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  • Hurting the U.S. in the “Muslim World”

    Rashad Hussain

    In 2006 University of South Florida computer-science professor Sami al-Arian pled guilty to aiding Palestinian Islamic Jihad and was sentenced to more than four years in prison. At the time of al-Arian’s arrest, then Attorney General John Ashcroft called it “one of the most violent terrorist organizations in the world.”

    Before al-Arian pled guilty, Rashad Hussain (appointed Deputy Associate Counsel to President Obama in January 2009) told a 2004 panel discussion on civil rights at a Muslim Students Association conference in Chicago that al-Arian’s very prosecution was “a travesty of justice” that fit a “common pattern … of politically-motivated prosecutions.” When President Obama recently appointed Hussain to be to be his special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Hussain first denied he ever made the statement, and then after confronted with evidence he did, changed his entire story.

    Leaving aside the choice of Hussain for a moment, the wisdom of even having a special envoy to the OIC in the first place must be questioned. President George Bush first established the position of an American envoy to the OIC to “listen to and learn from representatives from Muslim states, and … share with them America’s views and values.”

    But the decision has resulted in little discernable improvement in OIC behavior. For instance, the OIC remains obsessed with demonizing Israel at the UN Human Rights Council and the organization supports constraints on freedom of speech and freedom of religion in the Human Rights Council and in the General Assembly through their Defamation of Religions efforts.

    If the United States is to have an envoy to the OIC at all, it should be filled by an outspoken advocate for America and its interests. He or she should be an unabashed proponent of fundamental rights and freedoms that are constrained in many OIC countries and a knowledgeable and forceful defender of America’s values and policies (including America’s anti-terrorism policies) that frequently are criticized by the OIC as discriminatory or insensitive toward Muslims or inconsistent with Islam. With this purpose in mind, the recent revelations about Rashad Hussein make him a particularly poor choice.

    However, even if President Obama had chosen an ideal representative as envoy to the OIC, it is unlikely that he or she would be able to engender a reevaluation by the OIC or its more recalcitrant member states of their long-standing animosity toward Israel and America or their decade long effort to undermine basic rights and freedoms in order to “protect” Islam from criticism, ridicule, or other statements deemed blasphemous. The positions of the OIC are often driven by its more extreme elements in the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly. A public effort by a U.S. envoy to modify OIC policy is more likely to strengthen the voice of the more extreme members of the OIC, like Iran or Saudi Arabia, than it is to strengthen more moderate voices like Jordan or Indonesia.

    A far more fruitful strategy would be to approach OIC members bilaterally and seek to encourage them to moderate the tone of the organization in off-line negotiations. An envoy to the OIC is largely superfluous to these efforts.

    In the end, it’s hard not to see the decision to establish a U.S. envoy to the OIC as another tepid, politically correct attempt to demonstrate that the U.S. does not “hate” Muslims. The very notion is ridiculous – the U.S. has taken great pains to distinguish and separate the issue of Islamic terrorism from the more than one billion Muslims who rightly abhor such actions. America should never be ashamed of defending its lawful actions to combat terrorism or of championing fundamental human rights and freedoms at the UN.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    21 Responses to Hurting the U.S. in the “Muslim World”

    1. Ozzy6900, CT says:

      It seems that the Federal Government seems to be more worried about the Muslims than Americans. Before 9/11, the only education of the Muslim world was through History. Now all of a sudden, we have to be educated on the World of Muslim and we cannot speak badly of them or ridicule them at all. But they are free to speak against Israel and Christianity without any fear of rebuttal. That's a double standard if I ever heard of one.

    2. Mike, Winston-Salem, says:

      Thank you, Mr. Schaefer, for this story. Please continue to keep us informed on this issue – I am curious as to how Mr. Hussain is presenting us to the world.

