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2 lawmakers spurn Muslim's prayer - Republicans step off House floor
Seattle Post-Intelligencer ^ | March 4, 2003 | ANGELA GALLOWAY

Posted on 03/04/2003 2:34:57 AM PST by sarcasm

OLYMPIA -- He prayed for the politicians, the state's prosperity and peace for all ethnicities and religions.

But when a Muslim cleric offered the opening prayer before the state House of Representatives yesterday, at least two lawmakers stepped off the chamber floor.

"It's an issue of patriotism," Rep. Lois McMahan, a conservative Republican from Gig Harbor, said of her decision to stand in the back of the room.

"The Islamic religion is so . . . part and parcel with the attack on America. I just didn't want to be there, be a part of that," she said. "Even though the mainstream Islamic religion doesn't profess to hate America, nonetheless it spawns the groups that hate America."

Rep. Cary Condotta, a Republican from East Wenatchee, also left the floor. He said the timing was not a coincidence, but he declined to comment further on why he left, except to say he was talking to another lawmaker and "let's just say I wasn't particularly interested."

A prayer is given at the beginning of each Senate and House session, and attendance is hit or miss, particularly on Mondays.

The interfaith organization Associated Ministries of Thurston County schedules the daily chaplain, said Cynthia Zehnder, clerk of the 98-member chamber. They have selected clerics representing a broad range of faiths, she said.

Imam Mohamad Joban, of the Islamic Center of Olympia, presented yesterday's brief opening prayer.

In part, he said: "We open this session of House of Representatives in the name of Allah the one God Abraham, God of Moses, God of Jesus, and God of Mohammed, peace be upon them all. . . . We ask Allah or God to bless the state of Washington so it may continue to prosper and become a symbol of peace and tranquility for people of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. We pray that Allah may guide this House in making good decisions for the people of Washington.

"At this time, we also pray that America may succeed in the war against terrorism. We pray to God that the war may end with world peace and tranquility."

Joban said the walkout was not hurtful, but ignorant.

"They're unable to distinguish between Islam as religion and way of life, and bad Muslims," said Joban, who has also given the opening prayer to the Senate. "They are easily able to distinguish between Christianity and bad Christians.

"They need to understand that like (President) Bush said . . . Islam is a peaceful religion."

Kathy Erlandson, director of Associated Ministries of Thurston County, found the small walkout disappointing, but not surprising.

"It makes me embarrassed to know that some of our legislators can't even treat someone with that common respect," she said. "He's an American citizen and he's praying for their work, then how can it be an act of patriotism to walk away?"

McMahan said she does not oppose having a Muslim cleric deliver the prayer.

Her departure was not a protest, but a personal decision not to participate because "the religion is the focal point of the hate-America sentiment in the world."

"My god is not Mohammed," McMahan added.

Joban said that if he were invited to give the opening prayer, he would do it again.

"Even if half of them leave it's OK for me," Joban said. "As a Muslim we have to respect what people believe and . . . we have to forgive something because of ignorance.

"The Holy Quran says that (one should) always respond to bad action with good and those who used to be enemies become friends."


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1 posted on 03/04/2003 2:34:57 AM PST by sarcasm
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To: sarcasm
bttt
2 posted on 03/04/2003 2:37:53 AM PST by lainde
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To: sarcasm
"My god is not Mohammed," McMahan added."

Nor allah. (lower case intentional)

3 posted on 03/04/2003 2:58:24 AM PST by knarf (From dump trailer to skate board.)
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To: sarcasm
In part, he said: "We open this session of House of Representatives in the name of Allah.....

Ugh.
Every member of the legislature should have walked out.

4 posted on 03/04/2003 3:09:30 AM PST by ppaul
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To: sarcasm
If the representatives believed that allah is, in fact, the evil one and that Mohammed is his representative on earth, they were correct to walk out. Anyone with those beliefs would be worshipping Satan. While it may not be mainstream thinking about Islam in America, enough people believe this to suggest that even a couple of legislators might. I might have walked out also.
5 posted on 03/04/2003 3:15:00 AM PST by johniegrad
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Send 'em an e-mail or call and say "Thanks!"

