Religion

Reason Writers Around Town: Cathy Young on Imam Abdul Feisal Rauf

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Writing at FrumForum, Contributing Editor Cathy Young looks at the record of Imam Abdul Feisal Rauf, the founder of the proposed mosque/cultural center in lower Manhattan. As Young writes:

In one narrative, Rauf is the very model of a modern Muslim moderate: a brave champion of peace, tolerance, and Islam with a human face.  In the other, he is a stealth jihadist who offers a friendly façade to gullible Westerners while preaching extremism to other Muslims and pursuing a hidden agenda of replacing the U.S. Constitution with Koran-based Sharia law.

But the portrait that emerges from Rauf's actual record differs from both these versions – and illustrates some pitfalls of the quest for moderate Islam.

Read all about it here.

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  1. “Rauf’s controversial statements about the West and terrorism ? calling the U.S. “an accessory” to the September 11 attacks, asserting that “the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than al Qaeda has ? of innocent non-Muslims” due to deaths related to the sanctions against Saddam Hussein’s regime in the 1990s ? have drawn far more justified ire. But do they convict the imam as a radical Islamist in moderate’s clothing? The view that our foreign entanglements helped make the U.S. a terrorist target has been voiced by quite a few people on the left and right ? including one of Rauf’s loudest detractors, Fox News talk show host Glenn Beck. The second statement is far more troublesome, since it equates deliberate mass murder with a United Nations-enforced policy whose probably exaggerated death toll is first and foremost on Saddam’s head. But this particular form of America-blaming, however wrong-headed, is not exactly a litmus test for Muslim extremism; plenty of Western liberals and leftists with no connection to Islam have said similar things.”

    Any decent article would have pointed out that these things Rauf is saying are generally true. “Our foreign entanglements have made us a terrorist target” is not a “view”, it is a “fact.”

    Does speaking the truth about Western foreign policy make you a Bin Laden-in-waiting?

    1. If you are not constantly stroking America’s cock and calling it the biggest one you’ve ever seen, you are a terrorist.

      1. In about 2/3rds of the world, including all of the Muslim world, your ass would be dead or in prison for being gay. If anyone should be stroking America’s cock and thanking God every day you live here and not somewhere else, it should be you.

        1. Oh I’m very thankful that random fortune deposited me here. That’s why I don’t bitch and whine about paying taxes.

          But exactly how many innocent Arabs have to die before we’re over our 9/11 hissy fit?

          1. Not just Arabs. Muslims all around the world are being punished.

            Does seem like our post 9/11 anger is residing, at least as far as foreign adventures are concerned. However, we are now turning our rage inward, toward the Muslims here. Not a good sign, in my opinion.

            1. Well it is an election year.

              I must say I was caught off guard by the Muslim hate this time around. I never thought that could be milked as much as it has.

            2. That is idiotic. Because a few people objected to a mosque in New York, we now “hate Muslims”. Give me a fucking break. Muslims live all over this country without a problem. And millions more Muslims would move here if they could get a green card.

              You want to know what hate is, be a Jew and move to a Muslim country. There are a few who actually live in such countries. And life is not good for them.

              1. John some wacko is having a freaking Koran burning. Mosques have been vandalized. The tension is certainly higher than it was a year ago. Where did that come from? Couldn’t be wall-to-wall coverage of a manufactured controversy about a “mosque” on FOX News, could it?

                1. Funny, it seems like just yesterday that political movements weren’t responsible for the actions of their craziest supporters.

                  1. That only applies to environmentalists; right-wingers and Muslims are always guilty for their nutjobs.

                    1. No, Tony doesn’t believe Muslims are guilty for 9/11, nor does he consider it a big deal (apparently death is only a big deal when it happens to America’s enemies). To him only right wingers share guilt for others actions.

                      What a great world view. Devoid of principle of course, but wonderful.

                    2. mj86 that is some impressive bullshit.

                      Do you believe that ALL Muslims share responsibility for 9/11? Because that’s what this anti-mosque, anti-koran stuff seems to be saying.

                      And I’m just saying one corpse is equal to one corpse. You apparently think 100,000 dead innocent Iraqis is still not enough to atone for 3000 dead innocent Americans.

                    3. 100,000? As long as you’re just going to make up numbers, why not a billion gazillion?

                    4. That number is almost certainly a lowball.

                    5. That number is almost certainly a lowball.

                      Okay then, a TRILLION gazillion.

                    6. Have you bothered to read anything? Even American government estimates over 15,000 during the invasion and 60,000 subsequently and that is only combatants. Direct civilian deaths are difficult to count for many reasons, some of them even not requiring foul play on anyone’s part. So, even estimating civilian deaths at zero, 75,000 is not enough?

                    7. Have you bothered to read anything?

                      Does it bother you that you’ll believe anything?

                    8. Take your complaint to the US command in Iraq. I am not talking about UN or Oxfam estimates here.

                    9. Tony,

                      Maybe you’re so invested in your “I hate America” stance you can’t quite see the difference in your positions. You say the American response to American dead is a “hissyfit”. This can only be true of something that isn’t worth reacting to. So American dead to you mean nothing.

                      But at the same time you act as though Muslim dead are of extreme importance.

                      I don’t believe all Muslims are guilty of 9/11, but your leaping to that position shows how unbalanced your views are.

                      And you last assertion again shows your inability to comprehend reality.

          2. Ask our enemies. They could quit tomorrow and we would go home. And further, our enemies have killed more Muslims than we have. We don’t suicide bomb markets and police stations.

            1. John I get the feeling you don’t know the difference between a Saudi, an Iraqi, a Turk, or a member of al Qaeda, and you probably don’t care.

              1. Tony that is not even a response. First, just a guess, but I bet I have forgotten more about middle east and Islamic history than you know. I am not kidding. It is a serious hobby of mine. Second, Islamic radicals have been targeting civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan since the beginning of the conflict. They have killed tens of thousands of innocent civilians. Worse, they hide among the civilian population putting them in constant danger. There is a reason why it is a war crime not to wear a uniform in combat.

                They kill innocent people every day in barbaric attacks. And you defend them. Why do you hate Muslims so much? Why are you so happy or so unconcerned to see them die? Is it okay for them to die as long as another Muslim is killing them?

                1. John,

                  I get all that. Americans have probably killed more, but let’s leave that aside and call it a wash.

                  Your response reeked of the vagueness that allowed us to attack Iraq in response to 9/11, a country that had absolutely nothing to do with it except that it was full of Muslims. The “enemy” is a network of terrorists. Any idiot can tell you that an all-out war is not the best way to deal with that kind of threat.

                  1. “Any idiot can tell you that an all-out war is not the best way to deal with that kind of threat.”

                    Clearly dealing with them as criminals worked so well before 9-11.

                    1. Clearly an all-out has worked so well since! This is an Alternate History forum, right?

                    2. This is not an ‘all-out war’. That is a large part of the problem.

                      Had this been an all out war it would already be over.

                    3. Clearly dealing with them as criminals worked so well before 9-11.

                      Clearly, you’re an idiot. The problem was your favorite president’s response to a memo warning of 9/11 said “you covered your asses, now get me more cheetos.”

                      Now that we’ve tried war as a response to terrorism, we’ve managed to do nothing but increase the threat god knows how many times over, since al Qaeda now has enough material for decades of propaganda tapes.

                    4. We have been bombing Muslim countries for a long time, John.

                2. So, “our” enemies or “their” enemies?

            2. No. We drone them. It’s so much cleaner!

            3. You really think America would disengage from the Middle East if the terrorists quit, John? We’d quit funding Israel, we’d quit propping up the Saudis, we’d remove our military bases (even the ones there before 9/11)? Empires don’t behave that way.

