Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Bridge Too Easy

I'm guessing that local Muslim Affairs Bureau Reporter Tanveer Ali wasn’t being deliberately funny when he described our local Iranian agent Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi as “seizing” President Obama's inaugural appeal for unity amongst religions when Elahi staged an “interfaith” prayer Friday. (“Obama inspires interfaith prayer”).

The choice of verb is funny because of the well-known habit of Islamic Khomeinist Iranians, of whom Elahi is a proud example, for “seizing” or trying to seize things and people in the name of jihad, (like American embassies, American embassy personnel, the governments of Syria and Lebanon, Gaza, and who can forget “Iranian Vessels Seize 15 British Navy Personnel in Iraqi Waters”).

Now Elahi is "seizing" Obama's appeal for mutual respect between religions for his own ends. He recognizes in Obama's election, no doubt, a weakening of American resolve against radical jihadism. As Ali’s article notes, “Elahi was among the local Muslims who took note Tuesday, when Obama said American relationships with Muslims should no longer be divisive. ‘To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect,’ Obama said.”

But in fairness to the President, he didn’t only mention mutual respect, but also took a well-deserved smack at the kinds of regimes, like the Islamic dictatorship in Iran for whom Elahi works, President Obama doing everything but calling Iran out by name:

To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

If you’ve noticed, Elahi can’t do anything without a clenched fist, which he’s usually shaking either at Israel, or George W. Bush. Even his “interfaith” prayer had to get political, “as Elahi and other religious speakers said world leaders have a moral obligation to investigate and prevent any future military actions into Gaza.”

As I think I mentioned somewhere, these interfaith events with Detroit’s Islamic leaders never admit the equal status of the priests, rabbis, and ministers gullible enough to show up: they always take place on Muslim terms. They're held at an Islamic location, during an Islamic prayer period (e.g. Friday), a always Muslim leads it, and afterwards the Muslims get all the press.

(Okay, I admit it: when a priest or rabbi attending these fiascos has anything to say, it's never worth reading anyway. ITEM:

"We need peace and justice,"said Jack I. Seman, who spoke at the event as a part of the Chaldean Christian community. "The best ammunition you have is be at peace with each other.")
In Chaldean, this would be pronounced: "Baah, Baaah, Baaaaaah!")

Pay attention and you'll notice that for all the claptrap about “mutual” understanding, Elahi and his fellow Islami interfaith leaders are always very careful to stage these events with dhimmitude in mind.

This is a “seizing” indeed. This is dawah. Just one more tiny bit of ground, yes. That’s how it’s done.

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