In Boston.com’s Political Intelligence column, Foon Rhee reports that Republican hopeful, Mitt Romney would not invite a Muslim to be a part of his presidential cabinet.
Mansoor Ijaz, who describes himself as an American-born Muslim whose family came from Pakistan, writes in an opinion piece in today’s Christian Science Monitor that he attended a private fund-raiser this month for Romney in Las Vegas. Ijaz says he asked Romney whether he would consider a Muslim for a national security post in his Cabinet, since he says radical jihad is the biggest threat facing America.
According to Ijaz, Romney said that based on the proportion of Muslims in the US population, a Cabinet post would not be “justified,” though he could “imagine” Muslims serving in lower-level jobs in his administration.
Of course its a ridiculous idea that a presidential candidate would ever consider having equal amounts of all religions represented in his cabinet. And Romney states something to that effect:
“Suggesting that we have to fill spots based on checking off boxes of various ethnic groups is really a very inappropriate way to think about we staff positions,” he said.
But the truth is, this isn’t about INCLUDING people, it’s about EXCLUDING people. The idea that he would discount a person based on their Muslim faith is pretty much a dead give away to how he feels about other Muslim Americans. And if he feels that way about Muslim Americans, how does he feel about other minorities?
NewsMax reports that Rep. Tom Tancredo, Republican candidate running for President, would threaten to bomb Mecca and other Muslim holy sites.
“If it is up to me, we are going to explain that an attack on this homeland of that nature would be followed by an attack on the holy sites in Mecca and Medina,” the GOP presidential candidate said, according to IowaPolitics.com. “That is the only thing I can think of that might deter somebody from doing what they would otherwise do.
“If I am wrong fine, tell me, and I would be happy to do something else. But you had better find a deterrent or you will find an attack. There is no other way around it. There have to be negative consequences for the actions they take. That’s the most negative I can think of.”
Yesterday, Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes did a segment asking if the Khalil Gibran International Academy, the first New York City public school “dedicated to the study of the Arabic language and culture,” is “a breeding ground for radicals.”
As Fox rolled footage of the 9/11 attacks, Sean Hannity asked if the New York Board of Education was “blurring the line between the separation of church and state” by using “tax dollars to fund an all Muslim school. ” After displaying banners with “Islam 101?” and “Funding Fatwa?,” Alan Colmes introduced the segment by saying, “Coming soon to a classroom near you, Al Qaeda!”
Watch the video here.
Funny that NOW it’s not okay for taxpayer money to fund religious schools. You didn’t seem to have a problem as long as it was YOUR religion. Welcome to hypocrisy.
Muslims’ hate and violence toward other religions is a hot topic of discussion. But in Poso, Indonesia, 17 Christians have been sent to jail for killing two Muslims.
News.com has the story.
AN Indonesian court jailed 17 Christians for up to 14 years today under anti-terrorism laws for the murder of two Muslims.
The Muslim fishmongers were attacked in Poso, on Sulawesi island, last September by a mob angry at the execution last year of three Christians.
The three were convicted of leading a group that killed hundreds of Muslims at a boarding school during inter-religious violence in Poso in 2000.
Judges at the South Jakarta court found the 17 defendants guilty of “acts of terrorism by the use violence”.
Two of the defendants got 14-year jail terms for their main roles in the killings, while 10 received 12-year jail terms. Both victims were decapitated after they were killed.
In a separate hearing, five other defendants received eight-year terms for taking part in the disposal of the bodies.
A lawyer for the defendants, Elvis Katuwu, said his clients should not have been charged under anti-terrorism laws.
“This is not right. They should have been charged under a criminal code article on battery causing death,” he dsif.
Poso regency, a large but sparsely populated rugged area in the middle of Sulawesi island, suffered a long period of Muslim-Christian violence from the late 1990s.
More than 2000 people were killed during the peak of the violence from late 1998 until a peace accord between Muslim and Christian communities took effect in late 2001.
There has been sporadic violence since and prosecutions against those involved have been rare.
Around 85 per cent of Indonesia’s 220 million people follow Islam, but in some areas in the country’s east, such as Poso, there are roughly equal numbers of Muslims and Christians.
DJ Grothe and Austin Dacey wrote for Free Inquiry Magazine that Atheism is not a Civil Rights Issue.
But is it really legitimate to compare the situation of nontheists in America to the oppression of women, ethnic and racialized minorities, and the GLBT community? Can their struggle for public respect be modeled on the civil rights struggles of the last century? In fact, the analogy with gay rights is seriously flawed. Atheists need a public awareness campaign, not a liberation movement.
Their argument is that its not fair to compare the plight of atheists to that of women, homosexuals and ethnic minorities who have been persecuted in this country. While no one can argue that fact, atheists are persecuted nonetheless and most certainly have been victims of civil rights violations. The violations occurring to atheists are much less severe, but nonetheless should be noted and made public — articles like this one do not help.
What about the people that have come forward and said that they believe they lost their jobs because of their atheism? Is that not a civil rights issue?
What about the instances of violence against atheists?
And of course, there’s the issue of the many states where the legislation still lays it out plainly that an atheist may not hold public office.
Sure, it would be hard to be elected to higher office in America as an avowed unbeliever, but it would also be impossible for a socialist or a Mother Earth spiritualist. And being barred from the Boy Scouts hardly affects one’s basic life prospects. Besides, most experts agree that Scouting is not a “public accommodation” in which everyone has a right to be included.
There’s a difference here and I hold issue with the authors for not understanding. America is not a socialist country. It is a country founded on religious freedom. A “Mother Earth Spiritualist” has the same fight as an atheist in that this country is set up to defend people to worship or no worship however they choose.
Religious Intolerance IS a civil rights issue. If a Muslim were to lose a job for being Muslim, you’d better believe Jesse Jackson would be there citing the injustice that has been done to this poor young Muslim. How is it any different in the case of Atheism?
If you get some time today, or perhaps over the upcoming Independence Day, take a while to sit down and watch Zeitgeist, The Movie. I’ll paste the movie here and would be flattered if you watched it from my blog, but you can watch a larger screen version on Google Video. Also if you’re looking for something to do, check out http://michaelkentLIVE.com.
The movie has been discussed all over the net, including the JREF forums, where a generally well-educated crowd picks apart at it a bit. False claims and plagiarism seem to be the biggest accusations.
Anyway, there’s a fair amount of buzz about this internet “movie,” so you can watch and make up your own mind!
I have decided to close down the comments section of this post. Why?
Dancho Danchev reviews a handful of terrorist blogs — and warns that "these are just the tip of the iceberg, but yet another clear indication of the digitalization of jihad."
One particularly active site Dancho highlights is Jihad Fields are Calling: Allah Send Us To Bring People Out From the Slavery of The People to The Slavery of Allah. And it’s got all the features you’d expect from a top-flight — if crude — propaganda operation. Here’s a diary from a woman who claims she was drugged and raped in Abu Ghraib. There’s a silly, downloadable, anti-Bush wallpaper for your PC. Over here is another one, celebrating "the most feared weapon in Iraq" — the improvised bomb. In another place are theological justifications for "waging a war against atheism." You get the idea.
The point is, these guys are using all the tools they can to spread their message, and wage the information war. Is the U.S. really prepared to do the same?