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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Congressman Conyers and Islam

John Conyers, D-MI, is likely to become new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Last year, just for practice, he held a mock impeachment hearing of President Bush in anticipation of the real thing.

But Conyers has other plans as well--especially on behalf of his Muslim constituency. Just take a look at his House Resolution 288:
Text of My Resolution Regarding Religious Intolerance

I received a large number of comments, and quite a spirited debate, concerning my resolution opposing religious intolerance, including desecration of the Quran. I appreciate all of the comments, both those supporting and opposing my actions. I continue to believe that given recent events, it is worthwhile for the Congress to actually express its support for the freedom of religion. The resolution was drafted to oppose all religious intolerance. To the extent it mentions the Quran and Islam specifically, that is obviously to respond to those who believe our nation would tolerate disrespect of that religion or its holy book. Clearly we should not, at least in my opinion. [emphasis added]
Here is the actual text of Resolution 288, as it appears on Conyers' web site, seeking religious tolerance for all religions while placing a heavy emphasis on protection of Islam :
Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives condemning bigotry and religious intolerance, and recognizing that holy books of every religion should be treated with dignity and respect.

Whereas believers of all religions, including the Abrahamic faiths of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, should be treated with respect and dignity;

Whereas the word Islam comes from the Arabic root word meaning “peace” and “submission”;

Whereas there are an estimated 7,000,000 Muslims in America, from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds, forming an integral part of the social fabric of America;

Whereas the Quran is the holy book for Muslims who recite passages from it in prayer and learn valuable lessons about peace, humanity and spirituality;
Whereas it should never be official policy of the United States Government to disparage the Quran, Islam, or any religion in any way, shape, or form;

Whereas mistreatment of prisoners and disrespect toward the holy book of any religion is unacceptable and against civilized humanity;

Whereas the infringement of an individual’s right to freedom of religion violates the Constitution and laws of the United States: Now, therefore, be it

1 Resolved, That the House of Representatives–

(1) condemns bigotry, acts of violence, and intolerance against any religious group, including our friends, neighbors, and citizens of the Islamic faith;

(2) declares that the civil rights and civil liberties of all individuals, including those of the Islamic faith, should be protected;

(3) recognizes that the Quran, the holy book of Islam, as any other holy book of any religion, should be treated with dignity and respect; and

(4) calls upon local, State, and Federal authorities to work to prevent bias-motivated crimes and acts against all individuals, including those of the Islamic faith.
The problem is that there is no reason to single out Islam as being especially deserving of respect and tolerance.

o For 2005 the FBI report on bias attacks indicates that 68.5 were anti-Jewish while only 11.1 were anti-Islamic. In other words, when it comes to bias attacks--Jews are far and away the group that is in greater danger and more in need of protection

o For 2004, the FBI report indicated that 67.8 were anti-Jewish and 12.7 showed anti-Islamic bias. This indicates that the trend shows that while anti-Jewish bias attacks were slightly up--anti-Islamic attacks actually went down.

o An investigation by Daniel Pipes of the anti-Islamic bias attacks reported by CAIR in 2004 showed "sloppiness, exaggeration, and distortion." Two of the claims were actually cases of arson by Moslem store owners themselves, using the story of anti-Islamic bias to cover what they had done. The American Thinker describes a third such case. Other reported attacks lacked evidence or were actually reported by CAIR twice. Further incidences of falsified accounts of Muslim hate crimes going back to 2003 can be found on Michelle Malkin's blog: Myth of the Muslim hate crime epidemic and More Muslim hate crime myths. A report on NPR investigating the reporting of bias crimes in general noted that
any bias incident, from a Muslim being yelled at from a passing car, to a Muslim being profiled on a plane, can wind up in CAIR's report
Yet it is understandable that Conyers would go out of his way to assuage his Muslim constituency.

Far out of his way.

As already noted, Conyers has met with Mohammed Ali Elahi, who has ties with Hezbollah, and has received money from the American Muslim Council, which has openly supported Hamas. In 2005, Conyers sponsored a resolution condemning Narendra Modi, chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat--which led the US government to refuse him entry into the US. The reason given for the condemnation was that in 2002, a Muslim mob burned a train, killing 58 Hindus. As a result, anti-Muslim riots broke out and some Muslim and human-rights groups said Modi failed to stop the violence. Conyers claimed to have taken his cue from CAIR, whose own background reveals ties to terrorism

*Four of CAIR’s officials have been charged with terrorist activities, in relation to Hamas and Al-Qaeda. Two of those officials are behind bars in the United States; the other two have been deported. One of them, Ghassan Elashi, was just sentenced, this past Thursday, to seven years in prison. Another CAIR official was listed by the U.S. Attorney’s office as a potential co-conspirator to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

*CAIR has solicited money for two terrorist “charities” which were shut down shortly after the attacks on 9/11 for raising millions of dollars for Hamas and Al-Qaeda. Leaders of both these organizations were representatives of CAIR.

*CAIR has been named as a defendant in a lawsuit put forward by the family of the former Chief of the FBI’s Counter-Terrorism Section, John P. O’Neill, for his murder during the 9/11 attacks.

*CAIR’s parent organization, the Islamic Association for Palestine, in 2005, was shut down after it was found liable for the murder of an American boy, David Boim, during a Hamas terror operation in Israel.

Conyers claims that his resolution singles out tolerance for Muslims "obviously to respond to those who believe our nation would tolerate disrespect of that religion or its holy book." Such a straw-man argument, especially in light of the numerous bogus reportings of anti-Islamic bias crimes by CAIR does nothing for furthering the respect that is supposed to be the goal of Conyers' resolution to begin with.

If anything the resolution--with its call that "it should never be official policy of the United States Government to disparage the Quran, Islam, or any religion in any way, shape, or form" implies a chilling effect on open discussion and debate.

How odd that Congressman Conyers, who stages a mock impeachment of the current President of the United States, should suddenly get cold feet when it comes to discussing a religion whose more extremist followers have declared war on the West.

Thanks to Gateway Pundit for the link!

See also Conyers' ethical issue in Conyers' "Lack of Clarity"

Crossposted at Soccer Dad

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