On August 28 the Detroit News ran an opinion column by Bishop Keith Butler, pastor of the Word of Faith International Christian Center in Southfield.
In his column (“Provide religious liberty, justice for all”), Butler criticizes the ACLU for its recent duck-and-cover memo on the Islamic footbaths being installed at the University of Michigan--Dearborn at public expense.
Noting the inconsistency of the ACLU’s historical intolerance for prayers at public school graduations, Nativity scenes, and Christian clubs in high schools, Butler finds it remarkable how “their voices are muffled regarding the University of Michigan Dearborn campus decision to install foot baths for Muslim students to wash their feet before prayer or the extra recess period granted in one San Diego school for Muslim students to pray.”
Butler can’t help making the obvious deduction:
“The ACLU supports religious expression with government money for some, but not for Christians.”
Today’s response in the Detroit News ("Footbaths at U-M Dearborn are reasonable"), by CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid repeats, for the umpteenth time, his shopworn assertion that the “university installing ‘footbaths’ for safety reasons with student activity funds and Muslims bringing rugs for prayer hardly constitutes promoting Islam over other faiths.”
Walid is the point man for the UM, the MSA, the ACLU, the “Muslim community,” and every other interested party that holds some kind of stake in the progress of Dawah on the UM’s Dearborn campus. Criticize the University, Walid responds. Criticize the MSA, Walid responds. Criticize the ACLU, Walid responds. Think of him as the yappy Jack Russell who charges from under his porch at any rustle of Islamophobic footsteps.
People can judge for themselves whether Keith Butler or Walid has the better argument. But if you want to know how Walid really grinds his mental gears you need to check out his website for the short preface he wrote linking his Detroit News "rebuttal "to his site. Walid can be a bit more candid on his own website, as he has very few readers, and doesn't allow any comments responding to anything he says. He writes: On his own site he dismissed Butler this way:
Mr. Butler, a well known black evangelical, conservative clergy, advertises his ties to John Hagee, an Islamophobic pastor, who was recently featured on CNN's "God's Christian Warriors" for his radical views regarding the return of the Messiah and supporting Israel.
Given this well-known background regarding Mr. Butler in the African-American community in Metro Detroit, his skewed views in his op-ed on August 29 regarding the U of M-Dearborn "footbath" saga was no surprise to anyone.
That’s clear enough, isn’t it? Keith Butler’s “well-known background” explains his “skewed views in his op-ed.”
Except excuse me, Dawud, isn’t it your job to explain how and where Butler’s views are skewed, (if they are), rather than simply launching a personal name-calling attack?
Isn't that why it's called a "rebuttal"?
Walid, Ibrahim Hooper, and these other CAIR flaks are all the same. They simply don't known anything else but dirty fighting, like those schoolyard punks who couldn’t have their dukes up ten seconds before they started trying to kick you, spit on you, or bite you.
CAIR Public Relations 101 demands that every CAIR spokesman, under all circumstances, must trot out the term “Islamophobic” absolutely no later than the middle of his first sentence, regardless of whether it makes any sense. (In fact, it should never make sense).
In this case, the closest Walid could get was to associate Butler with John Hagee, “an Islamophobic pastor,” (although actually Hagee just happens to support Israel).
Keith Butler is one of the most prominent, well-respected, and formidable clergymen and public figures in the Detroit area. In 1989 he ran for, and won by an overwhelming margin, a seat on the Detroit City Council, making him the first (and last) Republican to win a Council seat in hopelessly Democratic Detroit since before World War II. He distinguished himself by serving served a full term without being exposed as a crook, a liar, or a nincompoop. He helped write the 1992 Republic national platform, and the first President Bush made Butler deputy chair of the Republican National Convention.
And, unlike far too many publicly successful urban pastors in the Detroit area, Butler’s ministry has never been stained with rumors of sexual misbehavior, or venal toadying up to the Democratic public-money machines.
If the ACLU felt so confident of their position, they've got plenty of facile spokespersons who could have answered Butler. But I don’t believe they do feel so confident. So instead they just turned Walid loose.
I think they’re hoping Walid’s yap-yap-yapping will drown everything out.