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Joseph Lieberman, You Don’t Speak for Muslims

john-hagee-and-joe-lieberman-embrace

Joseph Lieberman is a chameleon-like politician who has weathered many political storms throughout his career. From running as Vice President along with Al Gore to the recent health care reform efforts, he has been a controversial figure. His trajectory has been one of a politician who started out as a liberal progressive but has increasingly taken on the causes and issues of the right-wing.

He has embraced and aligned himself with controversial figures such as Pastor John Hagee, whose Christians United for Israel (CUFI) conferences he has spoken at and attended in the past. He even compared Hagee to Moses! Hagee believes in the Rapture and end times ideology which say Jesus will return to earth and lift all his followers into the clouds and all other human beings will eventually be destroyed in tumultuous chaos. It is an ideology that also states that all the Jews will be annihilated except for a few thousand who convert to Christianity. This is what Pastor John Hagee believes, isn’t it strange for Lieberman to compare him to Moses?

This brings us to our topic today in which John Lieberman casts himself as the spokesperson or analyst who knows the inner feelings of Muslims. Responding to news that President Barack Obama’s administration is no longer using the misnomer “Islamic terrorism,” Lieberman responded by saying “this is not the first time that Obama administration has tried to tiptoe around referring to Islam in its security documents and that it’s time to ‘blow the whistle’ on the trend. ”

The Fox article in its entirety,

Lieberman: Omitting ‘Islamic’ Terrorism from Security Document Dishonest, ‘Offensive’

Sen. Joe Lieberman slammed the Obama administration Sunday for stripping terms like “Islamic extremism” from a key national security document, calling the move dishonest, wrong-headed and disrespectful to the majority of Muslims who are not terrorists.

The Connecticut independent revealed that he wrote a letter Friday to top counterterrorism adviser John Brennan urging the administration to “identify accurately the ideological source” of the threat against the United States. He wrote that failing to identify “violent Islamist extremism” as the enemy is “offensive.”

The letter was written following reports that the administration was removing religious references from the U.S. National Security Strategy — the document that had described the “ideological conflict” of the early 21st century as “the struggle against militant Islamic radicalism.”

Lieberman told “Fox News Sunday” this isn’t the first time the Obama administration has tried to tiptoe around referring to Islam in its security documents and that it’s time to “blow the whistle” on the trend.

This is not honest and, frankly, I think it’s hurtful in our relations with the Muslim world,” Lieberman said. “We’re not in a war against Islam. It’s a group of Islamist extremists who have taken the Muslim religion and made it into a political ideology, and I think if we’re not clear about that, we disrespect the overwhelming majority of Muslims who are not extremists.”

Lieberman, in his letter, noted that prior Department of Homeland Security and Pentagon documents also did not refer to “Islamist extremism.” He expressed dismay that the administration’s review of the Fort Hood shooting, in which alleged shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan was said to have had contact with a radical cleric beforehand, omitted the term.

“Unless we’re honest about that, we’re not going to be able to defeat this enemy,” Lieberman told “Fox News Sunday.” “It’s absolutely Orwellian and counterproductive to the fight that we’re fighting.” (emphasis mine)

Can you imagine the chutzpah involved in stating that “we disrespect the overwhelming majority of Muslims” by not using terms such as “Islamic extremism.” Hello Joe, Muslims feel disrespected when hypocritical politicians attempt to sully the name of their faith in a way that paints all Muslims as extremists. That is exactly what is done when offensive, wrong and illogical neologisms such as “Islamic extremism” are employed. They shed no light on the problem at hand, instead, it obfuscates the threat to America.

The disclaimer he gives about “we are not in a war against Islam” is an empty statement. It is stating the obvious, but when he then turns around and advocates usage of terms such as “Islamic extremism,” he contradicts himself because he falls into the trap of implying that extremism is intrinsic to Islam. A connection which is as absurd as comparing John Hagee to Moses.

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  • Lena Rose

    I guess Joe Lieberman forgot that this whole don’t-link-Islam-with-extremism thing was started under the Bush administration….Did he go on FOX “News” to criticize the president then?

    From May 2008:
    U.S. officials urged to avoid linking Islam, jihad with terrorism
    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2008/05/06/US-officials-urged-to-avoid-linking-Islam-jihad-with-terrorism/UPI-93701210085457/

    “Urging officials not to use the word Islam in conjunction with terrorism, the guide notes that, ‘Although the al-Qaida network exploits religious sentiments and tries to use religion to justify its actions, we should treat it as an illegitimate political organization, both terrorist and criminal.’

    Instead of calling terror groups Muslim or Islamic, the guide suggests using words like totalitarian, terrorist or violent extremist — ‘widely understood terms that define our enemies appropriately and simultaneously deny them any level of legitimacy.'”

