Add Sarah Palin to the list of subjects leftists and Islamists agree on
CAIRO: Egypt’s leading opposition group the Muslim Brotherhood lashed out at former America Vice-Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin over her defense of an American preacher’s claims that Islam is “a very evil, wicked, and violent religion, which must be fought.” The Christian leader, Franklin Graham was uninvited from a multi-faith prayer meeting at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, after US officials said his statements did not help to foster a sense of unity and tolerance.
Palin, also the former Alaska governor and now a conservative leader with the American Tea Party Movement, said on her Facebook page that “his comments in 2001 were aimed at those who are so radical that they would kill innocent people and subjugate women in the name of religion,” adding that “any opposition to Graham’s statements is not due to matters of respect and decency, but nothing less than extreme political correctness.”
The Brotherhood argued that “Islamophobia has become a topic of increasing sociological and political importance and its eistence is all too relevant.” They said the recent statements from Palin are proff that anti-Islamic sentiments remain “loud and clear.”
The Pentagon said that had the invitation remained, it would have been “offensive” to Muslims, “since they are a very large number of tax payers.” A statement from the Pentagon said that Graham’s opinion of Islam remains “very prejudiced” and said that it would have been “inappropriate” to have him attend a service based on inter-faith pluralism.
Palin, however, argued that Graham’s language is “appropriate.” In her statement, she said that the Pentagon’s decision to cancel the invitation shows that the government is not willing to talk about the issues in Islam.
The Brotherhood, and many Islamic leaders across the world, believe that the situation shows that “the phenomenon of Islamophobia is still omnipresent in the West.”
In the MB statement, the group pointed to a number of case studies conducted in the United States of the media. They said that these studies “have revealed that Muslim viewpoints were and still are underrepresented and that issues involving Muslims are usually depicted in a negative light.
“These portrayals include the depiction of Islam and Muslims as a threat to Western security and values and that hostility towards Islam and Muslims are closely linked to media portrayals of Islam as barbaric, irrational, primitive and sexist.”
However, they called on figures, such as Palin and other conservative leaders, to make an effort to change the way they perceived Islam and speak with their Muslim communities across the world. At the same time, they condemned the former governor’s argument that Graham’s comments were legitimate.
“As long as these views continue Islamophobic tendencies will also continue. As a result, there have been several initiatives aimed at increasing Muslim participation in media and politics,” the Brotherhood continued. “And several groups have been established, designed to monitor coverage in the media and establish dialogue with media organizations.
“However, with the continued aggression by the Sarah Palins of the world, efforts must be increased tenfold if Islamophobia is to be eliminated. It has to be decided that the principles of brotherhood and fraternity are more valuable than the aggressive and repressive measures currently practiced,” the statement continued.
Palin has become a major force within the Tea Party movement, which is the leading opposition movement in the US against President Barack Obama’s presidency. A vast number of the so-called Tea-Partyers believe that Obama was not born in the United States and have been campaigning for the revoking of the health care reform bill passed earlier this year.
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