Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Islamic Americans Against Terrorism?

I'm not a regular fan of the Fox show "24" but I happen to be surfing last night and watched just a few minutes when I thought it was going to a commercial...instead it was a public service announcement by the shows star Kiefer Sutherland and it went like this:

"Hi. My name is Kiefer Sutherland. And I play counter-terrorist agent Jack Bauer on Fox's 24. I would like to take a moment to talk to you about something that I think is very important. Now while terrorism is obviously one of the most critical challenges facing our nation and the world, it is important to recognize that the American Muslim community stands firmly beside their fellow Americans in denouncing and resisting all forms of terrorism. So in watching 24, please, bear that in mind."

My reaction was immediate...WHAT??????....first I knew this must have come from a lobby group, and sure enough apparently pressure came from the apparent author of the spot...CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations). So I went to the CAIR website and looked for evidence this "denouncing and resisting all forms of terrorism". Go ahead, see if you can find much or ANYTHING that you can call "firmly" condemning terrorism against Americans by Muslims or done in the name of Islam!

I have heard many ask for this condemnation from Muslim Americans since 9/11...but have seen very very little. You would think they would be taking an anti-terror stance to the point where the majority of their website and public communication would have this focus...NOPE. Look at their site....its predominately cry baby stuff about ID checking, civil rights, concern over torture by our troops, etc......

Then ask yourself where was the outrage when "24" had a whitebread blond girl become a suicide bomber? Where was the outrage when a Latino was a drug dealer/terrorist? And so on. When the truth hits home the homies come out bitching and crying. Problem is I (and I'm sure many others) don't listen when its not backed up by actions. It's logical to see why CAIR would/should take a strong stance against terror...so why don't they? Is it because those in this organization don't uniformly agree on this? Do they fear being the victim of terror from within their own ranks if they take that stance?

Postscript....I have no idea if CAIR speaks for 5, 1000 or all Muslim Americans.....if they don't speak for a majority or significant group then my point still stands....get some leaders who will say this front and center on main stream media!

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dude---24 is the best show on TV! That spot was particularly stupid in light of the fact that this is the 4th season and the first in which they've used Muslims as terrorist antagonists. When Americans where the terrorists there was no such announcement.

Anonymous said...

I think you should surf some more:
http://www.cair.com/html/911statements.html

Most notably:

"The tape was particularly disturbing for several reasons:

1. Bin Laden seemed to revel in the death and destruction in Washington and New York.

2. He falsely implied that the acts of the hijackers were justified by Islamic beliefs.

3. He made the sickening statement that the attacks "benefited Islam greatly."

As we have stated repeatedly, the tragedy that occurred on September 11 cannot be justified by any cause or religion. We restate our condemnation of those who committed this crime and look forward to seeing the perpetrators brought to justice."

I realize that the attacks are fresh in everyone's heads even now (and for several years to come), but CAIR was vocal in condemning them in 2001. To keep it on the front page in 2005 seems an unfair demand that exacerbates a fear that they have - that we non-Muslim Americans will forever connect them to the attacks. There has been serious repudiation of bin Laden and other similar groups. You're just more focussed on the strident liberals (partly because the media focusses on them more... they sell more papers, right?). I'm not being critical. Just pointing out this group and others like it aren't just froo-froo. I have a friend who was a major member of the Muslim student alliance at a prominent east coast university. Believe me: he and his friends were filled with guilt, shame, and anger. They knew how this implicated their religion and they were furious. And they expressed this opinion. There really are millions of Muslim Americans who want no part of bin Laden's worldview.

MOV said...

That reminds me of the movie version of "The Sum of All Fears". I not only boycotted the movie because Ben Affleck starred in it, but also because they removed the Arab terrorists from the book (a much more believable scenario when you learn how they actually acquired the nuke) and replaced them with Neo-Nazis. Nobody's gonna jump up and defend a Neo-Nazi, so they make a suitable movie bad guy... It's sacrificing realism for political-correctness.

Jim Bliss said...

