In reference to Takuan Seiyo’s recent post about “Islamophobia” in the Czech Republic, our Czech correspondent Margita sends this email exchange from last January between herself and the American embassy in Prague.
Margita first wrote the consulate in Prague:
Date: Thu, 16 Jan 2014 04:42:10 +0000
Would you please explain to me the following regarding the website http://Muslimove.cz/ the development of which you supported financially?
a) Why did you feel the need to support spreading of Islam in the Czech Republic where there are not many Muslims living there? Why did you support the project? b) How much did you invest in this project? c) Did you scrutinize its content?
The programme looks like total propaganda promoting Islam. The pictures on the web only show happy young covered up young girls with no men. It does not say that Islam is based on sharia law which discriminates against women where a woman is valued as half a man. It also does not say among many other things that a Muslim man is allowed to marry up to four women, which is polygamy and is outlawed in civilized Western countries.
Considering that the Czech Republic has experienced several totalitarian ideologies — Nazism, Communism — why do you feel justified to promote Islam there?
We have just had an explosion at the Palestinian embassy in Prague with the ambassador killed in mysterious circumstances.
I look forward to hearing from you.
A week later, Margita received the following reply:
Subject: RE: Muslimove.cz
Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2014 09:31:00 +0000
Thank you for your e-mails. I apologize for the delay but the emails went first to our consular section. The public affairs section is the part of the embassy that handles our grants program.
The small-grants program of the U.S. Embassy in Prague provides partial support for artistic and cultural performances and non-governmental organization (NGO) projects whose aim is to promote and deepen the understanding and appreciation of American culture and NGO practices in the Czech Republic and foster mutual cooperation.
The project Muslims through the Eyes of the Czech Students was selected for funding by the grants committee because it supports our Mission objective of promoting tolerance of minority groups within Czech society. The grant is listed under funded projects from FY2013 with this entry:
The Czech-Arab Centre for Cultural Dialogue will develop a project entitled Muslims through the Eyes of Czech Students. It includes workshops, discussions, and publication of materials on the history of Islam and current issues. The project fulfills Post’s mission to create a tolerant society.
If you would like more information on our grants program please see: http://prague.usembassy.gov/small_grants_programs.html.
Cultural Attaché — US Embassy in Prague
Kulturní atašé- Velvyslanectví Spojených států amerických
Tel: 420 257 022 100
Fax: 420 257 022 815
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