Posts Tagged ‘Newt Gingrich’

George W. Bush’s finest hours: his embrace of Islam and of American Muslims. We need that now from Republicans

August 28, 2011

Six days after the 9/11 attack on the United States, President George W. Bush went to the Islamic Center of Washington to publicly embrace Islam and, especially, American Muslims. He led Americans away from any idea of blaming Islam for the horror of 9/11.  He repeated that theme over and over, making it a part of his second inaugural address, and returning to the Islamic Center for its rededication in 2007.

Bush’s healing message stands sadly in contrast to the ugly anti-Muslim rhetoric we hear lately from so many prominent Republicans, notably Newt Gingrich, Eric Cantor, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Peter King, and Frank Gaffney. To their credit Mitt Romney and Rick Perry have not joined in, but neither have they been very vocal in rejection of Islamophobia.

Ethics Bob never thought he’d be missing George Bush’s leadership, but on this issue he surely does. Bush’s statements are worth reading:

September 17, 2001, at the Islamic Center of Washington (complete remarks):

“Thank you all very much for your hospitality. We’ve just had a—wide-ranging discussions on the matter at hand. Like the good folks standing with me, the American people were appalled and outraged at last Tuesday’s attacks. And so were Muslims all across the world. Both Americans, our Muslim friends and citizens, taxpaying citizens, and Muslims in nations were just appalled and could not believe what we saw on our TV screens.

“These acts of violence against innocents violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith. And it’s important for my fellow Americans to understand that. (more…)

Hooray for Romney and Paul for eschewing the politics of discrimination and hatred against Muslims and gays at the GOP debate

June 15, 2011

It feels awkward to praise in an ethics column somebody for showing simple decency, but considering today’s Republican candidates, simple decency is nothing to sneeze at.

So hooray for Mitt Romney for standing up for the rights of American Muslims. Romney dismissed the idea that Sharia law could ever be applied in American courts (“We have a Constitution”), and rejected Herman Cain’s position that Muslims should be singled out and treated differently (“We treat people with respect regardless of their religious persuasion.”)

By contrast, Cain and Newt Gingrich made it clear that they would be very reluctant to have any Muslims serve under them. The other participants, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul didn’t comment in the debate.

Bachmann has in the past shown suspicion toward American Muslims, while Santorum has stated that he considers Muslims to be as good American citizens as anybody. Paul has been downright heroic on this issue, blasting those in the conservative movement who use “hatred against Muslims to rally support.”

On another subject Paul earned praise from Ethics Alarms for his ethical and libertarian position on the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. He was the only candidate to reject the policy.

Newt Gingrich spews his deep un-American hatred

August 16, 2010

It’s hard to find words to describe Newt Gingrich’s statements opposing the mosque project planned for 2-1/2 blocks from Ground Zero:

“The folks who want to build this mosque, who are really radical Islamists, who want to triumphfully (sic) prove they can build a mosque next to a place where 3,000 Americans were killed by radical Islamists. Those folks don’t have any interest in reaching out to the community. They’re trying to make a case about supremacy… This happens all the time in America. Nazis don’t have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington..”

The first sentence equates the folks who want to build this mosque (radical Islamists) with the people who killed 3000 Americans (radical Islamists.) So Newt is saying, in plain English, that Imam Rauf and his associates are morally equivalent to the 9/11 attackers—notwithstanding that Imam Rauf was as outraged as anyone at the attack, and justifies the project as strengthening the American alternative to radical Islam.

The last sentence equates Rauf and his colleagues to Nazis. This is where Gingrich forfeits any claim to leadership in America.

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Newt Gingrich maligns American Muslims, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, and the mosque “at” Ground Zero

July 29, 2010

I got my weekly email yesterday from Newt Gingrich headed “No Mosque at Ground Zero.” It was quite scary—a 1500-word letter exposing Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf as “an apologist for Sharia supremacy” who “actually compared Sharia law with the Declaration of Independence, and who is spreading “moral confusion about the nature of radical Islamism.”

Newt leads up to this indictment of Rauf by warning us that “radical Islamists” are trying to impose Sharia law in parts of America, “no matter how deeply [it conflicts with] the democratic values undergirding our constitutional system.”

He then leads us through horrors like honor killings of family members, spousal torture and rape, and even threats against a disabled student with a [unclean] guide dog—all permitted by Newt’s version of Sharia.

Then Newt reveals the true intentions of Imam Rauf: to disarm America in the fight against “radical Islamism.”

Except it’s all a lie. Here’s what Rauf wrote recently on the subject of Sharia. It’s not about beheadings and amputations as a form of justice, or about women being stoned or forced into hiding behind burkas. Those things are not Shariah, but rather part of the penal codes in countries that deny fairness and justice, according to Rauf.

The mosque issue isn’t about defending American values against “radical Islamism,” like Newt says. It’s about defending American values against blind prejudice, like the Constitution and Declaration of Independence say.

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