Rice couches questionable appeal for dialogue with Muslim world in jargon of US religious extremists

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Apparently to US National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice, Ariel Sharon’s spokesperson in the Bush administration, a Muslim moderate is the opposite of what she calls, "Islamic extremists." She is obviously non-receptive to the view of most Muslims that there is no Islamic or Muslim extremism that is threatening the United States. Fundamental interpretation of the Qur’an is not threatening the United States, and is not terrorism. Those supposed al-Qadea imposters who attacked the United States were not Muslims, and their claim to be Muslim is believed only by those who are seeking a pretense upon which to mount an assault on Islam. Even the ideas conveyed by supposed Al-Qadea operatives are not derived from the Qur’an, but rather are based upon excerpts taken out of context and used to advance ideas that are foreign to Islam, and rejected by most, if not all Muslims. They could do the same with any religious text, or idea. To imagine that such gratuitous an! d obvious exploitation would become the pretext for a multi-billion dollar international war against the legitimate religion of more than a billion people is preposterous.

Rice is also seemingly oblivious to the truth that there is a US religious extremism that is very threatening to the Muslim world, and so this is perhaps where the dialogue, if there is to be one, should begin.

Ms. Rice should have perhaps begun her appeal by explaining to us why it is acceptable for Christian and Jewish religious extremists in our government, to wage a war against Islam under the guise of fighting terrorism? She might also explain to us why US taxpayer money is being used to establish a Jewish only state in Israel that persecutes Christians and Muslims, and violates their human and religious rights as a matter of public policy? Increasingly, Americans, including Muslims, are wondering why US taxpayer money can be used to establish a religious and non-democratic Jewish state that by its very definition is opposed to the free exercise of religion by non-Jewish people. This is especially strange when we consider that our US Constitution prohibits the establishment of national ideologies, or national religion here in the US, even with our own tax dollars.

At issue in any dialogue that might ensue between Ms. Rice’s constituency, who are religious extremists, and the people of the Muslim world, is Christian and Jewish fundamentalism and religious extremism. The potential impact of religious extremism in the US or Israel, upon the people of the rest of the non-Christian and non-Jewish world must be addressed. Is Christian and Jewish religious extremism any less offensive or threatening to the world than what she calls, "Islamic extremism"?

Strange indeed that the US can claim to be embroiled in an ideological battle with Islamic extremists when the US is prohibited from professing a national ideology. Claiming that the United States is a nation founded upon Judeo-Christian values is the way Christian and Jewish religious extremists in the United States are attempting to in fact establish a religious government here. These people ignore completely the Mayflower pact, and the US Constitution, and also our founder’s insistence that we not claim to be a religious nation, but rather we profess to be a nation that recognizes that there is a God. We are a nation where people have a right to freely worship God as they see fit, so long as their worship does not compromise the freedom of others to also worship God, as they believe He should be worshipped. This is true for people throughout the world. The US constitution implies recognition of the inalienable right of every human being to pursue happines! s. This must include the right to believe in and worship the God of their choice, as they choose, and even not to believe in God, or worship Him at all, if that is what they choose.

Christian and Jewish religious zealots in the United States hope to use our tax dollars to establish their ideological dominance over other Americans, and also the rest of the world. Their extreme, and wrong interpretation of the Bible, is the basis of the ideology from which they extract their premise for an international war against Islam now, and later any religion, or ideal that does not suit their idea of an acceptable belief. The teachings of Jesus are foreign to these zealots, who have embraced now discredited understandings of the Old Testament with new fervor. They have turned their backs to the New Testament emphasis on a universal God of all men, and peace, mercy and compassion between believers and non- believers. This is a revival of the Christianity that justified the slavery of Blacks, native Americans and Latinos, based upon Old Testament teachings referring to Noah’s supposed curse of his son Canaan, saying "Cursed be Canaan," (Gen. 9:25.) A! s a result of this supposed Old Testament insistence that all Cushites (Africans and non-whites), the descendants of Ham, were cursed to be the slaves of Noah’s other children, non Caucasian people throughout the world were considered savages and heathens, and people without souls. Accordingly, neither the Church of England, nor the Old Catholic Church recognized any moral obligation to uphold the human rights of non-whites, unless they accepted to be "saved" by entering the Church, and coming under the authority of either the Queen of England, or the Pope.

This is the same strain of Christianity that fueled the Spanish inquisition, and the colonialism, and many of the wars of the 20th century, and also the historic slave trade. Ms. Rice has obviously forgotten the Christianity of the hooded Knights who rode through the old south lynching and killing Blacks, claiming as justification the same Old Testament interpretations that she and her colleagues now use to condemn Islam. Condoleeza Rice and her male counter part, and colleague, Black syndicated columnist Armstrong Williams, denigrate Islam. Williams wrote on his website "A Muslim anywhere is a threat to Jews everywhere," and admitted that his good friend Ariel Sharon had taught him this idea, a bigoted idea that Williams obviously saw fit to not only adopt, but also to advocate.

It is strange indeed that the United States Institute for Peace, a taxpayer funded institute that supposedly pursues international peace by mandate from the American people was the staging ground for Rice’s bigoted retort to the Muslim world. Considering that she is not an elected official, the people of the Muslim world should look upon her ranting as just another example of the many challenges that currently face our nation, and the world. A challenge that will only be overcome once people like Rice understand that we all enjoy equal and inalienable religious rights, that are not subject to, or dependant upon either she or Ariel Sharon for acceptance, or sanction.

Rice’s call for dialogue with the Muslim world appears as phony as her claim that the US should be at war with Islamic "extremism." By couching her appeal in the language of Christian and Jewish extremism, she made it very clear that no real dialogue is either desired or actually intended, and also that she is very capable of making sure that one never happens.

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