Posts Tagged ‘terrorists’

Hooray for Rick Warren for working to build bridges between America’s Christian and Muslim communities.

March 17, 2012

Rick Warren, one of America’s leading evangelical Christian leaders, last was large in the public eye when he gave the invocation at President Obama’s inauguration. That brought him a barrage of criticism from the right for consorting with Obama. Last week he came in for more criticism and hate mail when The Orange County Register reported on his years of effort to bring the Christian and Muslim communities together.

Warren’s work is especially welcome because many prominent evangelical pastors have been spreading a hateful view of Islam:

–Franklin Graham (son of legendary Billy Graham): “Islam is wicked and evil. I don’t believe Mohammad can lead anybody to God.”

–Jerry Falwell: “I think Mohammed was a terrorist.”

–Pat Robertson, “[Islam] is not a peaceful religion that wants to coexist. They want to coexist until they can control, dominate and then, if need be, destroy.”

–John Hagee: “Islam in general — those who live by the Koran have a scriptural mandate to kill Christians and Jews.”

Warren deserves praise and respect as he takes on what should be a Christian duty, love thy neighbor, in the face of harsh opposition from the merchants of hate who broadcast their message under the banner of Christianity.

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Istanbulite Arzu Tutuk explains the issues of the Kurds in Turkey and the PKK

October 26, 2011

I wrote last week about the deaths of 24 Turkish soldiers at the hands of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers party, and included a short poetic summary of the conflict by my friend Arzu Tutuk, a Turk from Istanbul.

The conflict is important to America because it threatens the peace of Turkey, the most important Muslim ally of the United States. The campaign is creating a wedge issue that can poison relations between Turkey and all her neighbors as well as between Turkey and the rest of NATO.

 I invited Arzu to expand on her thoughts about the conflict. Here they are: 

For most of the Turkish people, it is difficult to face the truth. There is a PKK issue in Turkey. PKK is a terrorist organization. There’s also a Kurdish problem in Turkey. It’s another issue, but not totally different.

I have many Kurdish friends who live in Istanbul. They went to good schools, got a good education, have proper jobs and great families. They grew up in families where the mother only spoke Kurdish. They did not hear a word of Turkish until primary school. At primary school it is forbidden to speak any other language (more…)

NPR fires Juan Williams for anti-Muslim comments: intolerance, political correctness, or a stand against bigotry?

October 21, 2010

 

“Juan Williams, Martyr to Tolerance.” That’s the title of a provocative Ethics Alarms piece by Jack Marshall. Juan Williams was fired by NPR for saying this on to Bill O’Reilly on Fox News:

“I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”

Marshall excoriates NPR’s action as the intolerable “intolerance of the self-righteous heralds of toleration.”

I’m conflicted over this one. I don’t think Juan Williams should have been fired, but I find his statement very unfair, and somewhere between ignorant and bigoted.

Ignorant, because Muslims wear all kinds of garb, including the sporty American look that the 9/11 hijackers apparently tried to present. Bigoted, because it’s bigotry to assign stereotypical characteristics to individuals, whether to assume that Jews are money-grubbing, that Irish are drunks, that black men are sex-crazed, or that evangelical Christians are gay-bashers.

For Americans in 2010 it’s particularly hurtful to stereotype Muslims as terrorists, as many on the political right are now doing. A scary portion of the population is buying into the idea of Muslims as “other.” It’s horribly unfair to people who are (more…)

More about the mosque: Hatred spewing from the National Republican Trust PAC

July 17, 2010

The hate message is undisguised: “Where we Americans weep, they rejoice and intend to erect a shrine to the 9/11 terrorists they hail as martyrs. “

The “they” in the message can only refer to the moderate and patriotic American Muslims who support building a mosque and community center 2-1/2 blocks from Ground Zero. It’s not too big a stretch to think it also refers to Mayor Bloomberg, the Jewish Community Center of Manhattan, and everyone else who supports it.

The message is courtesy of Scott Wheeler, whose web site, www.goptrust.com, explains, “The National Republican Trust Political Action Committee (NRT PAC) was formed as an independent organization to help promote American values and support federal candidates for Congress, Senate and the Presidency who share those values. The NRT is committed to continuing the legacy of Ronald Reagan.”

Watch the vile ad to see what hate is being spread under the mantle of conservatism and Ronald Reagan. NBC and CBS have refused to air it, but it’s viral on the internet. Shades of the anti-Semitism of the 1930s.

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Anti-Muslim rants on Facebook: “1,000,000+ people who disapprove of building a mosque at Ground Zero!”

May 30, 2010

There’s a Facebook group called “1,000,000+ people who disapprove of building a mosque at Ground Zero!” It has 109,000 members so far, and the postings are mostly rabid anti-Muslim rants and slurs. Most of the members—even those not apparently driven by hate of Muslims—refer to all Muslims as “they”—as in they are terrorists, or they attacked us on 9/11.

There’s some background on the mosque here. Just last week a Manhattan community board struck a blow for New York-style tolerance and diversity by voting 29-1 with ten abstentions to approve the mosque. There are more hurdles ahead, but the community sentiment is in a good place.

I’ve joined the group to join the conversation. Wouldn’t it be nice if 109,000 more people joined who believed in religious freedom, and in NOT attributing to an entire people the acts of the worst of them. Go ahead and join up. You could join the conversation and perhaps inject a note of love-your-neighbor to the group. Who knows, it might be catching.

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Liz Cheney: loyal daughter, misinformed, or just plain liar?

February 15, 2010

FoxNews.com headline: Liz Cheney: Biden, Obama Administration Ignoring Al Qaeda Pursuit of WMD.

Fox reports that Cheney “accused Vice President Biden of downplaying the threat from Al Qaeda and suggested the Obama administration isn’t doing everything in its power to stop terror.” Their report quotes Cheney: “Al Qaeda is working very hard to try to obtain weapons of mass destruction and Al Qaeda armed with any nuclear or biological weapon is clearly one of the gravest threats we face…The notion that this White House and this administration is minimizing that possibility makes you very concerned, I think has to make us very concerned about whether or not they are doing everything in their power to prevent it.”

Huh? Where’s she been for the last few years?

Obama has long stated that the number one threat to our security is the possibility of nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists. As recently as his speech on Afghanistan on December 1, 2009 he stated that, “we know that al-Qaeda and other extremists seek nuclear weapons, and we have every reason to believe that they would use them.”

She’s not a recluse or a dummy: it’s hard to conclude that she’s anything but a pants-on-fire liar. Worse, she’s strengthening Al Qaeda’s efforts to sow terror in the Western world.