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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

CAIR's attack on Bush's 'Islamophobia'

Parvez Ahmed, the national director of CAIR, which has ties to Hamas, attacked President Bush yesterday for causing 'Islamophobia' saying that the war on terrorism is the result of an 'irrational fear' that the President has inculcated in the American public.
"The new perception is that the United States has entered a war with Islam itself," said Parvez Ahmed, chairman of the national board of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

"Terrorism is a tactic. You cannot eradicate it by declaring a war against it. The war on terror is causing us infinitely more harm than the terrorists could have ever imagined."

Mr. Ahmed, who spoke at CAIR symposium at the National Press Club, said the war against terrorists is driven by an "irrational" fear that the Bush administration has inculcated in the American public. The chance of being killed in a terrorist attack, he said, is 1 in 80,000 over a lifetime.

"It is important to bear in mind that terrorists cannot destroy America," he said as a member of a panel discussing the symposium theme, "Attacking Islam: Implications for Social Cohesion and U.S. Relations with the Muslim World." The U.S., he said, is too powerful and too resourceful for terrorists to destroy.

The Bush Administration's policies in Iraq has driven a deep wedge between Muslim's and non-Muslim people in the United States, he said.

"Policies driven by fear will be naturally irrational. Thus in this state of irrationality the Bush administration often through their surrogates have resorted to fear-mongering. This has unleashed a vicious cycle, one in which fear leads to bad policies and bad policies lead to more fear.

"The popular discourse in America today remains mired in stereotypical denouncements about Islam. As a result Muslims and their faith remained misunderstood, feared and shunned."
While it may be true that terrorists cannot destroy the United States, terrorism can have a significant impact on the way that Americans go about their lives. A fear of terrorism leads to an increase in security requirements that by definition impinges upon individual liberties. We see and suffer from that in Israel all the time.

I don't know where the "1 in 80,000" number could possibly have originated. Here in Israel, there have been more than 1000 deaths by terrorism in the last seven years. Given that our population is 7,000,000 or thereabouts, that means one person is 7,000 has been murdered by terrorists here in the last seven years - a much more significant number than one in 80,000.

While not all Muslims may be terrorists, nearly all terrorists are Muslims. So long as CAIR and other Muslim organizations are not willing to strongly denounce and disassociate themselves from the terrorists, non-Muslims will continue to conclude that Muslims support terrorism against non-Muslims. If CAIR chooses to define that as 'Islamophobia' then so be it.


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