Sunday, September 12, 2010

Inman Rauf's Protection Racket and Freedom of Speech

I predict that Inman Rauf's comments on Larry King Live the other night will prove to be a turning point in the Ground Zero Mosque controversy by turning public opinion firmly against the project and requiring Rauf and his shadowy financial backers to back down. For the record, he said:
Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf, the self-professed bridge builder “devoted to peacemaking,” is now claiming that the Muslim world will erupt in violence if he withdraws his plan for the Muslim community center and mosque he intends to build right near Ground Zero.

Rauf told Soledad O’Brien on CNN’s “Larry King Live” that:

If we move that location, the story will be that the radicals have taken over the discourse. The headlines in the Muslim world will be that Islam is under attack.

Rauf went on to say that the violent reaction in the Muslim world could be worse than it was to the Danish cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad in a negative light.

O’BRIEN: But the controversy itself–
RAUF: So the Cordoba house —
O’BRIEN: –though, right, isn’t that causing to some degree an instability and a risk, a risk of safety? I mean, there’s an address now that has become the flash point for a lot of anger. Isn’t that a risk to Muslims and Americans?
RAUF: There is a certain anger here, no doubt. But if you don’t do this right, anger will explode in the Muslim world. If this is not handled correctly, this crisis could become much bigger than the Danish cartoon crisis, which resulted in attacks on Danish embassies in various parts of the Muslim world. And we have a much larger footprint in the Muslim world. If we don’t handle this crisis correctly, it could become something which could really become very, very, very dangerous indeed.

Instead of trying to calm down the Muslim world, whatever the ultimate fate of his prized project turns out to be, the bridge builder warns us that we better do things his way or there will be security risks for the United States and Americans abroad.

Inman Rauf is playing the oldest game in the books; you would think he was raised in Chicago. "Listen, I'm really sympathetic and I'd like to help you out. But you know there are some crazy guys out there and they hurt people. If you could just help me out a little, I could take care of those guys for you. Nice little G-20 Western democracy you have here - it would be a shame if anything happened to it."

On the other hand, Reuters reports that Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, is to present an award to Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard despite threats from barbaric Muslims who talk openly of violence and murder. Merkel's comments (at the end of this quote) should be a lesson to appeasing, cowardly, leftists in the US:

Organizers of the M100 Media Prize to be awarded at Potsdam near Berlin said the cartoons had "triggered an international controversy about freedom of speech and sparked worldwide, partly violent demonstrations of Muslims who felt insulted."

Most Muslims consider any depiction of the founder of Islam to be offensive, and the Danish cartoons portrayed Mohammed with a turban shaped like a bomb. At least 50 people died in ensuing riots by enraged Muslims in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Westergaard stood by his work "invoking the right to freedom of speech," said the M100 prize committee, praising the Dane's "courage to stand by these democratic values and defend them, notwithstanding threats of violence and death."

The Organizers issued a statement from Merkel saying that, at a time when Germany is marking 20 years of unity after the fall of East Germany's communist regime, her country was "still conscious of what the lack of freedom implies."

That is the message we need to hear. Freedom of speech is essential to democracy, which is why Islamists hate it so passionately. When ever one of these controversies arises (and they seem to be arising every other day lately) the focus needs to be on Muslim violence and the need for Muslim leaders to unequivocally condemn such violence if they want to be taken seriously in the public debate on religious freedom.

The Florida pastor who threatened to burn the Koran has flushed out the hypocrisy of leaders like Obama and Bloomberg, who appeal to the principle of religious freedom when it advances the interests of Muslims and then do a 180 degree turn about when the principle of religious freedom appears to go against Muslim interests.

Those who argue, like General Petraeus, that Pastor Jones' actions imperils troops in Muslim countries are simply acting in a cowardly fashion. It isn't one little congregation in Florida that Islamists object to: it is America and the ideals upon which it was built. And to imagine that the West can ever do enough to appease Islamists so they won't attack us anymore is ridiculous. If we don't stand for free speech and freedom of religion, including when Islam is ridiculed or attacked, then we are not standing for truth and right.

1 comment:

Diane said...

This really is a complicated issue but I agree that freedom of speech is an important issue here, but it should not trump love. "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." (Romans 12:18)I don't think the pastor in Florida was trying to live at peace. But, of course, the issue is much bigger than him. And, also, when does living "at peace" become an excuse for being cowardly.

Just a small but very important spelling correction -- please spell the word "Imam" correctly.