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.
“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.