Cover CNN’s (Aman) Poor Parrot
As a parent, what do you fear most? Your youngster “finding” Jesus, Jehovah, or Allah? Faced with those choices, would you prefer that she come home one day wearing a black nose bag, and clutching a Quran and a prayer mat, or dressed in a long skirt, nose in the Hebrew or Christian Testament?
Judging by Christiane Amanpour’s documentary, “God’s Warriors,” there is a lot to be said for the black nose bag—niqab, hijab, whatever. CNN’s very own Leni Riefenstahl is at it again. The khaki clad, butch correspondent wanted badly to “bridge the gap of understanding about the Muslim world,” as she put it. How better to propagandize for Islam than to convince the viewer that the four Jewish and Christian “extremists” she’d located were every bit as menacing as the estimated 300 million salafi fundamentalists—that’s an approximation of the world’s potential pool of Jihadis.
Taking murder out of suicide bombings was hence high among Amanpour’s priorities. “Suicide martyrdom,” the honorific Amanpour conferred on these murderers, is not only noble, it’s always reactive. “Suicide martyrs” are pushed to commit their dastardly deeds by you-know-who (it begins with a “J”). And “religious historian Bruce Lawrence says suicide martyrdom has become the last resort for those who feel powerless to fight any other way.” Yada, yada, yada.
Judging by the 9365 acts of terrorism they’ve carried out since September 11, Muslims are the most powerless people in the world. Yet Amanpour implores us to recognize that “like people everywhere, [Muslims] abhor terrorism. The small minority who resort to violence is symptomatic of something many of us have failed to understand.” But as the “Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America” points out, polls have found that a substantial number of Muslims still believe terrorism is justified. Hamas has the hearts and minds of Palestinians, and if Bush democratized Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, which sanctions “martyrdom” missions against Israeli Jews, would win a majority.
Soon Amanpour was pressing flesh with members of the Muslim Brotherhood. The taqiyya-talking Brotherhood—which begat Hamas, Gama’a al-Islamiya, and Islamic Jihad—managed effortlessly to convey through Amanpour, uncritical conduit that she is, that theirs is a peaceful organization. The claim is disputed by many reliable sources: former U.S. Middle East peace envoy Dennis Ross, Newsweek reporters Mark Hosenball and Michael Isikoff, and Kuwaiti columnist Dr. Ahmad Al-Rabi. While denouncing “violence,” the Brotherhood officially, and openly, endorses “suicide martyrdom” against Israeli civilians. By not challenging the Brotherhood—by never once mentioning the camel in the room—Amanpour conveyed that she doesn’t count attacks on Israeli civilians as violence.
Naturally, Amanpour made hay of the Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer “half-baked folderol” about the Israeli Lobby. Did she countervail with the exploits of the mighty Saudi-backed Muslim Lobby, including “the powerful Oil Lobby operating in America and advocating for Muslim, Arab and Palestinian perspectives”? To ask is to answer. Absent from Amanpour’s poor journalistic effort were accounts of “the numerous activist Muslim/Arab organizations that lobby and propagandize to influence American public opinion and foreign policy.”
The multiplying madrasas, the infiltration of the military and the penitentiaries by Islamic chaplains, the active attempts to supply American schools with Saudi-slanted textbooks on the Middle East; ensconcing Islam-friendly Middle East Studies chairs in departments across the world, and funding student organizations to propagandize against Israel and the US—this is the handiwork of the Muslim Lobby.
Although minarets and madrasas are mushrooming across Europe and America, Amanpour and her experts encouraged Muslims to carp endlessly about discrimination. Conversely, the travails of twins from rural Kentucky, who were forbidden by a judge to offer a prayer at their graduation ceremony, made Amanpour snicker. The “religious right” claims Christianity is being expunged from the public square, when in reality, “they are playing the victim,” she snarled.
Conversely, Amanpour hung on Rehan Seyam’s every word, as the young American Muslim extolled the virtues of her Islamic attire: it allowed her to avoid being objectified. Karen Armstrong, a former Roman Catholic nun, now a fulltime apologist for Islam, vouched for how “very liberating” she found the habit. (Admittedly, Amanpour too was at her calmest when covered like a parrot in a cage.)
Indeed, Amanpour and her viziers affirmed Muslims who wanted to embrace a purer life style and get closer to their God. The youngsters were experiencing “alienation” in a lascivious, libertine society. However, young Christians seeking to palliate their pain by turning to God—with them Amanpour was impatient; they were pathological, not pious. When Ron Luce of the “Teen Mania” evangelical ministries disclosed that the kids he guides to God are required to dress modestly and are prohibited from using the Internet unsupervised, Amanpour shrieked: “Totalitarianism; the Taliban.”
Imagine the disdain our correspondent evinced at the sound of Christian youngsters, faces beaming, reciting the Lord's Prayer in public. What next? Executing apostates, unchaste women and gays?
©2007 By Ilana Mercer