What Fresh Hell Is This?

August 13, 2010

Did You Know?

Now THIS is interesting!

From Talkingpointsmemo:
Tuesday, Reps. Peter King (R-NY) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) called Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf -- best known for his work with multicultural Cordoba Initiative to build a mosque and community center in Lower Manhattan -- a "radical" and criticized the Obama Administration for including him on a Middle East speaking tour. That tour, which includes stops in Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, is designed by the public diplomacy office to explain to Muslims abroad what it's like to be a Muslim in America.

Outside of how getting constantly called a radical by American politicians busy flacking the proposed "Ground Zero mosque" for political purposes might affect Rauf's view of what it's like to be a Muslim in America, there's one other big problem with King's and Ros-Lehtinen's accusation: Rauf already represented America in this way, under the Bush Administration.
That's right. That hater of Amurika, George W Bush, that appeaser to the evil-doers, George W Bush - HE actually talked to the enemy that wants to kills us all!!
If one were to hearken back to the halcyon days of the Bush Administration, one would remember that, when Bush adviser Karen Hughes was appointed Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy, the Bush Administration saw improving America's standing among Muslims abroad as a part of its national security strategy. And, as such, Hughes set up listening tours, attended meetings and worked with interfaith groups that -- shocking, by today's Republican standards -- included actual Muslims.

One of those people was Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.
Something to remember the next time you hear that he's going on a "tax-payer funded" trip to the middle east to raise funds for the mosque (or whatever).

That's a talking point coming out of the right wing media. And of course, it's completely wrong.

From Mediamatters.org:
The right-wing media is attacking Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf's upcoming State Department trip to the Middle East to "discuss Muslim life in America and religious tolerance," by falsely claiming he will use the trip as a "taxpayer-funded fundraising jaunt" to finance construction of his Islamic cultural center in New York City. In fact, the State Department has made clear that fundraising of any kind is prohibited during the trip, and Rauf has previously participated in this program, first under President Bush.
But no point in letting reality get in the way of a good religiously bigoted smear, is it?

14 comments:

rich10e said...

all the guy has to do is renounce hamas and sharia law...and his critics would pretty much be silenced....of course his sleight of hand financing of the aborted "supply" ship to gaza has to be addressed...

EdHeath said...

I know, we don't care what Arabs in the Middle East think of us. Unless an Arab actively opposes Hamas and the PLO, then they are an enemy of the United States and freedom and democracy. Because whatever else Hamas and the PLO have done, they are essentially only terrorists, and should all be prosecuted for their crimes. And any Muslim who supports Palestinians should also be prosecuted as an accessory to the crimes committed by Hamas and the PLO.

Of course, nobody in the government of Saudi Arabia is bad, they do not support (explicitly or implicitly) any terrorists and they are our good friends who provide (sell) us with oil.

Tell me Rich, do Feisal Abdul Rauf's critics ever say anything about catching Osama bin Laden?

rich10e said...

Tell me Ed how do you assume to know what I think of the Saudis based on my brief statement about Mr. Rauf.Or were you reading from the journolist talking points that suggest when in doubt throw Bush into the mix? Once again you get all tangental.Is it that hard to stay focused?? Haven't you read the new directive from Obama Minister of Disinformation,Robert Gibbs? You far left progressives need to sign up for your "drug tests". I guess to make sure your levels of prozac are OK!

EdHeath said...

Hmmm, you suggest an Imam renounce Islamic law and also the democratically elected government of the Gaza portion of the Palestinian territories. Then you suggest I can't focus and I am on drugs. So instead of trying to understand people's positions, if you disagree with someone you insult them.

Very persuasive.

Meanwhile, either Bush tried to get bin Laden or he didn't. Stamp your foot all you want. But thousand of Americans died in Iraq and at least tens of thousands of Iraqis, because of lies from the Bush administration. Make a prozac joke out of that.

Joshua said...

The reason why Rauf is being called radical is because supposedly he said that the US deserved to be attacked on 9/11 and refused to condemn Hamas. Don't know whether that's true, but if so, I wonder why the Republicans aren't ready to lynch Bush as well.

rich10e said...

Ed
you're finally catching on...that's right the democratically elected hamas gov't has refused to recognize the right of Isreal to exist..and we have the embargo..just as rauf will not renounce islamic law that recently stoned a young mother to death, Hamas will not renounce violence against Israel...

