HERNDON, Va., Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Current U.S. political gridlock brings to mind an old joke, modified for the times.
A Democrat and Republican politician walking through the woods come across tracks. Unable to agree on anything, they debate the source. One says they are deer tracks; the other, moose tracks. As the debate rages, the two are killed by an oncoming train. The tracks, of course, were train tracks.
It is sad our leaders -- so focused on playing party politics -- neglect a real danger barreling down upon us.
The problem is complicated because the danger is a stealthy, political ideology.
Imagine the outcry by Democrats or Republicans if one's political ideology were given special treatment over the other's in influencing the U.S. population.
Both demand an equal playing field. Whenever it is overstepped -- like a religious group promoting one political party's goals over the other's -- legal action is taken to stop the group by threatening revocation of its religious status.
The concept of separation of church and state is so fundamental to our nation the requirement for secularism is unquestioned -- i.e., the American people will be legally bound by government-imposed laws and never religion-imposed ones.
The interests of government and religion coexist separately, never imposing upon the other's domain. The government cannot dictate a state religion nor can religion dictate to state government. Religion addresses the spiritual body; the state addresses actions by the physical one.
Why then do we blindly accept a political ideology -- totally anathema to U.S. values and our way of life -- promoting itself as a religion? This is Islam's DNA -- a political ideology and religion rolled into one that totally ignores the secularism so integral to the United States' existence for 237 years. Incompatible too with the constitutional rights sanctified by the U.S. founding fathers, Islam is gaining ground in America.
In fact, the founding fathers warned about this danger.
Returning to the United States, they told of an ideology founded by a prophet who dictated a holy book -- the Koran -- deeming any nation failing to submit to Islamic authority a sinner and giving Muslims the right to declare war, enslaving enemy citizens as non-Muslims.
President George Washington worried submission to this ideology would only encourage further aggression; yet Congress voted to pay tribute.
Washington's concerns proved right when the pirates later demanded increased tribute. Jefferson, then president, refused the demand, abandoning the United States' appeasement policy. The Muslims declared war on the United States.
A 2012 article by Hugh Fitzgerald very succinctly summed up what historical research bears out, "There is not a single American statesman or traveler or diplomat in the days of the early Republic who had a good word for Islam."
Fitzgerald went on to note, "John Quincy Adams (our most learned president), who was far more knowledgeable about Islam (wrote), 'The precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that (Muhammad) is the prophet of God ... the victorious may be appeased by a false and delusive promise of peace ... but the command to propagate the Moslem creed by the sword is always obligatory ... The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force ...'"
Fitzgerald continued, "And the very idea that someday Muslims, adherents of the fanatical faith of Islam, would be here and would dare to invoke the Freedom of Conscience that is guaranteed by our First Amendment, through both the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses, would have struck them as impossible. For everyone knew then, as so many now apparently do not know, that Islam itself inculcates not freedom of conscience, but blind, unquestioning submission of the individual Muslim to Authority, that is, the Authority of the Koran ..."
Jefferson kept a copy of the Koran, not out of respect, but to better understand how it justified Muslim violence against non-Muslims. (Ironically, this same Koran was used by the first Muslim congressman, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., to take his oath in 2007.)
While Jefferson read the Koran, understanding its violent message, today Americans arguing in favor of Islam's constitutional right to religious freedom have failed to do so, thus not understanding its message.
The Koran promotes HIV -- hatred, intolerance and violence -- against non-Muslims, disguising it as a religion. The Koran makes hundreds of references encouraging this. Because Muslims package their political ideology as religion, the United States naively accepts it as such, oblivious to its ultimate goal of global control under Shariah -- with opponents put to the sword. The master plan for imposing Shariah upon the United States was formulated two decades ago.
Needed is a national panel debate among knowledgeable Muslims and non-Muslims on what Islam really represents. A call for such debate has long been inhibited by political correctness and Muslims playing the "victim" card whenever criticized.
This author's own writings concerning a Koranic "call to arms" against non-Muslims have never been substantively addressed by pro-Muslim groups; they are only dismissed as Islamophobic musings. Such concerns must be responsibly addressed by Muslims relying on personal attacks as subterfuge.
Muslims may want on their panel such rational voices promoting Shariah as Saudi cleric Sheik Saleh bin Saad al-Luhaydan who declares women who drive risk damaging their ovaries; or Egyptian Salafi preacher Abu Islam who says raping women protesters is justified; or Iranian imams proclaiming men must wear long-sleeve shirts as exposed arm skin is a continuation of the genitalia's; or Egyptian scholar Ibrahim Al-Khouli who claims human pregnancies can take four years.
The train barreling down the tracks, endangering America's freedoms, is Islam. We fail, at our peril, to understand its danger through a national debate.
(A retired U.S. Marine, Lt. Col. James Zumwalt served in the Vietnam War, the U.S. invasion of Panama and the first Gulf War. He has written "Bare Feet, Iron Will -- Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam's Battlefields," "Living the Juche Lie: North Korea's Kim Dynasty" and "Doomsday: Iran -- The Clock is Ticking.")
(United Press International's "Outside View" commentaries are written by outside contributors who specialize in a variety of important issues. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of United Press International. In the interests of creating an open forum, original submissions are invited.)