Lois McMahan, Phone: (360) 786-7802, e-mail: mcmahan_lo@leg.wa.gov

Cary Condotta, Phone: (360) 786-7954, e-mail: condotta_ca@leg.wa.gov


6 posted on 03/04/2003 3:18:27 AM PST by ppaul
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To: sarcasm
I don't agree with the other posters so far. I don't have a problem with the prayer as long as it's delivered in English.

"It makes me embarrassed to know that some of our legislators can't even treat someone with that common respect,"

I agree with this legislator. I just wish they would remember this when this issue is opening prayers at schools and at basketball games.

A little quiet respect and tolerance is all that's asked in both situations.

7 posted on 03/04/2003 3:24:27 AM PST by libertylover
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To: libertylover
Washington State is disgusting ... but not as disgusting as the "Islamic Services at XXXX" sign I see in front of the base chapel. Oh brother.
8 posted on 03/04/2003 3:27:46 AM PST by Check6
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To: CyberCowboy777; Libertina; Eala; Publius; DennisR; MarMema; Judai; BADROTOFINGER; JDoutrider; ...

Ping your ping lists!


9 posted on 03/04/2003 3:43:42 AM PST by ppaul
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To: sarcasm
In part, he said: "We open this session of House of Representatives in the name of Allah the one God Abraham, God of Moses, God of Jesus, and God of Mohammed, peace be upon them all. . . . We ask Allah or God to bless the state of Washington so it may continue to prosper and become a symbol of peace and tranquility for people of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. We pray that Allah may guide this House in making good decisions for the people of Washington.

It's not "and," it's "or," because we don't worship the same "god." Come on, buddy, which is it? A Freudian slip on the cleric's part, since he sincerely believes, or wants us to believe that the two are the same, though they are not. I just find it interesting that he felt the need to insert the arabic word "Allah" in an otherwise English prayer when Muslims have been trying all along to assert that the English "God" is the same as the Arabic word "Allah." Why not be consistent and use the word Allah exclusively in Arabic Muslim prayers, or use the word "god" exclusively in English Muslim prayers?

There are no circumstances where I would use the term "Allah" in prayer, and as far as I know I've never heard a Muslim use the term "Yahweh," or even "Father," so common in Christianity.

Why didn't he say this instead:

"We open this session of House of Representatives in the name of God the one God Abraham, God of Moses, God of Jesus, and God of Mohammed, peace be upon them all. . . . We ask God to bless the state of Washington so it may continue to prosper and become a symbol of peace and tranquility for people of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. We pray that God may guide this House in making good decisions for the people of Washington. "

Well, he didn't say that because it wouldn't push along the agenda.

10 posted on 03/04/2003 3:52:09 AM PST by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge.)
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To: sarcasm
>"The Holy Quran says that (one should) always respond to bad action with good and those who used to be enemies become friends."

Would that be the same Holy Quran which says 'kill them where they are found?'

11 posted on 03/04/2003 4:09:54 AM PST by Dialup Llama
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To: sarcasm
Disgusting.
12 posted on 03/04/2003 4:13:49 AM PST by Illbay
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To: ppaul
If a Rabbi had opened it in the name of Eloi would you have walked out?
13 posted on 03/04/2003 4:14:38 AM PST by Illbay
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To: sarcasm
At least David Koresh had an inkling of who the Savior was, and we roasted him. And now we are allowing Islamic prayers filled with lies, in our government buildings. What's next, human sacrifice, and then dip their hair in the blood for further inspiration from hell. Lord have mercy on these idiots for equating a demonic myth like Allah with the Son of God Jesus Christ.
14 posted on 03/04/2003 4:15:17 AM PST by Russell Scott ((Saddam, beware the Ides of March))
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To: ppaul
Thanks. I sent 'em an email telling them that they are a disgrace to the Republican party and their constituents, and ought to resign in disgrace.
15 posted on 03/04/2003 4:15:23 AM PST by Illbay
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To: Check6
Oh yeah. I mean, who the h*ll needs that First Amendment garbage, anyway?
16 posted on 03/04/2003 4:16:14 AM PST by Illbay
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To: piasa
What a doofus you are.
17 posted on 03/04/2003 4:16:41 AM PST by Illbay
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To: sarcasm
Joban said the walkout was not hurtful, but ignorant.

