Skip to comments.Bush Takes on Christian Right Over Anti-Islam Words
Posted on 11/14/2002 5:36:24 AM PST by Damocles
Bush Takes on Christian Right Over Anti-Islam Words
By Randall Mikkelsen
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush on Wednesday took on the Christian right core of his political base, denouncing anti-Islamic remarks made by religious leaders including evangelist Pat Robertson.
Bush said such anti-Islamic comments were at odds with the views of most Americans.
"Some of the comments that have been uttered about Islam do not reflect the sentiments of my government or the sentiments of most Americans," Bush told reporters as he began a meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
"By far, the vast majority of American citizens respect the Islamic people and the Muslim faith. After all, there are millions of peaceful-loving Muslim Americans," Bush said.
"Ours is a country based upon tolerance ... And we're not going to let the war on terror or terrorists cause us to change our values."
Bush did not identify conservative Christian leaders as his target, (but we'll say he did in our title) but White House officials said he was prompted by the anti-Islamic remarks of some of them, particularly religious broadcaster Pat Robertson, who reportedly said this week Muslims were "worse than the Nazis."
"He (Bush) wanted a clear statement," a senior White House official said.
Spokeswoman Angell Watts of Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network said she had no immediate comment.
A representative of a Muslim-American civil rights group, which had stepped up calls for Bush to repudiate such remarks, welcomed Bush's words.
"Obviously, we'd like to hear him repudiate these people by name, but we appreciate that he's moving in that direction," said Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
"It's encouraging to see that the president is finally addressing the issue of Islamophobia in America by addressing a specific attacks on Islam. This is a new stance, and it's one that we would encourage and support," Hooper said.
BID TO DISCOURAGE BACKLASH
Bush's efforts to discourage a backlash over the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, which were blamed on Islamic militant Osama bin Laden, have come increasingly into conflict with antipathy to Islam shown by some conservative Christians, a core of his support.
Robertson, a popular conservative commentator who sought the Republican presidential nomination in 1988, was criticized by CAIR and the American Jewish Committee for reportedly saying on his network Monday, "Adolf Hitler was bad, but what the Muslims want to do to the Jews is worse."
Jerry Falwell, a Baptist minister and leading voice of the Christian right, in an October television interview described the prophet Mohammad as a "terrorist."
Evangelist Franklin Graham, who gave the sermon at Bush's inaugural service in 2001, has also been criticized for comments on Islam. Asked about Bush's comments on Wednesday, Graham spokesman Mark DeMoss said Graham was traveling abroad.
"He has not added to any comment he's made on the subject in months, because he's getting tired of getting asked about it, and any time he answers about it he gives the impression he's crusading on this issue and he's not," DeMoss said.
On the other hand, I would like to see Pat Robertson bite his tongue a little more often. He does make some stupid remarks, and I'm not just referring to Muslims. He is an embarrassment to the Conservative Christian, and has been proven to be hypocritical with his "business ventures".
Unquestionably. The question is, where is this particular direction leading us? Specifically, is President Bush correct in his assessment or is he merely being politically correct for the sake of a media and an opposition party which seeks any opportunity, real or imagined, to dispute his leadership?
While I agree with many Christian leaders that Islam is a gutter religion bent on violence and world dominance, I do not believe that should be the official policy of the United States...a nation founded on religious freedom.
I don't see this as an "official policy" issue, but merely the words of some Christian leaders vs. the words of the President of the US. Like you, I have concerns about Islam. I just wonder whether it was necessary for the President to say anything at all.
Sorry, I can't take the word of a man that claims he knows or understands the "views" of most Americans about Islam, when he obviously doesn't understand the "views" of most Americans on immigration/visas and open borders. Just doesn't cut it somehow.
So what? That doesn't change the fact that the vast majority of terrorists are muslims, now, does it?
Islam is evil. Islam is the problem.
Clean out the mosques and deport the muslims.
It's what they use to scare each other while roasting tofumallows.
"If you don't vote against them, they'll look disapprovingly at your cheek piercing and dog collar tattoos!"
Is it not also irresponsible to deliberately mislead those who elected you? Is it really true that the "vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists"? Perhaps that depends on what definition of terrorism we choose to use. For example, as you said below...
That being said, those who are not terrorists should rise up with fervor and denounce loudly and repeatedly the terrorist actions that bring shame to them all.
Question: When those who are not terrorists DO NOT do as you suggest, what does that mean? What does it mean when those who are not themselves terrorists provide emotional support for those who are by applauding or justifying or even excusing the actions of Muslim terrorists? Let's go on...
Especially vociferous in denunciation should be all Muslim clerics. It does no good to Islam when even clerics are alleged to have been involved in terrorist murders--such as those in Bali.
Have you noticed that Muslims DO denounce terrorism when they are in the minority and are concerned that the majority might be prejudiced against them because of the actions of Muslim terrorists, BUT are silent or applaud terrorism when they perceive no negative repurcussions to their own communities? For example, many Muslims did denounce the 9/11 attacks, but were silent when a Muslim gunned down some Jewish teens in NYC several years ago. That kind of action, or lack of action, makes me wonder about whether "tarring them all with the same brush" isn't somewhat justified by their conduct. No doubt, there were some who protest against all terrorist actions....however, do they protest loud enough and is anyone listening?
The question is, why haven't muslims risen up and denounced such action. Because Christianity and a God none other than theirs is the enemy. American, England are not muslim nations and therefore are enemies.
The whole purpose of islam is to subjugate everyone to their religion by force.
Look at their history.
I apologize for my ignorance, but I fail to understand your point. GWB's statement may placate the liberals somewhat but, if history is any teacher, will only earn him the contempt of Muslims here and abroad. Witness the multiple concessions the Israelis have given - has it earned them any points with the Muslims either in the ME or here? Further, witness how some quasi-Jewish organization joined CAIR in denouncing anti-Muslim remarks and applauding GWB - will that earn them any sympathy in the American Muslim community? I don't know the answers, but I have my suspicions.
W's personal beliefs on Islam aren't important in this matter at this time.
Again, I fail to understand. GWB is proving more and more to be a real leader. People will emulate/adopt his positions. IF GWB is misleading the majority as to the true nature of Islam and Muslims through his views, we may all end up paying a greater price than if GWB either was silent or spoke out on what he expects from the "non-terrorist" Muslim majority, e.g., total cooperation in the fight against ALL terrorism - perhaps even above and beyond what is expected from non-Muslim Americans.
And don't you imagine there is a reason that the clerics do not speak up. They are probably afraid of their own religion.
Maybe that will happen the day CAIR humbles itself and repudiates the jihad against the west.
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