HOW QUICKLY THEY CHOOSE TO FORGET and trust in the public memory to do the same, these massively hypocritical Republicans who have lined up behind Donald Trump in his assault on Ilhan Omar. She’s young, she’s Muslim, she was a teen-age refugee from war-torn Somalia. She was elected to Congress from Minnesota’s 5th district, which includes all of Minneapolis and some of its suburbs. It should be no surprise that she condemns Israel’s treatment of Palestinians—and Trump’s disdain for Islam along with his open-ended support of Israel (and, I imagine, his love of Israel’s extensive West Bank wall).
In any event, the news has grown warts of late with the accusation that Rep. Omar engaged in an extra-marital affair. Oh, my; how shocking in this day and age. But if it must be discussed . . .
For those inclined to cloak themselves in professed Biblical righteousness at this revelation, I invite you to John 8:1-7 where it is related that the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, facing the penalty of being stoned to death, before Jesus, seeking his contrary judgment so that they might accuse him of disobeying the law. Jesus said to them: “He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone at her.”
Well now! From where did the first stone come, the one thrown at Rep. Omar? Certainly from nowhere in the vicinity of Donald Trump, allegedly beloved by so many Evangelicals—yet against whom at least 20 charges of sexual misconduct have been lodged (and who rather openly displayed marital infidelity where at least one of his several wives was concerned). Here are a few links on what Donald was up to during his later married years:
The Trump Allegations (specifically graphic): https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2017/nov/30/donald-trump-sexual-misconduct-allegations-full-list
The 24 women who have charged Donald Trump of sexual misconduct:
What happened to the 20 women who accused Trump of sexual misconduct: http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2017/12/what-happened-to-trumps-16-sexual-misconduct-accusers.html
There also is one gaffe by Omar to which I want to return.
It was indeed clumsy but in no way dismissed terrorism in the manner that Donald dismissed domestic terrorism at Charlottesville.
At a Council on American-Islamic Relations fundraiser in Woodland Hills, Calif., in April, Omar said the organization “was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something, and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.” (CAIR was actually founded in 1994.) Awkward articulation? Definitely. Belittling or condoning terrorism? Absolutely not. But people who have trouble handling three-syllable words would have you think otherwise.
To my ear she was saying that because a small group of Muslims who were terrorists wreaked major carnage on 9/11, American society suddenly seemed to be condemning all Muslims as terrorists (as per Donald’s sort, his ban on Muslim immigrants—such as she and her parents had been—his general empowerment of specified xenophobia). The “us” and “them” attitude coming to the fore throughout the public psyche. Her lack of knowledge of CAIR was merely incidental ignorance of the sort we all display from time to time.
I believe we’re on a cusp at the moment—between the fatal evil of Donald Trump and the salvation offered by humanitarian virtue.
This is now Ilhan’s country as well as it is mine. She will be working with my children and grandchildren. “I know who I am,” Omar said recently. “The people who I love know who I am and what I care about . . . for me, my focus is doing the work that I feel I was destined to do.” The people of Minneapolis voted strongly in favor of that, and I’m inclined to go along with them.
Through it all, Islam itself is not our enemy. The enemy is the insidious extremist factions that infest it, such as ISIS, al Qaida, the Taliban. (Among themselves, even the Shiites and Sunnis seem to battle much like the Catholics and Protestants of Ireland in time past.) Our American society has some less-dominant terrorist factions that are in no way empowered by our dominant Christian religion . . . the Klan, neo-nazis.
Today’s on-going struggle between Muslims and Christians in the Middle East is somewhat like a renewal of the Crusades initiated by Catholic Popes to regain the Holy Land from invasive Muslims nearly 1,000 years ago. The first crusading European army set forth as the initial Crusade of 1095-99. Other similar Crusades continued through the Ninth of 1271-72.
TODAY’S QUOTE—“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”—Mark Twain