>
> Go ahead, see if you can find much
> or ANYTHING that you can call
> "firmly" condemning terrorism
> against Americans by Muslims or done
> in the name of Islam!
>
How about:
"We condemn in the strongest terms possible what are apparently vicious and cowardly acts of terrorism against innocent civilians. We join with all Americans in calling for the swift apprehension and punishment of the perpetrators. No cause could ever be assisted by such immoral acts.""All members of the Muslim community are asked to offer whatever help they can to the victims and their families. Muslim medical professionals should go to the scenes of the attacks to offer aid and comfort to the victims."The word "apparently" in the first line is simply due to the fact that the above statement was released on September 11th... and as I'm sure we all recall; there was some confusion that day as to exactly what the hell was going on.

To underscore this, the following text appeared in the full-page ad in the New York Times on Sept 16th (by which time, everyone understood who was responsible for the attacks)...

"We at the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), along with the entire American Muslim community are deeply saddened by the massive loss of life resulting from the tragic events of September 11. American Muslims utterly condemn the vicious and cowardly acts of terrorism against innocent civilians. We join with all American in calling for the swift apprehension and punishment of the perpetrators. No political cause could ever be assisted by such immoral acts."(my emphasis)

I trust this demonstrates that your assumptions about CAIR (leastways the ones you published here) were incorrect and based upon inadequate research.

Incidentally, I'm unsure how you missed all this... it's not exactly buried in their site. One of the links in the main navigation menu is to a section called "Challenging Hate" (the obvious place to look on their site I would have thought?) in which the position of CAIR and of mainstream islam is made abundantly clear.

Jim Bliss said...

one more thing...
>
> get some leaders who will say this
> front and center on main stream
> media!
>
Most people would consider a full-page advert in the New York Times to be front and centre in the mainstream media.

They have also bought a number of adverts in other media outlets to condemn various suicide bombings in Israel as well as attacks on troops in Iraq. They consistently condemn such acts whenever they are invited onto mainstream media to comment.

However, the fact that they find it necessary to purchase so many adverts to get their point across may just point to the fact that it's not entirely their fault that their voice isn't being heard. I would argue that the US corporate media simply doesn't want moderate islamic voices in the mainstream media. You see, it makes it much more difficult to maintain this ludicrous clash-of-civilisation bullshit that extremists like Bush and bin Laden are pushing on us all.

Tiny said...

My original premise is still intact you terrorist loving lefties! :) "many adverts"? Your very funny Jim, of course you don't know you are! Look at their site, look at where MOST of their hot air is going! That's all I'm saying. Jim, you show your true colors by lumping Bush with bin Laden as extremists. Jim, you better be very scared since the majority of the country by your definition are extremist

Jim Bliss said...

My point, Tiny, as with last time is simply to attempt to contradict blatant untruths (whether deliberate lies or honest error).

You said that nowhere on their site did they condemn terrorism. You challenged people openly to find such a condemnation. Then when people respond to your challenge by highlighting several forthright and blatant condemnations of terrorism; you backtrack and start talking about "the rest of their site".

They buy full page adverts in the Washington Post and New York Times (which are pretty damn mainstream by any definition) clearly and unequivocably condemning terrorism, and you still can't admit that your claims that they don't do such things are just plain wrong.

It boggles my mind that so many Americans seem to actually try to avoid hearing facts. I mean, it's a political discussion of course, but this isn't a political point. You say they don't condemn terrorism when they clearly do, and have done on a number of occasions.

People who are frightened of the truth usually can't be trusted to talk it.

As for the Bush extremist thing? No, I don't think that classifies most Americans as extremists. I think it classifies most Americans as dupes who are unable or unwilling to understand what their country is doing around the world.

George W. Bush has pulled out of, and negated more international treaties than any leader in recent history. These include treaties to limit the development of WMD.

Let me ask you a few honest questions. Let's see if we can be adults and put our prejudices aside for a second; I am genuinely interested in your reasoned response (I seek to understand alternate opinions you see).

In 2001 (before September), Bush announced that the United States would no longer abide by the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC) and refused to sign an extension. This basically nullified the treaty.

Therefore, the Bush administration effectively told the world that bioweapons were no longer against international law and that the US intended to develop them.

The questions I wish to ask are these:

Do you feel that decision made it more or less likely that other nations would restart bioweapon research?

