Saturday, September 24, 2011

Would It Help if They Wore Black Hats?

WASHINGTON — The Palestine Liberation Organization's ambassador to the United States said Tuesday that any future Palestinian state it seeks with help from the United Nations and the United States should be free of Jews. (“PLO ambassador says Palestinian state should be free of Jews”).

With all we’ve got on our national mind these days, we Americans can get confused.  Maybe it’s all those cell phone microwaves burrowing into our brains and all that tweeting.  Could a  clear-headed people who hadn’t been reduced to conversation via misspelled sentence fragments ever go to sleep undisturbed that we have all these vampire-based TV shows, the Bravo network, and Eric Holder as attorney general?

These distractions may just explain how Americans can still be so confused about what’s going on between Israel and her mortal enemies: the stateless Palestinians, and the 1.5 billion Muslim ummah. some with nukes, who side with them in their lust for Israel’s destruction.

According to the latest poll by The Washington Post and the Pew Research Center asking if the UN should recognize an independent Palestinian nation:

Fully a quarter of Americans express no opinion when asked for their “sympathies” between the two parties, a near high in polls back to 1982. In all, 40 percent say they side with the Israelis, 10 percent with the Palestinians, and 21 percent volunteer “neither.” Among those paying “a lot” of attention to the statehood issue, a majority — 55 percent — sympathize with Israel; 19 percent with the Palestinians.

Twenty-one percent don’t know their sympathies?  (Frankly, it feels even higher.)

American public opinion swings back and forth from decade to decade on all sorts of issues.   But in spite of that we’ve always shared in common the  national trait of rooting for the underdog.  Show us which one is being pushed around, and we know where our sympathies lie.

But, for some reason, that doesn’t apply when the underdog is Israel.

This 21% “neither” number is as if the whole country watched “Rocky,” and 65 million of your countrymen said afterwards they’re not sure if Creed should have won that fight.  And the Palestinians, sensing this confusion, intend to exploit it at the UN. 

Adding to this signal of confusion is President Obama.   In his speech about the Palestinian request for statehood to the UN the other day, he said, “One year ago, I stood at this podium and I called for an independent Palestine. I believed then, and I believe now, that the Palestinian people deserve a state of their own.”

When Palestinians have been allowed to vote, they have gleefully elected a terrorist group like Fatah, except when they could do even worse by electing a terrorist group like Hamas. When America was attacked on 9/11, Palestinians handed out candy to their children and danced in the streets. 

So whatever else may be said about all this, what can’t seriously be suggested is that the Palestinians deserve a state of their own. That’s why the President, in spite of what he says the Palestinians “deserve,” is opposing statehood.

Now Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the guy whom we we confused Americans erroneously believe is a peace-loving moderate (but only compared with Hamas), declared last December“I will never allow a single Israeli to live among us on Palestinian land.” And now the PLO’s envoy to the US,  Maen Areikat, says there won’t be any Jews in a Palestinian state – even as his government is applying to the UN for Palestinian statehood.   Neither the New York Times nor the Washington Post reported the story or Areikat’s comments.

USA Today did report:

Such a state would be the first to officially prohibit Jews or any other faith since Nazi Germany, which sought a country that was judenrein, or cleansed of Jews, said Elliott Abrams, a former U.S. National Security Council official.

Israel has 1.3 million Muslims who are Israeli citizens. Jews have lived in "Judea and Samaria," the biblical name for the West Bank, for thousands of years.

But now 21% of underdog-loving Americans don’t want to pick sides? Isn’t it interesting how the large majority (55%) in the Pew poll of those who sympathize with Israel tracks with people who pay attention to the issue?

Too bad that not paying attention to this issue is a very big American national pastime right now, along with downloading ringtones and getting tattoos.

