Skip to comments.Shoeless George Bush--Washington's continuing confusion with Islam
Posted on 07/04/2007 9:09:03 AM PDT by SJackson
Exactly 50 years later, standing shoeless, George W. Bush rededicated the center last week. His 1,600-word speech also praised medieval Islamic culture ("We come to express our appreciation for a faith that has enriched civilization for centuries"), but he knew a mosque from a church and he had more on the agenda than flattery.
Most arresting, surely, was his statement that "I have invested the heart of my presidency in helping Muslims fight terrorism, and claim their liberty, and find their own unique paths to prosperity and peace." This cri du coeur signaled how Mr. Bush understands to what extent actions by Muslims will define his legacy.
Should they heed his dream "and find their own unique paths to prosperity and peace," then his presidency, however ravaged it may look at the moment, will be vindicated. As with Harry S Truman, historians will acknowledge that he saw further than his contemporaries. Should Muslims, however, be "left behind in the global movement toward prosperity and freedom," historians will likely judge his two terms as harshly as his fellow Americans do today.
Of course, how Muslims fare depends in large part on the future course of radical Islam, which in turn depends in some part on its understanding by the American president. Over the years, Mr. Bush has generally shown an increased understanding of this topic. He started with platitudinous, apologetic references to Islam as the "religion of peace," using this phrase as late as 2006. He early on even lectured Muslims on the true nature of their religion, a presumptuous ambition that prompted me in 2001 to dub him "Imam Bush."
As his understanding grew, Mr. Bush spoke of the caliphate, "Islamic extremism" and "Islamofacism." What euphemistically he called the "war on terror" in 2001, by 2006 he referred to with the hard-hitting "war with Islamic fascists." Things were looking up. Perhaps official Washington did understand the threat, after all.
But such analyses roused Muslim opposition and, as he approaches his political twilight, Mr. Bush has retreated to safer ground, reverting last week to decayed tropes that tiptoe around any mention of Islam. Instead, he spoke inelegantly of "the great struggle against extremism that is now playing out across the broader Middle East" and vaguely of "a group of extremists who seek to use religion as a path to power and a means of domination."
Worse, the speech drum-rolled the appointment of a U.S. special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, directing this envoy to "listen to and learn from" his Muslim counterparts. But the OIC is a Saudi-sponsored organization promoting the Wahhabi agenda under the trappings of a Muslim-only United Nations. As counterterrorism specialist Steven Emerson has noted, Bush's dismal initiative stands in "complete ignorance of the rampant radicalism, pro-terrorist, and anti-American sentiments routinely found in statements by the OIC and its leaders."
Adding to the event's accommodationist tone, some of the president's top female aides, including Frances Townsend and Karen Hughes, wore makeshift hijabs as they listened to him in the audience.
Sitting in the front row at the Islamic Center on June 27, 2007, senior Bush administration staffers Frances Townsend (left) and Karen Hughes wore makeshift hijabs.
In brief, it feels like "déjà vu all over again." As columnist Diana West puts it, "Nearly six years after September 11 nearly six years after first visiting the Islamic Center and proclaiming Islam is peace' Mr. Bush has learned nothing." But we now harbor fewer hopes than in 2001 that he still can learn, absorb, and reflect an understanding of the enemy's Islamist nature.
Concluding that he basically has failed to engage this central issue, we instead must look to Mr. Bush's potential successors and look for them to return to his occasional robustness, again taking up those difficult concepts of Islamic extremism, Shari'a, and the caliphate. Several Republicans Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and (above all) Fred Thompson are doing just that. Democratic candidates, unfortunately, prefer to remain almost completely silent on this topic.
lol yeah, attempting to think of anything that makes islam look good by comparison, is futile, merely an exercise in proving islam is absolute evil.
My friend, you know you have a problem, if you have to trash Reagan to make your point.
You never pass up an opportunity to take cheap pot shots at great conservative Americans. This time Reagan and Wayne are your targets. LOL Not a very patriotic example for the 4Th of July.
OTOH, you’d vote for the liberal Rudy Giulaini. That about sums up your politics. You’re no conservative.
My friend. I love Ronald Reagan and I post the truth.
Lets see. The poster brought up the comparison. I responded with the truth. Truth is part of Freedom and Freedom of course is conservatism.
You're no conservative.
We have a Commander in Chief fighting a war on terror and here on the 4th of July on a great conservative forum, he gets stabbed in the back.
Apparently you didn't watch the film. The guy couldn't have done a better propaganda flick.
Well, actually, no. Muslims have done worse than that many times over but it would be a closer comparison.
