus, or Cairo, if the government announced such an action!

Let’s take a look at the modifications. The original resolution is in italics. My suggested revisions are in bold italics.


Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives condemning bigotry and religious intolerance, and recognizing that holy books of every religion should be treated with dignity and respect.

Whereas believers of all religions, including the Abrahamic faiths of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, should be treated with respect and dignity;

Whereas the word Islam comes from the Arabic root word meaning “peace” and “submission”;

Whereas there are an estimated 7,000,000 Muslims in America, from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds, forming an integral part of the social fabric of America; whereas there are an estimated 8,000,000 Jews in America, from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds, forming an integral part of the social fabric of America; and whereas there are an estimated 225,000,000 (over 93% of the population) Christians in America, from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds, forming an integral part of the social fabric of America:
Whereas the Quran is the holy book for Muslims who recite passages from it in prayer and learn valuable lessons about peace, humanity and spirituality; the Torah is the holy book for Jews who recite passages from it in prayer and learn valuable lessons about peace, humanity and spirituality; and the Bible is the holy book for Muslims who recite passages from it in prayer and learn valuable lessons about peace, humanity and spirituality;

Whereas it should never be official policy of the United States Government to disparage the Quran, Islam, the Torah, Judaism, the Bible, Christianity, or any religion in any way, shape, or form;

Whereas mistreatment of prisoners and disrespect toward the holy book of any religion is unacceptable and against civilized humanity;

Whereas the infringement of an individual’s right to freedom of religion violates the Constitution and laws of the United States: Now, therefore, be it

1 Resolved, That the House of Representatives–

(1) condemns bigotry, acts of violence, and intolerance against any religious group, including our friends, neighbors, and citizens of the Islamic, Jewish, and Christian faith;

(2) declares that the civil rights and civil liberties of all individuals, including those of the Islamic, Jewish, and Christian faith, should be protected;

(3) recognizes that the Quran, the holy book of Islam, as any other holy book of any religion, should be treated with dignity and respect; recognizes that the Torah, the holy book of Judiasm, as any other holy book of any religion, should be treated with dignity and respect; recognizes that the Bible, the holy book of Christianity, as any other holy book of any religion, should be treated with dignity and respect; and

(4) calls upon local, State, and Federal authorities to work to prevent bias-motivated crimes and acts against all individuals, including those of the Islamic faith, those of the Jewish faith, and those of the Christian faith.


I also suggest that Congress make the resolution only take effect when a similar resolution, protecting ALL Abrahamic religions is adopted by the governments of the Islamic nations, including but not limited to Saudi Arabia, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt. After all, they claim the Quran protects Christians and Jews as Dar ul Kuttab, which translates as People of the Book.

Of course, that is not likely to happen. The streets of Islamic world would erupt in violence almost instantly if their governments adopted such a resolution.

The Council on American Islamic relations has posted an action alert supporting the original resolution. An excerpt from their action alert, as posted on the CAIR website, says:

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called for people of
conscience to support a resolution that "recognizes that the Qur'an as any other
holy book of any religion, should be treated with dignity and respect." To be
introduced by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), the resolution also "condemns bigotry
and intolerance against any religious group, including our friends, neighbors
and citizens of the Islamic faith." "This resolution expresses America's respect
for the holy texts of all faiths. If passed, it will also reiterate our nation's
condemnation of bigoted behavior and religious intolerance," said Corey Saylor,
CAIR's government affairs director.
CAIR asks that individuals contact their Representative in the U.S. House and request that they support the Conyers resolution.

I propose that everyone contact their resolution, and ask that the resolution be accepted with the changes I have proposed.

One additional problem I have with the statement is this phrase:

Whereas the word Islam comes from the Arabic root word meaning “peace” and “submission”;

I submit to Congressman Conyers that he has just summed up the goals of the Islamists quite succinctly. If we want peace with the Islamic world, we must submit to their beliefs.

Let me remind Congressman Conyers of the words of a US Olympics athlete at the 1908 Olympics games in London. U.S. flag bearer and discus champion Martin Sheridan refused to dip the Stars and Stripes when he passed King Edward VII's box in the parade of athletes. “This flag dips to no earthly king,” Sheridan said, beginning a tradition that has lasted to this day.

It is time that we remember the words of Sheridan.

The Stars and Stripes dips to no earthly king.


The complete text of the original resolution follows:

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives condemning bigotry and religious intolerance, and recognizing that holy books of every religion should be treated with dignity and respect.

Whereas believers of all religions, including the Abrahamic faiths of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, should be treated with respect and dignity;

Whereas the word Islam comes from the Arabic root word meaning “peace” and “submission”;

Whereas there are an estimated 7,000,000 Muslims in America, from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds, forming an integral part of the social fabric of America;

Whereas the Quran is the holy book for Muslims who recite passages from it in prayer and learn valuable lessons about peace, humanity and spirituality;
Whereas it should never be official policy of the United States Government to disparage the Quran, Islam, or any religion in any way, shape, or form;

Whereas mistreatment of prisoners and disrespect toward the holy book of any religion is unacceptable and against civilized humanity;

Whereas the infringement of an individual’s right to freedom of religion violates the Constitution and laws of the United States: Now, therefore, be it

1 Resolved, That the House of Representatives–

(1) condemns bigotry, acts of violence, and intolerance against any religious group, including our friends, neighbors, and citizens of the Islamic faith;

(2) declares that the civil rights and civil liberties of all individuals, including those of the Islamic faith, should be protected;

(3) recognizes that the Quran, the holy book of Islam, as any other holy book of any religion, should be treated with dignity and respect; and

(4) calls upon local, State, and Federal authorities to work to prevent bias-motivated crimes and acts against all individuals, including those of the Islamic faith.

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