Here is a terrific piece by Cliff May on Obama’s new ambassador to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Rashad Hussain. I share’s May’s concern that instead of standing up to this chief foe of freedom of speech in the world today, Hussain will kowtow. Why wouldn’t he?
“Candor must counter Muslim half-truths,” by Clifford D. May, March 25 (thanks to Twostellas):
Last month, President Barack Obama announced the appointment of Rashad Hussain as ambassador to the Organization of the Islamic Conference. By video, Obama told attendees at something called the U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar, that Hussain, 31, was not just “an accomplished lawyer and trusted member of my White House staff,” but also a “hafiz” – a Muslim who has memorized the entire Koran.
That reminded me: George Shultz, when he served as secretary of State under President Ronald Reagan, would bring new ambassadors into his office where he kept a globe. “Show me the country you’ll be representing,” he would say. The diplomat would give the globe a spin, abruptly halting its motion to indicate Botswana, Bhutan, Brunei or whatever country he’d be calling home for the next few years. Shultz would shake his head. “No,” he would say. “You’ll be representing the United States of America. Try to remember that.”
The Organization of the Islamic Conference is a powerful global entity that most Americans have never heard of. It claims a “membership of 57 states spread over four continents,” making it the largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations – where, in recent years, it has arguably become the most powerful player.
The OIC’s Web site is revealing. It includes a communique protesting Switzerland’s ban of minarets, another on “Israeli Aggressions,” a condemnation of the “reprint of the controversial drawing of the Prophet Muhammad by Swedish artist Lars Vilks . . . as reaction to an alleged plot to murder the cartoonist,” and much on “Islamophobia.”
There is not much on terrorism aside from a statement by Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the OIC’s current secretary general, instructing that it “would be an unfortunate error in judgment in believing that Islam is linked to terror; that it is intolerant of other religious beliefs, that its values and practices are not democratic; that it favors oppression of freedom of expression and undermining human rights.” […]
One might argue Hussain should be making a forceful case for such democratic values as freedom and human rights – including for women and non-Muslims.
That Hussain has memorized the Koran is impressive. It remains to be seen whether he is equally familiar with the U.S. Constitution. He’ll be representing the United States of America. He should try to remember that.