              Very naive. And no, whether Al Qaeda has killed more Muslims than we have is …
              a. Not settled at all. What about the sanctions we placed on Iraq in the 90’s?
              b. Irrelevant. All that shows is that Al Qaeda isn’t the big threat to the West they are portrayed as, and are actually more focused on the “heretics” of their own faith

              1. We were asked to stay in Korea and Germany. And if you think we have an “empire” you are a moron who doesn’t understand the meaning of the term. Yes, we would go home. We sure as hell would be out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Why would we stay in Afghanistan? It is of no strategic value to anyone.

                1. Yes, we are an empire friendo. Sorry to break it to you but “Superpower” and “World Police” are just fancy new terms for a very old thing.

                  Our engagement in the Middle East is about oil, and the military industrial complex. We protect regimes that give us oil there, and in turn sell them shiny new weapons systems in order to make a profit for the arms manufacturers. Israel is the exception because we don’t even get oil from them.

                  BTW, you completely ignored my points about Israel, the Saudis, etc. because you know we would continue to be involved there

                  1. Israel is the exception because we don’t even get oil from them.

                    That’s a good point. But why are we there if we’re so intent on currying favor with oil producing dictatorships?

                    It’s not like the Jews are all that popular worldwide. Why cause our own problems?

                    1. Because it gets votes.

                2. Is Judge Napolitano a moron? He thinks we have an empire.

                  1. Yes he is. We are not an empire by any stretch of the imagination. If we were an empire we would be pumping Iraq dry of oil right now and sending Americans over to colonize the place. If only we were an empire. And if only we invaded Iraq for oil.

                    The whole allegation is just stupid. And anyone who makes it, like anyone who throws out the term “neocon” like it has any meaning, is a tin foil hat wearing moron.

                    1. We have bases in nearly 200 countries. How is that NOT imperial?

                    2. We have bases in nearly 200 countries. How is that NOT imperial?

                      Because they wouldn’t much like it if we closed them.

                    3. And how is that relevant?

                      It still is a foreign deployment.

                      You might also want to learn about a period in American history that happened during the 1860s.

                    4. That octopus is so psychic, it communicates strictly in non sequiturs.

                    5. Blame threading. I am never psychic enough to know where a reply will appear.

                    6. But actually, it fits. Southerners would have liked it very much if the US closed their bases, problem is the US didn’t want to leave Dixie, as Dixie was so beautiful.

                    7. So what. Not everyone wanted to see the British empire leave. Of course we are an empire. If the Iraq war doesn’t qualify as imperialism then what the fuck does?

                    8. John, Iraq used to be part of the British Empire.

                      How many British people colonized Iraq again? And how was there any oil left after they pumped it dry?

                      Or are you claiming the British Empire wasn’t an Empire.

                3. John how are we not an empire? Whatever semantic issue you have really isn’t relevant given the number of countries we have military bases in, the sheer amount of land the US has annexed or conquered, our tendency to invade sovereign countries at will, and the economic and cultural influence the US has over the world.

                  1. Tony,

                    What land have we ever annexed? And further, we don’t have a single military base in the world that does not exist there at the invitation and permission of the country that it is in. If we were an empire, we would not have left places like the Philippines when they asked us to.

                    The US hasn’t annexed anything since the Spanish American War. Do you really think that Iraq has been annexed? If you do, you live in a some kind of alternate reality.

                    1. We’re in Guantanamo by the permission of the Cuban government?

                    2. We’re in Guantanamo by the permission of the Cuban government?

                      Seems like the US doesn’t get much credit when we don’t curry favor with a dictatorship.

                    3. Leaving or staying in Guantanamo has no relevance to the staying power of the Cuban regime. Unlike the bases in Saudi Arabia.

                    4. What land have we ever annexed?

                      What so we stop being an empire once enough time has passed since we annexed all those countries? You’re just being pedantic anyway. The country only exists as a result of the wholesale slaughter of the civilization that preceded it.

                    5. Riiiiiight….there was a single, thriving native american civilization, not a large number of bands, tribes and clans most of whom were living at the stone age hunter-gatherer level, and who were often warring upon one another.

                      Also, you forgot Iceland, which was like a real country (with a central government, laws and everything) which we did annex (bloodlessly) during WW2, then gave the fuck back to them after the war — before the brits and the french gave up their longstanding and actually exploited colonies.

                    6. Riiiiiight….there was a single, thriving native american civilization, not a large number of bands, tribes and clans most of whom were living at the stone age hunter-gatherer level, and who were often warring upon one another.

                      And this makes what difference, exactly?

                    7. What do you think would happen if a new government came into power in those countries that demanded we leave, John?

                      One of our CIA’s main duties is making sure that never happens. And an “invitation” by rulers as reptilian as the Saudi royals aint’ worth shit

                    8. One of our CIA’s main duties is making sure that never happens. And an “invitation” by rulers as reptilian as the Saudi royals aint’ worth shit.

                      So does the Saudi royal family exist because we let them, or do we curry favor with them because they exist and we can’t do anything about it?

                      A semi-powerful empire isn’t much of an empire. When does ’empire’ devolve into ‘pursuing your interests’?

                    9. How does propping up the Saudi royal family is pursuing American interest?

                    10. It makes oil cheap, so it gets votes.

                    11. Cheaper unless you start considering how American taxpayers are funding the whole Middle East’s wars. It’s cheaper at the pump (and even there, not cheaper than “Drill, Baby, Drill”), but it’s not cheaper after excessive expenditure in US and others’ defense is counted.

                    12. Soooo….you’re saying that we’re doing this whole ’empire’ thing – for a loss? Not only financially, but internationally for our image and locally for those elected officials who supported the wars?

                      Is that how it’s supposed to work? Sheesh, why would anyone want to have an empire?

                      This isn’t the Koch brothers thing again, is it? Because, you know, they have Obama’s real birth certificate! That’s how they keep from getting arrested…and front in line at Disneyland.

                    13. Soooo….you’re saying that we’re doing this whole ’empire’ thing – for a loss?

                      Yes.

                    14. Then, like Friedman says, that should stop after a while.

                      Or do you seriously think people you’ve conquered with your empire ‘make nice’ if you give it back to them prematurely?

                      In fact, according to the current deficit, we might be all out of empire as we speak.

                      That’s ok, right?

                    15. How does propping up the Saudi royal family is pursuing American interest?

                      I seriously doubt we would want to have to deal with a democracy in Saudi Arabia. Or Egypt. Or Tajikstan. Or…well, a lot of places that we want to deal with because they are strategically important.

                      You’ve already seen how much we like the results of democracy in Gaza.

                    16. You’ve already seen how much we like the results of democracy in Gaza.
                      reply to this

                      That’s making a pretty big assumption that the status quo will never change in these places. When, not if, things change, the fallout (pun intentional) may be far more undesirable than our current path.

                      Not advocating, just commenting.

                    17. Never mind that modernity means it is no longer cost-effective to directly annex a country, so an Empire bent on territory seeking is not going to be the most successful.

                    18. an Empire bent on territory seeking is not going to be the most successful.

                      Then if the definition of ’empire’ is an attempt to influence or manipulate other countries, aren’t all countries empires, some just more powerful than others?

                    19. If you get all the apparent benefits of imperialdom without the dirty work, how is that not imperial?

                      The difference is between how “traditional” empires annexed the nearby territories (say, Puerto Rico) but allowed rulers farther away to keep some degree of power in exchange for taking care of the borders (esp. if another empire or barbarian hinterlands were on the other side) and paying a tribute. Saudi Arabia takes care of the borders by arresting some al-Qaedans and balancing Iran and Syria, and pays tribute in oil; in exchange the USA allows them to stone their uppity women and gays and run a crony corrupt state.

