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    04 May 2005

    Juan Cole goes after Pat Robertson

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    After he claimed that Muslim Americans aren't fit to serve in the US Gov't, Jews can't serve in the Supreme Court, and equates ACLU with Communism.
    John Aravosis argues that Pat Robertson should be a political pariah after his remarks on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that Muslim Americans are not fit to serve in the US cabinet. It is actually much worse than that. Robertson also implied that Jews are unfit to serve on the Supreme Court because some of them defend the ACLU, which he equates with defending Communism. The anti-Jewish bigotry among some evangelicals that codes Jews as a "cultural elite" promoting non-Christian values just drips from his words. I give the relevant parts of the interview below.

    Too right, that Robertson should be a political pariah after this performance. I say we hold accountable every politician that shares a stage with him. I say we target the advertisers for his insidious television show for a nationwide boycott. I say we draw the line right here. In Robertson's warped little world, all Muslims are dangerous and all liberal Jews are proto-Communists. And if we don't speak out, his world is about to become our world.

    Robertson knows nothing about the Koran or Islam. He can cite some extremist medieval jurist such as Ibn Taymiyyah, but who couldn't come up with extreme statements by medieval Christian leaders? The Christians did give us the Inquisition, after all, not to mention the Crusades. As for Islam, here is what Koran 5:82 says about Christian-Muslim relations, after it describes tensions with pagans and Jews: "You will certainly find that the nearest in love to those who believe [the Muslims] are those who say: 'We are Christians.' This is because there are priests and monks among them and because they do not behave proudly." Somehow that one never gets quoted. "Nearest in love" is something we need to get back to.

    American Muslims are Americans. They have all the same rights and duties as all other Americans. Period. Likewise Jewish Americans. Robertson's religious bigotry flies directly in the face of Thomas Jefferson's thinking on religious liberty, which he dares sully by passing it through his bilious venomous lips.

    He goes on to quote Jefferson and Locke, It's a good read.

    Juan Cole

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