Sultan Knish/Daniel Greenfield:
The occupant of the White House’s middle name is Hussein, every school curriculum lists a whitewashed history of Islam that ignores the genocides and atrocities, and there are now more positive depictions of Muslims on TV than there are of Christians and Jews combined. But Muslims in America still aren’t happy.
From all the wailing and boohooing, you might think that mosques were being shelled, the way Muslims are attacking monasteries in Egypt. Or that Muslim politicians were being gunned down in the street the way that Christian politicians are in Pakistan. You might at least think that Muslims are treated like second-class citizens, the way non-Muslims are treated in every Muslim country in the world. But no that’s not the case.
So what has Muslim burqas wadded up in a bunch this time? Representative Peter King wants to hold hearings to investigate whether some Muslim groups are urging their communities not to cooperate with government authorities in fighting terrorism. King is not inviting experts on terrorism like Steve Emerson, or experts on Islam like Andrew Bostom or Robert Spencer. He isn’t even inviting ex-Muslims like Ayaan Hirsi Ali or Wafa Sultan. Instead the witness list is limited to Muslims and law enforcement officials. Despite all the hysteria and Islamophobia-mongering, Islam isn’t on trial here.
One of those witnesses is congressman Keith Ellison, a former associate of the violently racist Nation of Islam, who has defended and promoted anti-semitism in the past. Since then Ellison has been transformed into the chief spokesman for tolerance as America’s first Muslim congressman. That tolerance however ends at the borders of Islam. And does not extend beyond it.
In response to Congressman King’s hearings, a motley group of organizations held a rally at Times Square, near the site of an attempted Muslim car bombing attempt only several months ago. They made no acknowledgment of the countless lives that would have been lost at the hands of a Muslim terrorist. Nor did the media in any way acknowledge the radicalism of the participants.
They called the rally, “Today, I Am a Muslim, Too.” But where are the rallies for, “Today, I Am a Copt, Too,” or “Today, I Am a Hindu, Too,” or “Today, I Am a Zoroastrian, Too.”
In Egypt, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, saying “I am a Muslim, Too,” will not get you equal rights. It will get you superior rights, which is what Muslims enjoy throughout the Muslim world. And that includes the right to oppress and massacre Christians, Jews, Hindus, and countless other minorities. Groups for whom no rallies are being held. Whose suffering goes unheard. While the media flocks to a photo op for an orgy of self-pity by radicals and extremist organizations.
Russell Simmons promoted and spoke at the rally. Simmon’s own transformation into an icon of tolerance is another farce. Russell Simmons is not only close to violently racist Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, but actually wrote an essay calling him, “My Second Father”. In an interview, Simmons stated, “But all of us have some kind of an array of race-related issues. Farrakhan has the least. And his statement that he made when we were kids that inspired us so much when we were kids and so angry, were merited. The white man was the devil. I was happy to say it and I could say it all of the time, I could say it now.” But of course he didn’t say it at the rally. That would have ruined the photo ops. And the media remained silent on his love for Farrakhan, even while the Minister’s former patron in Libya is massacring his own people.
This was only the first flash of intolerance at a Muslim rally supposedly dedicated to tolerance. The Facebook page for the rally listed Al Sharpton as one of the speakers.
Sharpton has led violent harassment of Jews and Asians in New York, which have been connected to horrifying acts of violence on more than one occasion. He has trafficked in religious bigotry as recently as the 2008 election. Sharpton has become a power broker among New York Democrats, but time and time again his racial incitement has led to murder. When Al Sharpton has gone to a neighborhood, bodies have been left behind. There is hardly a better symbol for violent bigotry in New York than Sharpton. Listing him as one of the speakers sends a message about what kind of “tolerance” the rally organizers are interested in. A tolerance that the dead of Crown Heights and Harlem testify to. Much as countless millions dead at the hands of Islam testify to the tolerance of the Religion of Peace.
Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb was also listed as one of the speakers. Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb is a leftist radical who is violently anti-Jewish and anti-Israel and supports a boycott of all of Israel. Gottlieb visited Iran as part of a peace delegation in 2008 and spoke at a dinner attended by the Mad Butcher of Tehran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. At the J Street conference, Gottlieb delivered a hateful rant, denouncing what she called, “Jewish privilege,� praising J Street for being “advocates for talking to Hamas” and demanding an end to US military aid to Israel.
Gottlieb’s inclusion was not an isolated event. The Facebook page lists the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (a contradiction in terms) and Rabbis for Human Rights, an even more misnamed organization that assaults Jewish farmers and tries to drive them off their land. Rather than a show of tolerance, the inclusion of such extremist organizations which have dedicated themselves to the persecution of Jews in Israel, highlight the xenophobia and hostility of the entire rally. And if Rabbi Marc Schneier shared a stage with an extremist who calls for a boycott of Israel, then the last shreds of his credibility have just gone out the window.
Many of the speakers were also supporters of the Ground Zero Mosque. Not only was Imam Rauf listed as one of the speakers, but so was the Rev. Michael Kinnamon. Kinnamon is not only a fierce Ground Zero Mosque supporter, but also an opponent of Israel. Chloe Bryer, who supports the Mosque and whose interfaith center’s board includes Rauf, was listed as well.
via No Mosques at Ground Zero
At the rally Rauf insisted that “Our real enemy is not Islam or Muslims. The enemy is extremism and radicalism and radical ideology,” one of those profoundly stupid statements that mean less, the more you think about them. You might as well say that our enemies are not extremists, but people with bombs. After all that’s technically true, and yet completely pointless and wrong. To say that our enemies are extremists is to say nothing at all. Extremism is relative. It is a label that depends on the perspective of the labeler. On the other hand our enemies are certainly and undeniably Muslims. Rauf may contend that they are not the majority, but the lack of human rights for non-Muslims throughout the Muslim world is ample testimony otherwise.