                      (Not that the US is alone in this. Europe behaves the same towards Africa, leaving the dirty work to African dictators and keeping everything else as it was in 1930)

                    20. So, just for expediency…Saudi Arabia is getting the down side of this arrangement? Or is it the Saudi People? (but I thought they liked stoning uppity women)
                      But if they’re paying tribute in oil, does the CIA control the world markets?

                      What about Canada? (those bastards!) Since we import most of our oil from Canada (roughly 2x Saudis), how are we extracting that tribute? (from those bastards!)

                      Sorry, this “non-traditional empire” is really confusing, because it seems a lot like how countries might negotiate with each other to buy and sell shit, with some countries exerting more influence than others, mainly by the amount of shit trading places.

                      And if Europe acts in a similar manner, and we want to be more like Europe, then what’s the problem? Or does Europe not allow the Saudis to ‘stone their uppity women’?

                      Ok, wait. Is this dividing up of shit worldwide what goes on at the G summits? & what if somebody cheats?

                      Is there a lair? I want pictures of the lair!

                    21. The Saudi people is getting the downside. They could, you know, get rid of one of the most corrupt and oppressive governments on earth, for starters!

                      Canada doesn’t have an autocratic government that needs propping up from outside, so the exchange is honest, not “you let me do my dirty stuff and I help you with yours”.

                      Europe likes to talk the big talk, but walks the same imperial carpets it walked a century ago. The USA is more moderate in both, at that. If the concentration of the world’s oil and Israel were not in the same region, the USA would have zero interests there, and I am sure the regimes would be different.

                    22. They could, you know, get rid of one of the most corrupt and oppressive governments on earth, for starters!

                      If they weren’t making so damn much cash.

                      So it’s the ’empire’ part that keeps the Saudi people in line, not the giant infusion of cash to their monarchy? Because if trade for goods is part of an empire’s MO, then aren’t we behaving like an empire with Canada and Mexico?

                      You do realize how odd it seems for the necessity of our country to maintain an empire to control the middle east, when we’re buying twice as much oil from our northern neighbor in an honest exchange.

                      It’s this ever-changing, shadowy definition of ’empire’ that has me unconvinced – especially since we’re losing money on the operation.

                      If you want to argue that the government wastes money, you won’t get any fight from me. It’s this blanket ‘imperialist’ designation that seems to be interchangeable with the word ‘powerful’.

                      I don’t think they mean the same thing.

                    23. When they asked us to? Riiiight……

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippine?American_War

                  2. Okay, Tony… let’s evacuate America, send everyone back to the countries of their origins, and give the whole of North America back to the natives.

                    Would THAT make you happy?

                    1. Christ FIFY.

                      I sincerely hope you’re not the ass zit constantly accusing me of making strawman arguments for saying such things as “libertarians tend to be against raising taxes.” That would be ridiculous.

                      I could say carrots are orange and you’d say “Okay Tony… so no vegetables are green EVER, I get it.”

              2. “a. Not settled at all. What about the sanctions we placed on Iraq in the 90’s?”

                That wasn’t us that was the UN. And the only reason the sanctions killed anyone is because Saddam stole all of the money that sent for food. Massive amounts of food were supposed to be delivered in the oil for food program. But Saddam, along with the French and Russians stole it all. We didn’t kill anyone. Saddam killed them.

            4. We would go home? Really? Like we did in Korea? Germany? Japan? Thank goodness we don’t still have troops in any of those places!

            5. “”We don’t suicide bomb markets and police stations.””

              Of course not, we have a tax base that can afford better weapons delivery systems.

              But you’re right, there is more Muslim blood on the hands of Muslims, than on the hands of Americans.

      2. We have to practice religious tolerance… except when it comes to fucking Christians. There isn’t one good Christian. Anywhere.

    2. Whenever there’s a bombing/explosion/firefight on the news, especially if the targets were members of a Muslim community, the survivors make it their first duty, even before seeking first aid for the wounded, to get the news cameras focused on the bloodied bodies of all the supposed “innocents” who were wounded or killed. Because blowing holes in noncombatant civilians is universally understood to be evil, and pictures of the bloodied, maimed bodies of grandmothers and schoolchildren purchase a lot of sympathy and good will from the rest of the world.

      There’s no possible way that anybody can sell as “fact” the view that it’s OK to seize compensation for the wrongs of a nation’s government and military from the blood of noncombatant civilians.

      1. Additionally, if there aren’t enough dead and wounded, they’ll manufacture more by re-photographing and/or re-staging the same scenes over and over.

        Once that propaganda is revealed, it only fools the rubes the second time.

        For a group of ‘victims’ of ‘the violence’, they certainly resort to violence quickly at the drop of a cartoon.

    3. Never mind that the US could easily have vetoed the UN sanctions, or disobey them at will as it is powerful enough to do so.

      I think the USA should leave the heck out of the UN asap. At the same time, it is very disingenous to blame the UN all the time without realizing that the US, by its participation and subsidy, is an accessory to everything the UN does.

  2. Does reason just say “Hey, Cathy! We need a middle ground article on a really controversial subject. here you go!”?

    It’s like every single “on the one hand…on the other hand” article is hers. Always and forever.

    1. She does drag out the wingnutty lurkers who say “finally, a decent article in reason! See I’m a libertarian on all issues except I think gays and Muslims should be taken out back and shot….” etc.

      1. I’ve never heard anybody on here say anything like that. Especially about gays.

        1. Are you replying to Tony, or the voices in his head?

          1. You assume they are two different things.

            1. From his comments, that’s a fair assumption.

              1. Sorry, but I mean that you are assuming there is a “sane” Tony and an “insane” Tony. I’m suggesting that is a distinction without a difference.

                1. Are you a bank? I ask because you give way too much credit. “Sane”? I made no such assumption.

                  Both are insane. But from the contradictory comments, I think it’s logical to assume more than one origin for the crazy.

        2. Tony won’t back up his specious lies, AA.

    2. Wait, you mean she writes for people who don’t have a dog in the fight but are still interested in learning about the matter at hand? What a hack!

      1. It’s an observation of a theme. It appears to be her thing at the magazine.

        Simmer down, Sport.

      2. Dog? Where? Point it out!

  3. Good article Cathy.

    Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment, “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican” seems to be taken to heart by Abdul Feisal Rauf regarding fellow Muslim clerics.

    Christian and Jewish clerics are often guilty of the same sin.

  4. Thanks Cathy for a responsible article on this subject.

    I’ll just mention that Abdul Feisal Rauf is stuck in a very difficult position: extremists on both sides of any argument never want to give any ground to their opponents, and will react badly to anyone trying to act in good faith and with intelligence.

    So he hasn’t condemned all the stupid ideas of some of his colleagues – that’s to be expected. You can’t be a bridge builder if you piss off the extremists who are unwilling to consider their own flaws. The whole point of being a bridge builder is trying to get two sides to see what they have in common. In time, perhaps you can coax them – or more likely their children – to see sense regarding their more stupid ideas, but you can’t coax them into an intelligible world view if they have stopped listening to you.

    So all said, Abdul Feisal Rauf seems like an honest and honorable kind of guy. We shouldn’t blame him for the fact that the people he is trying to reach out to (on both sides) are often nutcases. I wish him the best of success, and perhaps the next generation will be just a little less nutty thanks to his considerable efforts.

    1. Yeah, those wacky ideas he refuses to condemn. It is just so cute that he steadfastly refuses to condemn an organization whose stated goal is to wipe Israel off the map. But hey, “building bridges” means never having to say Hamas should be sorry. After all, they are only murdering jews, right?

