A Modest Proposal For Amity With The Middle East

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

America’s image in North Africa and West Asia is often tarnished by the perception both here and east of the Atlantic of Islamophobia pervading all levels of U.S. society.  The degree to which “Islamophobic America” is a reality is up for debate.  For every Murfreesboro or Lower Manhattan you have one or more East Brainerds as in Chattanooga.  For every birther claiming President Obama is a Muslim stands a legion of the less deluded. 

John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison were the strongest proponents among the Founding Fathers for including Muslims (along with Catholics, Jews, and unbelievers) as equal citizens.  They were joined, believe it or not, by an overwhelming majority of Baptists in the new country, especially leading minister John Leland.

Together those men helped ensure the inclusion of the ban on religious tests for public office in the Constitution.  A little over a century earlier, the charter of the colony of Carolina prescribed freedom of religion and full citizenship to “Jews, dissenters, and heathen,” the “dissenters” specifically intended to include Catholics and Muslims.

To alleviate at least some of the tension present in the air between us and our neighbors to the east and to show that we Americans are bigger than our most small-minded citizens, I have a few modest proposals. 

First, I move that the current Pledge of Allegiance be altered to: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Oligarchy for which it stands, one Nation under Allah, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

(“Republic” changed to “Oligarchy” to reflect the study recently released by Princeton and Northwestern Universities determining that as the American political reality since 1981.) 

Furthermore, I propose that our official motto be changed to “In Allah we trust,” that all currency and coin of the United States of America display this on its obverse, and that all species of money with the current form of the motto be recalled for destruction.

I also propose that all official oaths at every level of government for elected and appointed office, for military induction, and for court testimony end with “So help me, Allah” instead of the words currently most common. 

Yes, I know, many will decry this as the beginning of the Islamicization of America and the adoption of the United States as the western annex of the Caliphate under the idea that a little bit of theocracy is like a little bit of pregnancy.  But such a step would completely rob many of America’s enemies of one of their strongest rhetorical weapons.   

It would also endear us to the hearts of Muslims throughout the world in North and Sub-Saharan Africa and in West, Central, South, and Southeast Asia, as well as give hope to Muslims who are victims of violent and sometimes deadly persecution in the Central African Republic, Burma, and Thailand.  Arab Christians and Arab Jews, who use the name Allah for God at least in their daily speech, will likely welcome it as well, even if the government of Malaysia does not.

For those repulsed by the idea of using the Arabic word “Allah” instead of the more familiar “God”, you should know that the word translated into English as “God” in the books of Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, and parts of Ezekiel is “Alaha," the Aramaic equivalent of “Allah.”  In fact, Jesus himself would have used the word Alaha for God in daily life. 

Arab-speaking Christians have used the word Allah for God since the third century CE, three-and-a-half centuries before Muhammad, the earliest to do so being the Nabateans of southern Palestine, followed by the Ghassanids and the Tanukhids of northern Arabia-southern Syria and the Lakhmids of southern Mesopotamia.

Chuck Hamilton


Discrepancies About The Power Uprate At Browns Ferry

Some facts regarding the power uprate at Browns Ferry to share with the Scottsboro Environmental group opposing the uprate:  1.  The reactor does not run at a higher temperature due to the uprate.  There is simply more flow of feedwater, thus more steam.  So the concern about higher temperatures is unwarranted.   2.  The change in the fuel was ... (click for more)

We Lost A Great Broadcaster In Jack Hatcher

This past week we lost another great broadcaster, Jack Wright Hatcher Sr.   I worked with Jack in the 60’s and 70’s.   Jack always would tell you what he thought.   Most of his thoughts were very conservative.   He was a trivia expert.   He could tell you just about any hit record from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.   He also knew who starred in ... (click for more)

Family Forced From Home After Storm Blows Tree Down

As a severe thunderstorm blew through the Chattanooga area Sunday afternoon, high winds knocked down a large tree onto a house around  4 p.m.  at 1105 E. 13th Street. Captain David Thompson, Jr. said no one was injured, but the damage was severe enough that the family would have to stay elsewhere  tonight . Volunteers with the American Red Cross of Southeast ... (click for more)

Michael Wilson Back In Bradley County; Due In Court On Monday

Michael Wilson is back in Bradley County, and was escorted into the Correctional Facility around 8:15 p.m. Wilson’s first appearance in court will be on Monday, at 9 a.m. in the Bradley County General Sessions Courtroom at the Judicial Complex at 2290 Blythe Ave. Wilson was arrested last week, after e ndangered Bradley County child Skyla Wilson was found safe in Colorado ... (click for more)

Lookouts' Bullpen Failure Leads To Come-From-Behind Win For Suns Sunday

The Lookouts were in control of  Sunday  afternoon's game up until the eighth and ninth inning when the M-Braves scored three runs to beat Chattanooga, 5-4. Chattanooga's offense jumped out to an early lead after being sparked by leadoff hitter Zach Granite. Granite started the home half of the first with a base hit to right field, danced on and off of first base ... (click for more)

Mocs Volleyball Sweeps Chattanooga Classic

The Chattanooga Mocs volleyball team completed their fourth 3-0 sweep of the weekend on Sunday afternoon against California State at Fullerton as part of the Chattanooga Classic – presented by Hampton Inn & Suites - held in Maclellan Gym. The Mocs came out swinging by winning the first set 25-11 and then went on to win 25-18 and 25-17 in sets two and three, respectively. ... (click for more)