But even if you’re one of those whose opinion is that the Palestinians “deserve their own state” --maybe because you heard sound bites somewhere about how Israel is an “apartheid state” and an is engaged in “illegal occupation” of Palestinian national territory, and you think they might be the underdogs – does it bother you at all to know that the Palestinians intend to establish a racist state next door to a people whose right to exist they have never once acknowledged?

Don’t you owe it to yourself to get the facts?

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Send in the Clowns

Michigan Congresswoman Candice Miller has done some truth-telling in a column this past week in The Detroit News. (Miller: Military commissions best place for terrorists trials”).   Maybe she’ll fill some of the void left by Michigan’s loss of Congressman Pete Hoekstra.

Treating terrorism as a criminal matter the way we used to, Rep. Miller writes, did nothing to prevent the attacks of September 11, 2001. Yet the Obama administration is now clinging to this same “flawed approach”:

affording constitutional rights to terrorists, including the right to remain silent, to which I believe they are not entitled. Our enemy views this system as a weakness to be exploited to advance their cause.

When 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was captured, he is reported to have told his interrogators, "I'll talk to you guys after I get to New York and see my lawyer."

Fortunately for the nation, KSM was captured under the Bush-Cheney administration, and they knew we were in a war.  Mohammed never got to New York, and the mastermind of 9/11 wound up talking instead to the guys of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation team someplace else. These conversations led to KSM eventually disclosing  invaluable information, including the plans for a 9/11 follow-up attack on Los Angeles,  and key information that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden.

In stark contrast, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, when he should have long since been facing a military at Guantanamo, is  going on trial here in Detroit.  Writes Rep. Miller:

This administration's ideological blinders prevent it from seeing what most Americans innately understand — these enemies of freedom do not deserve the protection of our Constitution; they are, and should be treated as, enemy combatants. Never before has any nation extended such a robust set of protections to its enemies, and given them a forum to spew their vile hatred.

Recently, potential jury members and the city of Detroit were treated to such an outburst by Abdulmutallab who shouted, "Osama's alive" and "Jihad" during a jury selection hearing in federal court. This terrorist was afforded his Miranda rights shortly after his capture, given the the best medical care at the University of Michigan Hospital and is being afforded a standby attorney even though he has decided to represent himself. Taxpayers are footing the entire bill.

While we watch the pre-trial unfold, it is disheartening to watch as yet another terror trial turns into a circus.

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Obama’s Reluctant Lifeline

Detroit News editorial page editor Nolan Finley has an apt summation of President Obama’s mentality on Israel in his Sunday column: “Obama comes from the faculty lounge, the place where Israel is most detested and where Palestinians retain their victim status no matter what atrocities they commit.” (“N.Y. voters stand up for Israel”).

Finley sees the shellacking the Democrats took in New York’s 9th District last Tuesday as punishment from the sizable Jewish electorate there for his “wobbly support of Israel.” He’s also optimistic that Obama got the message.

We’ll see.  

I think “wobbly” is far too kind a term for the policy of betrayal Obama has been enthusiastically implementing since the start of his term. I do agree that Obama’s hatred for Israel is rooted in his academic background and his lefty politics.  But wobbly is what you get when a politician is ambivalent.  Obama isn’t ambivalent about Israel. He really does hate that Jewish homeland. 

Nor do I agree with Finley that this president has shown much taste for political pragmatism. He’s been ideological on all of his major policies: on reducing American influence, on wealth redistribution, on increasing government control, on sapping America’s key alliances, on weakening Israel.

Finley’s optimistic that Obama will set aside his ideology now and the 9th district’s rebuke may mean “a lifeline” thrown Israel’s way.

Considering all the perils Israel faces from Egypt, Hezbollah, Syria, Iran, Turkey, Hamas, and a newly-minted “Palestinian state” that will be a forward base for every jihadist maniac from 57 Muslim states, is a lifeline thrown out at the point of a political gun really enough?