If more likely; does that more or less likely that such weapons will find their way into the hands of terrorists?

And finally I want to put a scenario to you:

The leader of a powerful nation declares 3 other nations to be "evil". He then invades one of those nations. Do you think that will make it more or less likely that the other two nations will place national defence and the development of powerful weapons at the top of their agenda?

Can you really not see why so many people see Bush as an extremist? He pulls out of treaties designed to limit WMD and then tells other countries that he will invade them if they try to develop WMD. Why should the US be allowed have those weapons and not other nations? (incidentally, I don't think any one should have them... this is devil's advocate). If your nation is the champion of democracy and independence, then why are you trying to tell other nations what they're allowed do.

I (like 96% of the world's population) don't have the opportunity to vote for the US president, so how can it be democratic for the US president to be trying to set the rules for everyone else.

America is not the boss of the world. And if it wants to be, then it should stop pretending to stand for liberty and democracy. Because frankly; George Bush is cheapening those words beyond belief.

Tiny said...

blah, blah, blah....it was like a metaphor Jim-bo....when you spider their entire site into a PDF and see how many pages the have you will see my point...well some will, you won't!

Jim Bliss said...

If your point is that they do not condemn terrorism. Then those who see it are seeing a lie. Because they do.

And I'm unsure why you expect the website of a large organisation which has a sociocultural role to play, to devote multiple pages to saying the same thing.

That's plain dumb. They have a section of their site where they address the terrorism issue, and in that section they unequivocably condemn it.

What do you want from them? To devote 10% of their site to it? 20%? 80%? How does saying the same thing more than once make it more true....? Bizarre.

Anonymous said...

First off Jim this statment is a wrong:

"In 2001 (before September), Bush announced that the United States would no longer abide by the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC) and refused to sign an extension. This basically nullified the treaty."

Since as of Dec 2004 the US was still party to the treaty. Just check http://www.opbw.org/. They list the parties who were at the meeting.

Was that a lie or a mistake on your part?

Now Jim; treaties are only as good as the word of the countries who sign them so lets take a look at the BWC:

The parties to the original agreement, which entered into force in 1975, agreed "never in any circumstances to develop, produce, stockpile or otherwise acquire or retain" biological weapons. Fifteen years after the BWC was signed, Congress passed domestic implementing legislation, the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989. This law made the prohibitions of the BWC binding on U.S. citizens. Unfortunately, the BWC still lacks a verification regime or enforcement mechanism. In fact, this agreement suffers many of the same flaws as the Chemical Weapons Convention, which Congress ratified in 1997. In varying degrees, such countries as Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, and Russia have maintained active biological offensive weapons programs despite being full parties to the BWC accord. In fact, the Soviet Union set up its massive Biopreparat biological weapons program one year after signing the BWC.

Why be party to a treaty when other parties don't abide by it? So in reality Bush should have backed out of it but he didn't.
---MG

Jim Bliss said...

MG: Interesting comments about the BioWeapons Convention.

It seems to directly contradict this report:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/1457324.stm

and this one:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1493128.stm

If it turns out that the BBC is wrong on this point, then I withdraw that point and apologise.

Jim Bliss said...

This article in The Guardian appears to back up the BBC:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/bush/story/0,7369,494257,00.html

Anonymous said...

Also Jim said:

George W. Bush has pulled out of, and negated more international treaties than any leader in recent history. These include treaties to limit the development of WMD.

Another misstatement and a bit of hyperbole; Bush has ratified 8, signed 6 and nullified one. One is more than any president in the last 50 years but it’s still only one. As a comparison Jimmy Carter ratified 9 and signed 11 and JFK ratified 4 and signed 6. So by your comparison Bush is better than JFK!

So who's avoiding facts now or am I just another Fox News Bubble Baby?
---MG

Jim Bliss said...

It seems MG that I was factually incorrect. The United States has not withdrawn from that treaty.

What Bush has done is refused to discuss any plans that might lead to a verification and enforcement regime.

It seems to me, therefore, that the USA is indeed nullifying the treaty (if it was worried about proliferation, why not sit down and try and work out some method of verifying that nations are complying, rather than abandoning such efforts?

