Views From Kennewick

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Transcript: Dan Abrams gives Christiane Amanpour the SmackDown, Finally.

and all this time I thought Abrams was a screamin' liberal!

Note: Rev. Gaddy is not audible for transcript

DAN ABRAMS: For the past week, CNN has been proudly promoting and then celebrating its series called God's Warriors, presumably a look at radicals of
different religions willing to fight for their cause. My take: I think it's fair
to say it was not what it claimed or promised to be.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: So we're not here lobbying for or advocating for or drawing conclusions, either political, religious or ideological-
ABRAMS: Oh, yes they did. CNN should have called it what it was: a defense of Islamic fundamentalism and the worst type of moral relativism. For each of three nights, CNN devoted two hours to the, quote, "warriors" of each
religion: Jewish, Christian and Muslim. But rather than distinguish between Islamic terrorists who utilize fierce violence to achieve warped goals, and the merely fiercely religious or even just those who fiercely believe in the state of Israel, Christiane Amanpour avoided getting bogged down in objectivity.

Christians and Jews, for example, who support Israel's strategy for self-defense are just as much God's warriors, according to Amanpour, as the Islamic radicals who blow themselves and others up in an effort to destroy the world as we know it. A handful of the most radical of the Jews and Christians who can almost all be identified by name are highlighted. The violent Islamic fundamentalists are, quote, "understood," with no comparable effort to "understand" the evangelical Christians or Israelis.
Amanpour even offers an explanation for the angry radical Islamists. She blames the warrior Jews.
AMANPOUR: Muslims, like people everywhere, abhor terrorism. The small
minority who resorts to violence is symptomatic of something many of us have failed to understand: the impact of God's Jewish warriors goes far beyond these rocky hills. The Jewish settlements have inflamed much of the Muslim world.
ABRAMS: She takes Jewish and Christian political movements, even Jewish
lobbyists in Congress, and lumps them in with God's warriors, thereby equating them with the radical Muslim warriors, the quote, "much feared and little understood." Maybe most troubling, much of the warrior Muslim program highlights not the warriors themselves, but claims of discrimination against Muslims.
AMANPOUR: Geneive Abdo is the author of Mecca and Main Street. She says that since 9/11, the majority of American Muslims feel they're singled out for suspicion and surveillance by the government and by ordinary people. Imam Fawaz Jneid, leader of a mosque in the Hague, believes Muslims are under attack, victims of religious discrimination.
ABRAMS: What does that have to do with the warriors? She portrays Muslims as victims, while accusing evangelical Christians of playing the victim.
AMANPOUR: The religious right would have you believe that there's no mention of God anywhere in our public sphere. It's on the currency.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN Legal Analyst: It's on the currency, and they say because it's on the currency, there's nothing wrong with it being in the schools, or in the courthouses, or in the Capitol.
AMANPOUR: But they also play the victim somewhat.
ABRAMS: This series was well-produced and successful, but also shameful
advocacy masked as journalism. We have opinionated hosts here on MSNBC who offer opinions on a wide range of topics, including me, but I admit it when I'm advocating. In the end, this was exactly what she said it wasn't: lobbying, advocacy, and an effort, intentional or not, to have people draw particular conclusions.
Before we talk about some of this other stuff, Asma, what do you think about
the comments that I just made?
[ASMA HASAN, Author of Why I Am a Muslim]
ABRAMS: A little history lesson for you. I covered the Oklahoma City bombing trial, and you talk to any of the prosecutors who prosecuted the case. In the end, they don't believe that it was part of some militia effort. So that's just fiction, and that's the problem here. The facts are so important.
HASAN: But didn't Timothy McVeigh say in writings from prison that he didn't like how the government was treating Christians, how they were restricting Christians?
ABRAMS: Yeah, he didn't. He didn't. That's right. That's right. That's the
beauty of this. Steve Emerson, the beauty of this is they highlight throughout the CNN piece, they highlight identifiable people, Christians and Jews,
who've been arrested and convicted of various crimes. And they lump it in, and they claim this is all one big religious fundamentalism.
STEVE EMERSON, Terrorism Analyst: Right. It's so contrived, I thought that I was watching Al-Jazeera. The treatment of radical Islamic fundamentalists
were given kid-glove treatment. They explain the Muslim Brotherhood as a
peaceful movement. They explain jihad as a peaceful internal struggle. I mean, this was inverting reality on its head. And when they described terrorism, they could only explain it in terms of Muslims being the victims, not being the perpetrators. I felt that, I was really, I felt that the viewer here was really dishonestly treated here. And as far as the treatment of Jews and Christians, when Christian lawyers went to law school, they were called, demonized as "God's warriors." And when Jewish supporters of Israel lobbied for Israel, they were demonized as somehow causing riots throughout the Middle East. This was the most unfair series and, I think, the most dishonest series on television that I've seen in my 20 years of reporting or covering terrorism.
ABRAMS: Reverend Gaddy, let me ask you this. Let me play this piece of sound for you where, again, Christiane Amanpour compares some of the fundamentalist Christians to the Taliban. And I want to ask you if you think this is a fair comparison.
AMANPOUR: On campus, students must follow a strict set of rules. When I, you know, read that women have to wear skirts of a certain length and guys aren't allowed to, you know, go on the Internet unsupervised, I mean, I think, you know, totalitarian regimes.
RON LUCE, Christian youth leader: No, it's about learning to have
disciplines that communicate purity, you know. The skirts' length are to keep guys from, you know, any man on the planet could be distracted, and we don't want to unintentionally create distraction.
AMANPOUR: But, Ron, that's what the Taliban said. They kept women in their house because men couldn't be trusted around them.
ABRAMS: Fair comparison, Reverend Gaddy, between a dress code and the
[Reverend WILTON GADDY, The Interfaith Counsel]
ABRAMS: And they back it up, again, we're not just talking about individuals
who we can name, but there is a large and significant movement of
fundamentalist Islam, which I think ends up being minimized by equating this all. I'm sorry, Asma, I interrupted you before.
[HASAN talks about international criticism of Jewish settlement expansion]
ABRAMS: Okay, but that's fine. That's fine. But that doesn't address, look,
I'm not going to have debates about the settlements here. I'm debating the
bias, the overt bias of this CNN series.
ABRAMS: Steve Emerson, I want to play you this piece of sound. It's a final
one. ... And this is again suggesting, let's listen, and then we'll talk about
AMANPOUR: Across Europe, Islam is the fastest growing religion, the number of Muslims tripling in the last 30 years. This increased Muslim presence and violence like the Van Gogh murder play into the hands of right-wing politicians, like Geert Wilders, a member of the Dutch parliament.
ABRAMS: All right, Steve Emerson, again, "play into the hands," the Muslims
as the victims, again, throughout this whole piece.
EMERSON: Exactly. She didn't mention the Madrid bombings, she didn't mention the two London series of bombings, she didn't mention the number of attacks in Europe, throughout Europe. She didn't mention the vast amount of Wahabist radical Islamic influence and supporters in the United States. She omitted all of that in an attempt to bring the perpetrators who she claimed were right-wingers or Christians or Jews. I thought that, in part, the actual dogma of this series actually focused mainly on Jews and Christians as being the demons, and in fact, one could accuse her of actually engaging in anti-Christian and anti-Semitic behavior by the selection of facts she chose to choose.
ABRAMS: Reverend Gaddy, go ahead.
ABRAMS: Well, I can tell you this, CNN is listening to this segment, so maybe
they will hear you loud and clear on that and make up for what I think was
really well done but ultimately shoddy journalism.