Ed I didn't say ,You, Mr. Prime Minister are on drugs, I paraphrased DOD Gibbs and threw you into the collective body of left leaning progressives who Gibbs said needed drug testing.My use of the phrase "your levels of Prozac" was in reference to "the collective body of left leaning progressives." Not you in particular? Though, I understand it does wonders for the wondering mind.

Quit whining about Bush and Iraq. Bush is the best thing that ever happened to Iraq. Oh yeah they'd all be better off living under the madman!!!!Bush tried to get OBL and Clinton let OBL walk so who's more guilty.You can pander all you want to Rauf, and the Cordoba Initiative, and Hamas.The Saudi's suck!!Who brought them into the US fold FDR...They Syrians are just as bad and now seem to be the top Arab Dog...Jordan's just happy for peace and Lebanon is scared shitless of another Hezbollah lead war...ARafat was a guy without a job and he died a multi multi millionaire while the Palestinians live din squalor...it could be the 18th,19th or 20th century in some of those countries and the poor wouldn't know the difference...and what's holding them back....????

EdHeath said...

Rich, I think you apologized, I am not entirely sure, so I think I should acknowledge it, I'm not entirely sure.

Did Bush *try* to get OBL? The evidence is at best mixed. He certainly stopped bothering after December 2001. And did Clinton "let OBL walk"? He had cruise missiles lobbed at OBL, but he did delay the launch, perhaps because he was firing missiles into another sovereign nation (something some of still take seriously). (And yes, Obama's CIA is sending predator drones into Yeman and Pakistan, but Bush was not shy either, say in invading whole countries).

I don't know anything about a young mother being stoned to death, but I have to wonder if you have some statement from Feisal Abdul Rauf that says that he approves of the stoning of anyone under Islamic law. Was he present at whatever proceeding took place? Did he argue for the stoning?

As for Bush being the best thing that ever happened to Iraq, I think some Iraqi's would prefer not to be dead. Some would probably prefer to live in a country that isn't seemingly about to dissolve into a bloody civil war.

I'll agree that the Middle East is pretty well messed up, at least in the sense that I (and many Americans) wouldn't enjoy living there (probably). The people who live there have generally lived there all their lives, so they probably would be unhappy suddenly having McDonald's all over the place (not to mention bikini's), which is to say that they might well experience an unpleasant culture shock if they moved here (or we made the Middle East like us). In fact, American military personnel behaving as if they were in America and not respecting the Muslim religion is apparently part of what brought terrorism to the United States.

I would say that the first George Bush should have gone ahead and removed Saddam Hussein in 1992 (it might have gotten him re-elected, unless we still thought it was the economy, etc). I think Bush was conscious that you don't remove foreign heads of state lightly (if only he had known what his son was going to do). Instead, we put Iraq under a crushing sanctions regime for ten years, plunging the country into poverty (that we caused). Then suddenly, and for totally made up reasons, we invaded them. We disbanded their internal police force, and trampled on their religion (literally when our soldiers would step on their heads), destroyed the economy of the country and displayed a massive level of cultural insensitivity. Instead of rebuilding them like we did Germany and Japan, we lost millions to war profiteers or terrorists (perhaps to terrorist war profiteers).

Look, yes there are Islamic extremists. There are also born-again Christian extremists who barely stop short of wanting to stone homosexuals. I agree the religious leaders of Islam should condemn terrorism committed in the name of Islam (and I believe some have). But Christians in America should condemn those who want to discriminate against homosexuals in the name of Christianity.

Feisal Abdul Rauf did give an interview shortly after 9/11, where I believe he said that America did not deserve what happened, but it was to some extent an accessory to the crime that happened. I can understand that statement, in the context of statements like saying that the people in the Middle East don't even know what century it is. And they should learn, after all the 20th century (the one we just finished) brought us genocide (starting with the Armenians at the beginning of the 20th C), two world wars, atomic bombs, the nuclear arms race, fast food, genetically modified agriculture, acid rain, climate change and Carrot Top. In other words, everything that is good in the world.

I'm sorry, I hope you can follow all that. I know you have that short attention span (perhaps you should ask your physician if he has something he could prescribe for you).

rich10e said...

Ed what I want to see from Mr.Rauf is a renunciation of the brutal terror that Radical Islam has foisted upon the entire world not just the US. Look at Europe gangs of Moslem youths roam streets in many European cities putting fear into the heart of citizens, especially Jewish. Paris and Amsterdam are two examples.Sharia Law has one primary component:to subjugate women. It shocks me to hear progressives support this medieval,stone age practice.It certainly doesn't surprise me that Mr. Rauf wouldn't renounce sharia law.Where is the outrage from all the females who post to this site?