The Palestinian Big Lie


Sol Stern has published the following on NRO:

On September 20, Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, will take his case for Palestinian statehood to the United Nations. This is a matter of basic justice, Abbas will argue, because the Palestinian people were dispossessed by the new state of Israel in 1948, and the current Israeli government is still preventing the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

But Abbas’s claim is based on a big historical lie.

In fact, Abbas has lately been lying about his own life story as one of those “dispossessed” Palestinians. Last May, he published an op-ed article in the New York Times titled “The Long Overdue Palestinian State,” in which he recounted his own “expulsion” by the Jews in 1948, at the age of 13. Abbas wrote that “shortly after” the U.N. General Assembly voted to partition the “Palestinian homeland”into two states in 1947, “Zionist forces expelled Palestinian Arabs to ensure a decisive Jewish majority in the future state of Israel, and Arab armies intervened. War and further expulsions ensued.” Abbas claimed that he and his family were forced out of their home in the Galilean city of Safed and fled to Syria, where they “took up shelter in a canvas tent provided to all the arriving refugees.” For dramatic effect, the Times provided an illustration above Abbas’s article depicting a young boy standing next to a tent in the desert and gazing forlornly at the verdant hills of Galilee just over the horizon.

In his Times op-ed, Abbas also wrote, “Minutes after the State of Israel was established on May 14, 1948, the United States granted it recognition. Our Palestinian state, however, remains a promise unfulfilled.” Abbas didn’t explain how any country could have recognized a United Nations–designated Palestinian state that the Palestinians and the Arab states themselves rejected. The Arab Higher Committee (AHC) was the recognized representative of the Palestinian people at the time of the U.N. partition vote. The Zionists accepted the partition plan. The AHC and the Arab states rejected any proposal to share the land and vowed to drown the fledgling Jewish state in “rivers of blood.”

Following instructions from the AHC, Palestinian militias and volunteers from neighboring Arab countries began attacking Jewish settlements after the U.N. partition plan was announced in November 1947. The irregular Arab units were ordered to take strategic strongholds and hold on until the expected invasion of Israel by regular Arab armies after the British withdrawal on May 14, 1948. What happened in Safed was typical of the bloody inter-communal warfare that soon convulsed the country. Elements of the Arab Liberation Army — the main Palestinian armed force — plus Jordanian irregular units, entered Safed’s Arab neighborhoods and began sporadic attacks on the Jewish quarter. Facing a full-scale invasion of Galilee by the Syrian and Jordanian regular armies, Jewish military commanders couldn’t afford to have armed Palestinian units behind their lines. On the night of May 8, reinforcements from the Palmach, the elite Jewish strike force, counterattacked and took the key Arab strongholds in the city. Almost immediately, Safed’s Arabs began streaming out toward the Syrian border. There were no expulsions of Arab civilians by Israeli forces.

In his Times op-ed, Abbas even contradicted previous accounts he had offered in which he conceded that his family left Safed voluntarily— in part because of fear that the Jews would seek revenge for a murderous rampage by local Arabs against the Jewish community in 1929. In an interview on Palestinian radio, Abbas said, “We left [Safed] on foot at night to the Jordan River. . . . Eventually, we settled in Damascus. My father had money, and he spent his money methodically. After a year, when the money ran out, we began to work.” There was no mention by Abbas in that earlier interview of living in a canvas tent.

President Abbas’s historical distortions (clearly not fact-checked by the Times) are at the very heart of the Palestinian nakbamyth (nakba is the Arabic word for “catastrophe”) and emblematic of the Palestinian leadership’s century-long refusal to accept a Jewish state in any part of the Arab Middle East. That obstinate rejection, not the Israeli government’s positions about borders or West Bank settlements, remains the No. 1 obstacle to peace in the Holy Land.