      1. To be fair, Republicans get pretty tight lipped when it comes to their flock believing malicious falsehoods about the president, exhibiting overt racism, or burning books.

        1. I keep seeing this about burning books. Are you deliberately obtuse? Have you not read 500 articles saying this guy’s an idiot?

          1. “idiot” is a much milder political epithet than “stealth terrorist”

            1. But that may be because his particular sect hasn’t actually, you know, killed anybody.

              1. Uh… do you even know which sect Abdul Feisal Rauf belongs to?

                Hint: It wasn’t the sect involved in 9/11.

                1. Sufi, unless I’m mistaken.

                  The Chechens are Sufi.

                  From here:

                  The Sufis might sound like America’s worst nightmare. Not only do they ground political activism in religion, but their faith spreads through intense and secretive brotherhoods, led by charismatic masters: this recalls every sinister stereotype of Muslim fanaticism that potboiler thrillers have offered us over the decades. But it would be a terrible mistake to see the Sufis as enemies. Sufis certainly have fought Western forces through the years, and Sufi-founded movements have on occasion engaged in terrorist actions — witness the Chechens. But in the vast majority of cases, such militancy has been essentially defensive, resisting brutal colonial occupations. This is very different from the aggressive global confrontation pursued by groups such as Al Qaeda.

                  I think you’re looking for someone who ‘hates’ Muslims. I do not. I am simply making the observation that, regardless of the sect involved, Islam is a mixture of politics and religion that is far more intertwined than what is practiced here in the US.

                  Again, for those worried about Christians, I’m always surprised that there doesn’t seem to be any hesitation about ‘intense and secretive brotherhoods’ of people who ‘ground political activism in religion’.

                  No hint’s necessary.

                  1. I wouldn’t and don’t have any problem with the same kind of activities being performed by Christians, or with a Christian-political orientation. Why would it be an issue? That was the government in 2001-2009 and for all its shortcomings, it wasn’t as different from other governments as to make it such a taboo.

                    1. That was the government in 2001-2009 and for all its shortcomings, it wasn’t as different from other governments as to make it such a taboo.

                      You’re right – I’ll never forget Bush’s ‘kike’ speech. It was a brilliant oratory – especially when he announced the payment of ‘tribute’ by the non-Christians, along with the limiting of Government contracts and grants to Christians only.

                      I was especially touched when he granted the Christian businesses the right to hire non-Christians. Man, that really helped out around the Holidays – The ones that were still recognized.

                    2. I’m always surprised that there doesn’t seem to be any hesitation about ‘intense and secretive brotherhoods’ of people who ‘ground political activism in religion’.

                      So you deny that the Christians do this, and that their vote was crucial in electing Bush – twice?

                    3. If by “intense and secretive brotherhoods” you meant insipid church potlucks, then sure.

                    4. So you deny that the Christians do this, and that their vote was crucial in electing Bush – twice?

                      Again, please point out the Christian theocracies around the globe.

                      Look fella, I personally know a staunch Republican for 60 years, and a Christian, who voted for Clinton in ’92 because she couldn’t stand the religious right at GHW Bush’s convention.

                      Evangelicals are just as much a drag on the GOP ticket as they are a boost. By your logic, McCain could never have secured the nomination. Are you really telling me that McCain, the divorced beer heiress marrying cuss word developer, is some sort of evangelical poster boy?

                      And you sell it as though Bush defeated JFK and George Washington in 2000 and ’04.

                      Nope, he just had the luck of running against bigger retards: wooden Al and Ketchup Frankenstein. Bill Clinton helped drag Gore down, is he an evangelical?

                      And John Kerry is the only Senator to make Joe Biden seem like a MENSA member.

                      Christians may be plotting to put God back into congress, but I’m pretty sure God isn’t stupid enough to go along.

                    5. So you deny that the Christians do this, and that their vote was crucial in electing Bush – twice?

                      And you think the Christian vote wasn’t crucial in electing Obama?

      2. Seeing as Israel’s unstated but quite apparent goal is to wipe Palestine “off the map” via settlements and military bullying, I don’t blame an Imam for going door-to-door bitching about Hamas.

        1. i meant “NOT” going door-to-door

          1. So, you don’t blame him no matter what he does. You from the Obama administration?

      3. You mean he refuses to condemn Stormfront and the National Vanguard?

  5. Oh wow, OK this makes a lot of sense dude. Well done.

    http://www.anonweb.at.tc

  6. That he absolutely refuses to condemn a terrorist organization tells you all you need to know.

    1. Tell me about it.

    2. He doesn’t seem to have condemned an occupational government either, so there’s that.

    3. Believe it or not, it’s really not that simple.

      1. “”Believe it or not, it’s really not that simple.””

        True. We want the guy to preach against going radical. There are many things he needs to say to connect to the intended audience.

        He was hired by Bush to be an agent of influence. That’s not an easy task.

        1. If ‘going radical’ is such a knifes-edge proposition for such a large percentage of Muslims that any ‘moderate’ has to dance all over avoiding any ‘hurt feelings’ or ‘credibility issues’, then maybe, just maybe, the equivocation of Islam and Christianity is a bit off.

          After all, if it’s just a small group of true fanatics, then not only will such fanatics most likely be offended anyways, but the societal pressures from the rest ‘right thinking’ Muslims should help to dampen that sort of thought.

          There doesn’t seem to be a similar issue with Buddhists, Hindus, or Zoroastrians.

          Why is it “not an easy task”?

    4. How many US Presidents, Secretaries of State or Congresses condemned the IRA?

      1. How many attacks against the US did the IRA make?

        1. So, the only bad terrorism is terrorism against the USA?

        2. So, the only bad terrorism is terrorism against the USA?

          1. Hey, look here!

            There may be more, but the papers might not be digitized. It really isn’t that hard to come out against terrorism, apparently.

            1. OK… before Good Friday agreement…

              Current Irish Republican terrorism is a fringe minority. But there was a time when it was mainstream, and back then the USA was strangely silent about the attacks, and strangely silent about the money flowing east…

  7. Another winner, Cathy. The best part about your articles is that I don’t even have to read them to know what you’re going to say. It’s a real time saver.

  8. His rhetoric seems to contain one over-arching theme: murder perpetrated by Islamic terrorist organizations isn’t really so bad, and often times it may be justified. How else to describe his loathsome moral equivalence between sanctions meant to cripple a murderous tyranny and deliberate murder, and his absolute refusal to condemn Hamas?

    1. Mohammed may have been a pedophile, but damn, you have a raging hard-on for Hamas.

      1. Humus goes great with pickles and crackers.

        1. I like Hamas on my chicken shawarma sandwiches, along with Hezbollah tahini sauce.

    2. Israel steals land and resources

      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03…..=2&em;
      And is a racist apartheid state.

      Let’s get all rabbis to condemn Israel.

      1. From the photo caption in your linked article.
        THE LAND Sheep near the edge of a West Bank quarry on Friday.

        I personally think the reported totally missed the bigger story. That being if there are LAND sheep there must also be either “AIR sheep” or “WATER sheep” and I want to know more about them.

        1. Has Joel Pile been made aware of these new hybrids of sheep?

    3. sanctions meant to cripple a murderous tyranny

      Funny that, I never saw the tyranny becoming crippled. I guess it must be like how the stimulus creates jobs. Only rightwing racist teabagger nutjobs would criticize that.

  9. Also, congrats to Reason for sticking by Cathy as her career circles the bowl.

  10. Get the sock!

    It’s mosquerbating time!