There is a website "women against Shariah" I quote from it mission statement," It is our position that shariah law imposes second class status on women and is incompatible with the standards of liberal Western societies and the basic principles of human rights that include equality under the law and the protection of individual freedoms. The shariah code mandates the complete authority of men over women, including the control of their movement, education, marital options, clothing, bodies, place of residence and all other aspects of their existence. Further, it calls for the beating, punishment, and murder of women who don’t comply with shariah requirements."

Be a man Ed, support women's rights, renounce Sharia Law!!

EdHeath said...

Hmm, I notice that you didn't say anything about Bush trying to get OBL, so I guess we agree that Bush actually didn't. Doesn't that embarrass you?

It took you, what, four comments for you to actually show any interest in women's rights in Islam, and it wasn't even the first thing you brought up in your fourth comment. I can see how strong your commitment to women's rights is.

You're right, Islam's treatment of women is unfortunate. I mean, a lot of religions have problems in my opinion, although almost all of them include the do not kill thing, so I suppose they are not all bad. Now, here in the US even though the government does not get involved with any religion that does not break the law, I think the government would step in if someone was forced to join or stay in a religion they did not want to be in. So here is the US women have the choice of whether to be a second class citizen.

Now, as I say, I think the condition of women in Islam is deplorable. I also think that Robert Mugabe's treatment of his whole country is deplorable. I think that Shell Oil's behavior in Nigeria is deplorable. I am sure there are many other things going on around the world I find deplorable, too many to list. But for Islam, many people choose to follow it. Their neighbors and their society may essentially force them, for many or most it might not be possible for them to stop being Muslim, or the only way they might be able to stop would be to leave their country.

In other words, it is a complicated social situation. Any woman who is Muslim and living in the United States would not be legally discriminated against by any business just because she is a woman and/or Muslim, and she has to attend the minimum legally mandated amount of school. But if here family/husband says she can not work, we can't force her to. People are allowed to choose religions (in the US), even ones that mistreat them. I think that Islam is a poor choice, but that is only my opinion.

I am not practicing Sharia law or the Muslim religion, so I can hardly renounce it. I don't know (and I suspect you don't know either) but I believe Feisal Abdul Rauf does not support violence either against Americans and Israeli's or against Palestinians, Iraqis and Afghans. I guess you support violence against anyone you deem to be a bad guy.

Has the Pope ever renounced or at least apologized for the crusades? The inquisition? Seems like that would be something he ought to do.

rich10e said...

next thing you'll want the mongols to apologize to the hungarian and the poles and russians... and your comment on Sharia law is pitiful...

EdHeath said...

Yes Rich, because the Mongols are a major religion (that considers itself the "correct religion").

Funny that when I mention the Pope you think of Mongols.

And I am sorry my hatred does not meet your standards.

rich10e said...

no hatred here ,Ed..just a revulsion towards a male dominated, repressive system that hides under the banner of religion while it brutalizes women with stonings, whippings, genital mutilations,honor killings,and lives of brutal domestic subjugation...I read an article the title i can't recall that stated for life to change for women in the Muslim world, there needs to be a sexual revolution that gives Muslim women total freedom over their bodies...You state that it took me four comments to mention women in Islam and you state that the plight of women is "unfortunate"...did you shrug your shoulders at the same time?? Please i rebuke sharia law for the abomination that it is...you Ed, you'd be passing out the burqa's!!! Once again where are all the women who read this blog and piss and moan about guys like Larry Summers, but don't utter a work about guys like Mr. Rauf!!!During WW2 they were called collaborators!!!Your silence is essentially that...collaboration under the Progressive banner!!

EdHeath said...

Well then, Rich, I apologize that my respect for the constitution trumps my personal revulsion for Islam. I mean, as long as those who practice the Muslim religion do not break the law, then all we can offer is opinions that it might or might not be wise to build a Mosque/community center near ground zero. If you read Ross Douthat's column in the NYTimes on Monday, you can see the verbal and intellectual gymnastics conservatives are going through trying to justify trampling on the first amendment. After all, the constitution does *not* say "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof unless it is a revolting religion".

But you certainly have the tyranny of the majority ... I mean the weight of public opinion on your side. That justifies your saying anything you want.

EdHeath said...

I found a new word, on the way to something else: Ochlocracy.