    3. Gregory Abdur Rahman says:

      Hi,

      You say, America does not need to do more to show the world that the leaders of America do not hate Muslims. Here's the irony: when you use the term "Islamic terrorism," you demonstrate that you don't quite grasp when you are offending Muslims. Have you ever publicly used the term "Christian Terrorism or Jewish terrorism?" What is "Islamic" about terrorism? I know, for me, I maybe am influenced too much by Malcolm X, and maybe I throw a fireball or two I shouldn't with my mouth. Maybe I am doing it now. Everyone says things that maybe five years later they forget and maybe they shouldn't have said. I will say, that I try to speak more boldly on reconciliation with Israel these days. But I have to quickly add that Israel is an apartheid state and not a democracy that denies human rights to the refugee population under its control. That is the Muslim "obsession" with the demonization of Israel. They are oppressors who kill women and children. I know, you think they have a good reason to kill innocent people. But you need to understand, you will never convince most Muslims to see it your way. Obama was given the Nobel Peace Prize, because he does not think like you. We Muslims are more than one sixth of the world population. We are not criminals or subhumans What we think and what we feel matters, whether we express it on the internet or in the streets. The President's appointment helps bring billions of people closer to peace, without killing anyone or bulldozing homes or killing babies or backing extremists, be they Zionist, Wahabi or pat robertson. President Obama has a pretty good resume, Harvard and Columbia I think. You should be so smart. Even better, you should be so tolerant towards Muslims and not bash just because he gave a Harvard educated Muslim a job.

      Peace

      Gregory Abdur Rahman

    4. Dr. John Press, New says:

      Mr. Schaefer is spot on! The politically correct multicultural stance assumes, ironically, that no diversity exists. Deep down, if we all discuss our differences, we will agree on basic western values. Diversity exists, there is no generic "human rights" perspective. The OIC is dedicated to their side, we should be dedicated to ours. We must replace the multiculturist perspective with a culturist one.

    5. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      Seems to be Obama's version of Neville Chamberlain's 1939 appeasement. Sometimes it seems passing U.S. and world history should be a prerequisite to voting. It would resolve many ridiculously uninformed election returns.

    6. Duane Phinney Pensac says:

      "We are not criminals or subhumans"

      What would you call people that bury women up to their shoulders and pluck their heads off with rocks?

    7. Pingback: Must Know Headlines 2.23.2010 — ExposeTheMedia.com

    8. Drew Page, IL says:

      I remember the U.S. spending a lot of time and money in Bosnia keeping muslims from being "ethnically cleansed" from the population.

      With regard to BHO's Deputy Associate Counsel, Mr. Rashad Hussain, is it surprising that he called Mr. al Arain's conviction a "travesty of justice, conforming to a common pattern of politically motivated prosecutions"? Now he's telling this to a group of muslim students in Chicago and he is President Obama's man. When challenged with these allegations he initially denied them, but had to admit to them when confronted by the evidence on tape.

      Attorney General, Eric Holder, is also an Obama appointee. Mr. Holder and his law firm prior to his appointment, made a living as defense lawyers for the detainees at Gitmo. The same Eric Holder who wants to try KSM in a criminal trial in NYC. A criminal trial where his appointed lawyers will complain that no Miranda rights were given to KSM and his confession was exacted through torture, at the behest and with theapproval administration. It would be a circus trial, where the prior administration, not KSM, would be the defendents. Prior administration officials, CIA operatives and DOJ lawyers would be subpoened as would be classified information. An acquittal of KSM, under these circumstances, could easily occur. We would make ourselves the laughingstock of the world. Holder would take a big bow and talk about how "justice" had been served. This makes me want to puke.

    9. Dennis Social Circle says:

      I will not say that all Mulsims are terroist, I have a good firend that is a Mulsim, he tell me the ones doing the bombing are mostly uneducated people, you never see the leaders as they are called doing any of the suside bombing. We never see them killing their own people. Yet when we as Americans condem them we are the bad guy. I am all for freedom of religion, but will fight when you try to ram your belifs down my throat. That is what the radicals are trying to do. They want only to destroy our way of life, because they believe theirs is the only way. I will never agree with them, they are destroying their own people to make a point. The radical Mulsims are just like gangs, they operate from fear and intimation,instill enough and get their way. Gangs do the same, how eles do you think they rule a whole neighborhood or section of a city. I guess my daddy raised a fool, I have yet to see the person that I am afraid of, I have seen several I do not want to see again, but will not run or hide to keep from seeing that person again.

      We as a "FREE" people must stand up to these people, not cower and beg to them.Obama is one that will cower and then beg forgiveness when he thinks we as a nation have done wrong. We the people have a :great leader" in his own mind. I think he is wrong in his ways and means of doing things.

    10. Sam, WI says:

      Mr. Rahman,

      The difference between "Islamic Terrorists" and ordinary terrorists, is that Islamic Terrorsits perform acts of terrorism in the name of their religion. In additon they also see the form of Islam that they practice as not only a reason but also justification for their acts of terrorism. Unless I am mistaken, they also see other forms of Islam as not really being Islam, hence why they have no problem with killing members of different forms of Islam.