But that isn't the same as annoucing that they would refuse to abide by the treaty which is what I claimed. Apologies for that.

I think a reasonable person would understand my error given those news articles I linked to (I was writing from memory about the specific details of what happened 3 or 4 years ago), though you are free to believe I was lying if you choose.

Anonymous said...

Jim, I don't presume you're lying. I just don't like being labeled as a dupe who lives in a bubble.

I'm quite well versed in what is really going on in the world and I know where to look for answers.

So I welcome your views and the debate---just a bit less stereotyping and rhetoric (on both sides).
---MG

Jim Bliss said...

It was indeed hyperbole; but it's still an impressive list...

March 2001:
US, the worlds largest polluter, unilaterally withdraws from the Kyoto treaty on global warming.
http://archives.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/europe/italy/03/29/environment.kyoto/

July 2001:
US, the worlds largest exporter of arms, prevents the United Nations from curbing the gun trade at an international arms conference.
http://www.cnn.com/2001/US/07/09/small.arms.conference/

July 2001:
US renounces efforts to negotiate a verification process for the Biological Weapons Convention and brings an international conference on the matter to a halt.
(see previous URLs)

May 2003:
The Bush administration effectively withdraws the US signature on the International Criminal Court (ICC) treaty. It also requests states around the world to approve bilateral agreements requiring them not to surrender American nationals to the ICC. The goal of these agreements ("impunity agreements" or so-called "Article 98 agreements") is to exempt U.S. nationals from ICC jurisdiction'.
http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/icc/us.htm

June 2003:
The US is ups the pressure on contries to exempt Americans from war crimes, threatening cutting military aid to countries that fail to sign an agreement exempting American military and other personnel from prosecution in the ICC, and then on July 1 does so for the countries which refused.
http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/07/01/us.icc.aid/index.html

Today:
US stands with Somalia (which currently has no recognised government) as the only two countries in the world to refuse to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (ratification means the convention has to be incorporated into national law).
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/1678895.stm

Jim Bliss said...

MG:
You say "So I welcome your views and the debate---just a bit less stereotyping and rhetoric (on both sides)."

And I couldn't agree more. I have been guilty of using a certain amount stereotyping and provocative rhetoric. Apologies.

In my defence, I was responding to a comment from our kind host here, who (as he himself would agree, I'm sure) has a tendency to do the same.

Anonymous said...

Alright Jim; only time for one (it's Friday night for God's sake!) I'll get to the rest later!

March 2001:
US, the worlds largest polluter, unilaterally withdraws from the Kyoto treaty on global warming.

President Bush rejected Kyoto for a few simple reasons. First, it would impose significant economic damage on the American economy (a Clinton administration report on the costs of Kyoto put the tab at $300 billion per year). Second, the reduction targets and timetables were impractical from a technological perspective. Third, the treaty exempted developing economies such as India and China from any restrictions even though their emissions are rising rapidly. Instead, the Bush team under Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham charted a different course, which involved investment in basic research, technology transfer to poor countries, and bilateral agreements.
---MG

Jim Bliss said...

MG: It's Saturday morning where I am, so I'm turning in now. Just a point though (without blowing my own trumpet, or being guilty of the "appeal to authority" fallacy); my own field of expertise is energy resources management and energy systems analysis.

The claims made by the Bush administration regarding Kyoto (a treaty which doesn't go nearly far enough, but is a step in the right direction) do not stand up to rational analysis.

I'm far too tired to go into details right now sadly.

Anonymous said...

Here are a few more things about the Kyoto Pact people should know:

Several Kyoto participants, including most European nations, will not meet their stated emissions-reduction targets. Data from the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts that European emissions will grow rapidly, increasing by as much as 25 percent by 2030. Several Kyoto signatories in Europe are already 20 to 30 percent above their emissions targets. If the Europeans can't drastically reduce their emissions, developing-country representatives reasoned, they have little reason to make similar pledges.

The Pew Center on Global Climate Change, a key Kyoto cheerleader and a player in climate-change negotiations for years, issued a new report, "Climate Data: Insights and Observations." A co-author of the report, Jonathan Pershing of the World Resources Institute, said, "We are beginning to see more research on adaptation strategies in response to climate change." Adaptation means having the capacity to handle climate changes of any kind, and organizations like Pew are beginning to focus more on adaptation — as opposed to mitigation — in part because the emissions reductions called for in Kyoto are too costly and technologically infeasible.

