Going bananas over Khomeini
Rod Dreher is a columnist and editorial writer for the Dallas Morning News. A few years back he wrote this review in National Review of my book Islam Unveiled. In the Morning News he had an interesting exchange with Mohamed Elibiary of the Freedom and Justice Foundation in Dallas.
Elibiary spoke in December 2004 at the Dallas "Tribute to the Great Islamic Visionary," the Ayatollah Khomeini. Now Elibiary says he didn't know it was to be a Khomeini tribute; one wonders, looking at the poster above, what he did think it was about.
Anyway, in the course of their present exchange, Elibiary says:
I had offered you a trade a little over 1-1/2 years ago to answer your biased questions about speaking at the Irving Shia Mosque if you'd answer mine. I answered all your questions and you independently corroborated my answers, but you sir didn't show the same degree of honesty to answer mine. I, my wife and now my kids are examples of those home grown Muslims you're so fearful of turning violent on you, and my message to you is just treat people fairly and we as a country will make it fine though these rough waters. Treat people as inferiors and you can expect someone to put a banana in your exhaust pipe or something.
Dreher doesn't let this pass, responding:
Are you threatening me? I take this as a threat, and I have passed it on to certain people.
Anyway, the reason I will not agree to "debate" you is because I've been on the receiving end of "debate" from members of your community, and it all goes one way: yelling and bullying and blustering from your side, and groundless accusations of "racism" and "Islamophobia," and what rot. And now I suppose I have to worry that someone from your community would see me drive up, identify my car, and alter it to cause me harm. Great work, Mohamed.
They also have an illuminating exchange about Sayyid Qutb's Milestones, a jihad manifesto that I discuss in my book Onward Muslim Soldiers, the contents of which Elibiary attempts to obfuscate. And Dreher concludes with these superb statements:
I reject your definition of my "strategy" as Islamophobic. Insofar as I have a "strategy," I would call it responsible journalism. I welcome co-existence -- why shouldn't I? -- but not at the cost of a see-no-evil mentality that refuses to ask questions that make some Muslims uncomfortable -- and to expect answers, not a shabby p.r. strategy that depends on mau-mau'ing critics into guilty silence. As former FBI counterterrorism chief Buck Revell put it, "If we continue to be deaf, dumb and blind to what's plainly in front of us, we have no one to blame but ourselves."
Read it all.