Now that's a statement sure to promote understanding between religions.

sheesh - he would have had a canary if a Christian had said that about him!

I would not have walked out, nor would I have acknowledged the prayer by bowing my head. I would have stood quietly until it was over, and then continued on with business.

18 posted on 03/04/2003 4:22:22 AM PST by mombonn
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To: ppaul
Here's my email to them:
I find your actions in response to the Muslim clerics prayer to be disgusting, and I think you ought to resign for the sake of the party and your constituents.

No one is asking you to adopt the precepts of Islam, but you ought to show the common decency that is incumbent upon those who have sworn to uphold the Constitution.

In the Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia, no other religion than Islam is officially sanctioned or permitted. A public prayer by a Christian would not be tolerated. All you are saying is, you want for US to be the opposite face of that same coin.

We are far, far superior to such benighted countries as those. Or at least, we ought to be except for a handful of disgraceful bigots like yourselves. I am so ashamed.

Please resign for the good of the party.

Thanks for posting these email addresses. I hope more FReepers will register their appreciation for the Constitution and tell these idiots what's what.
19 posted on 03/04/2003 4:23:01 AM PST by Illbay
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To: mombonn
I would have stood quietly until it was over, and then continued on with business.

That's because you have a shred of common decency. Too bad that couldn't be said of these nitwits.

20 posted on 03/04/2003 4:24:05 AM PST by Illbay
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To: sarcasm
"The Islamic religion is so . . . part and parcel with the attack on America. I just didn't want to be there, be a part of that," she said. "Even though the mainstream Islamic religion doesn't profess to hate America, nonetheless it spawns the groups that hate America."
In the same manner, one could say that Christianity spawns the likes of Fred Phelps, Eric Rudolph, "Christian Identity", the "Reconstructionists" and the so-called "Army of God" wackos. In the same manner one could say that Judaism spawns the likes of Irv Rubin, Kach, and Kahane Chai.

-Eric

21 posted on 03/04/2003 4:25:45 AM PST by E Rocc
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To: sarcasm; All
There are several issues really in this post that I would like to reply to.

..."They're unable to distinguish between Islam as religion and way of life...[sic]

This is a very difficult thing for Americans and Westerners in general to completely understand and that is for a Muslim, Islam encompasses all aspects of life and society including even our government and law. The court system for Muslims must follow "Shariah Law" and not "civil law" and other religion are simply not permitted or allowed. Islam is much much more than a religion, it is a "way of life", an idealogy that cannot coexist with democracy or secularism.

Perhaps your remember Siraj Wahaj, he was the first imam to deliver a Muslim prayer for the U.S. House of Representatives, he also just recently addressed an audience of New Jersey Muslims, that they could take over the United States and replace its constitutional government with a caliphate. He said "If we were united and strong, we'd elect our own emir [leader] and give allegiance to him...Take my word, if 6-8 million Muslims unite in America, the country will come to us."

The intention of Islam is not to coexist and not to assimilate into America. The intention is very clear and that is to conquer.

Siraj Wahaj is what many Americans consider to be "moderate Islam", the "safe Islam", "peaceful Islam" in other words, the ones who are not willing to kill us by blowing up bombs or crashing planes into our buildings.