Last week, as he prepared for his statehood initiative at the U.N., the Palestinian president reaffirmed that the issue for the Palestinians is not the occupation of the West Bank, but the very creation of Israel. In a New York Times report from the Palestinian capital of Ramallah, Abbas was quoted: “Some Israelis complain that this is a unilateral move, but when you address 193 countries, that is not unilateral. We are going to complain that as Palestinians we have been under occupation for 63 years.” The Times reporter didn’t bother commenting that the 63 years of “occupation” Abbas was complaining about goes back to 1948 and the original sin, for the Palestinians, of the creation of the modern state of Israel.

Resolving the Israel–Palestine conflict is tough enough; it becomes almost impossible when one side insists on lying about the conflict’s origins.

— Sol Stern, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor to City Journal, is the author of the just published A Century of Palestinian Rejectionism and Jew Hatred (an Encounter Broadside).

Saturday, September 17, 2011

‘If You Love Me, Shear My Sheep’

From NRO:
Worry Not, Obama Can Still Be Like Jesus

By Charles C. W. Cooke

President Obama may well be taking flack from all sides, but that doesn’t mean he can’t still be compared to Jesus Christ. In a blog post Wednesday, NPR lamented that The One’s loss of mojo — which is apparently the product of the“realities of governing as opposed to the unrealities of presidential campaigns” — has changed the president into a “human figure compared with the almost messiah-like status he had in the eyes of many supporters in 2008.”

Still, fear not, for the attenuation of Obama’s appeal ”doesn’t mean there still isn’t the occasional moment reminiscent of a Bible story.” That’s lucky, then. NPR explains:

Here’s John 21:15, the New International Version, describing a scene between Jesus and his disciples:

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter,”Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

Most people will have seen President Obama’s call for yet another stimulus as somewhat routine, and possibly even thought that the terms in which the appeal was couched bordered on narcissism. (“If you love me, you got to help me pass this bill. (Applause.) If you love me, you got to help me pass this bill.”) It’s good to know that, even in these troubled times, what looked like a routine political speech was in fact reminiscent of something on an altogether higher plain.

These Aren’t Diamonds on the Soles of My Shoes, or, These Keds Are All Right

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, Detroit’s very own Mohamed Atta Mini-Me,  made his first bad impression on prospective jurors Wednesday by leaning back in his chair in court and putting his feet up on the defense table.

The attitude was captured nicely by courtroom artist Carole Kabrin here.

Showing the soles of one’s foot is a significant insult in the Islamic world.


You may recall how the BBC and others in the leftist media never got tired of pointing this out when George W. Bush was the target of a thrown shoe in Iraq. 

No one’s mentioning it now, though.  Maybe that’s because the intended target is only the American judicial system – the trial judge and the prospective jurors.  In other words, you and me, America.

The U-bomber also acted up by saying things in court like, “Osama is alive,” “Jihad,” and “I'm being forced to wear prison clothes.”

Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations, explains it this way. "He's delusional. Even al-Qaida has recognized bin Laden is dead. I don't know what point he was trying to make, except being disruptive."


Walid is being too modest pretending not to see the point. You know it can’t be easy for Walid having a prominent Muslim Brotherhood operative in town, hand-picked by al-Awlaki himself,  and then not being able to show him any better hospitality than to keep describing him in the press as  “delusional,” and “insane.”

Regardless, Walid pretended not to recognize the shoe insult, and confined his shoe-related reaction to observing how the U-bomber has “got more shoes than some poor kids who live in Detroit." We’re not sure what the significance of that is.

Abdulprison pantsmutallab has more prison clothes than those poor kids do, too: but U-bomber’s complaining he’s forced to wear them, whereas the Detroit kids dress like that of their own free will. What’s up with all that?

What Walid cares about more than anything right now is driving a wedge into your head between this Nigerian kid and his plain-spoken jihadist logic and the word “Muslim.”

All to distract from one of “the most closely watched terror cases since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.”   Not that that’s saying much, since there have been so few, and none of them closely watched.  Closer to the truth that the same Muslim leaders and media brains who brought us “Ten Years After: The 9-11 Tragedy” are never going to get this trial in focus, because Islam is in the dock with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.


