Our eyes and ears in France, Nidra Poller, sent me this earlier. Gloating is so ..... French. Poller quips,
I just had to translate this for Atlas. Click on the link to see the photo.
This is the kind of poison honey served in the French media. Le Figaro is nominally a conservative daily. But when it comes to the US, and Obama, and Islam, don't ask.
The attached article was followed by a link to one about the Muslim community of Alexandria and the controversial Saudi Academy. A bit of truth about the hate-filled manuals, quotes from Nina Shea and James Lafferty, okay, but it ends with a zoom on a female convert at the Adams Islamic Center whose version of 9/11 aftermath is swastikas scrawled on the Center's walls. But, she concludes, the Adams Center has good relations with FBI agents who come to see them regularly. "We have to cooperate, and prove that American Musims are opposed to all forms of violence."
The media mobilize all their energy trying to convince citizens of our countries that they have nothing to fear from Islam. If they turned that energy against the jihadis, they might be able to stop Iran's nuclear program in its tracks, by the sheer weight of opinion (alle vai) ! [how do we spell it?]
Laure Mandeville, Washington correspondent 21 September 2009 updated 9:38 AM
[photo] Members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) listen to Obama’s Cairo speech. Photo: Associated Press
Eight years after 9/11 Muslims believe a new chapter opens
On September 25, from 4 AM to 7 PM, some 50,000 Muslims are expected to converge on Capitol Hill to “pray for America.” It’s a first. This unprecedented initiative conceived by a group of imams in July was launched by the Dar ul Islam Mosque in New Jersey. “The Islamic community never before prayed for America’s soul at the Capitol. We are Americans. We want to change the face of Islam so that people will stop thinking that every Muslim sees America as the Big Satan. Because we love America,” explains Dar-ul-Islam president Hassen Abdellah.
Obama’s famous Cairo address to the Muslim world gave this imam the idea of praying on Capitol Hill. “For the first time in my life I heard someone of his stature speak of Muslims as full-fledged citizens, not adversaries,” says Abdellah. “He said he offered the Islamic world an outstretched hand. The Islamic world wants to take it.”
Abdellah’s enthusiasm marks the beginning of a honeymoon between Barack Obama and American Muslims. Eight years after the tragedy of 9/11, which made them potential suspects or pariahs, Muslims believe that a new chapter is finally opening. Aly Aziz, of the Islamic Society of New Jersey, exclaims with delight, “Yesterday I was seen as a terrorist and today I am authorized to pray in the Capitol.” At the White House Iftar dinner -- organized during Ramadan by Barack Obama following in the footsteps of his predecessors—the president reiterated: “Islam is an integral part of America ….We celebrate the sacred month of Ramadan and so doing we honor the extraordinarily dynamic Muslim community that has enriched America and its culture.” Many intellectuals, athletes, artists and entrepreneurs attended the banquet, living proof of the success of the American model of integration. The president paid a deeply significant tribute to the sacrifice of Kareem Khan, a young Muslim American killed in combat in Iraq. “A crescent is sculpted on his tomb that stands side by side with Christian crosses and Jewish stars. These brave Americans are united in death as they were in life. By the same commitment to their country, » said Obama.
Public opinion polls show that American Muslims are generally satisfied with their situation. It is true that, unlike Muslim immigrants in Europe, they are mainly middle class. Most American observers attribute their success to “American style secularism.” Contrary to French secularism, which is meant to protect the State from religious influence, American secularism seeks to guarantee religious freedom and protection from an invasive State. “The nation is presumably wired to be more tolerant and able to handle differences,” adds Vaïsse [something must have been edited out…there is no previous reference to Vaisse, a favorite source in France].
Incidents like the French banlieue riots in 2005 and the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh in 2004 necessarily reinforce this conviction that the European way of handling Muslim minorities seems like a brush-off. This was underlined by the sharp reaction to Obama’s defense of headscarves on a recent visit to France. Americans don’t understand why the French won’t allow girls to wear headscarves in schools and now want to outlaw the burqa. Americans, convinced they have the right approach, regularly organize study tours tailored to European Muslim elites.
Some, however, argue that Obama’s idyllic image of American Islam masks a reality as complex as the numerous communities of which it is composed. While many groups seem to be well integrated, others are prone to radicalization, such as the Somali communities of Minnesota that harbor “jihadist sleeper cells” prepared to export combatants to the Horn of Africa. The radical ideology of converts also poses problems similar to those in Europe.
The pessimistic current, which is far more prevalent among Republicans than Democrats, criticizes Obama’s “naïveté” and appeals for reflection on the European example and warns against underestimating the dangers of a multiculturalism that will ultimately infringe on American values of freedom.
The Obama administration replies that it has never dropped its guard in confrontations with radicals, but knows only one way to fight radicalism politically: give American Muslims such a strong feeling of liberty and belonging that they wouldn’t think of destroying the American model but would want to defend it.
[followed by this distribution of Muslim communities in the US, giving a total of 1.5 million, and not mentioning Obama’s inflated 7 million in the Cairo speech]
UPDATE: More on Abdellah here.