Monday, March 7, 2011

New on NewsReal - Peter Beinart Recycles Trash Talk of Republicans as Islamophobes

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

The nice thing about being on the Left is that your arguments never become stale. Regardless of what the facts say, whether or not a claim has been soundly refuted in the public arena, or how many times you’ve said it, you can always recycle the same smears. Today’s recycler is Peter Beinart, who takes to the Daily Beast to bemoan the Republican Party’s descent into bigotry:

I once ate a Shabbat meal in Salt Lake City, where my hosts—staunch Republicans and Orthodox Jews—talked with wonder about the extreme courtesy with which their Mormon neighbors accommodated their religious needs. Conservatives, they explained, were actually more tolerant of minority faiths than liberals. I’d like to believe that a Muslim family in Utah or Alabama could say the same today. In a sense, the Republican Party’s honor depends on it.
My, that does sound serious! Whatever could have been the catalyst for this clarion call?
[Rep. Peter] King, a Long Island Republican, will hold hearings this week on terrorism by American Muslims. Think about that for a second. King isn’t holding hearings on domestic terrorism; he’s holding hearings on domestic terrorism by one religious group.

Yes, think about that for a second—and you’ll apparently have reflected on the issue more than Peter Beinart. As Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney explains, one of the reasons King’s hearings are so important is that they present the opportunity to “explore the extent to which virtually every prominent group that purports to speak for that community is a front for the Muslim Brotherhood or sympathetic to its agenda.” And if you know anything about the Brotherhood or other Islamist organizations, you know this is hardly an answer in search of a problem. Gaffney makes the following point:
[C]onfusion about the true nature and intentions of the Muslim Brotherhood is much in evidence at the moment.  The Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, contributed to it, first by testifying last month that the Brotherhood is “a largely secular organization.”  He subsequently recanted that preposterous characteri­zation, but nonetheless downplayed concerns about the group by insisting that it is “heterogeneous,” has “eschewed violence” and is engaged in good works, like hospitals and day care.

Such contentions are, presumably, contributing to the Obama administration’s intention – as reported on the front page of the Washington Post last Friday – to establish relations with Muslim Brotherhood-dominated or other Islamist governments emerging from the revolutions sweeping the Middle East.  The implications of that decision would be incalculably problematic for our homeland security, as well as our foreign policy interests.
Read the rest at NewsRealBlog.

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