I’m at least encouraged for now that U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds, appointed to the federal bench by the first President Bush, has avoided two pitfalls into which many trial judges fall. The first pitfall is indulging the notion that jury fairness exists in inverse proportion to jury awareness of what happened. “We are not trying to find people who have never heard of this case,” said Judge Edmunds. “We are looking for people who can serve as fair, objective and impartial jurors.” It’s much better for everyone if we have a jury who aren’t  not so insulated and ignorant that they’ve never even heard of terrorism, or jet planes or even underwear (in other words, pretty much the same standard used to select the O.J. jury).

The second encouraging thing is Judge Edmund’s finding that the U-bomber’s admissions when he was first being interrogated by the FBI will not be excluded just because he was on a powerful painkiller and wasn’t given his Miranda warnings. The judge said “national security fears justified agents not reading Abdulmutallab his Miranda rights before interrogating him.” A burn until nurse helping treat him said he was “lucid and not confused” in spite of a hefty dose of fentanyl.

DU has been unable to confirm if the U-bomber next will argue for exclusion of  his statements on the alternative ground that he made them after the hospital staff taking care of him refused his request to turn off Christmas music, thus violating his First Amendment right to be free from unwanted Christian speech.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Hate on the Left Is Beginning to Tell

Imagine my surprise when I saw this in the New York Times today:

Rampage Puts Focus on the Left’s Climate of Hate

LAS VEGAS -- The shooting of a group of uniformed National Guard members as they ate breakfast at an IHOP restaurant in Carson City, Nev on Tuesday set off what is likely to be a wrenching debate over anger and violence in American politics.

While the exact motivations of the suspect in the shootings remained unclear, the targeting of members of the United States military, whose staunchest supporters are found among America’s conservatives, quickly focused attention on the degree to which inflammatory language, threats and implicit instigations to violence by the nation’s progressives have become a steady undercurrent in the nation’s political culture.

Only a few hours before the attack, Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa, Jr., sharing a Labor Day stage with President Obama in Detroit on Monday, described Democratic opposition to their Republican opponents as “a war,” and called on his followers to “take these sons of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong.” 2011 has already seen rallies in which members of a progressive seminar openly suggested “stringing up” Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife, and killing Fox News’s Roger Ailes.

New York Times opinion writer, Paul Krugman, is wondering in his most recent column:

“When you heard the terrible news from Nevada, were you completely surprised? Or were you, at some level, expecting something like this atrocity to happen?

“Put me in the latter category. I’ve had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach ever since Maxine Waters told Tea Party members to ‘go straight to hell.’  Before that were the endless comparisons of Tea Party supporters and conservativeshostage-takers,’ ‘terrorists,’ and the Ku Klux Klan.

“It’s true that the shooter in Nevada appears to have been mentally troubled. But that doesn’t mean that his act can or should be treated as an isolated event, having nothing to do with the national climate.

“Where’s that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let’s not make a false pretense of balance: it’s coming, overwhelmingly, from the left. It’s hard to imagine a Republican member of Congress urging constituents to be ‘get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary.’; but Democratic Representative Michael Capuano, who did just that, becoming a hero to the public unions demonstrating in Madison, Wisconsin earlier this year. The vast majority of those who listen to that toxic rhetoric stop short of actual violence, but some, inevitably, cross that line.” . . . .

OK. I didn’t actually read any of this in the Times. I cribbed 50% of it from reporting in the Times done immediately following the Tucson shootings in January.  Then I borrowed the rest from a Paul Krugman hand-wringer blaming the Tucson shooting directly on conservatives.

All I wrote today is what you never saw or heard since yesterday’s murder of three National Guardsman, and wounding of two, and wounding of a half-dozen more in Nevada.  I’m not saying that Jimmy Hoffa caused this guy in Nevada to grab a gun and start shooting.

