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Oct 4

Written by: Diana West
Thursday, October 04, 2007 9:19 AM 

 I wrote a column this week about Ramadan at the White House, but it was really Ramadan at the Pentagon that got me going again. (This is my fourth or fifth annual column touching on official Washington’s post-9/11 “tradition” of Ramadan celebrations.)
    It was a Washington Times story about the  military’s Ramadan service that actually caught my eye. Or, rather, it was the name of the presiding imam, Navy Chaplain Abuhena M. Saifulislam. “Saifulislam” means “Sword of Islam.”  
    It seems that Lieutenant Commander “Sword of Islam” led 100 Islamic faithful, kneeling toward Mecca, in prayer to Allah to celebrate Ramadan at the Pentagon. And that was about it as far as the story went.
    But is that all there is to say? In our post-grown-up world of pretend, no one is supposed to mention the uncomfortable fact that the al Qaeda terrorists who attacked the Pentagon would have fit right into the Pentagon ceremony; no one is supposed to make the connection. Nor is anyone supposed to stumble over the moniker “Sword of Islam,” a name that conjures up not ecumenical cheer, but scimitars of jihad. Nor is anyone supposed to notice that acts of Islamic terrorism  precede acts of Islamization: Al Qaeda strikes, Islamic sensitivity courses follow; bombs in the Tube, racial profiling is denounced; the “war on terror” drags on, the Pentagon institutes Ramadan services.    
    If such politically incorrent thoughts do slip through the PC filter, one is supposed to suppress them, drawing on  big, self-satisfied feelings of inclusiveness to drive away the willies.
    Uneasy nonetheless, I went on read a few other stories about Lt. Cmdr. Saifulislam and discovered he has a notable record as Islamic chaplain. The first such chaplain at Guantanamo Bay, he set up what is essentially the Islamic system under which detainees live, pray and eat according to Islamic law. He is also credited with the notion of opening a mosque at the Marine Corps Base at Quantico. Me, I would like to know whether he believes in bringing sharia, or Islamic law, to the United States.
    In an interview last year with American Forces Press Service, Lt. Comdr. Islam was practically begging the question when he explained that he has always wanted to serve Islam (not the United States).  
    “Islam is not just a religion to Muslims. It is a way of life. That’s how I was brought up” in Bangladesh, he said. No question about Islamic law followed, probably because the reporter doesn’t know what it is.
    And what does Lt. Cmdr. Saifulislam have to say about Islamic terrorism?
    “Terrorism has no religion, and no religion condones terrorism. These terrorists just happen to be Muslim.”
    Someone should send the lieutenant commander a copy of Robert Spencer's new book, Religion of Peace. Or Raymond Ibrahim’s new book, The Al Qaeda Reader, which extensively analyzes  a trove of previously untranslated al Qaeda documents. Bottom line from fluent-in-Arabic Ibrahim: “Radical’ Islam is Islam — without exception.”
    The story continues with the reporter noting: “Saifulislam’s personal loyalty is firmly aligned with his adopted country, he said, noting his 6-year-old daughter was born in the United States."
   Said Lt. Comdr. Saifulislam:  “My wife is an American; my sister is an American; my nephews and nieces are Americans. If I don’t defend them, who is going to defend them?”
    Hmm. While the family sentiment is nice and all that, it's hardly a ringing endorsement of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

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