Muslim activists and organizations are pressing for greater Islamic inclusion in a society symbolized by the “Judeo-Christian” model.
National Muslim groups such as the American Muslim Council, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Muslim American Society are trying to popularize such terms and concepts as “Judeo-Christian-Islamic” or “Abrahamic” (referring to Abraham) to include Islam as an American religion on par with Christianity and Judaism.
“The new language should be used “in all venues where we normally talk about Judeo-Christian Values, starting with the media, academia, statements by politicians and comments made in churches, synagogues and other places,” says Agha Saeed of the American Muslim Alliance, a political group headquartered in Fremont, Calif.
Aside from Muslim groups, such ecumenical organizations as the National Council of Churches have also joined the fledgling movement to drop or change the “Judeo-Christian.” The change is necessary and of symbolic importance for Muslims trying to find their role in the U.S. after Sept. 11 and the Iraq war, according to proponents.
The strongest opposition so far has come from evangelical groups and leaders. Ted Haggard of the National Association of Evangelicals said “a lot of the ideas that underpin civil liberties come from Judeo-Christian theology. What the Islam community needs to make are positive contributions to culture and society so we can include them.”