Secretary of State Hillary Clinton insulted her country while traveling in the Middle East this past week and participating in a televised feel-good town hall-style meeting at a college in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
This is nothing new for the Obama administration, which makes a habit of trying to make dysfunctional societies feel better by highlighting our faults and engaging in a game of moral equivalency. However, Clinton took this game to a whole new, disgraceful level.
Twisting the truth about the alleged Arizona murderer, Jared Loughner, Clinton characterized him as an “extremist” influenced by “the crazy voices that sometimes get on the TV.” There is no evidence for her to make such a connection. In fact, the evidence adduced so far shows that Loughner is simply a nutjob. The voices he hears are all in his head. Nevertheless, Clinton used the tragic shooting to tell her Abu Dhabi audience that we are on the same level as they are when it comes to the threat from extremists lurking in our respective societies.
Clinton got into this discussion when she was asked why Americans appear to blame the entire Arab world for 9/11. Instead of firmly dispelling the myth that Americans blame all Arabs or all Muslims for 9/11 and pointing out Americans’ legitimate concerns with the widespread fundamentalist strains of Islam that call for jihad and hatred against non-Muslims, our Secretary of State sought fit to say the following:
We have the same kind of problems…the extremists and their voices, the crazy voices that sometimes get on the TV, that’s not who we are, that’s not who you are, and what we have to do is get through that and make it clear that doesn’t represent either American or Arab ideas or opinions.
While Bill O’Reilly appropriately went after that dippy Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik for mouthing off his unsubstantiated political theories on what led to the shooting, O’Reilly inexplicably gave Hillary Clinton a free pass for equating American “extremists” with Islamic “extremists.” As Secretary of State, Clinton is in a position to do far more damage to our country’s reputation with such canards than a local sheriff.
Islamic extremism is a global problem because it has become the driving force of Islamic ideology. Extremism, as we would define it, has become the norm throughout much of the Muslim world. Islamic law, teachings and history are loaded with continual incitement to hate and war against the infidels of any faith or belief other than Islam.
While the worst examples of Islamic extremism have appeared most prominently in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan and Iran, the more “moderate” countries in the Muslim world are far from immune. For example, the supreme court of the United Arab Emirates, the country where Hillary offered her views on comparable extremism in the Arab world and the United States, has issued a ruling affirming that it is a fundamental right of an Islamic male to administer beatings to his wife.
The only countries in the world with no female representatives in their governing bodies have been all Arab Gulf states. Apparently Representative Gabrielle Giffords or, for that matter, Hillary Clinton herself, would have no place in those countries’ governments.
Back in 2006, over 100 copies of the social studies text book ‘World Cultures,’ taught to the sixth grade children in an upscale American school in Abu Dhabi, were confiscated by the Ministry of Education, for allegedly presenting Islam and the Muslim countries including Gulf states in a negative light.
And here, for good measure, are some examples of what children have been taught during the last six years in the schools of our close Middle Eastern ally, Saudi Arabia:
1. “Every religion other than Islam is false.” Taught in 1st grade.
2. “Whoever obeys the Prophet and accepts the oneness of God cannot maintain a loyal friendship with those who oppose God and His Prophet, even if they are his closest relatives.” Taught in 5th grade.
3. “As cited in Ibn Abbas: The apes are Jews, the people of the Sabbath; while the swine are the Christians, the infidels of the communion of Jesus.” Taught in 8th grade.
4. “The blood money for a Muslim woman is half of the blood money for a male Muslim, and the blood money for an infidel woman is half of the blood money or a male infidel.” Taught in 10th grade.
5. “The apostate (Muslims who convert, question or doubt Islam) is required to repent to the ruler. If he repents and returns to Islam, it is accepted and he is left alone. If he refuses it is mandatory that the ruler kill him.” Taught in 12th grade.
Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and respect for the individual — the hallmarks of Western democratic societies — are life-affirming values that are far superior to what have become the defining norms of Islamic law and ideology in many Arab and other Muslim countries. Yes, we have extremists and nuts in our society, and we are not perfect. However, putting our society on the same moral plane as societies under the sway of an ideology that systematically denies rights to non-Muslims and to women is obscene.
Joseph Klein is the author of a recent book entitled Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations and Radical Islam.