      I find it particularly interesting how when Muslims (not sure if it's most or just a small but violent minority) tend to react quite angrily toward any "criticism, ridicule, or other statements deemed blasphemous" as Mr. Schaefer put it. Even to the point that they tend to be against freedom of speech and religion. I find it interesting, because I belong to a particular religion that tends to receive a good deal of criticism for things it does and has done. Yet, we hardly react to it, let alone react to it at all, as a result that criticism is ultimately forgotten, at least by the general populace. The religion I belong to is one that understands the value of freedom of speech and religion, as such, we almost never ask for, let alone demand, an apology. The closest we've ever done so, is when Jesse Jackson made a criticism that was entirely false. In response, he was merely invited to spend an evening with a member family.

    11. jill.hetherington@ma says:

      If Israel kills woman and children, it is because there are terrorists using them for cover. Israel drops leaflets before they bomb so innocents can get out of the way.

    12. Carol, AZ says:

      Are we ALL so disconnected over this issue?

      WHO, from the State Dept is issuing these Vistas in the first place allowing these questionable people entrance into the U.S.

      Where is the accountability??

      That certainly goes with the arrest of the CO. cell, currently being up-dated on the mainstream press,
      were the organizational "kill zone, to "traget the sub-ways of N.Y. City..

      One more moot point regarding employment.
      The Co. terrorist worked at the Denver airport, as a luggage handlier .

      Who is running security for the airports in America?

      Further , Did FL not learned their blunder after 911?

      The mistake, when four of the terrorisist that flew into the WT.Towers learned their " take-off skills" at a private air field in FL?

      Not only were they here on expired Visa's, but the owner of the airfield reported the specifics of the " strange behavior six months prior to the WT.T. bomings," to the FBI.
      All ignored.

      Since Dec, we have had the underwear bomber, the Co. cell uncovered , and the Fl cell also dicovered
      .
      Are all so disconnected about this issue ?

      We have Broken Borders, A broken National Security System an certainly it is not safe to fly based on these lack luster safe guards.

      For Muslins living here or there, "over 1 billion who " rightly abhor ' terrorist actions….Where are these people?

      Who are these Muslims within their own culture, willing to stand up and protect their own un-radialized belief sytems , protect their love ones, and stand up for basic human rights under re-written laws in the court systems and for woman.

      For the numerous Muslins all over the world who are hidding behind the corruption of the Cleric's, that are radicalizing their memebers, in the name of Jhard,
      The hypocrisy of the belief system ,hidding behind the virtures of a religious belief and inflicting such terror on their own people under the banner of God,
      We are understand "why" most of the world is frankly repulsed.

    13. Don Harper, Lubbock, says:

      It seems to me that the one sixth of the world's population that is Muslim should be outraged at the comparatively few extremists who have highjacked their religion in the name of terrorism, rather than comdemn the United States, which clearly is not waging war against Islam or Muslims in general.

    14. Walter Lohman, The H says:

      Gregory,

      Analysts at Heritage usually use the term "Islamist terrorism". What you are complaining about is basically a typo. Its useless to get so tied up in the words that you lose perspective. That's the essence of political correctness. In fact, Brett made this reference in a sentence where he was saying its ridiculous to believe all Muslims are terrorists.

      Now, I suspect you may not like the use of "Islamist" either. But Americans have a problem. There are people in the world appealing to Islam to justify the murder of innocents. How can we possibly address the problem without mentioning the political ideology? One can both believe that the vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists or extremists and that there is an ideology identified as "Islamism" that must be fought. In fact, I know many Muslims who are fighting this battle.

      Click on following to see a recent oped by Heritage VP Kim Holmes on this very topic. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/feb/19/w

      I'm tempted to respond to your tirade on Israel, too, but I'm afraid to divert the argument. Suffice it to say that I disagree with all you've said about Israel. Maybe another forum….

      Best,
      Walter

    15. Oz (Houston,TX) says:

      Not having an envoy to a group of countries that represent close to 1/4 of the world's population is a foolish suggestion. Suggesting it be done in the name of human rights smacks of leftist naivete. With that logic let's withdraw envoys to APEC, Opec, russia, china and every other human rights violating nation or group of nations in the world.

    16. Gary, Waxhaw, NC. says:

      Gregory,

      Wow…where to begin; I’ll try. You say another reader wrote: ‘America does not need to do more to show the world that the leaders of America do not hate Muslims.”

      That’s right; you folks are freer to practice your religion of peace here in the US than anywhere in the world. Only Allah knows what you’re saying/doing in the mosque.