As if I didn't know. Look, just because I accuse someone who despises Muslims of poor tactics, doesn't mean I like the Muslim religion. Read the tag line. Got it now?
These Muslims look good to you? If we looked at the fruits of men, instead of their rhetoric and appearance, we would see more clearly and would not be deceived so easily.
If you read a post for what it says instead of what you want to think it means, then clearly you would not have been mistaken. This idiot was fueling the means to convince the sheeple that Muslims are peaceful folk, even when provoked. That's tactically stupid.
Yes, we should be nicer and more polite else we will be thought of poorly when compared to Muslims.
As if I care.
George Bush <<— all rhinestones and hat, NO testosterone.. pity
Bush simply has decided to act like his father, James Baker, and all the country club Republicans who think diplomacy, soothing feelings and making PC statements will actually defeat murderers. He could have urged the so called moderates to stand up and stand with the West against Islamofascism. He could have urged the moderates to help in educational efforts and foreswear the maddrasses even here in the USA via Detroit, NYC, Balt.,Philly, Denver. But, he did not. Hopefully, Rudy, Mitt or Fred will. No Dem will since they don’t think Islamofascism is an evil. Of course, they don’t think anything is evil except Pubs, Christians, conservs or Global Warming.
I think the President has done well in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has given many fine speeches. But he does confuse me. It is almost like he switched parties after the midterm elections. Maybe he wants to go with a winner.
Ah, you sound like a democrat. Congradulations, you’ve come full circle. Now you can join Cindy Sheehan and Michael Moore.
Good old liberal pals... that have a lot in common with you.
its a parody, get a grip
Use your head. This is a war.
Greenhouse rock theory:
“public figures dont throw rocks in greenhouses”
There is the greenhouse gas theory, but that is on another thread.
Yes, lets not make cartoons of moho, or sing the National Anthem, because it might make the enemy even angrier. Just do as they say. I see your point now, thanks.
Perhaps you find those to be harsh words for a woman who ranks second in the line of presidential succession, following Vice President Dick Cheney. A woman who is foolish and naive enough to think that by donning a "hijab" in an Islamic country that she is merely showing respect for her hosts. She isn't.
What Nancy Pelosi fails to understand is that by donning the hijab she is not showing respect for the culture of her hosts. From remote villages to cosmopolitan mega cities, women all across the world, from every ethnic background, wear the hijab. The hijab is not a "cultural thing". The hijab has nothing to do with culture, it has everything to do however with Islam.
In the alternative, perhaps Nancy Pelosi is naive enough to think that she is showing respect for the religious beliefs of her hosts. She isn't. No two Islamic scholars will argue that the wearing of the hijab is not based on a woman's respect or submission to man, but rather on the woman's submission to the will of Allah.
The wearing of the hijab is explicitly written about in the Quran, and what the Islamic world and her Arab hosts see is a malleable and naive woman, who happens to be the second in line of presidential succession submitting herself to the will of Allah and the religious tenets of Islam.
This is not a simple faux paus by an ignorant American that will soon be forgotten on the Arab Street or in the Islamic world. The phantasmagorical image of what is seen to be nothing more that America's congressional and political leadership's submission to the will of Allah work only to substantiate the position of the Islamic extremists by rekindling the prophecies of Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden. And so, whatever Nancy Pelosi thinks that she is doing or has to say in her defense really becomes irrelevant. The damage is already done.
What message does Nancy Pelosi have for the women who have been struggling for their rights in the Islamic world? Women who have been beaten and in some cases killed for refusing to wear the chador or hijab?
The irreputable damage to our nation's efforts to combat Islamic extremism aside, we find ourselves perplexed wondering just what the purpose of Nancy Pelosi's trip is and deeply troubled to find that her motives amount to what can best be described as nothing more than a coup.
Congressman Tom Lantos, who is a member of the delegation that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led to Syria, put the mission clearly when he said: "We have an alternative, Democratic foreign policy."
Nancy Pelosi is a Congresswoman, she is not a diplomat, nor is she an employee of our nation's State department or the Executive branch of our government and has no right to dictate or discuss foreign policy with the leaders of other countries.
Our nation is faced with many challenges ahead, and to be a viable nation, we must be able to speak with one voice, our inablity to do so creates a grave risk not only the viablity of nation's foreign policy but to the safety and security of our nation.
yup, exactly. It reminds me of those photos posted on the 419 Baiter websites, those mugus mugging for the camera in humilating costumes and poses, because they believe obedience to the baiter will lead to a payout. Pathetic.
I think the author, Mr. Pipes, is the one who is truly confused. The president’s message has been clear and consistent.