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.
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.
Yes "islam is peace": clear, consistent and dead wrong.
“Reagan left Lebanon after our Marines were murdered.
John Wayne was a movie actor.
Our current President fights a WOT around the globe.”
Good points. Many of us have forgotten how far President Bush has taken us. He’s the first president to take a long term consistent approach to fighting world terrorism.
Oh goody, a strawman argument, attacking what I didn't say!
Unlike you, I don't give my enemy the means to convince those ignorant of the reality of Islam that they are 'a peaceful folk being provoked into jihad by eeevil Jooos.' You see, such propaganda costs us resources to counter, resources that we could be expending to defeat our enemy.
At least you have company. Read the tagline.
Thank you for giving me the meaning of the word schlock. It was in another thread about queers and toilets and it appears to fit you well.
So now, when the subject of queers and toilets and you comes up, which I am sure it will do often, the word schlock will come to mind and so I will not forget the word nor what it means.
Thank you also for your well thought out, and witty, reply. Poetry to the ears, you are. I would not have thought schlocks had such mastery of the English language.
You’ve mischaracterized Bush’s position. You will never find a quote from him saying “Islam is peace,” though you may find many indicating that Islam has traditionally been a peaceful religion.
And I believe the president is right about that. Muslims have until relatively recent times, lived in peace around the world and in the US. It is only over the past 30 years or so that radical Islamists have tried to hijack this religion.
The president is 100% correct to point out the distinction between Islam as a religion and Islamists as terrorist enemies.
Very naive and foolish of bush. Their goals have nothing to do with prosperity and peace. To continue to think such nonsense puts us all in peril
Oh really? Well here ya go, an official press release from the White House, on the white house website :
"Islam is Peace" Says President Remarks by the President at Islamic Center of Washington, D.C.
Quote: The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don't represent peace. They represent evil and war.
Other than killing and murdering people, raping, pillaging, treating children and women as property, abusing other Muslims and expressing zero tolerance for anyone who speaks out against Mohammad, can you name one relevant thing Islam has given the human race in the last 1200 years?
Yes, I see, that 8 minute youtube video is going to undo islam's bad publicity. OK so what's your plan for the president giving your enemy the means to confuse the ignorant by running around mosks in his socks saying "Islam is Peace"?
You know we all thought the broken grammar and "down home" sounding communications were was well rehearsed act to endear himself to the "little people"
Ends up he is as dumb as he looks and sounds
Zero came before Arabs fell under the Mohammedan spell. Since the 7th Century, Muslims haven’t progressed beyond the 7th Century.
Publicize examples of the continuity of the Islamic plan to conquer the West, from the time of Muhammed to today, without break; basically to show that either Bush is mistaken or that his strategy to mollify a significant fraction of the Muslim population is without merit. Bush's plan merely buys them time to arm, train, brainwash, infiltrate, and breed. IMO, whatever infrastructure of liberty he would institute will likely be used against us just as our support of Palestinians has been used against Israel.
Islam...and its fundamentally violent and misogynist view of the world...is the elephant in the room nobody wants to hear about. The fact is it is incompatible with civilization..their own cultures being primary evidence. Unfortunately it will take a tragedy of far greater magnitude than 911 for the Western world to deal with reality.
Hey Frances Townsend-
Hijab plus cleavage are a no-no. Report to your husband for a beating.
“Bush is an idiot!”
And, we need a Statesman & Patriot as our leader. Maybe they don’t make ‘em any more.....
Sure he knows what he is doing. And now we do too.
What gets me is the hate filled who talk about him wearing no shoes.
Anyone with a brain knows that that is part of islamic tradition and only a hate filled scumbag who hates our troops as does all who hate Bush would have a problem with the President going by tradition.
Daniel Pipes is the number one authority on middle east issues (including Islam). He clearly sees the threat that muslims pose to the rest of the world. His analysis is dead on target. And as other posts within this major thread indicate, your facts are dead wrong too. Rageaholic knows and has proven this so.
Here’s some very simple math.
Islam + Western Civilization = Incompatibility
There is no liberal or conservative wings. It is more accurately termed devout, more devout, extremist.
There is no such thing as a devout liberal Muslim.
Happy Independence Day!
Why is the POTUS in a mosk praising islam in the first place? What business does the US Government have advertising islam as "one of the world's great religions"? The same Government that took the 10 Commandments out of court houses. Hello?
In an exclusive interview with ABC News' Charles Gibson, Bush said he believes that both Christians and Muslims worship the same God. "I think we do. We have different routes of getting to the Almighty," Bush said. "But I want you to understand, I want your listeners to understand, I don't get to get decide who goes to heaven. The Almighty God decides who goes to heaven and I am on my personal walk," he said. --ABC News, October 26, 2004
And another bonehead statement recently:
"Here's the thing, when you're dealing with a world leader, you wonder whether or not he's telling the truth," Bush told reporters Monday. "I've never had to worry about that with Vladimir Putin. Sometimes he says things I don't want to hear, but I know he's always telling me the truth."
President Bush is clueless about the threats to the United States whether is from wide open borders, Islamic Fundamentalists, or Communist leaders.
But he knows vigilantes when he sees them. (Minutemen)- tom
Go me! :)
“Daniel Pipes is the number one authority on middle east issues (including Islam). He clearly sees the threat that muslims pose to the rest of the world. His analysis is dead on target. And as other posts within this major thread indicate, your facts are dead wrong too. Rageaholic knows and has proven this so.”
The only thing he’s right about, in my opinion, is that there is a dangerous totalitarian segment of Islam.
He’s wrong about Bush and he’s wrong to target an entire religion.
If there is one God, and I believe there is, then certainly Christians, Muslims, and Jews worship the same one.
As for the second statement, I trust the president’s judgment completely.
The Jews believe in one God.
The Christians believe that Jesus is the son of God.
The Muslims believe there is one God and Muhammed is his prophet.
None of the above mentioned religions believes the other two are correct. So they can't all be worshiping the same supernatural being. - Tom
Your logic is flawed. It is entirely possible for these three religions to be worshiping the same God while doing so in different ways, recognizing different prophets, believing in different texts, etc.
Not with one of them(Islam) encouraging the subjugation, killing or converting members of the other religions, and also the agnostics and athiests.
Try reading the Koran and Hadiths for further clarification and edification. - tom
For some reason I just couldn’t see Duncan Hunter being there, and saying those things with his staffers wearing rags on their heads. Nope...Can’t see it.
Didn't you mean déjà poo? (We've heard this poo before.)
I like George Bush too, I’m glad that I voted for him and I’m glad he won the last two elections. However he either doesn’t understand Islam or he doesn’t understand Islam.
Coffee. Curved swords. Burkas. IEDs. Camel polo.
I also believe in one God, and I must assume that Muslims worship the same God, albeit a bit sideways.
The biggest difference is that Muslims believe God tells them to kill and conquer, and the rest of us believe God tells us to save and invite.
My concept of God is incompatible with the Muslim concept of God. Nuff said.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.