I mimicked the Times’s handling of this sort of thing to make the same point that countless commentators have been making about the media double standard since the latest headline about Hoffa’s speech in Detroit. That double standard immunizes comments from Obama, Hoffa, Waters, Jackson, Dean, Moore, etc., from charges of incivility or even bad manners. What more can be said about a double standard? It’s real, and we have to make the most of it.

I just thought I would imagine what it would sound like if the shoe were on the other foot, if only for a few moments.

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Runaways

 

RUNAWAYS

 

Spotted on American Thinker.  Created by iMaksim.com.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Another View on Rick Perry

In the interest of fair play, I think I should post something from the other side about Governor Rick Perry’s connections with Islam.  I recently posted Pamela Geller’s American Thinker article on Perry, (“Et Tu, Perry?”).  I think Pam is plenty smart.  But it’s early days and I don’t know everything.

Governor Perry's Islam Connection

By Amil Imani
The news of Governor Rick Perry jumping into the Republican nomination race for president released a media tsunami that assaulted my brain. In no time at all, people came up with a long list of negatives about him. In a democracy, honest and thorough scrutiny of anyone's records seeking a public office is not only the prerogative of the electorate, but its duty.

Being a lifelong critic of Islam, red flags popped up in my head at Perry's purported cozy relationship with Islam and prompted me to look very closely at the governor's record on this particular issue and at this specific time.

All kinds of worrisome thoughts flashed through my head. For one, I recalled another Republican Texas governor who became president and grew hoarse by so often shouting the mantra "Islam is a religion of peace." Is this another Texas Republican governor somehow beholden to oil interests and the oil sheiks of Saudi Arabia? Is he really another for-purchase politician dispensing favors to the powers that be? In this case, are deep-pocketed Muslims hell-bent on furthering Islam by exploiting the vulnerabilities of democratic societies? Are this man's sympathies with Arabs, and is he none too friendly toward Israel? I decided to strip my biases, look for facts, and let them settle these issues.

The facts are that Perry has indeed had a cordial relationship with Muslims. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims live in the Lone Star State. And a governor is to serve every segment of the population in accordance with the law. I grant that. But, is Governor Perry being even-handed with Muslims, as he is expected to be, or is he favoring them?

He is reported to be particularly friendly with the Ismailis, a relatively small sect of Shi'a Islam. Is there something fishy about that? There are roughly twenty to thirty thousand Ismailis who live in Texas, a small percentage of the Muslims in the state. Besides, if Perry wanted to curry favor with Muslims, why would he hitch his wagon to the Ismailis? Ismailis are persecuted and castigated by major Islamic sects such as the Sunnis who rule Saudi Arabia and the Twelve Imamates Shi'a who run Iran.

The Ismailis are hardly a significant Islamic force, as compared to the other sects. They number around fifteen million in the world and are splintered into several sects. By far the largest of the Ismaili sects is the Nizari Ismaili, with its followers adhering to dual loyalties. Their spiritual allegiance is to the Imam of the Time (Imam az Zaman), who is believed to be the interlocutor between Allah and the people. The position of the Imam az Zaman is hereditary from male to male, purportedly tracing back to Muhammad. Ismailis also owe allegiance to their countries as a fundamental obligation.

How militant and jihad-minded are the Ismailis, as compared to other sects of Islam? The Ismailis still hold to the notion of jihad, since the admonition is frequently stipulated in the Quran. They believe in what can be called "self-jihad" -- battling the self to become a better Muslim -- and "other-jihad," which is warring against non-Muslims. Only the Imam az Zaman can proclaim the fatwa authorizing warring against others. Since they are a small Muslim minority and widely scattered in many countries, Ismailis are less likely to be able to wage any kind of violent campaign against others. Yet, the idea of "other-jihad" is still within their belief make-up, since it is nearly a pillar of Islam. Furthermore, the notion of "self-jihad" can also be problematic, if the individual believer molds himself into a "pious" type by adopting the numerous anti-non-Muslim provisions of the Quran.

