Skip to comments.It's 'Gang Up on Franklin Graham' Time Again: Pentagon Sticking to Its Guns....
Posted on 04/16/2003 11:19:30 AM PDT by Remedy
U.S. military officials are refusing to give in to demands from some Muslims who say Franklin Graham shouldn't be allowed to speak at a Pentagon Good Friday service.
The Washington Times reports three Muslim employees at the Pentagon registered complaints when they learned that Graham was scheduled to speak there this Friday. Apparently they felt the well-known evangelist disqualified himself because he has stated publicly that Islam is a "very evil and wicked religion."
But Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Ryan Yantis says he is not aware of any plans to un-invite anyone. As he puts it: "One religion, regardless of the religion, does not have the veto right over another religion."
Yantis also notes that separate Muslim services are scheduled at the Pentagon the same day because Friday is the Islamic sabbath.
Graham's characterization of Islam being an "evil and wicked" religion came shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. At the time, he noted that no Muslim clerics had gone to the World Trade Center to offer prayers or to apologize to the nation in the name of Islam. Anti-Graham Bandwagon
The Council on American Islamic Relations has also demanded that Graham's international relief organization, Samaritan's Purse, not be allowed to do charitable relief work in Iraq. That criticism comes despite the fact, as World magazine's Mindy Belz points out, that Graham's group has been reaching out to Muslims for years in countries such as Bosnia, Afghanistan, Sudan, and Uzbekistan.
And Belz notes that some religion news outlets were among the first to suggest that Graham, because of his post-9/11 comments, is unfit to serve in Iraq. She says both Religion News Service and Beliefnet have questioned the evangelist's motives, the latter stating in a piece by its editor-in-chief and co-founder that President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell should step in and prevent Graham from doing charity work in that nation.
But a spokesman for the U.S. Agency for International Development, in response to questions from the press, stated: "What private charitable organizations choose to do without U.S. government funding is ultimately their decision." As Belz notes in her World column, that amounted to a quick lesson for reporters on First Amendment rights.
A spokesman for Samaritan's Purse tells World there is irony in the controversy. Ken Isaacs says the relief agency has "excellent solid relationships on the ground because we love people without condition, and they respect us for that. The platform of our witness is built on the quality of our work."
Iraq was an evil regime and all Iraqis were affiliated with it. But, not all Iraqis were bad, some were just Iraqis. This didn't make the regime any less evil.
Answer my question about the employees. Why are they allowed to work there and why is it okay to have a minister there who insults their religion?
While we have every right to believe a religion is evil and say so, some here on FR sound as if they think Islam should be outlawed. You have to understand that even if a group of Muslims believe they should kill us, they have not broken any laws until they conspire to actually do it. We can fight their bad beliefs with speech, friendship, righteous anger, whatever....but as soon as we cross the line into dictating what someone can and cannot believe we will have lit the torch that will destroy all religious freedom.
For these and other reasons, the FBI's former chief of counterterrorism, Steven Pomerantz, concludes that "CAIR, its leaders and its activities effectively give aid to international terrorist groups."
Nor is terrorism the only disturbing aspect of CAIR's record. Other problems include:
Intimidating moderate Muslims. In at least two cases (Hisham Kabbani and Khalid Durán), CAIR has defamed moderate Muslims who reject its extremist agenda, leading to death threats against them.
Embracing murderers. CAIR responded to the arrest and conviction of Jamil Al-Amin (the former H. Rap Brown) by praising him, raising funds for him and then denying his guilt after his conviction for the murder of an Atlanta policeman. Likewise with Ahmad Adnan Chaudhry of San Bernardino, Calif.: Disregarding his conviction for attempting murder, CAIR declared him "innocent" and set up a defense fund for him.
Promoting anti-Semitism. The head of CAIR's Los Angeles office, Hussam Ayloush, routinely uses the term "zionazi" when referring to Israelis. CAIR co-hosted an event in May 1998 at which an Egyptian militant Islamic leader, Wagdi Ghunaym, called Jews the "descendants of the apes."
Aggressive ambitions. As reported by the San Ramon Valley Herald, CAIR Chairman Omar M. Ahmad told a crowd of California Muslims in July 1998, "Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran . . . should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth."
CAIR's real record is one of extremism. North American Muslims themselves are beginning to discover - and the government, leading media, churches, and businesses should follow - that CAIR represents not the noble civilization of Islam but an aggressive and radical strain similar to that which led to the suicide hijackings last September. CAIR must be shunned as a fringe group by responsible institutions and individuals throughout North America.
Two powerful "civil rights" organizations have emerged, both essentially fronts for fundamentalist factions. The Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the American Muslim Council (AMC). CAIR is, Emerson testifies, is an offshoot of several terrorist groups such as Hamas and fronts that represent it. With shifting memberships and names, a "vast infrastructure" spreads propaganda, raises money for relief to the families of suicide bombers, and plans major campaigns against the enemy, the United States and its ally Israel. Now that Islam has secured a degree of cultural respectability, Islamic fundamentalists are able to use foundations and universities for their purposes, always cloaking pro-terrorist activities and plans as religion, social work, charity, and political pressure. The Islamic Jihad, one of the most lethal terrorist actions in the world, was based as a network of think tanks at the University of South Florida, where Islamic university professors carried on a campaign to sponsor "martyrs" in the holy war against Israel.
