Skip to comments.2 lawmakers spurn Muslim's prayer - Republicans step off House floor
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."
Nor allah. (lower case intentional)
Every member of the legislature should have walked out.
Send 'em an e-mail or call and say "Thanks!"
Lois McMahan, Phone: (360) 786-7802, e-mail: email@example.com
Cary Condotta, Phone: (360) 786-7954, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
"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.
Ping your ping lists!
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.
Would that be the same Holy Quran which says 'kill them where they are found?'
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.
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.Thanks for posting these email addresses. I hope more FReepers will register their appreciation for the Constitution and tell these idiots what's what.
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.
That's because you have a shred of common decency. Too bad that couldn't be said of these nitwits.
"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.
..."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.
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." :)
He's a REAL God.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This notion that it's a "different god" if the pronunciation is different is quite childish.
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.
You are walking around with blinders on.
And "Allah" is Arabic for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Uh-huh. Care to document this fantasy of yours?
It's the name of an old Pagan moon god.
Darn! I keep forgetting that. I'm such a lamebrain.
When Jesus cried out to Eloi on the cross, he was not trying to contact a moon god.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
Neither does it include the unecessary compromise of integrity. You are imposing your personal morality on them. By what right?
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?
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.
Then again, an expression of allegiance to Satan would be more consistent with the typical behavior of legislators.
And there will be some, even on this thread, like Illbay, who think that would be perfectly okay.
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.
What they did was wrong, and it was embarrassing to Republicans everywhere.