There have been some conservative essayists whose thesis includes the assertion that Islam is a threat to Western values of freedom. This, despite the fact that tens of millions of muslims live in the West, are good members of society, bear their civic duties without complaint and fully participate in the fabric of community. Yet, the skeptics remain quite cold in their assessments, advocating that their fellow patriots like myself - muslim Americans, note noun and adjective - are simply unrepresentative, and that our families shoudl have been barred from ever having immigrated here on sole basis of their professed faith.
To those critics, I offer the following.
Dean Esmay recently looked at data from Freedom House and posed a simple question: are liberal democratic (i.e. free) and electoral democratic (i.e. partly free) nations particularly troubled by the presence of Islam within their borders? And, do countries become less free when Islam has a major foothold?
His findings - untainted by sentiment or blinders, as those of who who are familiar with his writing can attest - are here.
Further, a reader of Dean's World took the data and performed a more rigorous statistical analysis upon it. He has published the excel file containing the raw data and the analysis methodology for all to review.
I invite the critics referred to above to inspect these results. In this, the holy month of Ramadan, and the Abrahamic convergence between three faiths, my aim is only to foster goodwill, not ill will. I accuse no one of racism, nor of evil intent, and I recognize the underlying patriotic impulse beneath the words with which I have taken offense and which I seek to answer here. Nothing more.