Sunday, June 07, 2009

Obama's Arab Advisor

U.S. Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) has a new role. He not only represents Indiana's 7th District in Congress, but he is also serving as an advisor to President Barack Hussein Obama on the Arab world. Presumably he takes on this latter role because he is one of only two Muslims elected to Congress. It's not like he learned a lot about the Arab world working as an Indiana excise police officer prior to his election to Congress to fill his grandmother's seat last year. In his new role, Carson got a lot of face time on CNN this past week. Carson had some interesting things to say.

Like President Obama, Carson makes the case that the Islamic religion has contributed greatly to America's heritage. Carson said, "Muslims have made a great contribution." "Since America's inception, America owes a great debt to the Islamic religion." Really? At the time of America's inception, Islamic terrorists, known as the Barbary pirates, were seizing American ships and enslaving their crews, demanding tribute payments in exchange for their return. The young nation established its first navy in response to this threat. Muslims on the African continent sold non-Muslim Africans into slavery in the U.S. prior to the Civil War. Muslims were not among other groups immigrating in great numbers to the U.S. There is no record of any member of the Muslim religion serving in the Civil War or World War I. As of 1960, there were only a handful of mosques with a very small number of members. The Nation of Islam, an off-shoot of the religion, bears little resemblance to traditional Islam. The fact is that most Americans knew little about Islam until extremists in Iran seized the U.S. embassy and took Americans hostage in 1979. That was followed by the bombing of U.S. embassies across the world, the deadly attack on the U.S.S. Cole, the first World Trade Center bombing and, lest we forget, 9/11.

During one of several CNN interviews, Carson was asked about his reaction as a Muslim-American after 9/11. While Carson acknowledged the existence of the threat of terrorism posed by extremists within Islam, he likened al-Qaeda to the violent gangs operating in our major cities in the U.S. in the late 80s and early 90s, noting a drive-by shooting he witnessed as a 16-year-old in Indianapolis while waiting at the school bus stop. Carson complained about some of his law enforcement colleagues using bin Laden and Muslim figures as a target at the shooting range and how he found it offensive as a Muslim American. As for how America has treated the Arab world since 9/11, Carson had his strongest words. "We've seen eight years of disrespect. We've seen eight years of arrogance. And we've seen eight years of our wonderful, great nation shoving our opinions down the throats of other nations and it's unacceptable."

Rep. Carson must have forgotten the speech former President George W. Bush delivered in which he declared that Islam was a "religion of peace." Or his invitation to prominent Muslim-Americans to visit the White House shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. There are many short-comings of the Bush administration, but President Bush cannot be blamed for 9/11, and he certainly cannot be blamed for Muslim hostilties towards the U.S. Muslims don't like Americans because of the special relationship our country has had with the state of Israel since its establishment in the 1950s. The war in Afghanistan was necessitated because of the 9/11 attacks on American soil. Many will argue whether it warranted the war in Iraq. Nonetheless, it is an insult to thousands of American service men and women who have given their lives and the tens of thousands more injuried while fighting to bring freedom to the Arab world to suggest our actions were "disrespectful", "arrogant" or "shoving our opinions down their throats."

It's easy for Carson to embrace a U.S.-imposed peace settlement between Palestinians and Israelis. He doesn't have to live daily in fear of terrorist attacks from Hamas like Israelis. I guess we're only shoving our opinions down the throats of other nations when they're Arab nations and not Israel. To put things in perspective, Carson should consider that Egypt just banned marriages between Israelis and Egyptians because “Egyptians married to Israelis are dangerous to Egypt’s national security, acting in ways that contradict the constitution of their country and Islamic laws.” So much for Obama's speech in Cairo this past week calling for unity between Christians, Jews and Muslims. Carson said Obama's efforts with the speech to reset our relationship with Mulsims was "awesome, A plus." "The speech was phenomenal. The speech was right on time." "And it is what America needs to hear and the world needs to hear in terms of moving forward and healing some of the wounds that were created in the past eight years."

As long as Carson continues to insist upon and embrace Obama's "blame America" approach to resolving our relationship with the Arab-Muslim world, he needs to understand that we are not going to move forward and heal these wounds. In every major Muslim nation in the world, the rights of the individual suffer when Islamic law is imposed in place of the civil law. Until these nations are willing to accept the fundamental right of all humans to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we cannot move forward. Accepting these nations as part of the mainstream world without demanding human rights reforms in their own countries is a big step backwards.


