Strange New Respect

When a new congressman arrives in Washington D.C., one of the first things he learns is to tone down the florid rhetoric that got him elected in the first place.

The nature of national politics forces compromise on its practitioners. It’s all but inevitable; everyone knows that. A congressman’s principles become more elastic the longer he’s in office.

I had hoped that LTC Allen West (ret.) would be different. In speech after speech he proved that he had read and understood the Koran, the hadith, and the sunna. He was emphatic about the danger that Islam posed.

Nothing about “radical” or “moderate” Islam. Just Islam, unmodified.

That seems to have changed. I just received a tip about this story from a reader in Switzerland. First, from The Palm Beach Post:

Four leaders of Jewish, Christian and interfaith groups signed a letter Wednesday expressing “deep concern” to U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation, about his recent criticism of Muslim U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and West’s “tendency to offer intemperate comments about Islam.”

In an interview on The Shalom Show, West (around the 1:50 mark on the video above) referred to Ellison as “someone that really does represent the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established.”

The letter writers also note that West has called Islam “a totalitarian theocratic political ideology, it is not a religion.”

So far, so good. But Col. West’s response took me aback. According to the The Sun-Sentinel’s Florida Politics Blog:

West immediately replied that he respects Islam, has fought to protect religious freedom and has directed his scorn only at “a radical jihadist movement.”


In response, West said on Wednesday his comments on Ellison “are not about his Islamic faith but about his continued support of CAIR (the Council on American Islamic Relations.”

“It is the extremist, radical element that has hijacked Islam that presents a dangerous threat to both our country and our allies throughout the world,” West said in a return letter. “This radical jihadist movement has no place in the United States of America or anywhere on earth.”

“The problem is, these fanatics are often supported by certain groups and organizations that masquerade as more peaceful moderates,” West wrote. “Organizations such as CAIR have long histories of supporting violent anti-American and anti-Israel terrorist organizations such as Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood.”

West told the letter-writers he shares their goal to exercise and safeguard religious tolerance. [emphasis added]

“Radical”? “Hijacked”??

Is this Col. Allen West, or former President George W. Bush?

I wish this story were not true, but it is.

Our Swiss correspondent had this to say about it:

And was it yesterday that I had read a news article at Gates of Vienna, on those very same remarks, which made me think that West sure had principles? And now, after what, not even a month in office or just a little over that, West comes up with this, sounding like Tony Blair, George W. Bush and Buraq Hussein… I don’t even want to think about what he’ll have turned into after 3 MONTHS in Congress. At least I know that Oskar Freysinger, even though I’m not registered to vote in his home canton, will never do anything like this. And Geert Wilders sure hasn’t shown any indication that he’d ever betray those who support his fight against Islamization either.

Et tu, Col. West?

8 thoughts on “Strange New Respect

  1. Indeed.

    Ive posted up articles in your News Feeds to both Rep. West’s criticism of Rep. Ellison about a week ago, and this latest change of position to the party line (although to be fair, he does call out moderate Islamists like CAIR).

  2. Sounds bad.

    Mohammad was the radical element that hijacked parts of the Talmud and Torah and Arrian gnostic distortions of the New Testament in order to cobble together the Koran (“Recitation”), a farrago of hate-filled fantasies, louche nonsense and Arabian fables, put in the mouth of his sockpuppet “Allah”. The “prophet” then pretended this mishmash was an “Abrahamic” religion.

    Bilge. Homicidal bilge.

    West should know better than to parrot the delusional lies of Bush, at al, about the “Religion of Peace”.

    Better known as the Deathcult of Despotism.

    If P.C. gelds the Colonel, he’ll regret it come the next election.

  3. In hoc signo vinces

    Maybe Col. Allen West would like to clarify his position concerning islam now that he has been elected to hold public office.

    Which is it – “a totalitarian theocratic political ideology, it is not a religion.” or “It is the extremist, radical element that has hijacked Islam …”?

  4. Given West’s previous statements, he would be, in my estimation, the only public figure (including Robert Spencer) about whom the commonly trotted-out trope — “He’s just being careful about PC MC, those aren’t his real thoughts” — might actually be true, this time.

    That is a separate matter from whether I agree with that tactic; which I don’t.

  5. The saddest thing about the “respect for islam” and the “opposition to it ‘hijacking’ by ‘radicals'” is that West, like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, has an advantage when it comes to debating mohammedanism which a whole lot of counter-jihadists don’t: the fact that their skin color would not give mahoundians and/or their apologists the opportunity to end a discussion by screaming “racism!”

    I don’t remember if it was here at GoV, or at New English Review, that I once read commentary on an interview with Hirsi Ali for The Gnuraida, and how it was clear that the member of the paper staff was dying to just call her a racist and a bigot and end the interview like that, but how those charges just couldn’t be made. But now it doesn’t really look like West will want to be in a position where the debate would be allowed to continue and, through that, he’d help more people open their eyes to what we’re up against.

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