  11. I’m pretty sure Pedo has likely killed any rational discussion here in the crib.

  12. The guy is just a typical our team versus the other team hack. His killers and radicals are all just confused and misunderstood. The other side’s radicals are all inexcusable and a threat to world peace.

    1. The guy is just a typical our team versus the other team hack.

      Oh irony.

      1. You understand that if an Imam went around condemning Hamas and Hezbollah, defending Israel’s “right to exist” (a concept pretty much made up by Israelis), thanking America for spreading human rights and democracy, etc, he would lose all credibility with muslims around the world?

        90% of muslims see those things as BS, for better or worse.

        1. And he needs that credibility to be an agent of influence on behalf of the US.

        2. “Israel’s “right to exist” (a concept pretty much made up by Israelis)”

          WFT? I think every country’s right to exist is a concept made up by the people who live there. What is Syria’s right to exist beyond something Syrians have made up?

          Is it your opinion, that the Israeli state has no right to exist? That it should end? If so, do you support the killing or exiling of every Jew is Israel? Because that is what will happen if the state ever goes away. Silly Jews, thinking they have a right to live somewhere.

          1. The concept of “Syria” as a state was nearly totally conceived by the Entente Powers after they defeated the Ottomans and dissolved their empire. Syrians didn’t make up their “right to exist”; a douchebag Frenchman and a douchebag British guy did.

          2. WFT? I think every country’s right to exist is a concept made up by the people who live there.

            Exactly! That’s the problem with nationalism.

          3. Name another country that has ever gone around asking other countries to recognize their “right to exist”?

            Do the Israelis actually expect the Palestinians to say “Yes, you had a right to displace us from our homes, and put an end to our former country, and set up shop on our land.”

            Do we ask Native Americans to recognize the United States’ “right to exist?” Do we ask Mexico, seeing as we’re sitting on half of their former territory?

            Even Tibet doesn’t peddle this “right to exist” nonsense against China. It is an Israeli invention so that they never have to compromise.

            “Oh, well the Palestinians won’t admit that we have a RIGHT to be here, which implies they never did, so we won’t stop our settlements, bombing, occupation, etc.”

            No, I don’t support genocide against any one. Frankly, I don’t care what happens to Israel or the territories as long as the USA doesn’t intervene. It’s shitty real estate that gets way too much attention and money

            1. Do we ask Native Americans to recognize the United States’ “right to exist?” Do we ask Mexico, seeing as we’re sitting on half of their former territory?

              And do the Mexicans ask the Indigenous Cultures, seeing as they’re sitting on all of their former territory?

              Wheee!

              1. Mexicans? The whole of Latin America!

                (Of course, Latin Americans as a whole have more Native blood in their veins than North Americans as a whole do, but most of them today don’t identify as Native but as their Latin American country)

                1. Latin Americans as a whole have more Native blood in their veins

                  If it isn’t 100%, then off they go!

          4. It’s funny, because one hell of a lot more Jews lived in Europe at the time of Israel’s creation than in Israel itself. The Jews had a right to live wherever they were, but European anti-Semitism got in the way.

            As some sort of ham-fisted atonement, they created the STATE of Israel out of thin sand (just like how they created Syria, Jordan, Iraq, etc.) after briefly considering other homelands such as Uganda.

        3. “You understand that if an Imam went around condemning Hamas and Hezbollah, defending Israel’s “right to exist” (a concept pretty much made up by Israelis), thanking America for spreading human rights and democracy, etc, he would lose all credibility with muslims around the world?”

          You understand that what you are saying by having to coddle Hamas and Hezbollah to maintain credibility that the worldwide population of Muslims are intractably radical?

          1. I don’t think anyone denies that, on the whole, the worldwide population of Muslims is on the side of the Palestinians, and thus more prone to justify Hamas or Hizbullah than Israel. The opposite happens with Westerners. It doesn’t mean that Muslims would welcome a Hamas in their backyard anymore than it means that Westerners would welcome an Israel in theirs.

            1. And given what Hezbollah and Hamas do, the worldwide population of Muslims is in the wrong. Israel, for all its faults is a generally free society. Hezbollah and Hamas are nascent police state kleptocracies.

              1. I am not sure of that. I see the example I quoted above (the IRA) as the proof that a peace agreement can bring about moderation in former terrorists. On the other hand, I don’t think anyone alive will live to see a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine, so that might be a moot point.

      2. It is funny how all of the worst hacks on here hate me the most.

  13. Needs more mosque.

  14. What is this “mosque” you speak of?

  15. Bafflingly, he elides the incontrovertible fact that Khomeini’s “democratic” revolution represents the opposite of the liberal ideals he himself advocates.

    It’s not that baffling. Taking a stand against millionaire businessmen masquerading as Imams isn’t something that would get him into hot water with ‘teh Mooslems’, especially since the majority of same in said country of Iran are not in favor of the current regime.

    His failure to do so shows quite clearly that he isn’t even remotely a ‘moderate’, because the alternative is that Hellen Keller would kick the shit out of him playing Halo.

    If this guy stands for nothing, because he is unable to rally anyone to his side, or he’s too stupid or too afraid to observe reality, or (even worse) because he really believes that Islam should run the state, then the label ‘moderate’ is meaningless.

    Many commenters here show disdain for those who hear ‘voices in their head’, or believe in the ‘bearded man in the sky’.

    Well, Islam is that on steroids. Imagine if you will both Brown and Whitman removed from the California ballot because the Cardinal didn’t approve of their positions.
    “Thank God!” you rejoice – at least until you read that Fred Phelps is running un-opposed.

    Islam isn’t a problem because of the guns and bombs and violence, although that’s disturbing.

    It’s a problem because it’s a religion that completely subverts the political arena wherever it flourishes, complete with all the political problems that go along with it. Except that they’re no longer opinion – now they’re the word of God. Opposition to the state is blasphemy.

    No wonder the left is intrigued.

    Matt Welch doesn’t like the vague nature of the FCC’s obscenity rules?
    Agreed. But vague, shifting rules that benefit the connected is the entire modus operandi of the Islamic religion.

    Anyone who doesn’t want the church running the state, should un-baffle themselves.

    1. The only theocratic movement that has a chance of gaining any traction in this country is the Christian one, and it exists and has a lot of power.

      I’m sure you have some evidence to back up the claim that all Muslims have certain political beliefs by necessity, or nature.

      1. In other words, you can always trust a Muslim, but every Christian is a thug just itching to codify his or her beliefs.

      2. Awesome, the “but but the illuminate” rebutal.

    2. Opposition to the state is blasphemy.

      I bet the first page of the Quran you burned was JUST where you got this quote from.

      1. Sorry, not a Phelps & Co. fan.

        Seems to me that the real theocracies (not the imagined ones) are aligned with Islam. Why the appeal to Imams about vote counts, protests, sharia law and other state functions? Why ask a religious figure before taking action?

        I know there isn’t one central source of authority in Islam, but are you saying that the doctrine of the religious opinions are optional?

        1. I see statism dressed in Islamic flags, not Islam.

          That it is a problem for their peoples and sometimes the world that they have such douche governments? Yes, yes it is. However, I have seen statism doesn’t need Pope or Imam to exist; and that statists have come up with new ideologies or taken existing ones: communism would be great if practiced at a voluntary local level (what is an extended family farm but “from each according to their ability and to each according to their need”?), but communist statism is a problem.

          The same happens with feminism, environmentalism, and also with conservatism (though for historical reasons, American conservatism was more resistant to statism than most ideologies). Liberals fear (sometimes rightly, sometimes not) that the same would happen with American Christianity.

