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Obama Feeds The Crocodile

It was either Chesterton or C.S. Lewis who declared that tolerance was the virtue of a man without convictions. I thought about that this morning when I read that Barack Obama has publicly asked that some guy in Florida not burn the koran.

“If he’s listening, I hope he understands that what he’s proposing to do is completely contrary to our values as Americans,” Obama said. “That this country has been built on the notion of freedom and religious tolerance.” I don’t know about built on, but they are certainly important “notions.” So important that our founding fathers enshrined them in the first amendment. And this is where Obama breaks down.

When the question was the mosque in New York, Obama was unequivocal. They have the right to build there, but I won’t comment on the wisdom of their choice, was his dictum on the subject. In the Florida imbroglio, he rails against the wisdom of the pastor’s choice, but fails to mention the pastor’s right to burn the koran. As a matter of fact, he went out of his way to underscore just how dangerous the first amendment has become.

“And as a very practical matter, I just want him to understand that this stunt that he is talking about pulling could greatly endanger our young men and women who are in uniform,” Obama said. “Look, this is a recruitment bonanza for Al Qaida. You could have serious violence in places like Pakistan and Afghanistan.” Obama also said Jones’ plan, if carried out, could serve as an incentive for terrorist-minded individuals “to blow themselves up” to kill others.

Obama was immediately backed up by Feisal Rauf, the man behind the N.Y. Mosque. The imam threatened the west with violence if the proposed mosque were to be moved. He also echoed Obama’s comments about recruitment for Al Qaida.

“But if you don’t do this right, anger will explode in the Muslim world,” he later said, predicting that the reaction could be more furious than the eruption of violence following the 2005 publication of Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Ironically, this is the guy that took a State Department-funded 15-day trip to the Middle East to promote religious tolerance.

Rauf is not alone. Dr. Nabil Bayakly with the Muslim Society of Memphis says the church’s actions could incite violence against U.S. troops, and Americans living in other countries, many of whom have family members in the Memphis area. “Just think about the lives of Americans who live in Muslim countries, how much danger you’re putting them in. [C]onsider your American citizens. Consider their safety.” Note the phrasing, “your American citizens,” not “our.” It’s clear where his loyalty lies. So in addition to threatening our troops abroad, the muslim leader is now threatening their families here in America. The message couldn’t be much clearer. They are, in the words of the mafia, making us an offer we can’t resist. Don’t thwart our plans, and we won’t kill your children. Thank God they’re a religion of peace.

The real problem is a lack of perspective. In a recent study(2007) conducted in Indonesia, 1200 muslims were surveyed. A fascinating picture emerges. More than 40 percent of Indonesian Muslims are ready to wage war for their faith. Acts of violence in the survey on religion and violence by the Center for Islamic and Social Studies (PPIM) showed 1.3 percent of the respondents committed “intimidation” against those they considered had blasphemed Islam.

“The percentage looks very small but it is very high in its real figure when you note that 85 percent, or 200 million, of the country’s 230 million population are Muslims,” said PPIM researcher Jajat Burhanudin.

The survey, conducted from 2001 to March 2006, found 40 percent would use violence against those blaspheming Islam and 14.7 percent would tear down churches without official permits.

Jajat said that a simultaneous study on the reasons for the results found Islamic teaching and Islamism made the most significant contributions to violent behavior, both in the domestic and public spheres.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the filmmaker who collaborated with Theo VanGogh on the film “Submission,” which later led to the murder of VanGogh by muslims. She now lives, like Rushdie, under a fatwa, or death sentence issued by islamic clerics.

Having grown up within Islam, Hirsi Ali believes she is uniquely placed to warn the public that they are living under a ‘great deception’ about the true nature of Islam. “They have deceived themselves that the majority of Muslims are moderate.”

“But they are not. Violence is inherent in Islam – it’s a destructive, nihilistic cult of death. It legitimates murder. The police may foil plots and freeze bank accounts in the short term, but the battle against terrorism will ultimately be lost unless we realise that it’s not just with extremist elements within Islam, but the ideology of Islam itself.”

And now we have those same elements threatening American citizens, here and abroad, unless we kow-tow to their demands. And our political leaders no longer have the perspective to see that danger, or the will to resist that danger. Winston Churchill, speaking of Chamberlain, said that “Appeasement is feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last.” Chamberlain, in response, said “Well, to listen to Mr. Churchill, you’d think that Hitler wanted to kill every Jew in Europe.” History has judged who was right then, let us hope we will determine who is right before we become like the Jews.

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