The summer season is the time of year when many folks take to the highways for a little vacation. Some who are more intrepid will choose an overseas destination. I suppose that is what our friend Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf must be doing. He has been on a trip sponsored by the U S State Department and it is a trip with a mission. His trip is aimed at improving relations between the United States and the Muslim world. ( Thought that was NASA’s mission.) Of course, he has been enjoined to do no fund-raising for the Park 51 Project. Probably doesn’t need to. I expect that the $100 million plus for that effort is already in place.
One thing I have read about this trip stood. This is not Imam Rauf’s fist American sponsored trip. As I recall, it is the fourth. Two were during the Bush Administration and this is the second since Obama took office. He’s getting plenty of frequent flier miles on these trips alone. These trips were arranged by Bush adviser Karen Hughes as part of a Muslim outreach. So we seem to have opportunity infatuation no matter what he says. Oh wait, the State Department says that his somewhat inflammatory comments( in 00105, 06 I presume) were taken out of context.
Just a bit more Islamic outreach. If you liked the Imam’s taxpayer-funded trips you will be thrilled to learn that we are also paying for the renovation of mosques. A Washington Times article in April reported on our ambassador to Tanzania participating in a ribbon cutting ceremony for celebrating the refurbishing of a 12th century mosque there. And, and there was money provided to save the legendary 7th century Amr Ebn El Aas mosque in Cairo. Who was the namesake for this structure? He was the Muslim conqueror of Christian Egypt. The site was where he camped before doing battle with the country’s Byzantine rulers. A mosque on the site of a Muslim conquest. Does that sound familiar?
- State Department sponsors Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s visit to Qatar (nowpublic.com)
- If Feisal Abdul Rauf was fine before, he’s fine now (washingtonmonthly.com)
- Funny How Bush Officials Don’t Remember Working With Imam Rauf (alan.com)
- Karen Hughes doesn’t remember Park51 organizer, would like him to move “mosque” (salon.com)
Several days ago, I wrote about Europe and Great Britain in particular vis-a-vis Islam and terrorism and some of its implications. At the time I was attempting to read Londonistan by Melanie Phillips. I have finally managed to complete that self-assigned task. I might add that the fault is not that of the author but rather my unfamiliarity with her style and the complexity of the subject matter.
Moving forward, my intent is not to review the book but rather make reference to some things that intrigued me and speculate about what these things might or might not mean. As always dissent/disagreement is welcome. My comments do not follow the book from beginning to end since some areas were more pertinent for me than others. The author has an excellent notes section if one desires to trace her source material and pursue things further.
There are many references to people in the book with the majority of those names probably being Arabic. I won’t refer much to those individuals. Upfront i will assert that neither the author nor this writer are anti- Muslim ‘ She does however, make use of the term Islamaphobia which also appears in the American media. It refers of course to those who harbor an irrational view of the Islamic faith. An accusation of such is used at times to stifle even legitimate criticism of Islam. ( That didn’t work so well for Salmon Rushdie did it? ) She makes the point that adherents of the Muslim faith can often be sensitive to criticism( as are Christians) and use that to justify or explain away certain actions. Her starting point, the London bombings of 2005 was such a thing. Muslim leaders condemned the attacks but added that since the bombers were un-Islamic ( native Brits) they could not have been real Muslims. And this next that they added which is a relatively prominent reoccurring theme, is a concept she calls moral inversion. In general Muslims regard Western values as an assault on their principles so they present their own aggression as legitimate self- defense. Or, a country’s support of Israel or the Iraq war is ample cause for some sort of attack. Current example is related to the furor over the New york mosque/cultural center. The chairman of those efforts Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf was interviewed by CBS just after 9/11. He opined that the United States did not deserve what happened but that its policies ” were an accessory to the crime.”
So what were the policies to which he referred? If you say support for Israel go the head of the class. That attitude in Britain, she writes, is even more prevalent. In Britain the prevailing wisdom regarding the Middle East is that of a territorial dispute. Before May 14, 1948 all was well between Arab and Jew and would be again if Israel acceded to legitimate Palestinian demands. The problem, that is not factual. This cannot be totally addressed here but factor in this one truth . Palestinians could have had a separate state in 1936, 1948 or 2000. Also, many Arab writers and leaders have often spoken of the inherently evil Jew out to conquer the world and they are demonized as the source of all evil in the Middle East. Let me hasten to add that Israel is not always right in its actions/methods but neither are they behind every conflict on earth as Palestinian Authority imam Ibrahim Mudayris said in 2005.
But let me continue. Let me refer to some of her conclusions but encourage the reader to interpret them on their own. Britain is a hub of Islamic jihad and has been.In Britain there continues the long-standing policy of appeasing terrorism which has now been combined with the prevailing doctrine of multiculturalism and ” victim culture.” She asserts that Britain is at a crossroads and could ease further down the road of appeasement. So the country that is the global leader of English speaking culture no longer champions those values. ( Sound a little like American education?)
She wonders if her native country will reverse its sleepwalk towards “cultural oblivion ” or sink further into disarray and drag the West down with it. Serious things to consider.
- What Obama Should Have Said About Mosque [Dispatches from the Culture Wars] (scienceblogs.com)
- CNN and Time Promote Accusation That ‘Bigotry’ is Driving Mosque Debate (newsbusters.org)
- Op-Ed: The words behind the man behind the mosque (jta.org)
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