Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cairo: One Year Later

Cairo: One Year Later
Cal Thomas
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

One year ago this month, President Obama addressed the "Muslim world" from Cairo, Egypt. Some saw that speech as unnecessary groveling. Critics -- and I am among them -- think such displays communicate weakness and only encourage those who wish to damage our economy and kill our people. Supporters of the president's speech think he did the right thing and that his attempt to reduce tensions between the U.S. and Muslim world can only bring positive results.

National Public Radio recalled the Cairo speech with two Muslim guests, Reza Aslan, author of "Beyond Fundamentalism: Confronting Religious Extremism in the Age of Globalization") and Ahdaf Soueif, an Egyptian novelist and political commentator. Neither saw the speech as having made any difference. Both incorrectly centered the problem between the U.S. and the "Muslim world" on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This serves as a distraction from much larger problems in the Middle East that have to do with suppression of women's rights, intolerance of any religion except Islam and dictatorships.

Mr. Aslan called the president's handling of the Israeli-Palestinian problem "disastrous," but that usually means the president has not succeeded in forcing Israel to make more unilateral concessions.

Ms. Soueif expressed the paranoia one often sees in that region of the world when she claimed, "there is no way that the U.S. administration now would really like to see a democratic Egypt because a democratic Egypt could not tow the line with regard to American policies concerning Israel and with regard to Israeli policies in the region." This depends on what one means by "democratic." Too often in that region, the first election can be the last election.

While this post-Cairo analysis was taking place, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continued building nuclear weapons with the clear intent of obliterating Israel. President Obama's outstretched hand toward Iran has not and cannot work because Ahmadinejad is a true believer in the worst sense of that word and has no intention of compromising with "infidels."

Having sponsored a flotilla of boats containing activists with ties to known terrorist groups, Turkey, a member of NATO, appears intent on embracing Islamic radicalism. It is hosting this week in Istanbul a summit featuring several Asian leaders the goal of which is to, "increase security and trust on the continent." Ahmadinejad, Palestinian Authority Leader Mahmud Abbas and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin are among the participants. Not many in the West would feel secure around, let alone trust, this bunch. Separately, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has invited a Hezbollah leader from Lebanon.

London's Daily Telegraph reported last week that British security services are concerned that a new generation of British extremists is being radicalized by Anwar al-Awlaki, the al-Qaida preacher born in America, but hiding in Yemen from which he has inspired the accused Ft. Hood shooter, the Christmas Day bomber and the Times Square bombers. British security is concerned that Awlaki's followers might unleash a wave of guerilla-style terrorist attacks, similar to the Mumbai massacre.

In the United States, the construction of mosques continues rapidly. There is already one major mosque operating in Manhattan, another in Brooklyn, and another has been approved for construction adjacent to the location of the World Trade Center, which was destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001 by people who claimed to be acting in the name of their god. Last week, several hundred people packed a Staten Island civic association meeting to oppose plans to convert a Roman Catholic convent into a mosque.

According to the New York Times, protests against construction of mosques have also occurred in Brentwood, Tenn., Sheboygan, Wis., and Dayton, Ohio. No reciprocal rights have been granted to Jews and Christians to build synagogues and churches in Muslim countries, nor has President Obama called for such reciprocity.

A year after the president's Cairo speech, there is no evidence anything has changed. Radical Muslims are intent on changing us and they will not stop until they've reached their objective.

Four Reasons There Shouldn't Be a Mosque at Ground Zero
John Hawkins
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

There's a time and a place for everything. For example, there may be nothing wrong with building a museum of Japanese military history, but would the place for that be Pearl Harbor? How about our First Amendment right to speak out -- that's important, isn't it? So does that mean it's supposed to be okay for the God hates f*gs crackpots to protest at funerals? How about burning an American flag? Know how the US Flag Code suggests you get rid of a flag?

The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.

However, if you take that same flag, drag it on the ground, stomp on it, and burn it at a protest, the act of burning it takes on a very different meaning, doesn't it?

That brings us to September 11, 2001. Radical Muslim terrorists, who used their faith to justify murdering Americans, killed almost 3,000 people and knocked the World Trade Center down. Fast forward to the present day, less than ten years later, and believe it or not, there's actually an acrimonious debate about whether or not a mega-mosque overlooking Ground Zero will be built. Let me tell you why we should not be doing that.

1) Radical Muslims knocked the World Trade Center down in the name of Islam. For other Muslims to try to benefit from that act by building a mosque on that spot is insensitive, disgusting, and utterly vile. Not only will many of the family members of the people who died on 9/11 be grossly offended, this in-your-face mosque will provoke volcanic levels of anger around the country. If you spent a billion dollars to promote loathing, dislike, and disgust with the Muslim faith, you probably couldn't accomplish more than building this mosque will.

2) Traditionally, Islam has built mosques on historical sites as a sign of conquest. Look at the Hagia Sophia in Turkey, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and the Great Mosque of Cordoba in Spain. In every case, Muslims built mosques on those spots to send a message: "We conquered you, took your holy site, and now it belongs to us." That is the exact same message that building this mosque is supposed to send. In fact, just in case you missed what they're trying to do, they're naming it Cordoba House just to make sure no one can be confused.

3) The people involved with putting this project together can claim that they're "moderates," but they know that around the world, building this mosque will be considered the greatest victory for radical Islam since 9/11. Yes, Osama Bin Laden will be cheering. Radical Muslims will be handing out sweets in the streets, just like they did after 9/11. The people who hate our country with every fiber of their being will be heartened by this incredible "victory" over America. Is that the message we want to send to our enemies?

4) Europe has had an extremely difficult time assimilating Muslims into Western culture. Although percentage-wise, Muslims may make up a small part of the population, they often get away with behaving almost like an oppressive majority. Sharia and polygamy have become the law of the land in parts of Britain. Non-Muslim women in part of Amsterdam have started wearing veils for protection. Belgian police officers have been told not to drink coffee in public during Ramadan. In France, Muslim violence, riots, and car burnings are just considered to be a part of life.

You may say, "That can't happen here." Setting aside the fact that is most assuredly exactly what most of the residents of all the aforementioned nations once thought, it has already started here. Newspapers are afraid to show Danish cartoons of Muhammad. Comedy Central, which is planning a whole show dedicated to mocking Jesus, refuses to show Muhammad's image on South Park.

Even as the people building the mega-mosque at Ground Zero are remorselessly taking advantage of the American people's desire to be tolerant to get support for their project, what they're doing fits in perfectly with the sort of backwards, uncivilized, and anti-social behavior that Muslims have tried to force on Western culture in Europe. If we continue to allow political correctness to prevent us from standing up for what's right for our country, we will pay a price in freedom, civilization, and human decency that we may never get back.

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