Cox and Forkum, you will be missed (cartoon via Gates of Vienna)
We all know what this resolution is all about, and what the Ramadan iftar dinners at the Pentagon and the White House are all about. All are designed to reassure Muslims that we know that Islam is a religion of peace, and that Islam has nothing to do with jihadist terrorism. In fact, this resolution, and those iftars, are caused by jihad terrorism; if Islamic terrorism weren't an international phenomenon, and if the United States weren't engaged in efforts, however ill-conceived and wrongheaded, to defend ourselves against that terrorism, there would be no need for such initiatives at all. The need for them arises out of a sense of guilt, tinged with fear: yes, we've got our troops in two Muslim countries, but we know you chaps aren't all bad, eh wot, and you've got a grand religion there, and...please don't hate us.
Instead of passing resolutions congratulations Muslims for Ramadan, and instead of holding iftar dinners in the Pentagon and the White House -- or at very least in addition to doing so -- the U.S. ought to be placing responsibility where it actually lies. Where are the Congressional resolutions calling upon Muslim groups in America to renounce Sharia and political Islam, and to institute comprehensive, transparent programs teaching against Islamic supremacism in U.S. mosques and Muslim schools? Where are the Congressional resolutions calling upon Muslims in the U.S. to condemn not just "terrorism," but Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hizballah, and other jihad terror groups, and to back up their condemnations with active cooperation with anti-terror efforts?
The Republicans who voted "present" on the Ramadan resolution don't say any of this. But I suspect that some were thinking it.
Forty-one Republicans, more than 20 percent of the caucus, and one Democrat voted “present” on a resolution recognizing the commencement of Ramadan on Tuesday.
The 42 lawmakers make up more than 10 percent of the members voting on the resolution. There were zero “no” votes, and 14 members did not vote.
The resolution recognized “the Islamic faith as one of the great religions of the world,” rejected “hatred, bigotry and violence directed against Muslims, both in the United States and worldwide” and “[commended] Muslims in the United States and across the globe who have privately and publicly rejected interpretations and movements of Islam that justify and encourage hatred, violence and terror.”
Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) dismissed the resolution as political correctness gone too far.
“This resolution is an example of the degree to which political correctness has captured the political and media elite in this country,” Tancredo said. “I am not opposed to commending any religion for their faith. The problem is that any attempt to do so for Jews or Christians is immediately condemned as ‘breaching’ the non-existent line between church and state by the same elite.”
Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) said, “I voted ‘present’ because I read somewhere that Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion.”
Joining Tancredo in his “present” vote were Republican Reps. Robert Aderholt (Ala.), Todd Akin (Mo.), Gresham Barrett (S.C.), Jo Bonner (Ala.), Mary Bono (Calif.), Paul Broun (Ga.), Ginny Brown-Waite (Fla.), Michael Burgess (Texas), Steve Buyer (Ind.), John Carter (Texas), Mike Conaway (Texas), Nathan Deal (Ga.), Terry Everett (Ala.), Mary Fallin (Okla.), Randy Forbes (Va.), Trent Franks (Ariz.), Scott Garrett (N.J.), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Virgil Goode (Va.), Kay Granger (Texas), Robin Hayes (N.C.), Sam Johnson (Texas), Jim Jordan (Ohio), Steve King (Iowa), Doug Lamborn (Colo.), Kenny Marchant (Texas), Jeff Miller (Fla.), Randy Neugebauer (Texas), Tom Price (Ga.), Mike Rogers (Ala.), Mark Souder (Ind.), Mac Thornberry (Texas), Todd Tiahrt (Kan.), Tim Walberg (Mich.), Zach Wamp (Tenn.), Dave Weldon (Fla.), Lynn Westmoreland (Ga.), Don Young (Alaska) and Bill Young (Fla.), as well as Democrat Mike McIntyre (N.C.).