When they start calling for Al-Zawahiri and other Islamic jihadists to stop using Islamic texts and teachings to call for violence, maybe they'll have a case against McCain.
"Muslims press McCain on 'Islamic' terror label," by Rowan Scarborough for the Washington Times (thanks to all who sent this in):
A coalition of American Muslim groups is demanding that Sen. John McCain stop using the adjective "Islamic" to describe terrorists and extremist enemies of the United States.
Muneer Fareed, who heads the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), told The Washington Times that his group is beginning a campaign to persuade Mr. McCain to rephrase his descriptions of the enemy.
The Islamic Society of North America was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation jihad terror funding case last summer.
Also, in a Muslim Brotherhood memorandum outlining its strategic goals for the United States, ISNA was named as one of the groups participating in "a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions."
"We've tried to contact his office, contact his spokesperson to have them rethink word usage that is more acceptable to the Muslim community," Mr. Fareed said. "If it's not our intent to paint everyone with the same brush, then certainly we should think seriously about just characterizing them as criminals, because that is what they are."
An aide to Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee who is counting on his pro-Iraq war stance to attract conservative voters, said the senator from Arizona will not drop the word.
Steve Schmidt, a former Bush White House aide who is now a McCain media strategist, told The Times that the use of the word is appropriate and that the candidate will continue to define the enemy that way.
"Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda represent a perverted strain of Islam at odds with the great many peaceful Muslims who practice their great faith peacefully," Mr. Schmidt said. "But the reality is, the hateful ideology which underpins bin Ladenism is properly described as radical Islamic extremism. Senator McCain refers to it that way because that is what it is."
McCain in this, as inadequate and false as it is, comes closer to the truth than the present White House occupant or the other two aspirants to the throne.
Mr. McCain often uses the term "Islamic" to describe terrorist enemies. The two remaining Democrats in the presidential field, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, generally shun such word usage.
President Bush also avoids the term, prompting criticism from some conservative pundits, who say the White-House-coined phrase "war on terror" does not sufficiently identify the enemy. Mr. Bush used the term "Islamic fascists" several times in 2006 and was criticized by Muslims....
Mr. Fareed, who is ISNA's secretary-general, said such usages are wrong.
"My own take on this is that we tried and failed to stylize this particular onslaught against the United States as one that has religious connotations and regional connotations," said Mr. Fareed, a former associate professor of Islamic studies at Wayne State University.
"I think this is just criminality, fair and square. We should just call them criminals. You want to call them terrorist criminals, fine," he said. "But adding the word 'Muslim' or 'Islamic' certainly doesn't help our cause as Americans. It's counterproductive. It paints an entire community of believers, 1.2 billion in total, in a very negative way. And certainly that's not something that we want to do."...
Painting everyone with the same brush? Come on, Mr. Fareed. This is so specious it reeks. As I've said many times before, the phrase "Islamic terrorists" no more paints all Muslims as terrorists than the phrase "Italian fascists" paints all Italians as fascists or "Conservative Democrat" paints all conservatives as Democrats. Basic grammar, apparently, must go out the window for the cause of PC mau-mauing.
Posted by Robert at April 21, 2008 1:54 PM