Dignity means not begging for inclusion. CAIR and other Muslim organizations had done a somewhat decent job of not begging when it came to the federal government and it’s law enforcement arm, the FBI; that was until the FBI decided to end the love fest with CAIR and stop doing community outreach programs with them. The FBI has been infested with Islamophobes the likes of Steve Emerson and Daniel Pipes whose hatred of anything Islamic is as rabid, demented and misguided as anyone from your local insane asylum. As long as the federal government is under the sway of folks like the two above there’s very little CAIR can do to get the feds to change their mind. I was a little upset therefore to read this “plea” from CAIR for the FBI to justify their breaking of relations. I think it’s more dignified for CAIR to continue with its program of uncovering abuse directed towards Muslim Americans and working with those institutions that are willing to work with them to stop such abuse, but if anyone wants to give in to the rhetoric and racism of Islamophobes there’s nothing you can do to change that, and begging them to like you certainly won’t work.
And speaking of CAIR did you read where they have changed leadership and gone more “local” as it were. The former head of the organization, a Palestinian-American was just the lightening rod the likes of Pipes and Emerson needed to make and then make stick the accusation that CAIR was somehow affiliated with home grown Islamic terrorism. Yes, we all know no such thing exists, but that didn’t stop Pipes, et.al from slinging the mud. Larry Shaw a North Carolina state representative is now taking over the reigns of CAIR and showing another dimension to Islam in America.
Shaw, who has served in the senate for seven terms, has a reputation for honesty and fair dealing. A champion of interfaith understanding, he has gained support in the Jewish community, too.
“I’m very much impressed with his fine personality,” says Rabbi Yosef Levanon of Congregation Beth Israel in Fayetteville. “I think he has good intentions, and I’m praying he will avoid the pitfalls that have plagued this organization.”
Indeed, some have suggested that Shaw was chosen to lead CAIR precisely because he can soften its sometimes combative image.
Khalilah Sabra, a Raleigh activist who directs the local chapter of the Muslim American Society’s Freedom Foundation and consults with Shaw on a weekly basis, says Shaw brings a uniquely American political vision to CAIR.
I don’t know what all happened to make Mr. Shaw’s leadership at CAIR possible but I think it has something to do with the group’s tarnished image, a la Mr. Pipe and Emerson. Perhaps Shaw can transform that image and focus the vision of the group to pursuits that will make it more necessary to the American fabric.
First off let me give props to the blogger(s) who deserves it and Mondoweiss has been the leader in exposing this story to the English reading blogspere. One can’t say what the outcome of the news that Isreali soldiers purposefully shot and killed innocent civilians will be, but it’s now been said by those who did just that and it’s something that if not apparent by how the Gazan conflict was conducted was certainly pointed out by many people in the blogsphere.
Another squad leader from the same brigade told of an incident where the company commander ordered that an elderly Palestinian woman be shot and killed; she was walking on a road about 100 meters from a house the company had commandeered.
The squad leader said he argued with his commander over the permissive rules of engagement that allowed the clearing out of houses by shooting without warning the residents beforehand. After the orders were changed, the squad leader’s soldiers complained that “we should kill everyone there [in the center of Gaza]. Everyone there is a terrorist.”
The squad leader said: “You do not get the impression from the officers that there is any logic to it, but they won’t say anything. To write ‘death to the Arabs’ on the walls, to take family pictures and spit on them, just because you can. I think this is the main thing: To understand how much the IDF has fallen in the realm of ethics, really. It’s what I’ll remember the most.”
There is no rhymn nor reason for this murder spree committed in the name of “fighting terrorism” which has also been glossed over with “fear” and the threat, as Rupert Murdoch said just the other night that the fate of the entire western world hinges on the existence of Israel. Of course, nothing could be further than the truth; the world existed before the state of Israel, and did rather well it might be argued, just as it will exist well after Israel has become an historic relic just as it once was, but the intent of the leaders of Israel to tie their fate with that of their western sponsors has been a constant thread allowing for the West’s acquiescence towards Israeli atrocities. It is interesting to note, already spin is being generated to calm the furor about the published (read that “leaked“) accounts.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israel Radio that he believed such incidents to be exceptions, adding, “The Israeli Army is the most moral in the world, and I know what I’m talking about because I know what took place in the former Yugoslavia, in Iraq.”
Like most other Israeli analogies the Yugoslavia one is a faulty one. That conflict which plagued Europe went on for several years, whereas the Gaza invasion was a month long intrusion. Nevertheless the reality that civilians were targetted has been made clear. Note the word “lead” in the reference above; this was not something that was to be made known to the public, but rather kept secret in the halls of Israeli government. I wonder whether it was to be used to build upon or improve what was accomplished/committed in Gaza, the policy of the Israeli government has become just that dastard. I salute those within Israeli society who exposed this story to the international public; no doubt at great risk to their position in that society. I wish American politicians were equally courageous, because it will take that kind of courage to stop the madness known as the Israeli government from its murderous rampages.