While he was there, the president made an extraordinary promise to appoint a US envoy to one of the world’s most bigoted groups, the Organization of the Islamic Conference "to listen and to learn from them" in the words of the current occupant of the White House.
President Bush has finally named an official envoy, a Texas businessman named Sada Cumber whom I believe is Pakistani in origin (degrees from the University of Karachi). He's in the high tech industry, the CEO of SozoTek, a wireless imaging company.
Mr. Cumber aside,the implications of the US naming such an envoy are astounding.
For those of you not familiar with the OIC, let's revisit a few highlights:
- The conference is the place where Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed received a standing ovation for a keynote speech delivered on October 16th, 2003 that was nothing less than a declaration of jihad against the west. In it he declared that `Jews run the world' and essentially said in so many words that the destruction of Israel was a goal towards a larger pan-Islamic caliphate, and that essentially, the US and Europe will only accept Islam as their master after their current masters, the Jews, are destroyed.
- In 2004, just after the massacre of children at Beslan, the OIC famously defined Islamic terrorism as `legitimate resistance' and refused to cooperate with the UN in condemning it.
- In 2005, the OIC called for universal application of sharia and demanded a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
- Also in 2005, Iranian president Ahmadinejad got a standing ovation speaking at the OIC in Mecca, denying that the Holocaust occurred, calling Israel a `tumor' and demanding that the world 'move the Jews to Germany'. And in 2006 Ahmadinejad called for “the elimination of the Zionist regime,” and recieved widespread applause in a speech at the OIC that year. Needless to say, the OIC failed to condemn this is the least.
- In 2006, during the Danish cartoon seethefest, the OIC passed a resolution demanding that the UN pass a resolution bannning `attacks on religion' ( read `Islam) with sanctions for violators.
- This same organization, the OIC has an office, the Islamic Office for the Boycott of Israel, entirely devoted to enforcing a boycott contrary to US law. And they recentlypassed a resolution condemning Islamophobia and `insults to Islam' as `worst form of terrorism’. And they have never unequivocally condemned the terrorism that occurred here in America on 9/11, in Britain, in Madrid or indeed, anywhere else.
- The OIC, as one of the largest voting blocs in the UN has repeatedly obstructed any actions against Sudan for the genocide in Darfur.
- The OIC consistently supports Hamas, and Hezbollah, groups identified as terrorist organizations under US law.
This is the racist, anti-American group our president legitimized and is now sending an official US envoy `to listen and to learn'.
When asked why it took so long for the president to name an envoy, White House spokesmouth spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters:"He wanted to find the right person and he found that in Sada Cumber."
Incidentally, in his own way President Bush is giving weight to the idea of a global caliphate, something I'm sure he didn't intend.
Spokesmouth Dana Perino, in a statement for the press no doubt vetted by the White House referred to Cumber as our `envoy to the Muslim world' and to the OIC as "an important organization" with "a constructive role to play in the world."
So we apparently are now dealing with the collective Muslim umma, rather than individual states..just as Mohammed and his successors intended back in the 6th century.
Frankly, if the sort of racist, anti-American and anti-western views embraced by the OIC are now acknowledged by the White House as the official stance of the Muslim world, then we are further apart then even I imagined..and the clash of civilizations is even further in evidence then I thought.
Of course, it's one thing to acknowledge this and an entirely different thing to pander to it.