I wasn't going to write about Ramadan in official Washington this fall season - not again. But I just can't resist.
First, there are all the holiday trappings of this by-now annual column - such seasonal staples as my all-time favorite “war on terror” quotation from Abu Qatada, the Al Qaeda-linked cleric. I just love to trot it out around Ramadan after President Bush has said something utterly ignorant about Islam meaning peace, or, addressing the Muslim pooh bahs he always has at the White House for a fast-breaking Iftar dinner, how the jihadists have “twisted” Islam.
“I am astonished by President Bush when he claims there is nothing in the Koran that justifies jihad violence in the name of Islam,” Abu Qatada said about six years ago. “Is he some kind of Islamic scholar? Has he ever actually read the Koran?”
Ah, me. Good stuff.
Then there's the holiday excitement of combing through the White House Iftar dinner guest list looking for unindicted co-conspirators. Since I had to put this column together before White House Iftar 2007, I turned to White House Ramadans past, reading through the president's old speeches - 2001 through 2006 - to see if I'd missed anybody he'd singled out for a mention.
And I had! White House Ramadan is so much better than bingo. In 2003 and 2004, President Bush asked Faizul Khan, who is affiliated with the Saudi-funded Islamic Center of Washington, D.C., and serves on the board of directors of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), to give the blessing. This year, the Justice Department officially labeled ISNA as a U.S. branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, the movement aiming to establish a global Islamic empire, and also as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Hamas fund-raising Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development trial still awaiting a verdict in Dallas.
Then again, maybe the ISNA score doesn't count in this holiday game since the official co-”conspiratorialness” of the group is practically brand new. Still, as Steven Emerson has pointed out, ISNA has “never condemned terror groups like Hamas and Hezbollah by name,” which really should have come under White House consideration - if, that is, anyone at the White House ever considered anything. Heaven knows it's hard enough finding good moderates these days. Look too closely and they might find a Sharia-supporter. Sharia, of course, is Islamic law - wholly antithetical to Western-style liberty.
Take Talal Eid. In 2006, Eid gave the blessing at the White House Ramadan dinner, and this year Bush appointed him to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. As Robert Spencer has reported, Eid is a Wahhabi-trained imam certified by the anti-American Muslim World League who has actually called for the establishment of Sharia courts in the United States to regulate the family affairs of American Muslims.
Is a proponent of Sharia in the United States someone the leader of the Western world should be honoring?
Hmmm. Let's ask Hirsi Ali, the courageous ex-Muslim opponent of Sharia from The Netherlands whose collaborator, Theo van Gogh, was assassinated in 2004 for their film critique of the Islamic repression of women under Sharia.
Oops - I forgot. This very Ramadan week, Ms. Ali had to leave Washington, D.C., and return to The Netherlands for security reasons. Too bad Bush “forgot” to invite her to the White House before she left - not to mention all the other brave critics of Islamic repression including Bat Ye'or, Brigitte Gabriel, Nonie Darwish and Wafa Sultan.
But in these post-9/11 days, only supporters of Sharia seem to get those coveted holiday invites. Take the ambassadors from the countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). The OIC not only coddles terrorists and lobbies against freedom of speech at the highest diplomatic levels, it also supports a code of human rights derived from Sharia - which, of course, denies human rights to women and non-Muslims. These are the people who sup with the president every Ramadan and, I imagine, chuckle discreetly through Bush's remarks, as in 2006, about Islam's “commitment to tolerance and religious freedom.” How do you say “we sure pulled the camel wool over his eyes” in Arabic? Under Sharia, of course, there is no religious freedom.
But who's checking? No one at this White House. What about the next administration? I hereby pledge to vote for the presidential candidate who promises to stop submitting to Sharia suppers at Ramadan - even though that means I'll have to think of something else to write about.
Diana West is a columnist for The Washington Times. She is the author of “The Death of the Grown-up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization.” She can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.