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Smacking CAIR around
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, August 31, 2006

Omran Salman, a Bahraini journalist does exactly that in the Philadelphia Inquirer:
On Aug. 10, British police arrested 24 Muslim suspects in a plot to blow up 10 U.S.-bound jetliners over the Atlantic. If successful, the attack would have killed thousands of people. The terrorists were motivated by religious extremism.

Rather than just condemn the plot and address the scourge of Islamic extremism, Muslim groups such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and the Muslim American Society (MAS) sought to both legitimize terror and portray Muslims as victims.

Do these organizations really represent Muslims in the West? Hardly. It is their apologia of Islamic extremism, rather than discrimination or religious hatred in Western society, which most victimizes American Muslims.

The basic narrative of these self-described civil-rights groups is twofold: The United States provokes terrorism because of its foreign policy, and Muslims in the West face a backlash in the wake of terror.
Now in the defense of CAIR and MPAC, both organizations are American based and if there is anything any "civil rights" organization should have learned in the past few decades is the cult of the victim is where the money is, figuratively speaking. So the fact that they went for the victim's mantle should not particularly surprise anyone here. However, it would be nice if there was actually something which would support that position:
According to the 2004 FBI hate-crimes report, the latest published, there were 156 incidents of anti-Muslim hate crimes; in comparison, there were 95 anti-Christian, and 954 anti-Jewish attacks in the United States. Rather than fear American freedom, most Muslims embrace it. At more than $42,000, average income for Muslim families is higher than the American average.
So it's not like the US is seething with hate toward Muslims here and they're certainly not being denied opportunity. Nor, obviously, is there much in the way of evidence that Muslims are singled out more than any other religion, especially Jews.

Given these numbers, what was CAIR's reaction to the UK bombing plot?
After law enforcement stopped the mid-Atlantic massacre, Nihad Awad, executive director of CAIR, warned, "We ought to take advantage of these incidents to make sure that we do not start a religious war against Islam and Muslim." He called on Muslims to step up security at mosques and community centers to counter negative backlash to news of the plot.
Apparently loudly denouncing the would-be terrorists would be out of the question.

This is one of the most consistent criticism of so-called 'moderate Islam' - the fact that they spend more time downplaying what the extremists have done in their name and hyping the threat to them from unnamed and apparently non-existent hate groups.

According to the numbers above, they're just not there.
Rather than help Muslims in America, most Muslim organizations hinder them. Self-appointed representatives downplay religious extremism and focus more on the image of Muslims rather than on the loss of innocent life. They remain silent on the assault waged on liberalism by Islamists. Most Muslims in America, though, fled the Middle East for the liberal values of their adopted country.
So why doesn't CAIR emphasize that? Why doesn't it stress the things which Muslims in America share with the rest of the population instead of dwelling on what is different? Why doesn't it say "not in our name"?

Below we're talking about the term "Islamofascist". CAIR and MPAC also had things to say about the term:
On Aug. 7, Bush condemned this extremist assault on liberal values, defining it as "Islamo-fascist" in nature. He chose his words carefully. For most Muslims, Islam is a religion of peace. But rather than side with these Muslim victims, MPAC criticized Bush for saying that the British plot was a "stark reminder" the United States is "at war with Islamic fascists."

Edina Lekovic, MPAC spokeswoman, issued a statement saying, "The problem with the phrase is it attaches the religion of Islam to tyranny and fascism, rather than isolating the threat to a specific group of individuals." It is not Bush's wording that makes this attachment, though, but the 24 terrorists in Britain and the imams who instructed them.
Unless all of Islam identifies itself as "facists", which it obviously doesn't, this differentiates a sect or splinter group of the religion (with which they self-identify and use as a basis for their action) from the whole.

Instead of demanding these fanatics disassociate themselves with Islam, Lekovic asks us to pretend they really don't belong to Islam.

CAIR's response?
Parvez Ahmed, CAIR chairman, sent an open letter to Bush: "You have on many occasions said Islam is a 'religion of peace.' Today you equated the religion of peace with the ugliness of fascism."
Note the argument Ahmed makes. If Islam is the "religion of peace" then the "religion of peace" can't be fascist. Well yeah, unless the fascists are Islamic. Why isn't Ahmed instead arguing that there is no place in the "religion of peace" for those who commit the henious acts planned and work toward the desired end-state these fanatics desire whether they describe themselves as Muslims or not?

Seems a reasonable question and request. But we just never seem to get there, do we?
If these organizations wish to represent American Muslims, they should be at the forefront of defending both Muslims and non-Muslims against Islamic extremists who hate moderate Muslims almost as much if not more than Western governments. Terrorists deny the legitimacy of Western Muslims, arguing that their Western co-religionists just sit placidly while they, the true Muslims, are "waging jihad against infidels and crusaders."

It is wrong to argue so much over terminology and image that we lose sight of the real threat: Extremists who find motivation in religion to preach intolerance and wage war against Western values and peoples. This is the nonsense that causes Muslims to flee the Middle East. We should not defend its emergence here.
Amen, Mr. Salman ... amen.
 
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Yawn.
 
Written By: william
URL: http://
William’s only bored because he couldn’t think of a way to link this post with yet another comment on the US prison population. He’s losing his touch.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
William’s only bored because he couldn’t think of a way to link this post with yet another comment on the US prison population. He’s losing his touch.
LOL!