CAIR and the AMC have mounted a steady effort to silence all criticism or unfavorable publicity from journalists and media. Using cues from other pressure groups, they react immediately to any mention of Islam they consider unfavorable. Each of these they treat as a threat or as "an attack on Islam," and through carefully calibrated barrages of phone calls, press releases, and cries of "Islamophobia," they have managed to extract public apologies from news agencies, journalists, and politicians. When arrests are made under the AntiTerrorism Act of 1996, CAIR and AMC beat the anti-Islam drum, evoking cries of outrage from major liberal newspapers and congressmen.
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
CAIR is the principle front organization of a coalition of Islamist (or fundamentalist Muslim) groups that have taken root in America over the past two decades. Most are spin-offs of the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), such as the American Muslims for Jerusalem, the Holy Land Foundation, and the Islamic Institute. These are extreme groups, and some have even come under federal investigation for alleged support of Middle Eastern terrorism. But CAIR's mission has differed from the others: its special assignment is the insinuation of the Islamist agenda into mainstream American politics. Like the many front organizations established by the Soviet Union in its heyday, CAIR works to give a "white bread" image to advocates of illiberal and even radical ideas.
CAIR is run by a duo. The executive director, Nihad Awad, is a Palestinian; his associate, Ibrahim ("Dougie") Hooper, is an American convert. Awad actively propagates the cause in Arabic, while Hooper handles most of the English-language work. To create the perception that CAIR speaks for Islam in America, the two indefatigably issue position statements on anything remotely touching on Muslim or Arab affairs, reacting on everything from U.S. foreign policy to letters in college newspapers.
A controversial American Islamic advocacy group has planned a voter registration drive to coincide with the upcoming Muslim holiday at the end of the pilgrimage to Mecca.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, alleged to have ties to terrorist groups such as Hamas, says "our goal, insha'Allah (if Allah wills), is to register more than 100,000 new Muslim voters over the next eight months."
"They may not admit it, but ultimately they want to make the U.S. a Muslim country," Steven Emerson, a leading anti-terrorism specialist, told WorldNetDaily.
"In the interim they want to acquire as much political power as possible to push their agenda, to be afforded legitimacy by political officials," Emerson said. "So this (voter drive) is part and parcel of their campaign."
CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper indicated in a 1993 interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he wants to see the United States become a Muslim country.
"I wouldn't want to create the impression that I wouldn't like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future," Hooper told the Star Tribune. "But I'm not going to do anything violent to promote that. I'm going to do it through education."
Emerson cites as evidence of CAIR's affinity for Hamas "their co-sponsorship of conferences calling for the death of Jews, statements on behalf of Hamas leaders, statements defending Iran and the Sudan and sponsorship of hate rallies where attacks on America are made."
Alamoudi, the former AMC director, was quoted at a Washington, D.C. rally, Oct. 28, 2000, saying: "I have been labeled by the media in New York to be a supporter of Hamas. We are all supporters of Hamas. I wish they added that I am also a supporter of Hezbollah."
CAIR seeks to underscore its political clout by citing a figure of about 7 million Muslims in the United States, but recent counts have come up with a much lower total. An evaluation of current estimates, conducted by Howard Fienberg and Iain Murray of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Statistical Assessment Service, concluded there are about 2 million U.S. Muslims. A recent study commissioned by the American Jewish Committee puts the number between 1.9 million and 2.8 million.
Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States -- 1892 Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind... ...It is impossible that it should be otherwise and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian. -- NOTE: Quoted 87 past legal precedents to back this up
As early as 1811, Chancellor James Kent, Chief Justice of New York's highest court, in validating a prohibition against blasphemy, stated unequivocally that "we are a Christian people, and the morality of this country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity, and not upon the doctrines or worship of [non- Christian] imposters." The legal argument for this view was perhaps most memorably made by Kent's contemporary, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, whose frequently quoted interpretation of the First Amendment, in his celebrated Commentaries on the Constitution, staunchly affirmed that Christianity was part of the common law. Jews in Christian America: The Pursuit of Religious Equality. By Naomi W. Cohen. Oxford University Press. 300 pp.
"I believe no one can read the history of our country without realizing that the Good Book and the spirit of the Savior have from the beginning been our guiding geniuses ... Whether we look to the first Charter of Virginia ... or to the Charter of New England ... or to the Charter of Massachusetts Bay ... or to the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut ... the same objective is present ... a Christian land governed by Christian principles. I believe the entire Bill of Rights came into being because of the knowledge our forefathers had of the Bible and their belief in it: freedom of belief, of expression, of assembly, of petition, the dignity of the individual, the sanctity of the home, equal justice under law, and the reservation of powers to the people ... I like to believe we are living today in the spirit of the Christian religion. I like also to believe that as long as we do so, no great harm can come to our country." -- [Liberal] Supreme Court chief justice, Earl Warren
"They [the Founding Fathers] were intent upon establishing a Christian commonwealth in accordance with the principle of self-government. They were an inspired body of men. It has been said that God sifted the nations that He might send choice grain into the wilderness ... Who can fail to see it in the hand of Destiny? Who can doubt that it has been guided by a Divine Providence?" -- Calvin Coolidge
"America was born a Christian nation. America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of the Holy Scripture." -- Woodrow Wilson
Christians think Muslims are wrong; Muslims think Christians are wrong; Jews think Muslims are wrong; Muslims think Jews are evil, etc.... This can't come as a surprise to anyone. I don't see what the big deal is.