(HH here: On Oct 15th I posted a piece about the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association (CMSA). A quote by a beleaguered Ibrahim Hooper of CAIR prompted me to take a look at the Association and its leaders.
While not incredibly alarming it did seem to me that the political orientation of this group was troubling considering its stated goal is to influence congress’s attitudes and actions regarding Muslims in and out of the country. That the CMSA also claims to “represent” virtually ALL Muslims or former Muslims who are not public about their conversion (apostasy) makes this goal of being the “the premier Federal employee association representing Muslim American interests and concerns, particularly within Congress“.
Premier? To me that means that the CMSA seeks to have a louder and more effective voice than other organizations seeking to speak for Muslims in the Federal Gov. And they even include the caveat: “ESPECIALLY in Congress.”
The CMSA web site is very sparse. “News” is “under Construction” and “Events” is a blank. But there has been at least one change since my research visits. In the days since I posted the bit about the MCSA I have been watching a flurry of hits coming from D.C. They come from everywhere from the Library of Congress to the House of Representatives and lots of private ISPs.
Now one of the things I pointed out in my article was that the site presented only one link for “Information about Islam”. As you can see there are now TWO links. The original one to Al-Islam.org and a new one to IslamiCity.com. My quibble with the al-Islam link was not only that it was a single source but that it was a VERY conservative Shia site with all the traditional, anti-woman and anti-apostate/infidel laws fully represented.
Of all the things that I discussed about the site this is the only change that has been made. The CMSA still claims to represent ALL Muslims that work for Congress no matter who they are or what they believe.
But what about the new link? Does it provide a balance? Short answer? Yes. Long answer? It seems to “represent” the more “Liberal” and moderate Muslim world yes, but it also utterly whitewashes all aspects of Islam that seem odd or evil to Western eyes.
In discussing women’s rights and marriage laws and apostasy the site glosses over all the real-world negative aspects while taking the stance that the real problem is a misperception of what Islam Really Means that seems to be shared by the vast majority of Imams.
The height of silliness is seen when we read the article by Dr. Mohammad Omar Farooq on apostasy. Dr. Farooq lays out a very reasonable logic for Apostasy as it is meant today in the West, a solely religious conversion, is not what the historical and traditional Sharia has meant.
He feels that “misinterpretation” is rampant: “Another well-known Muslim scholar and jurist of our time, whom I also generally hold in high regard, is Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi…Dr. Al-Qaradawi also fails to separate apostasy from treason. It is unfortunate that such scholars of high repute have shown such serious lapse[es]…Views and positions of scholars and leaders, such as Maududi and al-Qaradawi, not only provide powerful ammunition for propaganda against Islam and Muslims, but also confound the mind of our own community, including our youth.“
Am I the only one that feels Dr. Farooq is a bit confused? He “hold[s] [Qaradawi] in high regard” but Mr. Qaradawi completely disagrees with Dr. Farooq about Apostasy. Not only that but here are a few of the other things that Mr. Qaradawi has said that Dr. Farooq does NOT take him to task for:
From al-Jazeera television via MemriTV:
“Oh Allah, take this oppressive, Jewish, Zionist band of people. Oh Allah, do not spare a single one of them. Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them, down to the very last one“
“Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them – even though they exaggerated this issue – he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers.”
“Never have I seen a single verse, paragraph, or sentence in the Torah which calls for peace. Everything in the Torah constitutes a call for war. They even call God “Lord of Hosts” – they don’t call Him “Lord of the Universe” or “the Compassionate, the Merciful…[The Torah contains] the notion of annihilation. We saw it when the Europeans went to America – they tried to annihilate the Indians. When they went to Australia, they tried to annihilate the aboriginal people. Indeed, they annihilated them. This is a biblical notion – annihilate them totally, do not leave a living soul among them.”