Siraj Wahaj represents even a greater threat and that is to our nation as a whole. He has no loyalty in our nation, he is a fifth column who will use America's freedoms and laws from within to divide and destroy us and he is succeeding. Moderate Islam is the "trojan horse" that will allow him to spread his dangerous idealogy. His goal is the same as Osama Bin Laden, only his methods are different.

"They need to understand that like (President) Bush said . . . Islam is a peaceful religion."

President Bush is not an expert in neither theology nor Islam and is not qualified to make such a statement. It will haunt him for years to come. It does not take a rocket scientist to see that there is nothing at all peaceful about Islam.

I often hear from liberals who like to explain to me that - "Well ya know Christians killed a lot of people in past as well." - "We are just as bad" - like it is some sort of excuse or justification for the atrocities that Muslims are commiting throughout the world now as we speak.

...Kathy Erlandson, director of Associated Ministries of Thurston County, found the small walkout disappointing, but not surprising..."It makes me embarrassed to know that some of our legislators can't even treat someone with that common respect," she said. "He's an American citizen and he's praying for their work, then how can it be an act of patriotism to walk away?"...[sic]

This is just completely stupid. Using her logic, The Church of Satan should be allowed as well to come into The House and offer prayers to the Devil as well and perhaps after that, the Church of Homer Simpson.

22 posted on 03/04/2003 4:27:33 AM PST by expatguy
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To: piasa
I just find it interesting that he felt the need to insert the arabic word "Allah" in an otherwise English prayer when Muslims have been trying all along to assert that the English "God" is the same as the Arabic word "Allah."

I don't have a problem with "Allah." It is the Arabic translation of the Hebrew "El" (as in "El Shaddai") and as such, is a name mentioned in the Bible. Maybe we should be spelling it "All-h." :)

23 posted on 03/04/2003 4:27:40 AM PST by Alouette
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To: Illbay
The First Commandment: "Thou shalt have no other gods." That's a COMMAND, not a suggestion, from the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. No Christian should have stayed in his seat during the prayer to a false god. One of these days, when the persecutions begin here in this country as they are now occuring in Muslim countries abroad, we will see who the real Christians are. It shouldn't surprise us since it's been going on intermittantly for two millennia, and it will soon be our turn.
24 posted on 03/04/2003 4:29:36 AM PST by kittymyrib
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To: Illbay
If a Rabbi had opened it in the name of Eloi would you have walked out?

He's a REAL God.

25 posted on 03/04/2003 4:30:09 AM PST by Dataman
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To: Illbay
"If a Rabbi had opened it in the name of Eloi would you have walked out?

It would help if you really knew what you were talking about.Number one "Eloi"(correctly spelled "Elloi"), is Aramaic for GOD, for Rabbis it is "Yehweh" or "Elohim". But then I don't suppose someone who thinks worshiping a Pedophile is ok, would know that. It's good to know we have a few people with the guts not to be PC, and expect Americans to tolerate a religion that teaches hate of Americans and Israelis.

26 posted on 03/04/2003 4:30:26 AM PST by JustAnAmerican
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To: Illbay
If a Rabbi had opened it in the name of Eloi would you have walked out?
Or Yahweh? Or a Hispanic priest opened it in the name of Dios? "Allah" is simply the Arabic word for God.

-Eric

27 posted on 03/04/2003 4:30:36 AM PST by E Rocc
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To: Illbay
"Even if half of them leave it's OK for me," Joban said. "As a Muslim we have to respect what people believe and . . . we have to forgive something because of ignorance."

We see the "respect" moslems have for other religions throughout history, haven't we? Their own scriptures tell them to lie to and kill non moslims.

Oh, and by the way, islam has been declared to be NOT under the purview of the First Ammendment of the Constitution by a Supremem Court ruling since 1892.

28 posted on 03/04/2003 4:32:41 AM PST by nightdriver
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To: Illbay
Oh yeah. I mean, who the h*ll needs that First Amendment garbage, anyway?

If the allah mumbo jumbo was 1st Ammendment garbage, then so was the walk-out.