Wilson46201 said...

1. Most Muslims are not Arabs.

2. It was CNN's assumption that Congressman Carson was an "advisor" to President Obama on Islamic matters. He isn't (and doesn't claim to be).

indyernie said...

"It was CNN's assumption that Congressman Carson was an "advisor" to President Obama on Islamic matters. He isn't (and doesn't claim to be)."

It's comforting to know that Obama isn't getting advice from every idiot in DC.

Anonymous said...

Carson is nothing more than a useful idiot. Does he know that Obama's most senior foreign policy advisor is the guy who met directly with the Afghans back in 1979 to help organize funding, arms, and US manufactured lesson plans for madrasas in the region? Does he know that the reason was to develop a militant Islamic core who would impose their will on others and who would fight 'til death against any perceived threat? Does he know that it was planned BEFORE the Soviet invasion of Russia, which the US colluded on by building a modern highway from the Soviet Union straight to Kabul?

If Carson has any clue regarding what he's supporting, he's a traitor and needs to be removed. If he has no clue, like I said, he's a useful idiot and needs to be removed. Either way, we need representatives who know that the US media and White House Administrations are telling half-truths and lies about the history of the region.

Does Carson know that George HW Bush was running the control, supply, and training of al-Qaeda during his tenure at Langley? Does Carson know that Clinton used them during the 1990's as hired guns to stir the pot in the Balkans? And that the Bush Administration actually successfully promoted their local leader into political leadership in Kosovo?

The people who speak of al-Qaeda as an enemy who is NOT controlled by global financial interests, i.e. the CIA, whom we all know began as a Wall Street intelligence organization. And I suggest that if we don't know that fact, I'm probably wasting my breath and my points are falling on death ears. If you didn't know that, and you find yourself disagreeing with me, understand that if your roadmap from New York to California stops in Dubuque, Iowa, you will never reach your destination.

To make a long post short (as I said, I doubt there's enough capital invested in this discussion to make my points valid) the problem with Carson doesn't begin with the fact that he's embracing Obama. It's the fact that he either believes the lies and is therefore a useful idiot, or he's part of spreading the lies, meaning he's another traitor.

Hoosier in the Heartland said...

As Wilson46201 sez, most Muslims are not Arabs (the largest Muslim-majority country is Indonesia).

Muslims are not a monolith: think of the centuries-old dispute between Sunnis and Shi'ites for starters.

Nation of Islam is no more Muslim than I am.

That said, the presence of Muslims in North America dates back to Columbus (yes, he had at least one Morisco among his crew).

Gary R. Welsh said...

Angela, Please be specific about the religion of Islam's contributions to the United States. And please tell us which Muslim-majority countries treat women with anything approaching equality. Obama placed a big emphasis on the right of Islamic women to wear a hijab, ignoring the stoning, raping, abuse and battering they take daily in many Mulsim-run countries. Here's a bit of that speech.

"The U.S. government has gone to court to protect the right of women and girls to wear the hijab, and to punish those who would deny it."

"I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal, but I do believe that a woman who is denied an education is denied equality. And it is no coincidence that countries where women are well-educated are far more likely to be prosperous."

"Now let me be clear: issues of women's equality are by no means simply an issue for Islam. In Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia, we have seen Muslim-majority countries elect a woman to lead. Meanwhile, the struggle for women's equality continues in many aspects of American life, and in countries around the world."

"Our daughters can contribute just as much to society as our sons, and our common prosperity will be advanced by allowing all humanity - men and women - to reach their full potential. I do not believe that women must make the same choices as men in order to be equal, and I respect those women who choose to live their lives in traditional roles. But it should be their choice. That is why the United States will partner with any Muslim-majority country to support expanded literacy for girls, and to help young women pursue employment through micro-financing that helps people live their dreams."

Dana said...

"As long as Carson continues to insist and embrace Obama's "blame America" approach to resolving our relationship with the Arab-Muslim world, he needs to understand that we are not going to move forward and heal these wounds."

But we are at fault in regard to many of the awful things that have happened. We destroyed a legitimately elected government in Iran and installed that government we wanted (and the Iranians hated) which led eventually to the Revolution.

