Re: Mediating the Sharia Dispute

by Ramesh Ponnuru

I’m afraid I don’t see the pertinence of much of David French’s “mediation.” One does not need to “idealize” Islam, or even refrain from taking a highly negative view of it, to recognize a) that its adherents have a natural right to religious freedom and b) that some people wish to deny them this right, which can reasonably be described as a manifestation of bigotry against them. Cries of “bigotry” can shut down discussion; so can the taking of offense at the mere mention of its existence.

As far as I can tell, French doesn’t dispute Matthew Schmitz’s core contentions—that sharia law is not much of a threat in the U.S., that existing laws are sufficient to protect against any threat there is, and that laws that go beyond what already exists violate important principles—or even engage with them. Nobody’s disputing that Egypt’s Coptic Christians have it bad.