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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Rick Perry and Islam

Daniel Greenfield has a lengthy analysis of Texas Governor Rick Perry's record on dealing with Islam and Muslims in his home state. He raises some valid concerns, but he also raises some concerns which I found irrelevant.

For instance, he worries that under Texas' Halal law (see signing above), which he admits is similar to Kosher laws in many states, militant Islamists may get to decide... whether meat is Halal or not.
Then there's the Texas Halal Law, which makes it a criminal offense to sell Halal and non-Halal meat in the same store, without specifically labeling the two, and of misrepresenting non-Halal meat as being Halal. In theory that's not such a big deal. Similar laws are on the books for Kosher meat. But the problem comes with the definition of what Halal is.
"Halal," as applied to food, means food prepared and served in conformity with Islamic religious requirements according to a recognized Islamic authority.
That comes from the bill's definition. And it raises the question of who is recognized as an Islamic authority. HB 470 leaves that question open. But in a dispute over which Islamic definition of Halal to use, the State of Texas would be forced to rule on a question of Islamic law. And to enforce that law. Texas would become an enforcer of Sharia.
Not really. Is he suggesting that the statute should have named an organization? That would violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the US Constitution, which is precisely why it's not done that way. Besides, the law is a consumer protection law, designed to make sure that there is some minimum standard. It doesn't preclude more than one authority and it doesn't mean that everyone has to accept one particular authority. There are plenty of 'rabbinic authorities' who have the right to advertise themselves as Kosher in New York and New Jersey (and Israel for that matter) whose Kashruth I would not trust.

On the other hand, this point raised by Greenfield bothers me more.
As some have pointed out, Perry is pro-Israel. So was Bush. It didn't stop him from toadying to Saudi Arabia and Abbas, or from pressuring Israel to make concessions to terrorists during his second term. It's possible to be pro-Israel and pro-Islam. And when the scales are weighed, then Islam comes first. If you doubt that, go look at what happened when Bush was pressured by the Saudis.
Well, yes. And unless we can elect someone like a Marco Rubio or Allen West - whose pro-Israel credentials are solid and long predate their running for President - we're going to see Presidents in the US who will come under pressure from the Arab world and who may almost certainly will cave in to it. The question is to what extent and how strongly they will pressure Israel as a result. Ronald Reagan is remembered as a solidly pro-Israel President and yet if you recall how he pressured Israel during and after Operation Peace for Galilee (the 1982 First Lebanon War), you might think otherwise.

At the end of the day, Greenfield has this right:
Whatever we say and do, he may be the inevitable candidate. The man who merges the strongest points of Huckabee and Romney into one populist friendly package. Who sells a pro-business compassionate conservatism that comes off as a low pain alternative to Obama. But before that it might not be such a bad thing to pore over the details of his record in office.

Perry is certainly an improvement on Obama. But in a race where Bachmann, Cain, Santorum, Palin and Gingrich have spoken out about the dangers of Islam-- everyone is gathering to cheer a man who celebrates it. Is this what the struggle of the last 3 years comes down to? Did we go through all this just to put Bush era policies back into office?
Well, yes. But Palin's not running yet, and Gingrich and Cain have no chance (I guess Daniel did a quick edit to take Pawlenty out). Are Bachmann and Santorum electable? Because much as I like them, I'd rather have Perry (or Romney for that matter) than four more years of Obama (something from which - in my view - neither the US nor Israel is likely to recover in our lifetimes).

Read the whole thing.

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3 Comments:

At 3:34 PM, Blogger Chayma said...

Umm, the blind leading the blind, seeking help from the blind, who want to convert what they see as the blind;)

It would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic!

Neither Rick Perry, nor ANY Republican candidate (declared or undeclared) have any chance of winning the next election.

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Christian Zionist Agenda Exposed by NAR Apostle Don Finto at Rick Perry Event, and Few Noticed
http://www.talk2action.org/story/2011/8/16/152647/490

Rachel Tabachnick
Tue Aug 16, 2011

Apostle Don Finto, joined by Messianic Rabbi Marty Waldman, delivered the Israel prayer at Rick Perry's August 6 prayer rally; not John Hagee. Finto is a leading figure in an international effort to encourage evangelicals to support Messianics and their ministries to evangelize Jews. (Messianic is the term for Jews who convert to Christianity but retain their Jewish identity.) Finto did not change his message for Perry's religio-political event, but prayed for Jews of Israel and the world to convert. The belief that the conversion of Jews is the trigger that will bring about the return of Jesus is part of the end times narrative being popularized by the apostles of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR).

Finto's message at Rick Perry's prayer rally was unambiguous, particularly if viewed in the context of his work over the last decade. Below is a video of part of his appearance at The Response.


Why should you care about proselytizing of Jews in Israel and elsewhere? First, the partnership of right-wing Christian Zionist activists with Israeli and American Jewish leaders is based on the premise that the Christian Zionist half of the partnership is not using the relationship to proselytize. With the collusion of Jewish leaders who want political and financial support of Christian Zionists, extensive campaigns have been conducted to convince American Jews and Israelis that there are no strings attached. This partnership is now impacting the political landscape in Israel and the U.S. in numerous ways.

Since the partnership between Jewish leaders and right-wing Christian Zionists is contingent on the latter not proselytizing, then what has happened that a prayer rally kicking off a presidential campaign is willingly to openly expose the underlying agenda in front of a national audience? Did they think the press wouldn't notice? That's not an unreasonable conclusion, because there has been almost no mention of this in mainstream news.

The most serious threat to Jews and Judaism in this proselytizing effort is not the obvious problem of Jews converting to Christianity. Don Finto and the apostles claim this is happening in record numbers, but there is a more pressing issue. The NAR's proselytizing network is teaching millions of Christians that Jews are spiritually dead and Judaism is a rebellion against God, a reversal of progress that had been made in interfaith dialogue and acceptance since the Holocaust.

While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli politicians claim that Israel is being delegitimized by liberals, his Christian Zionist partners are systematically delegitimizing Judaism and teaching millions worldwide that it's not acceptable for Jews to continue to be Jews.

This attack on Judaism is not at first apparent because these Christian Zionists are blowing shofars, wearing tallitot (prayer shawls), singing in Hebrew, holding Holocaust remembrances, and celebrating Christianized versions of Jewish holidays. But they are appropriating these symbols and practices as part of their brand of evangelicalism, while their attacks on Rabbinic Judaism become increasingly hostile.

 
At 10:21 PM, Blogger Stephen said...

I live in Texas. Politically-conservative support for Rick Perry is very shaky because his term as governor has been rife with payola. It might be a topic to keep an eye on as the general press "plays catch-up."

 
At 11:42 PM, Blogger Sparky the Wonder Dog said...

Well Chayma, statistics argue that Obama doesn't have a chance either. Guess we'll be taking our marching orders directly from the 12th Mahdi.Take that, Finto!

 

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