“Qaradawi strongly supports Palestinian attacks on Israeli targets. Qaradawi claims that hundreds of other Islamic scholars are of the same opinion. Defending bombings against off duty soldiers Qaradawi told BBC Newsnight that:
“An Israeli woman is not like women in our societies, because she is a soldier.”
“I consider this type of martyrdom operation as an evidence of God’s justice.”
“Allah Almighty is just; through his infinite wisdom he has given the weak a weapon the strong do not have and that is their ability to turn their bodies into bombs as Palestinians do”.
At the press conference held by the organizations sponsoring Qaradawi’s visit to London, Qaradawi reiterated his view that Suicide attacks are a justified from of resistance to Israeli occupation. In the past, Qaradawi has justified those actions on the basis that all Israel civilians are potential soldiers since Israel is a “militarized society.”
Due to this, Qaradawi has been accused by many Western countries and Israel of supporting terrorism. However, he is opposed to attacks outside of the Palestinian territories and on other than Israeli targets.“
I included that last bit so I am not accused of being completely biased. Yes, Qaradawi says that Jihad attacks should be confined to “Palestinian territories and Israeli Targets”.
But let us not forget that to the mainstream Islamic world the entire West is a “Zionist plot” and controlled by Israel. That doesn’t leave a lot of ground protected against Jihad in his eyes.
Though Mr. al-Qaradawi has more than one troubling belief according to Western eyes he is held in “high regard” by the author of IslamiCity article about Apostasy. Though the author clams to be puzzled as to why Mr. Qaradawi defends the opposite interpretation.
The rest of the site seems to be much of the same. A soft-focus, Mr. Rogers’ version of Islam that seems more geared to Taqqiya than honest Dawa. At least the al-Islam site was open about Islam invading and conquering it’s neighbors.
Of course it does claim though (truthfully if that makes it any better to those subjegated) that it was not done to CONVERT the populace (true as far as it goes) but to FREE them from the evils of non-Islamic governments (a sin against God and the people kept from True Faith) so that the people would be “free” to choose to submit to Islam. Sounds a bit Orwellian doesn’t it? But that is orthodox Islam for you.
IslamiCity’s bio of Mohhamed omits virtually all of the incidents of Islamic violence (political murders, assasinations, expulsions.) except the ones that were actual self defense. Its treatment of women and marriage is disingenuous at best. Take a trip on the Taqqiya railroad and follow their “Understanding Islam and the Muslims” tour.
In IslamiCity’s favor the article on the Shia and Sunni is very fair and balanced and gives no high ground to either faction.
In summary it is nice to see that the MCSA is not incapable of change. Well at least a little bit. Instead of one fundamentalist Shia info site they now link to that one and a site that is the Muslim equivalent of an upper-middle class Presbyterian church in Pasadena; completely in the middle and with all the passion removed and scripture whitewashed of anything objectionable for the sake of tender ears.
Now let us see them change their claim to represent all Congressional Muslims. Or how about publishing those events that a Congressional “Muslim” must attend to have voting rights?
I would also love it if the MCSA eschewed politics and focused on being a social/religious networking/support group rather than a partisan political action group claiming to represent people to Congress who have given them no such mandate.
I would like to see them explicitly denounce the idea of organizing the employees of Congressmen in order to influence said elected officials in their public duties. It may pass the Constitution but no matter what group does it is a circumvention of the very idea of an objective elected official.
Radical Christian organizations have tried this game, though they usually go for the Senators and Representatives themselves. It has also been tried in the Military.
ANYWHERE it happens it needs to be put under a bright light so that all can see just what agenda drives the groups efforts. This is never more true than when the group doing the organizing is under the influence of foreign groups hostile to the values of the U.S.!!!
If any members of the MCSA want to write and give me their point of view I would be happy to add it to the info I have and to further articles regarding your group.
If there are any Muslims working for Congress that do NOT agree with the stands of the MCSA feel free to let me give you a voice. Please provide documentation, rumor is not what I want, I can get that from any Right Wing or Leftist demagogue.)