GET IN LINE. Shadi Hamid is appalled by Zaid Shakir's declaration that all "honest" Muslims would hope the United States becomes an Islamic nation, "not by violent means, but by persuasion." Hamid says "it is incumbent upon moderate Muslims who believe in freedom, democracy, and the US constitution to repudiate such remarks." But why? This is hardly an exceptional position in public life. Evangelical Christianity is a potent political force, and it's rather straightforwardly interested in widespread conversion. As it should be. If you truly believe those outside your group are sacrificing their relationship with the divine and set to roast in hell for an eternity, of course you'd want to convince your neighbors. And since the Koran makes basically similar claims, Shakir's hopes strikes me as rather predictable. Now, he possibly should have kept them to himself as a matter of political expediency, but given the widespread acceptance of fundamentalist Christianity, I see little out of the ordinary about yet another leader fessing up to the obvious implications of his religious beliefs.
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