Apparently you don't appreciate the inconsistency here. Separation of church and state only seems to apply to Christianity. All else must be tolerated.

29 posted on 03/04/2003 4:33:20 AM PST by Dataman
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To: Dataman
"Eloi" = "Allah"

This notion that it's a "different god" if the pronunciation is different is quite childish.

30 posted on 03/04/2003 4:36:15 AM PST by Illbay
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To: E Rocc
In the same manner, one could say that Christianity spawns the likes of Fred Phelps, Eric Rudolph, "Christian Identity", the "Reconstructionists" and the so-called "Army of God" wackos. In the same manner one could say that Judaism spawns the likes of Irv Rubin, Kach, and Kahane Chai.

When any other religion gets 2% of its adherents to devote their lives to terrorism and 40% to heartily endorse it, then you will have a point.

31 posted on 03/04/2003 4:36:39 AM PST by Dataman
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To: Illbay
It saddens me that you really have no idea with what you are up against.

You are walking around with blinders on.

32 posted on 03/04/2003 4:36:57 AM PST by expatguy
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To: JustAnAmerican
"Eloi"(correctly spelled "Elloi"), is Aramaic for GOD,...

And "Allah" is Arabic for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

33 posted on 03/04/2003 4:37:06 AM PST by Illbay
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To: nightdriver
islam has been declared to be NOT under the purview of the First Ammendment of the Constitution...

Uh-huh. Care to document this fantasy of yours?

34 posted on 03/04/2003 4:38:02 AM PST by Illbay
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To: Alouette
It is the Arabic translation of the Hebrew "El" (as in "El Shaddai")

It's the name of an old Pagan moon god.

35 posted on 03/04/2003 4:38:38 AM PST by Dataman
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To: sarcasm
They need to understand that like (President) Bush said . . . Islam is a peaceful religion

Darn! I keep forgetting that. I'm such a lamebrain.

36 posted on 03/04/2003 4:39:11 AM PST by IronJack
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To: Illbay
Eloi" = "Allah"

When Jesus cried out to Eloi on the cross, he was not trying to contact a moon god.

37 posted on 03/04/2003 4:40:39 AM PST by Dataman
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To: Dataman; mombonn
No one is suggesting that these people be jailed because of their walk-out. What I am suggesting is that this was inappropriate for an elected official. It was just wrong.

Mombonn suggested that if you are REALLY personally offended by an Islamic prayer, you simply stand in your place, and show polite respect. Hey, you can go to the bathroom afterward, and spit in the toilet.

But when you are an elected official you have responsibilities, and they don't include pandering to your own bigotry.

38 posted on 03/04/2003 4:40:49 AM PST by Illbay
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To: kittymyrib
The First Commandment: "Thou shalt have no other gods." That's a COMMAND, not a suggestion, from the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. No Christian should have stayed in his seat during the prayer to a false god.
Continuing our discussion of inter-religious dialogue, today we will reflect on dialogue with Muslims, who "together with us adore the one, merciful God" (Lumen gentium, n. 16; cf. CCC, n. 841). The Church has a high regard for them, convinced that their faith in the transcendent God contributes to building a new human family based on the highest aspirations of the human heart

-Pope John Paul II, May 5, 1999.

-Eric

39 posted on 03/04/2003 4:41:04 AM PST by E Rocc
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To: Illbay
And "Allah" is Arabic for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The same "Allah" that in the Q'aran commands the slaughter of Jews? The same "Allah" that inspired Muhammad to kill all the Jews of Medina?

40 posted on 03/04/2003 4:41:45 AM PST by Kevin Curry
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To: Kevin Curry
I have ceased addressing all the Qu'ranic "scholars" we have here on FR, since I've found in every instance that the "translation" they depend upon is fallacious.

So let's not worry about what our own prejudices are--you have a right to yours--and concentrate on what is proper and right.

The fact is, these are elected officials. THey have a responsibility to act accordingly in their office. This was simply WRONG.

