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In Defense of Frances Townsend

Posted on March 21 2010 11:40 am
Elise Cooper is a freelance author focusing on the conservative point of view on issues involving national and homeland security. Her articles have been published by various conservative blogs, magazines and Republican newsletters.
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I am sorry I have to write a “Dear John letter.” I am surprised by your blog post regarding the Q and A I had with Frances Townsend. I regard her as an insightful, thoughtful, and direct — yes, John — direct person. She speaks her mind and says what she believes. Although I am glad you commented that the interview was “excellent” I thought you are stretching on your criticism of her.

You pointed out that she did not use the verboten “I” word (by the way, neither did you.) Maybe she did not use the word, Islam, but did use the synonym, “Muslim.” I think everyone who read it knew that she was being forthright in HER OPINION.

It seems to me that you make arguments that go over-board. Speaking of an “Orwellian response,” I hope I am wrongly reading between the lines; you are not advocating one of four actions?
a. Reverting back to the Wild West mentality that the only good Indian is a dead Indian by substituting the word Muslim for Indian.
b. Deporting all Muslims so that America becomes a Muslim free country.
c. Going back to the World War II policy of internment, this time doing it against Muslim Americans instead of Japanese Americans.
d. No longer being a country where freedom of religion and culture is cherished.

If anything, Ms. Townsend straight talks about the need to combat self-radicalization but also rationally points out that not every Muslim, especially an American Muslim, wants to destroy this country’s cherished ideology of freedoms. By the way if you read part one, Ms. Townsend pointedly states that
“I think they hate our Democratic society, the freedom of speech, freedom of thought, and freedom of religion” –something you seem to be forgetting.

I think what we want to do is exactly what Ms. Townsend espouses: get more moderate Arabs to speak out in support of a Democratic society and against radical Islam. If we don’t then we are giving ammunition to those radicalized Muslims who to quote Townsend, “hate us.” As Robert Spencer stated in a Q and A, ” Islam is not a monolith, and never have I said or written anything that characterizes all Muslims as terrorist or given to violence,” which is exactly the point Ms. Townsend was trying to make.

Let’s hope that there are more public figures like Ms. Townsend that have the guts to encourage regimes like Saudi Arabia to become more moderate and, who knows, hopefully in my lifetime we can see an alliance with states like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and ISRAEL against the radicalized Islamic regimes. Instead of quick drawing your criticism of her applaud her for speaking out and then maybe more moderate Muslim Americans like Dr. Zuhdi Jasser will stand up and be counted.


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