      Re. “never using the term “Christian Terrorism or Jewish terrorism? I’ll bite. Please show me the bands of marauding Methodists or bombing Baptists; surely they must be out there. ”

      Re. “What is “Islamic” about terrorism?” Oh…I don’t know. I’d guess pretty much everything. You folks always seem upset about something; Israel, USA, infidels, etc.

      I guess that’s what makes up the “Arab street”. Remember our motto in the West: “Don’t rile up the Arab Street.” It’s like a fireant bed

      Re. “Obama was given the Nobel Peace Prize, because he does not think like you.” Boy, I couldn’t agree more.

      Re. “We (Muslims) are not criminals or sub-humans.” Don’t sell yourself short.

      Re. “What we think and what we feel matters…” You can say that again; we’ve seen the product of your feelings.

      I'm on a daily conversion to accept Islam as the religion of peace; doing my best.

    17. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      As one of the large monotheistic religions, I believe the Quran, much like the Christian Bible, recognizes the Ten Commandments' basic tenets. No group is unique in violating these rules of faithful conduct. Germany's NAZI party claimed their malicious acts where divinely inspired. For more than three decades, radicalized Islamic Jihadists have similarly used God's name in vain by justifying their horrendous acts as being sanctioned by Allah. I'm no judge when it comes to eternity, but anyone who commits such willful atrocities upon humanity will surely face the gates of Hell.

    18. Drew Page, IL says:

      Mr. Rahman — You reveal more about yourself than perhaps you intended.

      Ever since the U.N. voted to create the State of Isreal in 1945, its neighboring Arab and Muslim nations like Syria, Jordan, Egypt. Iran and Iraq have denied its right to exist and have called for the destruction of Isreal. Wars have been fought to put an end to Isreal, but Isreal prevailed. There are many who cannot accept the outcome and have chosen to carry on that war by setting off bombs in public places to kill civilians. When Isreal retaliates militarily with airstrikes, those who initiated hostilities claim that it is Isreal that kills innocents.

      Christians once converted their world by the sword. Muslims converted their world to Islam the same way. All of this was done by both sides claiming "God wills it". Even the Nazis claimed that God was on their side. Throughout history, people have been slaughering each other in the name of God. I am certain that God is sickened by the thought of all this. Yes, I know that even the Bible contains a provision rationalizing "an eye for an eye". But I also see in that same book a provision that says "Vengence is mine, sayeth the Lord. I shall repay." Begging the indulgence of the world's atheists, I believe that God created all life. He and He alone has the right to take the eyes, teeth and life He gave us.

      Americans for the most part are very tolerant of the religious beliefs and practices of others, provided however that those practices do not result in violence against others. A religion that urges its followers to kill others in the name of its God is not one that will ever be accepted by Americans. A religion that convinces children to blow themselves up in order to kill others will never be accepted by Americans. A religion that tells its followers that it is acceptable to attack enemies, then hide in mosques and hospitals and schools, using innocent civilians as human shields when facing retaliation is a religion that will never be accepted by Americans. If you believe otherwise, you do not know Americans.

      It is most unfortunate that both sides in the Arab/Isreali conflict insist that God gave each of them claim to the same piece of land. It's like fleas arguing over who owns the dog they infest.

    19. dawood south africa says:

      Americans should bear this in mind : no justice = no peace

      applying double standards and hypocricy = no peace.

      Lastly you will never win the minds and hearts of muslims !

      thank you and have a nice day

    20. Paul, Los Angeles, C says:

      I am a businessman and I work with a lot of Muslim/Indian/Pakistani business owner clients – my interaction with them is on the "street" you might say. To wit, I have not had any "friction" with them; quite on the contrary – they are sensible, work ethic-minded people. As a Buddhist American (www.sgi-usa.org), I see a different side of this community – one of industry, peace, leading by example and hard work (One called me "brother" when I cam into his shop). I do not doubt that somewhere out there lurks the violent, Jihadist Rabble-Rousers that we so often hear about; but so far they have not crossed my path. I tend to think that this is because my Karma, or Life-Tendency, is one of inner-peace, hard work, family and trying to provide for my family – just like my Muslim clientele. Given this reflection in my environment, do you not simply get what you seek? Also, I can certainly relate to the Muslim community in America because as a member of a religious minority I too have been discriminated against as an "outcast" or "outsider" even though I am a registered Republican, native Californian (5th Generation) and a Straight White Male. However, when I am discriminated against I just shrug it off and let it go, I do become a religious radical fighting in the name of anyone or anything.

    21. Paul, Los Angeles, C says:

      Oooop – sorry, I meant do NOT become a religious radical (my mistake).

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