Many's the time I have attended events like Rotary, where a prayer is uttered the form and content of which is contrary to my own religious faith. I simply bow my head and show respect that this person is praying to God in the way that he considers proper.

My personal beliefs don't have to enter into it.

41 posted on 03/04/2003 4:45:26 AM PST by Illbay
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To: nightdriver
Oh, and by the way, islam has been declared to be NOT under the purview of the First Ammendment of the Constitution by a Supremem Court ruling since 1892.
You've got to be kidding me. It's bad enough that people take dicta from the Holy Trinity case out of context and say that the Supreme Court declared America to be a "Christian Nation". Even David Barton has renounced that claim.

Now you're saying that it meant the First Amendment didn't apply to non-Christian faiths? Are you including Judaism too?

-Eric

42 posted on 03/04/2003 4:46:03 AM PST by E Rocc
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To: Illbay
and they don't include pandering to your own bigotry.

Neither does it include the unecessary compromise of integrity. You are imposing your personal morality on them. By what right?

43 posted on 03/04/2003 4:46:47 AM PST by Dataman
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To: Illbay
The same "Allah" whose faithful followers certainly will not permit missionaries of your faith to proselyte among the Muslims? The same "Allah" that commands all Muslim coverts to the Christian religion to be killed?

Jesus Christ said something about a "house divided against itself" not standing. You don't see a problem here? Why does Allah and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob work at cross purposes?

44 posted on 03/04/2003 4:47:47 AM PST by Kevin Curry
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To: Illbay
My personal beliefs don't have to enter into it.

I've followed your posts at FR for as long as you've been here. Your personal beliefs always enter into it.

You are just being a rigid hypocrite on this issue.

45 posted on 03/04/2003 4:49:35 AM PST by Kevin Curry
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To: expatguy
Using her logic, The Church of Satan should be allowed as well to come into The House and offer prayers to the Devil

Then again, an expression of allegiance to Satan would be more consistent with the typical behavior of legislators.

46 posted on 03/04/2003 4:51:14 AM PST by steve-b
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To: sarcasm
"At this time, we also pray that America may succeed in the war against terrorism. We pray to God that the war may end with world peace and tranquility."......................

How about praying for and instructing all RADICAL MUSLIMS to
Disavow Terrorism and to turn in those who won't?

"They're unable to distinguish between Islam as religion and way of life, and bad Muslims," said Joban, who has also given the opening prayer to the Senate. "They are easily able to distinguish between Christianity and bad Christians ....................

Let me think that one over. One bad Christian in OK blew up a building, was tried, convicted, and EXECUTED.

"As a Muslim we have to respect what people believe and . . . we have to forgive something because of ignorance.....

But kill all infidels.

"The Holy Quran says that (one should) always respond to bad action with good and those who used to be enemies become friends."...........

So he wants a Congressional Medal for those who brought terror to our shores?


47 posted on 03/04/2003 4:51:17 AM PST by YOMO
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To: expatguy; Illbay
Using her logic, The Church of Satan should be allowed as well to come into The House and offer prayers to the Devil as well and perhaps after that, the Church of Homer Simpson.

And there will be some, even on this thread, like Illbay, who think that would be perfectly okay.

48 posted on 03/04/2003 4:51:56 AM PST by ppaul
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To: Illbay
Once again you are a hypocrite.

Why was the walkout not free speech? Further, the 1st Amendment is a guarantee of free speech not a guarantee of a bully pulpit with a captive audience.

As an American you ALWAYS have the right to walk out.

Eaker

49 posted on 03/04/2003 4:52:41 AM PST by Eaker (64,999,987 firearm owners killed no one yesterday. Somehow, it didn't make the news.)
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To: Dataman
You can retain your integrity without showing blatant disrespect. These people are NOT private citizens when they stand in the legislative chamber.

What they did was wrong, and it was embarrassing to Republicans everywhere.

50 posted on 03/04/2003 4:52:45 AM PST by Illbay
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