          That sure happened with Islam in the last four or so decades, and there is no denying that. What I am saying is that you cannot blame an ideology that is compatible with civilized personal use for the use or abuse that statist morons give it to justify their power. The same statist morons that used to pursue nationalism (or pan-Arabism) or lukewarm socialism before Islam became the ideology of choice. The Imams that are consulted today are disciples of a generation of Imams that were not in the public arena because Islam was not the myth behind the state prior to the 1970s. Of course they are gonna love this new influence: who wouldn’t?

          1. but communist statism is a problem.

            Aha. You see, communism cannot exist without coercion, because only individuals can judge their own need. Without a means of exchange free from involuntary coercion (say, maybe a free market), disparities will always emerge that, uncorrected, will doom the ‘experiment’ to failure. Statism is always that correction. Otherwise, who’s going to listen?

            Sorry, but I find that the lack of a communist model that doesn’t employ coercion by the state similar to the lack of the existence of an Islamic ruled state that doesn’t have undue influence over the political process.

            That used to exist somewhat (at gunpoint) in Turkey, but even that model is no longer applicable.

            Are all Muslims alike? Hell no, and some are adamantly against religious involvement in the affairs of the state.

            But for you to make the assumption that there’s been a fundamental change in Islamic thought “in the last four or so decades”, ignores the very foundation for the religion, which was a means of uniting various disparate groups of nomads to form a formidable whole that conquered large swaths of territory for political and monetary gain.

            That is the origin of the religion, and that fact simply cannot be undone without a recognized reformation – something that may be impossible given the competing splinter sects and lack of a direct authority.

            1. Sorry, but I find that the lack of a communist model that doesn’t employ coercion by the state

              I believe my example of the family farm is applicable. Those strong enough do the work, the old, sick and the children don’t and have the workers provide for them; what’s there not to understand about that? The problem is when that model based on voluntary association is imposed upon a whole country top-down and based on political coercion.

              But for you to make the assumption that there’s been a fundamental change in Islamic thought “in the last four or so decades”,

              Not in Islamic thought maybe. But there was a change in how influential that thought was in the political sphere. Authoritarian states no longer could buy society with promises of nationalism or wealth redistribution and resorted to religion. In some cases it overwhelmed them (Iran), in others they managed to keep it under control of their own (most of the rest).

              ignores the very foundation for the religion, which was a means of uniting various disparate groups of nomads to form a formidable whole that conquered large swaths of territory

              OK al Qaeda is for a world Caliphate. Most Muslims, even most political Islamists, and even most Islamic terrorists, aren’t.

              It still ignores that religion (any religion) is abstract enough to make you anything from a fascist to a hippie. Christianity, by the letter of the NT, should be completely apathetic and indifferent to politics. You know Christians are not and historically have never been. Islam, by the letter of the Quran, should be actively anarchist (because the state is a human idol that demands worship and supplants God); yet that has never prevented Muslims from being rulers.

              And yes, I agree that this reality cannot be undone without a conscious reformation. I am optimistic that it can happen; I am not, however, that it is going to be bloodless, though I think most of the blood will be spilled in Muslim countries, not in the West.

              1. But there was a change in how influential that thought was in the political sphere. Authoritarian states no longer could buy society with promises of nationalism or wealth redistribution and resorted to religion. In some cases it overwhelmed them (Iran), in others they managed to keep it under control of their own (most of the rest).

                That change occurred when the flow of oil made it possible for Islam to operate with increased influence. What you see as a change, I see as an opportunity.

                I agree with you, however, about the amount of Muslim blood that will flow, not just because of the inter-sect conflict, but because 4 out of every 5 humans aren’t Muslim, and really aren’t interested in subjugation.

                Without reformation, the in-fighting will be very bloody indeed.

              2. OK al Qaeda is for a world Caliphate. Most Muslims, even most political Islamists, and even most Islamic terrorists, aren’t.

                That would explain why Saddam Hussein, a secular leaning Muslim, chose to portray himself as a modern day Saladin, who was a Sunni and Sufi, uniting Islam and conquering the holy lands from the Western Crusaders.

                Or maybe he just liked the outfits.

              3. Your example of the family farm shows your basic lack of understanding with regard to human nature.

                For starters, it’s not based on ‘voluntary association’. It’s based on blood relation.

                The farmer is taking care of his own. He’s not meting out things according to needs–and he’ll happily push someone(including himself) beyond their abilities if the problem is great enough.

                If anything, the family farm shows why communism cannot ever work for humans even at a local level. We only easily work ‘for others’ when that work will benefit us in some way that we can see.

  16. Bush picked Rauf as part of his anti-terror strategy. Funny how no one wants to mention his work for the State Dept under two US Presidents.

    If Rauf has terrorist connections, maybe the liberals were right and Bush is a terrorist. 😉

    1. I’m not so sure that “hand-picked by Bush” is a great resume starter.

      1. For 8 years, George Bush’s entire foreign policy was derided by lefties. Now they are praising it?

  17. I’m not one of the Muslim haters. I don’t think the mosque is a “battlefield monument.” 9/11 was despicable, but it wasn’t the fault of all Muslims.

    But…

    By the admission of their own faith and history, Mohammad had sexual relations with a 9-year-old. Married or not, that is still having sex with a pre-pubescent girl.

    And that is pedophilia.

    “Muhammed was a pedophile” is a mere statement of fact.

    1. Hey maybe we can find common ground in this world.

      1. I’m all about syncretism.

        1. I thought you were all about secretions.

    2. “”Mohammad had sexual relations with a 9-year-old. “”

      And Eve had sex with her children.

      I’m sure we could dig out many examples of things we consider bad today that might not have been so bad back then. Hey, in the future, that person smoked cigarettes, may sound like a crime that should have carried a sentence longer than pedophilia.

      1. What a ham-handed attempt at moral equivalency.

        1. “”What a ham-handed attempt at moral equivalency.””

          What the Eve thing? I was just countering your fact with another. I’m not making any moral judgement.

          1. One is about an historical person who actually lived who happens to be at the center of a religion.

            The other is a mythical being. That is just so entirely equivalent.

          2. Where in canonical Judeo-Christian theology exists a story that Eve had sex with children? I think I would have recalled that one. It’s implied that Adam & Eve’s children mated with each other, by necessity (unless Adam & Eve were not the only 1st couple).

            Nevertheless, you are equating an allegorical portion of the Bible with historical facts about Mohammed.

            1. Last I knew, the Bible has nothing allegorical about it. It is the Literal Inerrant Word Of God.

              1. Then your exposure to Christian thought must be limited to the more extreme fundamentalist denominations.

                1. Well if believing in the Bible is optional then why call you a Christian at all? Call yourself what you are: “I believe in what I believe and I like to find Bible quotes I agree with and screw the rest”.

                  1. The idea of ‘parables’ is somewhat prevalent in the reformation sects of Christianity.

                    Presbyterians are a pretty large percentage of American Christians, and they by and large don’t believe in a literal interpretation.

        2. Ham handed!! You are unclean!!

      2. He just came through the other way.

    3. Historical “facts” usually need the scare quotes.

      http://www.muslim.org/islam/aisha-age.htm

      1. Yes, one guy performing Muslim apologetics decides against a long-tradition of belief and that is quoted on a Muslim apologetics website is not all that convincing to me.

        The Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, and Sunan Abu Dawood all agree she was nine. Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari argues that she was ten.

        There is no such thing as historical fact, but that Aisha was nine when she consummated her marriage to Mohammed was accepted for a very long time, basically until it was recognized as squicky, and then it was suppressed.

        1. “”There is no such thing as historical fact, but that Aisha was nine when she consummated her marriage””

          Are we talking about the Ozarks?