Farrakhan’s favorite Rabbi, Marc Schneier, completing his divorce from his 4th wife after she allegedly caught him cheating, showed up to mumble that, “Singling out Muslim Americans as the source of homegrown terrorism is an injustice.� When actually it’s a simple statement of fact. Environmentalists have no trouble singling out cows as the source of global warming, whether or not this is an injustice. The injustice is not that people are noticing that Muslims are the chief source of terrorism, but that Muslims continue to practice terrorism and act outraged when asked to fight it.
Congressman King is not holding hearings to denounce Islam. He is holding hearings to challenge the lack of cooperation from the Muslim community. The protest is held out of mere outrage that King dares single out Muslims as the problem. But whom else should he single out? Buddhists, the Amish or maybe those dreaded hordes of bomb throwing nuns?
Muslim congressman Andre Carson said that he wanted to tell “the Peter Kings of the world: we will not take your xenophobic behavior.” But then again holding a rally near a location of a Muslim mass murder attempt, involving violent racists and extremists might be viewed as xenophobic. And denouncing a fellow congressman as a xenophobe because he wishes to work together with the Muslim community in fighting terrorism reveals a basic intolerance on the part of Andre Carson.
Last May, Carson claimed that Tea Parties are one of the largest threats to our national security, but acts outraged when someone notices that the violence is actually coming from people who read the Koran and take its bloody tenets literally. Blanket condemnations are supposed to be reserved for him. The media which has no problem denouncing the entire Tea Party as violent or gun owners as potential terrorists, swallows Carson’s line, hook and sinker.
And Carson should know about intolerance, because just like Russell Simmons and Keith Ellison, he has his own ties to Louis Farrakhan. Farrakhan endorsed Carson at his own grandmother’s funeral and Carson received a donation from a man investigated for terrorism ties. The man was Yaqub Mirza and his organization, the SAAR Foundation was raided in 2002. Those raids led to the conviction of SAAR’s Abdurahman Alamoudi who was engaged in a terrorism conspiracy together with Libyan madman Khadaffi. Khadaffi had also provided millions to the Nation of Islam, which both Ellison and Carson have been associated with.
Over in Libya, Khadaffi is showing what real tolerance looks like. Khadaffi is not just a friend of Farrakhan, but also of his associates. Obama’s own mentor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Wright and Farrakhan paid a call in 1984 on the robed madman. And Khadaffi described his relationship with the Nation of Islam as a breach in the American fortress. How many other Muslim leaders see Farrakhan and his congressmen in the same way? We’ll never know, because the media is too busy picking up Andre Carson’s denunciation of Peter King.
A rally featuring bigots and their associates that turned up a few hundred people got front page coverage from a media that refuses to hold Muslims accountable for their intolerance. And that is the source of the problem. That is part of what King’s hearings need to address. Muslims in America are not victims, more often they are victimizers. And why would it be otherwise? Muslims did not come here as a persecuted minority, but as the majority. There are Muslim majorities in most of the countries that they emigrated from. And those Muslim majorities are violently intolerant of minorities. There are hardly any Jews left in the Muslim world. And the Christians are vanishing almost as swiftly.
Muslim xenophobia has led them to wage violence against Buddhists in Thailand, Hindus in Kashmir, Zoroastrians in Iran, Christians in Egypt, Jews in Israel and even engage in violent conflict with their own sects. America does not have a problem tolerating Muslims. Muslims have a problem tolerating Americans. Self-indulgent rallies that promote the myth of Muslim victimhood just enable the violence and the denial that has become a constant part of the narrative. America has embraced Muslims. And in return, Muslims have reacted with violence, hate, and smear campaigns. In August 2001, America issued its first stamp commemorating a Muslim holiday. One month later, Muslims murdered 3,000 people. This in microcosm is the relationship between Americans and the Muslims living in their country.
No, there is no Islamophobia here. Only a callous lack of Muslim empathy toward the suffering that their religious ideology has caused. It’s time that Muslims made a moral reckoning by confronting that suffering, from the waves of ethnic cleansing and genocide that rippled across the Middle East destroying a multicultural region, to the modern day atrocities in the 20th century. It is time for Muslims to confront the genocides of Turkey and Indonesia. Time to humble themselves before the murdered Christians of Pakistan, the raped Chinese women of Jakarta, the massacred Jews of Hebron, the beheaded Buddhist teachers of Thailand and every spot in the world where Muslim blades and bullets have shed the blood of the innocent in the name of the Koran.
“Today, I Am a Muslim, too,” reminds me of the courageous words of Ali Sina of Faith Freedom, who, explaining his decision to leave Islam said, echoing Lincoln’s “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master,” by saying, “As I would not be a dhimmi, so I would not be a Muslim.” There is a weight of moral responsibility in these words entirely out of the grasp of the preening and posturing speakers on the rally stage. Muslims wish to retain the privileges of the oppressor and the moral stature oppressed – but they cannot have both. They must choose whether they wish to be the oppressors or the oppressed – but not both at the same time. It is time for Muslims to stop hiding behind the lies and make a moral reckoning of their guilt and bring an end to the violence. Only when Muslims take moral responsibility for the violence of their hands, can there be peace.