"Anti-American violence throughout the Muslim world, ostensibly over a cheap Internet film denigrating the Muslim prophet Muhammad, may be misguided, but it's a result of "the lack of dignity, the lack of respect that they're being shown." And it's up to America to change policies to calm things.Americans attacking fundamental America rights such as freedom of speech? Well, if they're Muslim, the HP will give them a pass.
That's the message a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) official brought to a television interview Sunday.
And that's not the worst thing about Cyrus McGoldrick's comments.
McGoldrick's interview was on Press TV, an Iranian government-controlled English-language news outlet. He never condemned the violence outright, saying "We're very sensitive to the loss of life" and "people's lives are always to be mourned." The angry mobs show "no real understanding of nuance" because the American government neither financed the film nor had anything to do with its distribution.
Few protestors likely even saw the video, said McGoldrick, civil rights director for CAIR's New York chapter. "And I don't think it's about the film at all, really, I think that people are tired. People have had enough of what is seen by them, what looks to them like America's war on Islam. And this is one of the symptoms of that."
That "war on Islam" narrative is acknowledged to be among the most effective messages in radicalizing Muslims. Even the White House acknowledges this. In the past week, a federal judge sentenced a 29-year-old to 30 years in prison after he plotted to detonate a suicide bomb inside the United States Capitol and arrested an 18-year-old in Chicago who thought he was detonating a car bomb outside a bar.
Both Amine El-Khalifi and Adel Daoud thought America was waging war on Islam.
McGoldrick could have told his Iranian network interviewer that such a perception is not only wrong, but dangerous. He could have pointed out that Muslims in America, especially Shia, are freer to practice their faith than in most Sunni Muslim nations.
But he didn't. Instead, he raised doubt over the most fundamental American freedom.
Americans enjoy "allegedly a freedom of speech, a freedom of expression –political expression and religious expression," he explained. "And of course, that comes with it some rights, but also, of course, some responsibilities."
The recent violence, including the attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi, Libya which killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, might have be seen as "the straw that broke the camel's back in terms of Muslims' patience with American and Western intervention," McGoldrick said.
That puts the onus on the United States "to very critically think about how much more weight will we put on the Muslim world? How many more attacks? How many more drone strikes? How many more coups … until we realize that we need to take a principled stand, and a just stand, to make sure that we respect human rights, sovereignty and dignity all over the world."
McGoldrick is among a number of CAIR officials who routinely appear on Press TV, usually to denigrate American politics or policy.
But McGoldrick's affinity with the Iranian regime runs deeper. He promoted the August 17 "al-Quds Day" rally in New York, advertising and marketing virulent anti-Israel rhetoric at the Iranian-inspired event.
Quds Day is a creation of the Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini and a frequent vehicle for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to call for Israel's elimination and to publicly delegitimize the West. Its organizers have adapted resolutions that endorse Hamas, and dismiss Palestinian terrorism as simple "side issues."
McGoldrick promoted the al-Quds New York rally through twitter posts and even the CAIR-NY website."
Friday, September 21, 2012
The Huffington Post is always on the lookout for anything to discredit AIPAC, that's the only reason they let MJ Rosenberg blog for them. But other lobbies, they're not so interested. Like this lobby: