Saturday, September 29, 2007
I don't know if it's right or not (strategically), but I don't see the problem in principle:
Pollsters and communications advisers to congressional Republicans are urging lawmakers not to follow President Bush's lead when it comes to talking about terrorists and the threat they pose to the nation.
While Bush has lightened up on using the word "Islamic" in front of terrorists, the advisers said on background that the word should always be used because Americans believe that "Islamics" are those who act on terrorist threats. Words to avoid are "Muslim," "extremist," and "radicals."
One adviser, who was part of two closed-door briefings by the consultants to GOP congressional members and aides over the past two weeks, said most Americans polled are not threatened by "Muslims" and that the words "extremist" and "radical" conjure up an image of people who make threats but don't follow through with them. "People believe terrorists act, so we should be using that instead of extremist or radicals. Calling the threat 'an Islamic terrorist' or 'al Qaeda' works better than 'Muslim radical,'" said the consultant.
They're also still angry over the Esam Omeish resignation, calling it, what else, a case of "Islamophobia." (no link):
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today offered moral support to a Virginia physician who is under attack from “Islamophobes who seek to demonize and marginalize the mainstream Muslim community and its leaders.”
Dr. Esam Omeish, national leader of the Muslim American Society (MAS), was forced to resign from a Virginia immigration commission yesterday after being subjected to what he called a “smear campaign” by anti-Islam bloggers and Muslim-bashers like Steven Emerson who distorted past comments he made about Israel’s brutal treatment of the Palestinian people and about “jihad.”
[Note: “Jihad” is a broad Islamic concept that, despite being abused by some extremists, does not justify terrorism in any form. It includes struggle against evil inclinations within oneself, struggle to improve the quality of life in society, struggle in the battlefield for self-defense (e.g., - having a standing army for national defense), or fighting against tyranny or oppression.]......In a statement of support, CAIR said:
â€œThe scurrilous smear campaign against Dr. Omeish is only the latest episode in a sustained effort by a vocal minority of Islamophobes who seek to demonize and marginalize the mainstream Muslim community and its leaders.
â€œThese hate-mongers target any Muslim individual or institution seeking to offer an Islamic perspective on issues of importance to our society. It is a dirty political game in which our entire society is the loser.
â€œUnfortunately, the hysteria that has been created about â€˜jihadâ€™ and the fear generated by the domestic lobby in support of Israelâ€™s Apartheid-like polices only serve to preclude reasoned public discussion once this type of smear campaign has been initiated...
I don't know about being phobic over Islam, but guys standing next to models of the Dome of the Rock screaming about Jihad do give me the willies.