On March 7, 2009, the New York Times carried a piece by Samuel G. Freedman, on "Islamic [i.e. Shariah] finance" coming to a bank in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The inattention to the Shari'a, the enthusiasm for this development, by no means an innocent one, with which the reporter's words were naively instinct, was bad enough, but then I came across this:
"It’s part of this religious revival, this return to roots, you see taking place not only in Islam but in many faiths,” said Isam Salah, an expert in Islamic financing at the international law firm King & Spalding. “And as people began to see the feasibility of Islamic financing, you had smart bankers saying: ‘There are seven million Muslims in the U.S. There’s a niche market no one is serving, and I can do it.’ ”
Never mind the hint of that rhetorical "three abrahamic faiths" in "this return to roots, you see taking place not only in Islam but in many faiths" -- Shari'a finance is not "a return to roots" but simply, in the United States, the introduction of present-day Islamic finance, and since Islam is of a piece, since no part of it can be disentangled from another, since, tout se tient (as Antoine Meillet once famously said), then the introduction, and the seeming acceptance by Infidels, of one part of the Shari'a makes the other parts of the Shari'a seem less dangerous, less anxiety-provoking, helps to accustom Infidels, by degrees, to the slow seepage of Islam into this, our most non-Muslim -- in every important respect -- country.
Look instead at that "there are seven million Muslims in the U.S." This is a standard Muslim line. It is an attempt to make us think that there are far more Muslims here, and thus far more unuprootable, if indeed Muslims can be said to have roots in Infidel nation-states at all, though that is difficult to believe, since the Shari'a flatly contradicts the principles that animate the legal and political institutions of all the advanced Western states, and certainly contradict, in letter and spirit, the American Constitution.
There are not seven million Muslims in the U.S. There are not six, not five, not four, but at most three million Muslims in the United States. And of those three million, two million are Black Muslims, a sect that is regarded by orthodox Muslims of the Middle East and Asia as not real Muslims at all, because of various practices that for a while caused the orthodox Muslims to openly consider the Nation of Islam as a kind of heresy. So the actual number of fully orthodox Muslims in this country are, at most, not seven but one million.
The Times reporter, and his editors, may defend the passing on of this misinformation to the public as not theirs, but rather that of the Muslim being quoted. But surely they have a duty to correct that figure, for by quoting it, unchallenged and uncorrected by them, they are seemingly endorsing this figure.
What would we think of The Times, if it quoted, say, the head of the Aryan Brotherhood claiming that 99% of the patent-holders in this country, or of the professors in this country, were of white, European descent? Don't you think The Times would be prompted to insert a little correction just after that quote?
Why didn't it do so in the case of these "seven million" claimed Muslims? Was there some difference here which I can't quite grasp? What is it? ,