An article in Mother Jones magazine called “How to Lose Friends and Alienate Muslims, GOP Edition” makes me wonder about some people’s political judgement, or at the very least their basic common sense.
Take this last line of the article:
“Going forward, though, Republicans’ falling out with a once treasured constituency is emblematic of the question facing the party as a whole: How far can it go to win present elections without destroying its chances of prevailing in future ones?”
And who exactly gives a huge steaming pile of Cheetah shit about their chances of winning an election? Their’s three who don’t care – me, myself and I. Another should be the staunchly left-liberal Mother Jones, named after the famed labor organizer who founded the revolutionary Industrial Workers of the World. Perhaps the magazine should take note of who they named themselves after and adjust their political lens.
The same can be said for the Muslim-American activists and their organizations that Tim Murphy interviewed in his piece. These educated adults come off as needy, attention-starved whiners; behavior that you would expect from an emo kid who didn’t get their pony growing up. Take this quote from Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR):
“[Republican candidates] have not reached out to me, and I’m not aware of any efforts that they have made to reach out to other community leaders.”
Somebody call him a wahmbulance. But hey, it’s not as if he or other Muslim leaders have actually met with Republican party leaders in the past for political gain, right?
“In late January 2001, the day after George W. Bush was sworn into office, a group of conservative politicos including recently retired House Speaker Newt Gingrich gathered at Grover Norquist’s Washington, DC, office for a meeting with influential faith leaders.
That, in itself, was hardly newsworthy. Bush had swept into office on the backs of values voters. But the gathering wasn’t catering to evangelical Christians; the purpose was to discuss a variety of issues of concern to American Muslims—everything from political appointments, to civil liberties, to a Ramadan postage stamp. It was organized by the Islamic Institute, a think tank founded by Norquist, the conservative anti-tax crusader, and the guest list was culled from the ranks of Muslim–American organizations and community leaders. By some estimates, Muslims had turned out in huge numbers for Bush; at least one prominent Republican credited them with making the difference in Florida.”
Back then, the 2000 election was between George W. Bush and then-VP Al Gore. Bush’s camp made major inroads among Muslims because of his opposition to secret evidence introduced by the Clinton administration in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing – which Muslims had nothing to do with. But another reason was revealed to me by a Palestinian Muslim I was hanging out with at the time; Gore’s VP candidate, Joe Lieberman.
A Jew in the White House was unacceptable to some Muslims, he said, because it would mean the U.S. would support Israel more, as if there wasn’t already a special relationship with the Jewish state in existence. Regardless, an actual Jew in the White House was a factor – besides active Republican pandering – for Muslims to vote for George W. Bush, albeit one rarely discussed.
What I found totally mind-boggling then – and now – was that a Jewish VP was considered worse than Bush’s VP choice – Dick Cheney – simply because of religion. Cheney was Halliburton CEO at the time, but before that he was defense secretary during the first Bush administration. It was 20 years ago that the United States declared war on Iraq for its occupation of Kuwait, a war that led to the deaths of possibly as many as 205,000 Iraqis.
So, in other words, a pro-Israel Jew in the White House was worse than someone who actually killed thousands of Muslims. And, the United States has been pro-Israel since the Jewish state’s founding in 1948, so what difference does it make whether someone who is Orthodox Jewish or even if he had a relative that was a settler. Especially since the Republican party has long been home to Christian fundamentalism, a movement that’s anti-Muslim to the core.
Was apprehension on the part of some Muslims motivated in part by anti-Jewish bigotry? Probably. Are Muslim concerns about Washington’s pro-Israel bias justified? Absolutely. What’s needed, however, isn’t whining about not being pandered to by Republicans or Democratic candidates looking for a job, but an independent, grassroots movement that challenges that pro-Israel bias as it is – a single component of the American empire.
It calls for, among other things, withdrawing from and confronting both the parties and electoral politics as a whole. So, by extension, it’ll also mean having to challenge judgment-deficient organizations like CAIR who think imperialism can be voted out and that indulge in their opportunism and bourgeois inclinations at our expense, all the while whining about how no one is paying attention to them.