I do love it when you beam in JWG.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Why isn’t Ahmed instead arguing that there is no place in the "religion of peace" for those who commit the henious acts planned and work toward the desired end-state these fanatics desire whether they describe themselves as Muslims or not?
Any chance Mr. Ahmed knows that should he take that route he would A) be outcast by the Muslim community (and removed from his cushy western living) and/or B) be targeted by said extremists with a fatwha or whatever it was they called out on Salmon Rushdie???

I’m just sayin’...
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
I actually don’t really begrudge CAIR its take on, well, anything. They play the victim card entirely too much but, as McQ pointed out, that’s where the money is.

The question I have is why aren’t organizations like the Free Muslims Coalition more prominent in the news?
The Free Muslims Coalition believes that there can NEVER be a justification for terrorism.
The Coalition believes that fundamentalist Islamic terror represents one of the most lethal threats to the stability of the civilized world. The existence of Islamic terrorists is the existence of threats to democracy. There is no room for terrorism in the modern world and the United States should take a no-tolerance stance on terrorism in order to avoid another tragedy, along the lines of 9-11. With the added threat of biochemical weapons, the call to defeat terrorism has never been so urgent.
Instead of going to CAIR or MPAC everytime the media needs a soundbyte, why not get some input from FMC? Don’t get me wrong. I know the answer (something to do with a "narrative"). But it seems that if one is worried about Muslims getting a bad rep, one would maybe look to those Muslims that explicitly denounce the radical Islamofascism that we’re fighting.

Just a thought.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
CAIR is not funded by American Muslims. It is CAIRs duty to ensure cordial relations between America where it lobbys and the Islamist states who pay for this lobbying. Expectation for CAIR to speak for American Muslims is flawed, because American Muslims do not pay for CAIR to speak.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
Excellent point, Michael. You beat me to to it. Too many media outlets instantly run to the nearest minority "victim" identity group for quotes rather than look for a broad range of views. CAIR and MPAC happen to have a monopoly on the "victim" quotes at the moment, so no other Muslim groups get heard.
This is one of the most consistent criticism of so-called ’moderate Islam’ - the fact that they spend more time downplaying what the extremists have done in their name and hyping the threat to them from unnamed and apparently non-existent hate groups
CAIR and MPAC are not "moderate" groups. CAIR’s finances are not public and when threatened with legal action to make them public, they flinched and suddenly disappeared into the woodwork. They are connected with Salafism and Saudi petrodollars. Any group getting its funding from these sources is suspect and is potentially a hotbed of radicalism. For actual "moderate" Muslims condemning terror, please see the following.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
CAIR and MPAC are not "moderate" groups.
That’s a fair point, Omar, but who else really knows that? As you point out, Michael’s excellent point is why. When the media treats them as the "moderate Muslim voice" in America, then the perception is they are the moderate Muslim voice in America.

The same dynamic applies with "black leaders" for instance, when the media goes to Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Any chance Mr. Ahmed knows that should he take that route he would A) be outcast by the Muslim community (and removed from his cushy western living) and/or B) be targeted by said extremists with a fatwha or whatever it was they called out on Salmon Rushdie???
So could Mr. Salman, yet there he is saying what needs to be said. And how about this guy?

Dead man walking?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I agree with you 100%, McQ. The media is definitely subjective in its choice of mouthpieces for America’s minority groups. The example you give above of Jackson and Sharpton is as classic as it is accurate. Why don’t we ever hear from Ward Connerly, John McWhorter, or J.C. Watts? Heck, why don’t we hear from Colin Powell or Clarence Thomas?

The standard media darlings are always paraded out for the cameras so that there is no true diversity of opinion and minority groups are always portrayed as mindless, monolithic entities. I can’t think of a greater insult to a group of people than to assign them a position and a mouthpiece then demand that they comply simply based on their skin color, nationality, or religion. For all their talk of "true liberalism," the media are nothing more than children sitting in their cozy little playrooms constructing a fantasy world, all their own. Whenever someone comes along to remind them that the world they have created is not real, they hum very loudly, close their eyes, and stick their fingers in their ears. And I accuse not just the usual leftists media types of this, but also the major right-leaning types too who follow the same pattern of going to the darlings for every minority question (Hannity always talks to Sharpton and Jesse; Rush constantly reads quotes from, "The Reverend Jackson," and O’Reilly is using the same playbook, too).
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
It is important that we accept the press releases of the US and British governments without question. Otherwise we only help the terrorists. Nevermind that the Brits have already released a number of those arrested because they found no evidence of wrong doing. Nevermind that no one has found any liquid explosives and no one has found a test site. Never mind tha several of these "suicide bombers" didn’t have passports and would never have been allowed on an international flight. No raising questions like this only helps undermine our confidence in our great leaders.

If our leaders think that it is important that we believe something then it is our duty as Libertarians not only to accept it without question but also to ridicule and demean those who fail to see the "truth".


 
Written By: cindyb
URL: http://
Nevermind that the Brits have already released a number of those arrested because they found no evidence of wrong doing.
From CNN: "The charges against the three men, who appeared Wednesday at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court in central London brings the total number of people charged in connection with the case to 15."
Nevermind that no one has found any liquid explosives and no one has found a test site.
Nevermind the evidence that we already know about.
it is our duty as Libertarians not only to accept it without question [said sarcastically]
Skepticism is good as long as you are using actual facts. Your reasons for skepticism are based on the supply of tinfoil in your house.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://

 
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