Saudi Arabia? That hotbed of radical Islam? We supported the feudal kingship of that place from early on because it benefits us insofar as oil is concerned.

Pakistan? We supported dictatorship.

Egypt? We support dictatorship.

Palestine? We've helped to truly f___ over that group till now they are living in what amounts to a Gulag.

Israel? Support support support until that support becomes truly untenable.

Afghanistan? Let's help kick out the USSR and then leave you to your own initiative, and then when you get the government we abandoned you to, we'll blow them up.

There are of course other examples. This nightmare in the Middle East is the monster we helped to create.

- Dana Curtis Kincaid

Gary R. Welsh said...

Why didn't you throw in the fact that American oil companies made them oil-rich nations as well, Dana? I'm not going to defend the Shah of Iran, but the people of Iran were a hell of a lot better off under him than they are under this Islamic Republic. The country's president repeatedly denies the Holocaust and says he wants Israel annihilated by a nuclear weapon, but our president says its okay if we let Iran build a nuclear reactor because, of course, they're only interested in using it for nuclear power. Obama is embracing the Saudi royal family as much as Bush did. Egypt is about the only country in the Arab world that has even come close to democratic elections and that isn't saying much. Obama boasted that Pakistan elected a female leader, but didn't she wind up getting assassinated a short time later?

Gary R. Welsh said...

On Palestine, Obama basically compared the Palestinians' problem vis-a-vis the Israelis as comparable to slavery or apartheid. That's quite a disturbing revision of history by a U.S. president for the benefit of Palestinians and a detrimental view of Israelis. As long as the people in the Palestinian territory continue to be run by the likes of Hamas and Fattah, you can't expect the Israelis to support a separate Palestiniana state along side it that continues to mount violent attacks on Israel.

Hoosier in the Heartland said...

Angela, Please be specific about the religion of Islam's contributions to the United States. And please tell us which Muslim-majority countries treat women with anything approaching equality.

There are millions (and, yes, I mean that literally) of Muslims in the U.S., making daily contributions to the U.S. (from doctors, scholars and engineers ... to taxi drivers and housewives).

As for a Muslim-majority country treating women equally, how about Kuwait?

That said, neither the U.S. nor the Eurozone (Christian-majority, both) treats men and women equally. We have far to go on that score (starting with a woman's right to control her own body).

And, if any U.S. government told women they were forbidden -- or obligated -- to wear head scarves, you can imagine what would happen....

Gary R. Welsh said...

Angela, both Obama's and Carson's comments were not in relation to what Muslim Americans are currently contributing to the U.S. Their statements expansively included American history in general. I don't question that there are people of Islamic faith, like people of any number of other faiths, currently contributing to America, but I don't think a president or member of Congress should be re-inventing American history to suit their own ends.

Hoosier in the Heartland said...

OK, how about this:
If Columbus didn't have a Muslim navigator on board, there wouldn't be an American history?

Facetious, yes, but the point is that Muslim Americans have been contributing to the US for decades if not centuries.

Just because you haven't heard of them doesn't mean they don't exist.

Gary R. Welsh said...

You're doing better than Carson, Angela. He could only come up with Keith Ellison and Muhammad Ali.

Unknown said...

It is funny you Haters of all things of God, condemn The Nation Of Islam referring to Us as not being real Muslims. Would you prefer that We blow stuff up, and forbid Our women to be equal.

What We are not is Arabs, God in His infinite wisdom created the theology of The Nation Of Islam for the slaves that you made and abandoned, some of what we believe may sound outlandish to some, but you believe that a snake talked to Adam and other non provable tales contained in the Holy Bible. Yet you call it the gospel of God.

Truth be told We do not seek anyone's approval for what We know to be the truth. The Most Hon. Elijah Muhammad said "that if a person will not treat you right, what makes you think they would teach you right".

I do not speak for All the Muslim followers of the Most Hon. Elijah Muhammad, but I never abandoned my christian foundations, Religion is the problem with this world. Judaism, Islam, and christanity, are three brothers by different mothers, with the same Father God.

You promoters of fear and intolerance, can continue to downplay the Nation Of Islam, however We will continue Our work of redeeming, the people that your God Jesus worked his short and powerful life to save. Remember that the powers that be and the people of that time felt the same way about Him as you people feel about Us you Ex-Slaves