This is a sensible move by Pew. The focus on adaptation to climate change — whether that change is human influenced or not — will be a boon to poor countries around the world. These countries are most vulnerable to climate changes because they lack the wealth and infrastructure to handle hazardous events such as heat waves, cold spells, hurricanes, and floods. A new appreciation for boosting developing-country adaptive capacity, and a new respect for the tools that make it possible — such as free trade, property rights, and the rule of law — are welcome developments.

Italian environment minister Corrado Clini admitted to Kyoto's huge structural flaws and its current inability to deal adequately with the challenges posed by climate changes. Acknowledging the growing global need for secure energy resources, particularly by poor countries hoping to raise their living standards, Clini argued that "a much broader long-term strategy, and much more global effective measures, than those within the Kyoto Protocol, are needed, involving both developed and emerging economies."

In other words, the Kyoto Protocol is "fatally flawed." Which makes it another treaty not worth the paper it's printed on. Once again, nice job President Bush.
---MG

Anonymous said...

July 2001:
US, the worlds largest exporter of arms, prevents the United Nations from curbing the gun trade at an international arms conference.

---Jim, the US has its own gun control laws. Why should we submit to UN authority in this matter? Plus the agreements reached at this meeting aren’t legally binding anyway so who cares what anyone says when most won’t do anything about it? The US didn't stop any other country from coming up with their own control laws. I don't see this as a bad thing.

July 2001:
US renounces efforts to negotiate a verification process for the Biological Weapons Convention and brings an international conference on the matter to a halt.
---And the conference was re-scheduled so that a stronger verification process could be proposed. Again, what's the problem?

May 2003:
The Bush administration effectively withdraws the US signature on the International Criminal Court (ICC) treaty. It also requests states around the world to approve bilateral agreements requiring them not to surrender American nationals to the ICC. The goal of these agreements ("impunity agreements" or so-called "Article 98 agreements") is to exempt U.S. nationals from ICC jurisdiction'.
http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/icc/us.htm
---As a former Special Ops operator I stand firmly behind this one. The US is often the world's police force. Those of us in the military are governed by one of the most strict judicial systems in the free world. There is no reason to have US troops, which are spread throughout the world, to be subject to an international court. We serve under the rules of the UCMJ and the rules of conflict. Take the Bosnian conflict for instance should we have allowed the American peacekeepers serving under the UN banner to be subject to politically motivated lawsuits?

You probably were unaware of this; President Bush proposes a 12-month immunity from ICC prosecution for soldiers on U.N. peacekeeping missions who represent countries that are not part of the Rome Statute that established the ICC. The president wants to use this period to forge a compromise that would have the Security Council deciding which potential cases involving U.N. peacekeepers can go forward. Such a move, which would allow for U.S. vetoes, would provide ample protection for Americans involved in U.N. peacekeeping.

Why is that not a fair compromise?

US stands with Somalia (which currently has no recognised government) as the only two countries in the world to refuse to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (ratification means the convention has to be incorporated into national law).
---Have you even read this ridiculous document? If every country has signed it then nearly every country is ignoring it. Here are some of its provisions:

"Every child has the right to leave any country, including their own." Fidel Castro are you listening?

"Every child has the right to freedom of association and to freedom of peaceful assembly."
---NAMBLA will be very happy to hear this!

"Every child has the inherent right to life."
---Obviously doesn't count if you are in the womb.

"Every child has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion."
----Islamo-facists children included, right?

And so once more a bunch of meaningless words on paper. Since American children already have all of these rights, and any country that doesn't already grant these rights isn't going to start because they signed a document what's the point?

---MG

Tiny said...

Jim, yes I engage in hyperbole and rhetoric...I'm guilty of also letting my emotions get the best of me at times too. I get fired up by the positions and logic people take that seems so obviously flawed to me. This why I did the post following this one. The duplicity and hypocrisy demonstrated by liberals apparently brought on by anything Dubya does or stands for is staggering.