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March 21, 2005by Bob Parks

It would be purely rhetorical for me to say at this point that I was confused. Maybe if I toss some ideas around, we may learn something.

American liberals are constantly reminding us of the “separation of church and state”, which incidentally appears nowhere except in the “living Constitution.” So with that, by legislation we have removed symbols, the Ten Commandments, and hymns from almost all public places. High school football players cannot have prayer before, during or after their games, and the song “God Bless America” has even been outlawed in some venues. This has been done as to not offend the roughly five to ten percent of people in this country not Christian.

That would be acceptable, however reluctantly, if enforced fairly. Unfortunately it is not.

Two or so weeks ago, Dell Computer in Nashville told some of their employees that they would not be able to take time out of their work day to pray. Some would consider that appropriate if the prayers were of a Christian origin. However, Muslims at the company were the ones making the demands.

“The workers were told: ‘Choose work or choose faith. They didn’t see an option: They chose not to work.”
– Kelvin Jones, executive director of the Metro Human Relations Commission for the greater Nashville area

In the liberal world, a job is an entitlement. Now while most people would like one, it’s not possible to get one where you can do anything you want, especially if it interferes with the routine operation of that business, and more so if prayer is involved. Tell me that the ACLU wouldn’t rush to aid a company where Christians demanded prayer time at 10am….

Well, after a week of spotty media attention and intervention from CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Dell backed down and according to the Austin Business Journal, “A religious concern raised by 31 Muslim employees of the Spherion Corp. contracted by Dell Inc. in Tennessee has led to an agreement that will allow the employees to conduct sunset prayers.”

Here’s the part that is confuses this columnist:

As part of the agreement, Dell and Spherion employees in Tennessee will receive additional training on Dell’s current practices for religious accommodation. Those guidelines instruct managers and supervisors to grant paid time away from an employee’s work area for prayer as long as those requests are reasonable.”

Why is it that those who seek special treatment that would be considered outrageous in the case of other groups, in turn try and “educate” the rest of us as to why the rules don’t apply to them and why we’d damn well better accept it?

I don’t need no education. I’m just looking for consistency here. Thus my mistrust at the motives of a group like CAIR.

In a previous column I noted my brief, but telling run-in with a CAIR representative on a discussion involving racial profiling after 9/11 on a Los Angeles radio program. What always gets me going is when any, yes, ANY fringe group tries to compare their inconvenience to what blacks went through prior to and during the civil rights era. There is no comparison, unless you are ready to be called a racist to make you back down.

So who is CAIR and what might they really want?

According to their website, “CAIR’s mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.”

Now while most have no problem with the understanding of any religion, in this case it doesn’t seem like dialogue was encouraged; just demands. As far as protecting civil liberties, that sounds nice especially considering how civil liberties are approached in some of the countries Muslims escape to settle here.

That’s right; I said it. ESCAPE.

It’s the “empowering American Muslims” part the concerns me.

What kind of empowerment are we talking about? Peaceful assimilation or potential takeover? I only say this considering the perception that some Muslims around the world seemingly have little design on getting along with anyone not Muslim. To say this can even have a hit put out on you and your family.

That might offend some at CAIR, but it happens all around the world every day. Imagine a world without fatwas and where “infidels” weren’t targeted for elimination according to the “alternate” interpretation of the Qur’an.

Back to the website, “CAIR’s Governmental Affairs Department conducts and organizes lobbying efforts on issues related to Islam and Muslims. The department is active in monitoring legislation and government activities and then, responding on behalf of the American Muslim community. CAIR representatives have testified before Congress and have sponsored a number of activities designed to bring Muslim concerns to Capitol Hill.”

Should we consider there being a difference between being Muslim and American. I only say this because our laws are created to encompass all, not everyone except Muslims. I know the racial profiling thing strikes a nerve with American Muslims, but CAIR people on television and radio denouncing the profilers as racists and not condemning the terrorists who are mostly Muslim speaks volumes and breeds the suspicion that inspired this column.

CAIR’s Communications Department works in conjunction with local and national media to ensure an accurate portrayal of Islam and Muslims is presented to the American public. CAIR monitors local, national and international media in part, to challenge negative stereotypes, but also to applaud and encourage positive representations of Islam and Muslims. Over the years, CAIR has become a respected and credible source for journalists and other media professionals.”

It seems the depiction that really pisses them off is that of some Muslims being terrorists. CAIR people always bring up the Columbine shooters and Tim McVeigh to show that not all violent people are Muslims. No one has said that, however I’d like to offer one piece of advice to counter some of the daily news reports that dictate otherwise: STOP BLOWING SHIT UP!

We hear of assassinations, car bombings, beheadings, kidnappings, and that’s only the ones being done to fellow Muslims, then CAIR gets all bent out of shape because they say WE are perpetuating a negative stereotypical image. Give me a break.

“CAIR offers internships to students or other interested individuals who wish to gain experience in media relations, political activism or civil rights work.”

In other words, more indoctrination of kids….

“CAIR organizes regular conferences and training seminars for government and law enforcement agencies, media professionals and the academic community. These events are designed to present easily accessible and accurate information about Islam and Muslims. CAIR’s TeamWorks sensitivity and diversity training workshop is offered to employers, educators and organizations as a proactive approach that highlights relevant Islamic practices and offers suggestions for religious accommodation. CAIR also provides training for the Muslim Community and activists in areas such as media relations, public speaking, lobbying, and civil rights.”

Religious accommodation, diversity training, and sensitivity. It’s nice that CAIR wishes to share such good will with the rest of us. However I think they’d be more accepted if they practiced themselves what they demand of everyone else.

Here in America, Muslim women have all kinds of rights. Rights that would allow them to be part of an organization like CAIR; rights that aren’t allowed to women in numerous Muslim countries. I’ve always wondered why people do whatever they can to leave certain parts of the world to come to America, then once here do whatever they can to make America resemble the place from which they fled?

Again, my confusion….

“Since its establishment in 1994, CAIR has worked to promote a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America. Through media relations, lobbying, education and advocacy, CAIR puts forth an Islamic perspective to ensure the Muslim voice is represented. In offering this perspective, CAIR seeks to empower the American Muslim community and encourage their participation in political and social activism.”

It ain’t workin’.

The positive image of radical Islam will not be cured by CAIR through turning attention away from the fanatics and onto those who criticize them. Organizations, including tax exempt “nonprofit 501(c)(4)’s” who portray themselves as oppressed minorities like post-slavery blacks, are using blacks in the typical and insulting way used so often by American liberals and their fringes.

The only people who can clean up Muslims’ images are those Muslims themselves, and I don’t mean those taking the heat for the crazies. I personally have a Muslim friend who has told me many things about Islam I truly didn’t know; this despite the “education” and promotion of positive images disseminated by CAIR.

Until then, television shows like “24” and movies like “True Lies” are stereotypical depictions of Muslims. People like me have had to acknowledge that some stereotypes have a basis in truth. Some people have problems with accepting that.

I could CAIR less.

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