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  • Emerson, a Jew who gets it
    A perspective of a moderate Muslim

    At the risk of sounding anti-Semitic, I want to say this: either American Jews are completely clueless about the internal struggle inside Islam or they are so cowardly, that they are even afraid to voice their opinion. Or maybe it's a combination of both.

    Every time there is a development that involves radical Islam, be it a Mayor of New York attending an Islamist parade, DOJ's officials attending an Islamist conference, or a protester being sued for having the balls to expose an Islamist-sponsored event at an amusement park, the American Jewish community is as quiet as a church mouse. It's like it is not even there.

    The effect of this silence is devastating. Not for the Jewish community, not yet. That time is still to come. The silence affects the American Muslim community. Every time moderate Muslims are ignored and Islamists are legitimized (by either direct support from government representatives or silent support of the ADL), radicals gain ground. In the current PC climate, moderate Muslims have pretty much no choice but to keep their mouths shut.

    Luckily for us, not everyone in the Jewish community is like that. There are some Jews that are speaking out. One of them is Steven Emerson, who has been warning the West about the dangers of Islamic fundamentalism since before PanAm 103. Most of his current work is focused on exposing the radicals masquerading as the moderates – those radicals who are embraced by the DOJ and the Pentagon, by the mayor of New York Bloomberg (Rudy would never get into bed with terrorist supporters) and the Treasury Department, by the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security, by the Congress and the White House.

    There is a war of ideas within Islam, and moderate Muslims are losing. Most of Muslim clergy and Muslim establishment are paid for by the Wahhabis. Moderate Muslims are being run out of Mosques and community centers, and in many cases are physically threatened. Moderate Muslims have no place in the media or public debate, because the place reserved for Muslims is filled by Islamic radicals, who attempt to make criticizing anything Islamic a taboo. According to the Islamists, a Muslim can do no wrong.
    1. When a non-Muslim criticizes Islam or Muslims, he/she is an Islamophobe.
    2. When a Muslim criticizes Islam or Muslim, he/she is not a real Muslim, therefore see #1.

    This is a tactic used by "moderate" Muslims, the darlings of the government and the media. But how can you call someone who praises bin Laden, or has ties to Hamas, or calls for the elimination of Israel, or wants to replace the Constitution with the Koran a moderate? They are anything but moderates, however nobody except for a few people like Steven Emerson seems to notice that. But even when the Emersons of America appeal to the public, they are often being dismissed as alarmists and racists. Well, they are anything, but. You don't have to be a clairvoyant to predict the future when it comes to expansion of radical Islam and extinction of moderate Muslims. All you need to do is get your heads out of the sand.

    Why our government is so forgiving and forgetful when it comes to individuals or organizations with known terrorist ties and anti-American views is beyond me. Why the Jewish leaders are so timid when it comes to the subject of radical Islam is incomprehensible.

    I thank God every day for people like Steven Emerson, because they are the last glimmer of hope for moderate Muslims.


    Original post

    By Blogger Muslims Against Sharia, at 3:47 PM  

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