Any and all sects of Islam operate on the basis of the Quran and its various derivations, such that one and all are inimical to liberty and are violence-prone. In fairness to the Ismailis, it must be granted that they are less combative and Ummahist (international community of Islam) than other sects of Islam.
It is a fact that Perry, following the practice of a long line of other politicians such as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the late President John F. Kennedy, built a cordial relationship with the Aga Khan (Imam az Zaman) of the Ismailis.

Although Perry's cordial relationship with the Ismailis is indeed true, it hardly warrants alarm. What is more disturbing is the claim, nearly all of it originating from one source, that Governor Perry is supported by CAIR.

Facts show the contrary. There are reports that CAIR, the Islamist organization, was upset for not being invited to Perry's Response prayer event in Houston. CAIR has teamed up with the ACLU protesting the exclusion.

Another line of argument implying Perry's Islamic leanings, if not his out-and-out support, pertains to inclusion of Islam in the state's educational curriculum. I looked closely into that claim, because it is indeed a critical juncture where young minds can indeed be influenced.

The nuggets of the Muslim history curriculum Perry helped coordinate in Texas are summarized below. It says:
Countries of Western Civilization have secular governments, which means great toleration of cultural and religious differences.

Countries of Islamic Civilization for the most part either have religiously dominated governments or demands to make them more religious, which means less toleration of cultural and religious differences.

Muslims often lack respect for Western traditions and points of view. The Muslim relationship to the West is colored by the belief that Western beliefs [whether Christian or atheist] are defective and therefore inferior to Islam.

No matter how I tried, I couldn't reach the conclusion that this inclusion promotes Islam or is pro-Sharia. It seems that the mere fact that Islam is included in the curriculum represents supporting it.

And with regard to the concern that the education curriculum Perry promoted is pro-Arab and against Israel, the evidence is exactly the opposite. The lesson on Israel reads:
Since the end of World War One Palestine had been under the control of Great Britain, who at first welcomed the hardworking Jewish settlers. They made the most of the harsh conditions, bringing economic success to an area that had for a very long time been poor. Arab natives also welcomed the newcomers. But as the number of Jewish settlers increased and their economic success contrasted sharply with the economic backwardness of the Palestinian Arabs, the Arab attitude began to change.
Immediately, all its Arab neighbors declared war on Israel. As a result of this war, the territory of Israel expanded somewhat, and many Arab citizens of Israel fled to a small corner of Israel called the Gaza Strip. The Arab states refused to admit these refugees, preferring them to stay there as a testimony to the evil of the Jewish state. They are still there. These Arabs began calling themselves Palestinians and demanding a state of their own.

Criticism flew Rick Perry's way fast and furiously and from all directions. Here, Alana Goodman in Commentary bats a big one down.

And Perry's stance on other Islam issues speaks for itself. When Perry was questioned about building a mosque near ground-zero in New York, for instance, he

said, "To build a mosque near Ground Zero would be insensitive to the victims and families of 9/11 and would make the healing process much more difficult for everyone that was touched by this tragedy. I'm a big believer in freedom of religion but believe it would be best for all involved to put the facility elsewhere. However, zoning is a local responsibility and as a staunch supporter of the 10th Amendment, I do not think the federal government should take steps to intercede or overrule the wishes of local residents. The citizens of New York City will decide the fate of this building.

What about Perry's support for Israel? After a trip to the area in 2007, the governor supported Texas' divestment from companies that do business with Iran, a main supporter of Hamas. Also, the Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce was created to help launch future commercial interests and solidify the strong business and cultural connections between Texas and Israel.

Governor Rick Perry was awarded the Defender of Jerusalem 2009 award during his trip when he also met with top Israeli political and academic leaders. 

