Obama spokesman: “Being religious is never un-American. Being religious is quintessentially American.”
Really? Being religious in any way? Then why was the Waco compound besieged and burned down? Why was Mormon polygamy outlawed? Jim Jones was a terrific fellow?
The U.S. has in the past identified ways in which being religious might be harmful to the national security. Now we face a threat from people who commit violence and explain and justify their actions by reference to the texts and teachings of a particular religion, and the White House is saying that any investigation of that is out of the question. Will this not have the effect of ensuring that the unexamined, unresisted behavior will continue?
“White House promotes Muslim help against terrorism: Top White House security adviser: ‘Being religious is never un-American,’” by Eileen Sullivan for The Associated Press, March 7:
WASHINGTON “” The White House is pushing a message of religious tolerance ahead of this week’s congressional hearing on Islamic radicalism, which has sparked protests on grounds it unfairly singles out Muslims as potential terrorists.
President Barack Obama sent his deputy national security adviser, Denis McDonough, on Sunday to a Washington-area mosque known for its cooperation with the FBI and its rejection of the al-Qaida brand of Islam.
“Being religious is never un-American. Being religious is quintessentially American,” McDonough said….
Speaking to an interfaith forum of Muslims, Christians, Jews and other faiths, McDonough, the president’s point-man on countering violent extremism, was clear: “We’re all Americans.”…
“No community can be expected to meet a challenge as complex as this alone,” McDonough said. “No one community can be expected to become experts in terrorist organizations, how they are evolving, how they are using new tools and technology to reach our young people.”
The Muslim community has been integral in tipping off law enforcement in many of the plots uncovered over the past two years. In 2009, the Muslim community came forward when they learned five Northern Virginia men had traveled to Pakistan with the hopes of joining a terrorist organization.
McDonough said agencies throughout the Obama administration would continue working to understand the process of radicalization. He also promised further outreach to Islamic communities in the United States, as well as efforts to dispel “misperceptions about our fellow Americans who are Muslim.”…