Bush speaks out against Islamophobia
Since President Bush had earlier been criticized for not speaking out about the slurs being cast on Islam in the US by the Christian Right–most recently Jimmy Swaggart–(and by settler-linked extremists like Daniel Pipes), it is only right that some mention be made here of his remarks today, and those of Colin Powell. Both insisted that the slanders being uttered by some about Islam do not represent either the views of his government or those of the American people.
AP’s Scott Lindlaw reported that Bush said, “Some of the comments that have been uttered about Islam do not reflect the sentiments of my government or the sentiments of most Americans,” Bush told reporters as he met with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Wednesday. “Islam, as practiced by the vast majority of people, is a peaceful religion, a religion that respects others.” . . . “Ours is a country based upon tolerance, Mr. Secretary-General,” Bush said. “And we respect the faith and we welcome people of all faiths in America, and we’re not going to let the war on terror or terrorists cause us to change our values.” Lindlaw added, “Though Bush never mentioned their names, his remarks came in response to recent comments by Christian leaders Pat Robertson and the Rev. Jerry Falwell, the administration said…”
I continue to find Bush’s stance on this matter (which has been consistent) extremely admirable, and shudder to think what would happen if a different view prevailed in the White House during this crisis.
In other news, Bush’s niece Lauren is dating Tammer Qaddumi, a Yalie from Austin who is from a prominent Palestinian family. Her father Neil, George’s youngest brother, created a stir last winter when he spoke in Saudi Arabia about how the Arab world could do better PR for its cause than it does.