Unless someone can come up with solid evidence to the contrary, I feel relieved that Governor Perry is not an Islamophile. He is not even an Islamic apologist, and he can be entrusted with the responsibility of guarding our nation's priceless heritage of liberty against the assaults of Islamic fascism. 

Amil Imani is the author of a new book, Operation Persian Gulf.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Hijabis in Playland

There was a riot of Muslims at the Playland amusement park in Westchester County, New York this past Tuesday:
  
A number of them flew into a violent rage when told that, due to safety rules, women had to remove their flowing head scarves or hijabs before going on certain rides -- including the Catch-a-Wave ride, the Crazy Mouse roller coaster and the Dragon Coaster, according to news reports describing a violent melee involving Muslims fighting police, security personnel, and each other. It prompted a large police response -- at least 60 police cruisers from nine agencies, along with a police helicopter circling overhead, according to The Journal News, a local Gannett newspaper offering the best coverage of the melee.


Some 15 people were arrested following the melee, reportedly involving 30 to 40 people. The trip was arranged by the Muslim American Society of New York, which had expected to bring some 3,000 people to Playland, the paper noted.

How come the Muslim American Society apparently failed to let everybody on its outing know about the "no hijab" policy in advance? That's a question some park officials were asking, including Deputy Parks Commissioner Peter Tartaglia. He told The Journal News that park officials had "painstakingly" told the organizer about the headgear ban. But apparently, he said, those rules weren't passed along to many attendees.


Then again, maybe Muslim leaders deliberately failed to pass along the "no hijab" policy because they felt they were being bullied; or perhaps they were content to let a confrontation occur. (“Riot at amusement park over 'no hijab' rule”).

The heroine of this jihad is Ola Salem, 17, of Coney Island. Watch the 
video interview with Ms. Salem, and you can appreciate my skepticism, as she describes with what celerity she organized an impromptu flying wedge of angry hijabis at the entrance to the park.
As she tells it, after being told by the ride operator about the rule on long scarves, Ms. Salem, instead of merely complying or moving on, told the operator’s supervisor that removing her hijab would be “as if I take off my shirt.”

Well, no one was asking her to take off her shirt. The supervisor repeated that if she wanted to get on the ride, she could remove her scarf. As Ms. Salem recounts, 

“It was offensive but I let that go. (!) So I decided to gather a couple women that also wear the scarf. I gathered about 50 when I started.”

To Ms. Salem, “letting it go” means gathering the largest demonstration she can muster, and gathering “a couple women” means 50 to start off with. She either has a phenomenal number of friends, or is a born organizer. Once Ms. Salem’s mob of fifty angry Arab women confronted the manager of the park, who was, (she says)“disrespectful also,” they tripled their number and moved it to the park entrance. (I wonder if her poor sister ever got to go on any more rides after this, She wasn’t wearing a hijab.)
 

Based on her own account, it was Ms. Salem who raised the stakes every step of the way. When being told of the rule, she simply expected it to be suspended for herself and her fellow hijabis regardless of the purpose behind it. When an exception wasn’t made for her
, that was “offensive,” and “disrespectful.”

Absent from all this is any idea that Ms. Salem and her fellow Muslims could have handled this otherwise than by getting it their own way. Capturing the spirit nicely, Amr Khater, who brought his family along with this group, saw the whole thing from only one side. "Everybody got mad, everybody got upset. It's our holiday. Why would you do this to us?"

Ms. Salem told the New York Times that “They said no because of my ‘headgear’. . . I said, ‘It’s not my headgear, it’s my religion.’”
Never mind that the ride operator never said no to her eight-year-old sister, whom the operator would have concluded was also a Muslim, nor any of the several hundred male Muslims who were getting on rides all over the place.

Ms. Salem may just as well have said of the riot she started: “I said it was discrimination, but it’s not discrimination, it’s my religion.”

Thus the genius of those colorful scarves. They’re not just headgear: they’re weapons.
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