Now Religion in the News—a report and comment on religious trends and events being covered by the media. This week’s item is a composite of excerpts from The Jerusalem Times, an independent Palestinian weekly, January 15, 2004, with the headline, “Arab Americans Enter the 2004 Election Prepared—Arab Americans entered the 2004 election cycle prepared as never before to make a difference. The community is now engaged in almost every level of the political process and is ready to reap the benefits of more than 20 years of political growth.
“Most of the leading Democrats have hired or appointed Arab Americans in major roles, and most states have Arab Americans already slated to run for delegate positions to the National Democratic Convention.
“In at least three states, Arab Americans are serving in key party positions that enable them to play a role in the delegate selection process. On the Republican side, the Bush-Cheney campaign has established an Arab American outreach desk and has initiated the formation of a national Arab-American support committee.
“But that’s not all. Arab Americans are already raising money and becoming organized in several communities on behalf of congressional and senate candidates, especially those who have been responsive to the community’s concerns. In more than 10 states where the political process allows issues to be raised, Arab American delegates will bring forth resolutions on Palestinian rights, a call for justice and peace in Iraq, and a condemnation of civil liberties violations of Arab and Muslim immigrants. These resolutions have already won broad support and so should be passed at the local and state levels.”
Tom: Dave, again, as Gary mentioned, these are excerpts from The Jerusalem Times, but this is an independent Palestinian weekly, so they’re very in favor of this, and we could say, “Certainly, Arab Americans—these are Americans, they need to vote.” But the agendas, the ideas, we’d have to be concerned because if this is going to shift this country away from its support of Israel, which seems to be very much what they’re interested in, that’s going to be a problem.
And then, the other concern that I have is, the money that supports—that’s coming in to support the issues of the Arab Americans, not only pro-Palestinian but anti-Israel. And another concern is what is the underlying agenda here? Is it really what Muslims want? And that is a takeover. Or is that pushing it too far?
Dave: Tom, every Muslim is under a religious obligation to Islam, to Muhammad, to take over the world. There is absolutely no question about that. This is Islam. We’ve talked about it in the past. They’re not only under an obligation to take over the world, but they’re under an obligation to do it by violence whenever they have the opportunity, whenever they’re strong enough, okay?
Now that’s a given. That’s simple. That is the fact of the matter, okay?
Now, what are they up to? Well, I’m sure that every Muslim—every Arab American—does not understand what they’re up to. But let’s look at the issues here. Condemnation of civil liberties violations of Arab and Muslim immigrants”—I’m not familiar with what those are. What are they suffering? They own businesses; they have their mosques; they’re able to get involved in the political process. Now what are their complaints?
Okay, let’s assume that they have some complaints…
Tom: Well, I’ll give you one…
Dave: All right.
Tom: Just recently, at the…I think it was the Portland airport, they had a group from Morocco, and they were Arabic. They spoke Arabic, and so on.
Tom: And one of the individuals of this group decided to leave his bag and go get some coffee while the other ones got on the plane, and they left the bag there. So this sent major panic through security then. So they pulled everybody off, and now there’s all kinds of complaints. So they’re saying their civil liberties were….Oh! also, just a little aside—because they didn’t…they only spoke Moroccan, I assume, I don’t know that it was Arabic, they had “911,” that was the only English on their luggage, because they said, “If you get into trouble, call this number.” And of course, they identified it with 9/11.
Dave: Okay, but, Tom, there are some problems like that, okay?
Dave: But what are the civil liberties of a Jew in Palestinian territory? They will kill you. That’s the civil liberties you have. You cannot be a citizen of Jordan if you are a Jew, okay? What are the civil liberties of a Christian in Saudi Arabia? You can’t carry a Bible on the street. If a Muslim converts to Christianity, or Buddhism, or anything, he is beheaded in Chop-Chop Square, whatever town he lives in, all right? What are the civil liberties of the non-Muslims in southern Sudan? They’ve killed about 2 million. I don’t know whether I’ve mentioned it on this program, but I was speaking in a—I can’t even remember where, and a woman came up to me after the meeting, and I guess I’d said something about Sudan, and she said, “We are missionaries in Uganda, and they are coming down through south Sudan into Uganda, and the torture, the murder, they are cutting off women’s breasts so they cannot feed their children—so they cannot nurse their children.” Okay. What about this?
I could go on and on—burning down hundreds of churches, Christian churches, in Nigeria. Slaughtering thousands of Christians in Indonesia! Why don’t we hear a word about that from these people who have some kind of discrimination against them, they feel, or they can’t wear a scarf, a headscarf, in school?
Tom, I’m sorry, I lose my patience. Let’s be for civil rights, but let us deal with an even hand on a level playing field, and let us have an outcry for what the Muslims are doing to non-Muslims all over this world. There’s no freedom. There’s no democracy. There’s no freedom of the press.
Try to say a word in Palestinian territory. You’ll be put in jail. You’ll be grabbed off the street and tortured and so forth, and killed, okay? I’m sorry, Tom, I’m getting a little bit worked up here, but how can we tolerate this kind of nonsense? Why don’t we think about what’s going on, really, the real discrimination and let’s do something about it instead of having these people making their—I’m sorry—petty complaints about the violation of their rights in the United States of America, where they have more rights than they’ve ever had in any Muslim country.
Tom: Dave, nevertheless, they’re American Arabs, and they ought to have the right to vote and every which-way that we do.
Dave: Oh, sure, sure. And in Germany they have already voted Muslims into power, and Muslims are taking over in parts of England, okay? So this is what they’re aiming for. We need to bear that in mind.