        2. Or the Cumberland Gap. No wait, if it’s the Cumberland Gap, she would be 9 and a 1st cousin.

          1. That I’m from Kentucky totally proves me wrong. You got me.

            1. You’re from the Cumberland Gap area?

      2. Neu Mejican|9.8.10 @ 4:04PM|#

        Historical “facts” usually need the scare quotes.

        http://www.muslim.org/islam/aisha-age.htm

        It is that kind of candor and introspection and willingness to examine their own faults that makes me so confident that practitioners of Islam are a partner in developing our modern world and not digging in their heals to hold it back. Color me surprised.

    4. …a fact which is irrelevant to the matters at hand: mosque or no mosque, Hamas or no Hamas, Iraq or not Iraq…

      TrickyVic has a point too. Like it or not, pedophilia has only a bit more than a century of being an issue at all. You could point out that neither Jesus or Muhammad led a revolt against slavery (though both seemed more friendly to slaves than the norm for their times), but that tells you nothing about this debate, and a lot about most people not caring about slavery when they preached.

      1. There’s a bit of a difference between not leading a revolt against slavery and keeping slaves.

        I may be totally wrong on this, (as my Imam certificate has been held up by customs) but I seem to recall Muhammad actually enslaving others.

        1. POW slavery (which was practiced by Muslims until the 19th century) was also considered different from random slaverist raids or hereditary slavery, and somehow more justified – as a simple part of spoils of war.

          You still miss the point. What is the relevance of Muhammad’s sexual orientation (and I do agree that he was a pedophile) to whether or not there should be a mosque in Manhattan?

          1. It’s not about the Mosque – it’s about the statement of fact you just agreed with.

            That statement was in reference to another commenter’s name.

          2. Oh, and one other thing: There is actual slavery practiced by Muslims to this very day. It just isn’t discussed much.

          3. ‘POW slavery’. What is this exactly? Why it’s killing the men, raping and keeping the women(the ones you like, anyway–the rest get killed just like the men) and enslaving the children(again, only the good ones, the rest join the corpse pile)

            And what made these people your enemy? Why not being muslim, of course.

            And what was done with these lucky ‘POW slaves'(lucky because they weren’t slaves taken….in….a…..raid….oh, nevermind)? They were used and sold and bred(yes, that’s right, the non-hereditary slaves became the parents of hereditary slaves!) right alongside all the other slaves.

    5. By the admission of their own faith and history, Mohammad had sexual relations with a 9-year-old. Married or not, that is still having sex with a pre-pubescent girl.

      And that is pedophilia.

      Pedophilia is a desire, not an act. So he was only a pedophile if he enjoyed it.

      1. Given that he had asked to marry Aisha (as opposed to being offered to), you have to think that he had the hots for her.

  18. Nothing posted on Reason should ever begin with the phrase “Writing at FrumForum,”

    Ever.

  19. Try turning up the music. That might help drown out the voices that told you I claimed that adherents to the Muslim faith equate with that faith.

    Nice strawman, though.

    Rather, back to the subject at hand, can you explain to me why the very wealthy in Iran found it necessary to become ‘Imams’ to maintain political control of the country?

    Did Berlusconi need to become Cardinal or Pope to maintain his political position in Italy?

    We know Obama went to Wright’s church, but why didn’t he need to become a priest first, if this all powerful theocracy made such demands?

    As to this theocratic movement, is that the same one that brought up JFK’s Catholicism as a negative? Or are you talking about Baptists? Methodists? Presbyterians? Unitarians? Evangelicals? Which ‘theocratic movement’?

    My family’s church tilts left, Tony. They endorsed Obama, without saying as much. Are they the ones pushing theocracy?

    I mentioned the Left’s intrigue at a state backed by the power of God, and completely un-assailable. I wouldn’t expect you to vary your government worship one bit during the ‘transition’.

    1. Whoa. Comment fail. That was supposed to be to Tony’s 4PM.

  20. Yet again, another triumph of hope over her reason for Cathy:
    “Some charges leveled at the imam are wildly off-base ? such as the claim, … that Rauf “wants the U.S. to be ‘sharia compliant.'”

    Incorrect, and I don’t see any fair reading of what he has said to indicate otherwise. Cathy provided no quotes, but a paraphrase. I will provide quotes.

    An article by the Imam:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..90825.html
    “What Muslims want is to ensure that their secular laws are not in conflict with the Quran or the Hadith, the sayings of Muhammad.”

    “What Muslims want is a judiciary that ensures that the laws are not in conflict with the Quran and the Hadith.”

    He wants the laws in the US to be consistent with the Quran and Hadith. The agreed upon name for the principle of keeping laws consistent with the Quran and the Hadith is Sharia.

    Add this to the approving words for Vilayet-i-faqih and the Iranian theocracy which Cathy herself finds repugnant:
    http://www.cordobainitiative.o…..s-election
    and a clear picture emerges.

    Yes, he does condemn some of the harsher applications of Sharia, but fundamentally he is for Sharia and against Separation of Church and State. He wants a kinder, gentler Sharia – Sharia with a Smiley Face – when compared with the Taliban, Saudi Arabia, and Iran.

    A less brutal theocracy is not a moderation I am interested in for the US.

    If you want to show that he is a moderate that Reason readers might be interested in, find unequivocal statements of support for Freedom of Speech and Separation of Church and State.

    1. Good read. The Imam makes a lot of sense that we should be considering in these tumultuous times where there seems to be no direction and all tail spin. I’ll have to get him from on loan from the State Department sometime.

    2. DDavis he also says that the US is already the most sharia-compliant country in the world.

      Sort of exactly how Christians say it’s a Christian nation. All those good things we do and represent–those make us compliant with . He defines sharia law as simply justice and fairness. What he’s saying is far more moderate than what a lot of Christian leaders openly say every day about how they want this country to look.

      1. Sort of exactly

        Precious.

        Are these the same Christians that rioted and killed those people at Comedy Central when they ran that South Park of Jesus and Bush taking shits on each other?

        1. Did Imam Rauf kill someone at Comedy Central?

          1. Oh God, no. They censored the cartoon showing Muhammed PBUH!

            And it’s good that they did, because that might really stir up the shit, unlike this faux Christian problem.

  21. – OMG! What is that in that jar of piss?

    – Relax. It’s just a figurine of Christ.

    – Whew. Thank God!

  22. The Sharia’s law is coming statements is an attempt at scareing people. It will never, ever be the law of this land.

    When it comes to being governed by laws of a God, I’m more threatened by Christianity than Islam.

    Here’s a side that rarely gets presented.

    “For those who actually know or have worked with the imam, the descriptions are frighteningly — indeed, depressingly — unhinged from reality. The Feisal Abdul Rauf they know, spent the past decade fighting against the very same cultural divisiveness and religious-based paranoia that currently surrounds him”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..85071.html

    1. When it comes to being governed by laws of a God, I’m more threatened by Christianity than Islam.

      You and Tony.

      That should disturb you.

      1. A literal reading of the Bible gets Tony stoned for being gay, and probably the rest of us executed as well for various reasons.

        And don’t give me the crap that Deuteronomy and Numbers are the Old Testament so they don’t count — you don’t care about such distinctions when cherry-picking Koran quotes, so you can’t do it when quoting the Bible either.

        1. No argument about the Bible, but there might be just a wee bit of an argument about those following that ‘literal’ interpretation.

          Not much from them, lately.
          Whew!

          1. Also, no argument about stoning Tony. But why make it about teh ghay?

        2. It’s that damn reformation thingy! Ruins everything!

          1. And we’re gonna help the Islamics start their own reformation by burning their holy book in front of them!

  23. Opposition to the state is blasphemy.

    Sounds good. I think it’s time to change My Catchprase again.