  • HGG

    “The trouble with Muslims is that they never look at their own faults and try to mend their ways but instead point their fingers at others”

    Yes, that’s the problem.

    With Muslims.

    And only them.

    The believers of other religions never do that.

    At all.

  • @Beautiful Muslim Doll;You sound like Nabeela to me.Any way,i would be mad if I say that I hate the Muslims and I have never met them all.They could be good,bad or ugly like any other community.If a Christian is evil then it is inspite of the teaching of Christ and his sinless life as an example.If a Muslim is evil and hurts innocent people then it is because of the teaching of Islam and the personal example of life of Mohammad.The trouble with Muslims is that they never look at their own faults and try to mend their ways but instead point their fingers at others.In Pakistan,Christians are burnt alive,Christian women are gang raped,the Churches are burnt and destroyed and the Bibles are desecrated.Christian are persecuted under false accusations under Blasphemy hideous laws and they languish in jails or killed.The police never even register the reports because the victims happen to be Christian.It is entirely according to your Koran,which tells Muslims to instill fear in the hearts of Non-Muslims and humiliate them.It happens also in Egypt and most Muslim countries just because of Islamic barbaric teaching.Take the cataract of PREJUDICE from your Mohammadan eyes so that you can see things clearly.Islam is like a mill stone round the neck of unfortunate Muslims,which includes you as well,my beautiful Muslim DOLL.

  • Sam Seed

    “@Durendal Says:
    April 16th, 2010 at 4:07 am
    I also think the term Islamic extremist/extremism is wrong and unhelpful but for the completely opposite reason.
    Namely that it suggests that there is such a thing as a non-extreme Islam and a non-extreme Muslim.
    There is one Islam and you either follow it’s teachings or you don’t.”

    Thats just horse manure, how do you know this? How dare you assume that there are no non-extremist Muslims. I am one of them!You are either ignorant or a liar.

  • Ryan

    durendal, islam is far more complex then you think. there are parts that encourage cooperation

  • Laurence please explain why you hate Islam so,

    Have you had a personal bad experience? Please share with us…

    Thank you.

  • islamispeace

    All I can say is “thank you President Obama” for showing the courage to drop the oxymoron “Islamic terrorism”, despite being the target of idiotic ramblings from the conservatives. Truly nice work. And to Lieberman, I would like to say…”why don’t just shut the (bleep) up?”

  • jos

    (Continued)

    Well, I guess someone who names himself after a Moor-slaying sword is a non-Muslim.

  • jos

    @ Durendal

    “There is one Islam and you either follow it’s teachings or you don’t.”

    When you claim such a thing you divide Muslims into “true” and “false” ones. Either you’re a Muslim who calls (some or most of) his fellow Muslims “munafiqun” or “kafirun” or a non-Muslim with an arrogant attitude towards Muslims.

  • Lawrence, thanks for the laugh. I love that you still believe Obama is a Mooslim.

  • When the snake loses its skin,it still remains a snake underneath.If you remove the adjective Extremist or Terrorist from Islam,It does not change its character.It is a political Ideology based on violence and terror to dominate the world through violence and terror.It speaks with the fork tongue in the Koran.There are innumerable contradictory verses which put a doubt in mind about its divine origin.Islam started with violence and terror and it will end with violence.There is no peace in Islam because the Muslims have prince of war and terror,whom they follow as their role model.Obama Hussein is a disloyal hypocrite Muslim who can never be trusted because he also speaks with the Islamic fork tongue.He is appeasing his Muslim brethren rather than confronting them with the truth.He is going to prove a failure in the long run.

  • Durendal

    I also think the term Islamic extremist/extremism is wrong and unhelpful but for the completely opposite reason.
    Namely that it suggests that there is such a thing as a non-extreme Islam and a non-extreme Muslim.
    There is one Islam and you either follow it’s teachings or you don’t.

  • leonora

    Yeah, that is strange to me too. Maybe he thinks if they strip the term “Islamic extremism” from a key national security document, they will replace it with Islamism.
    Really, what does he mean?

  • Les

    Lieberman is a joke and always has been.

    “I think if we’re not clear about that, we disrespect the overwhelming majority of Muslims who are not extremists.”

    So let me get this straight. If the US does not harp about the threat of “Islamic extremism” and “Islamic terrorism”, you are actually disrespecting Muslims? Huh? On what planet does this make sense?

    Please shut up Lieberman and retire already. Go live in your beloved israel and spare us your vapid pontifications.

  • Ustadh

    Lieberman definitely doesn’t speak for me! I feel disrespected by his attempt to stealthily put into the text “Islamic extremism.”

    Also Islamist extremism doesn’t make sense either.

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