Last Updated:November 27 @ 10:50 am

Charen: Al-Rahim and Chicago Values

By Mona Charen

When Muhammad al-Rahim mentioned in an interview with a Muslim newspaper that he supported the traditional Muslim conception of marriage -- no more than four wives per man, "That's the Quranic way"-- he never expected the storm of criticism that erupted.

Within days, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that, "Rahim's values are not Chicago values" and supported a move by Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno to block the planned opening of one of Rahim's chain of convenience stores. Emmanuel explained that, "What the CEO has said as it relates to gay marriage and gay couples is not what I believe, but more importantly, it's not what the people of Chicago believe. We just passed legislation as it relates to civil union and my goal and my hope ... is that we now move on recognizing gay marriage. I do not believe that the CEO's comments ... reflects who we are as a city."

The Democratic Mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino, announced that he would not permit Rahim to open stores in his city "unless they open up their policies." And San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee advised in a tweet he was "Very disappointed that (Rahim) doesn't share San Francisco's values & strong commitment to equality for everyone." He then added that the "Closest (Rahim store) to San Francisco is 40 miles away & I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer."

Ok. It wasn't a Muslim and it wasn't "Quranic values" that created the fuss. It was -- of course -- Dan Cathy, chief operating officer of Chick-fil-A, who ignited the imbroglio by affirming his adherence to the "Biblical" definition of the family.

Rahim is an invention to illustrate the selective outrage of liberal Democrats. It is simply impossible to imagine that liberal Democrats would treat affirmations of Muslim faith with the kind of bullying that Cathy and Chick-fil-A have received. Yet Islam is at least as doctrinally tough on homosexuality as Christianity is, and considerably tougher in practice. The Economist magazine reported in February, "In 2010 a Saudi man was sentenced to 500 lashes and five years in jail for having sex with another man. In February last year, police in Bahrain arrested scores of men, mostly other Gulf nationals, at a 'gay party.' Iranian gay men are typically tried on other trumped-up charges. But in September last year three were executed specifically for homosexuality."

Emanuel and Co. would never unsheathe their rhetorical swords toward a Muslim affirming his faith. They reserve their wrath for Christians who espouse the views that -- until three months ago -- were the official position of the president of the United States. (Obama was given a pass because everyone knew he was deeply insincere -- which is another chapter in hypocrisy for another time.)

Beyond hypocrisy and selective outrage, the Chick-fil-A story reveals a totalitarian temptation among liberals. Note that Chick-fil-A is not being accused of discrimination, either in hiring or in service. The franchise is being targeted by Democratic office holders merely to punish the company's owner for his religious and social beliefs.

Dan Cathy clearly holds views that would exclude him from consideration as a guest speaker at the next Equality Matters conference. In the course of the Biblical Recorder interview, he said, "We are very much supportive of the family - the Biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. ... We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families . . ." He added that, "I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,' and I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is about."

If gay marriage advocates choose to oppose Cathy and Chick-fil-A, they are free to do so -- even to encourage boycotts and protests. But for aldermen, mayors and other elected officials to punish a business owner for unpopular speech is dangerous and despotic. The Illinois chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union protested -- and good for them. But the White House has been silent.

President Obama placed a call to Sandra Fluke when he felt that she had been unfairly targeted for her views. Fluke's critic was a private citizen. Cathy's are public officials. Can Dan Cathy expect a call from Barack Obama?



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  1. navywifeComment by navywife
    July 31, 2012 @ 9:17 am

    Don’t forget! Wednesday August 1st is Chik-Fil-A Day. Go out and Eat Mor Chikin tomorrow and support this great company.

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  2. joe93Comment by joe93
    July 31, 2012 @ 10:10 am

    You didn’t have to make up a fake character named Rahim. Chicago and Emanuel welcomed Louis Farrakhan this week. He called Christians devils, and guess what else? Is against same sex marriage. But because he’s an Obama supporter, he’s labeled as part of “Chicago’s values”.

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  3. wellknownComment by wellknown
    July 31, 2012 @ 10:41 am

    Polygamy started with Abraham, so Muhammad as an Apostle cannot stop it except the G-d of Abraham commanded him.Since all prophets expressed desires to have children, it is as a result of this that polygamy was announced by Muhammad. secondly, the attitude of hatred by the cousins uncles of Muhammad necessitated it. Do you that the two female children of Muhammad were divorced?

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  4. joelinpdxComment by joelinpdx
    July 31, 2012 @ 10:44 am

    I hope Cathy isn’t holding his breath waiting for that call.

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  5. newrepublicanComment by newrepublican
    July 31, 2012 @ 11:34 am

    And from a Christian perspective Jesus knock the socks off the Parisees when asked ihis opinion regarding divorce when Moses allowed it … paraphrasing … Moses allowed for divirce because of the hardness of your hearts, but in the beginning it was not that way! In other words God CREATED MAN AND WOMEN FOR EACH OTHER, IT IS CHISELED RIGHT INTO OUR BODIES.

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  6. wdjincComment by wdjinc
    July 31, 2012 @ 11:52 am

    Rahm Emanuel states that Cathy’s values are not Chicago’s values. How in the hell does he know what our values are!

    These liberal politicians are over-stepping our rights to express our views that are contrary to theirs and their discriminatory action against opening stores or restaurants are clear violations of 1st Amendment. Cathy has created thousands of jobs, but they do not seem to care about that.

    Over half America’s population believes marriage should be defined as between a man and woman These liberal politicians are true hypocrites as they are not condemning the Catholic Church, Muslims and other religious groups that also believe marriage should be between a man and a woman.

    They are spitting in the face of the Holy Bible and all that it stands for. I hope that the conservatives run away with the November elections and sweep out the **** in our government.

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  7. geedeeComment by geedee
    July 31, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

    Vows for a Muslim Gay Marriage

    Do you Achmed, take Fiasal to be your husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; until death do you part at the beheading of you both immediately following this ceremony?

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  8. middlegroundComment by middleground
    July 31, 2012 @ 3:55 pm

    - no more than four wives per man, “That’s the Quranic way”—was the quote from Muhammad al-Rahim.

    One of the problems that I see with this declaration is that with the welfare systems of the compassionate Western democracies there is no recognition that a man with four wives who is married in the “faith” actually has four single mothers eligible for a cornucopia of entitlements which he may use to support his lifestyle. As one Dane said: “These Muslims with their multiple wives are driving our country to bankruptcy.” Obviously, it could also be a problem in our country, but how would we know? To me it would be the ultimate in “working the system” and an indication that Multiculturalism has problems never faced when we had the “melting pot” philosophy.

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