    1. Are you ‘avin a laugh? Is he ‘avin a laugh?

  24. Cathy Young offers, as evidence against Rauf’s moderation, that he describes Sheik Yusuf Al-Qaradawi as a “highly regarded” top Muslim scholar and jurist,” and that Al-Qaradawi supports positions such as the death penalty for apostates. That particular position has been orthodox Islamic law for well over a thousand years. Perhaps it should change, perhaps it will. But there is nothing objectionable about describing someone who holds orthodox positions, in this case ones that Rauf disagrees with, as a highly regarded top scholar and jurist.

    It is rather as if she condemned anyone who had respectful things to say of an orthodox Catholic theologian, on the grounds that the theologian supported the conventional Catholic positions on divorce and contraception.

    1. Call me when that Catholic theologian is consulted on the applicability of no-fault divorce and the legality of condom distribution.

      1. The Pope comments on such current issues like, every month.

        1. And which comment is codified into law?

  25. This is one of the many reasons I am a libertarian and not a liberal.

    Liberal tolerance is based upon dominant cultural signifiers with no basis in rationale equivalence.

    Christianity which has a few significant sects that ban dancing is backwards in the opinion of the liberal. Islam which has significant sects that ban music altogether is highly respected. For no other reason than it is like sushi to them. Somewhat ‘exotic’ to add to the their palette.

    You don’t embarrass yourself at your soirees when you talk about the many intriguing facets of the religion of peace but you certainly will if you discuss a doctrine of the Christian religion with anything other than derision.

    And, no I am not guessing this from the outside, I have seen this many, many times since 9/11 up close and personal.

    1. Won’t speak for all liberals but I think you’re confused.

      We interact with Christians every day. Christians actually have a decent shot of imposing theocracy on this country. Several members of Congress are Christian theocrats. Christian zealotry may or may not be as immediate a threat to this country as Muslim zealotry–but we’re the only ones pointing it out. I think Muslim extremism is covered.

      We have a tendency to defend the powerless. I personally have a tendency to ridicule dominant groups playing the victim card. If this were an alternate universe and Christians were the object of mainstream right-wing hatred, I would be defending them.

      This is not a debate about whether there is a God (in which events I mercilessly ridicule the religious of any type). I am not defending Muslims’ fantastical beliefs. I’m defending their right to exist with full citizenship, something no Christian in this country has to worry about.

      1. It is just so cute that he steadfastly refuses to condemn an organization whose stated goal is to wipe Israel off the map

        Well, I’m an American and not an Israeli so why should this be a dealbreaker to me?

        Here’s a hint: When asked to provide evidence for someone’s extremism, pointing to his hostility to Israel is a GIANT NON-SEQUITOR!!!

      2. Christians actually have a decent shot of imposing theocracy on this country.

        Only if the left continues to treat the Constitution as an irrelevant document.

        1. Damn, everything is our fault.

          1. Not this dam

            Other than that, pretty much.

          2. Not everything.

            Give me a minute.

        2. It’s just a piece of paper!

          1. Are you still here? I thought you had mowin’ to do?

          2. Oh, and you misunderestimated that piece of paper!

      3. Christians actually have a decent shot of imposing theocracy on this country.
        And there you lost the arguement.

        There are multiple Christian sects that each believe they are the correct variety and each share their own beliefs. As such there can be no expectation that any one will gain power.

        Several members of Congress are Christian theocrats.
        Please provide any evidence that any member of congress proposes adding a fourth religious branch to the federal government.

        I personally have a tendency to ridicule dominant groups playing the victim card.
        And you do so less out of any personal moral conviction, and more as a form of mental masturbation.

        1. Ever heard of The Family? Both of my senators are members. Look it up. What they say in public is bad enough. They want a Christian theocracy, period.

          1. Squirrel won’t let me link, but are you talking about the ‘secretive’ group that’s linked to not only Carter and the Camp David accords, but to Reagan as well?

            My God! They’re in charge of everything!

            See! That’s how Obama got elec…..

            Wait a minute…

      4. Christians actually have a decent shot of imposing theocracy on this country.

        Accept that you are already Islam’s bitch and not the pope’s.

        Suppose you are a cartoonist of some talent, you draw something up for your local left wing weekly. You can draw Christ, you can draw conservatives, you can even draw leftist since the shops that operate left wing papers are usually pretty cool little pools of talent, but what can’t you draw or show?

        It is silly of you to say Christianity is the greater threat to your preferred manner of living, as that manner of living came about as a result of the civilization that went through the Reformation while the other was still nursing its wounds from the Mongol invasion. You are entirely a product of the society you claim to fear, the very one where your Burlesque troupe prospers, yet would not be allowed to exist if the United States was truly Sharia law compliant in spite of your previous nonsensical argument to the contrary.

        You are exhibit A of what I meant when I stated Liberal tolerance is based upon dominant cultural signifiers with no basis in rationale equivalence. It shines through in your every post.

        1. I did not say Christianity was a greater threat. I’m pretty much against all forms of religious extremism. Now if conservatives would confine their criticism of Muslims to Muslim extremists, rather than so quickly jumping to collective guilt and sparking idiot rampages across the country, I’d have nothing to say. Nobody is saying all Christians should be suspect because some priests raped children. If someone did, I’d say that was wrong too.

          1. …rather than so quickly jumping to collective guilt and sparking idiot rampages across the country…

            Um, your implication that ‘rampages’ are a Christian thing seems to do damage to your assertion that you don’t view Christianity as a ‘greater threat’.

            Which ‘rampages’, exactly?

            Again, for someone so worried about theocracy, (and you’re not alone) you seem strangely unable to separate ‘Muslim fanaticism’ from multiple, real-world examples of Non-fanatic Islamic theocracy, be it monarchic or ‘democratic’.

            1. Christianity IS a greater threat in the context of theocracy in America. Sharia law is pretty much a non-starter for the time being.

              And the U.S., in contrast even to some European countries, has a pretty well assimilated Muslim population. I get that there are Muslim theocracies in the world, I’m just not sure what point you’re trying to make except to get close to implying collective guilt.

              1. In other words, because Christians have the potential electoral clout to theoretically establish a theocracy (absent the strictures of the Constitution, but Tony does not believe the Constitution should be a limit on the power of government anyway) even though any Christians who advocate such a thing are a fringe at best.

                1. Not saying it’s likely, but there is a real movement that has no respect for the establishment clause and a lot of its adherents are actual members of Congress. Just saying.

                2. You must address which voice in Tony’s head represents the evil Christian theocrats.

                  It changes daily.

                  1. Apogee are you implying that it’s ludicrous for members of Congress to be working against portions of the constitution?

                    1. I’m implying 2 things.

                      1) That you hear voices in your head.

                      2) That yes, any member of Congress, Christian or not, that is working to undermine the separation clause is working counter to the intent of the Founding Fathers, who, along with many others of their time, were quite tired of the back and forth of religious based shifts in the political system of the English monarchy.

                      I find it humorous that you spend so much time worrying about Christians, who, in trying to eliminate the establishment clause, would be attempting to overturn a well documented portion of their own history, founded by members who share their basic religious tenets.

                      As opposed to Islamists, who have no such ties to American tradition, and who practice a religion that has its origins in the political accumulation of unchallenged power.

                      But maybe that’s the part you like.

  26. That was NOT meant to be a reply. What happened?

    1. It must have been the Koch brothers!

  27. Reason Writers Around Town: Cathy Young on Imam Abdul Feisal Rauf

    You guys really should change that header to “Reason Writers Whoring Themselves Out To Conservative Publications”. Because that’s what the series has pretty much been since 1/20/2009.

    Of course, before then it leaned heavily toward whoring out to liberal publications, but either way.

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