Thought experiment, folks. What would the reaction be from the media and leftist agitator groups if the Bush Administration were buying thousands of copies of C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity and distributing them overseas? Moreover, how apoplectic would those usual suspects behave if they also learned that the Bush Administration was denying that Mere Christianity was in fact a religious-based book, while at the same time deeming it an acceptable diplomatic tool to engender tolerance and interfaith dialogue? I think we all know what reaction would be, don’t we?
A blitzkrieg of front-page stories from the New York Times accusing President Bush of embarking on a modern-day Crusade. The ACLU would fire off press release after press release screeching about the 1st Amendment being under an unprecedented assault. Blowhard Ed Schulz at MSNBC would yell unintelligibly for an hour, then cry afterward because no one watched MSNBC to see him yell unintelligibly for an hour. And Al Sharpton would find a way to blame everything on Glenn Beck.
Now, the truth. The State Department did buy bulk copies of a religious book, but it wasn’t Mere Christianity. Nope. It was the Ground Zero Imam’s, What’s Right with Islam: A New Vision for Muslims and the West. Can you guess how many copies were bought? That would be none other than 2,000! The State Department also accepted another 1,000 at no cost, for a total dispersion of 3,000 copies of What’s Right with Islam.
Behold, your tax dollars at work! But it gets worse.
The State Department doesn’t see any problem handing out Rauf’s Islamic book because they don’t consider it religious material. Seriously. A State official told HUMAN EVENTS that “We don’t characterize them as religious books per se. I know it’s an issue of semantics. But we would consider a religious book to be something like the Koran and the Bible. We look at these as books on religion or books about religion. It’s certainly not limited to any one religion.”
In fact, the spokesperson likened Rauf’s book to that of other literary works which the State Dept. distributes, including Cold Mountain—a book about the Civil War—and a book on the Wright brothers. No Christian material, however.
Members of the media don’t see anything wrong with the government acting like Rauf’s personal Barnes & Noble either. The New York Times casually mentioned how the State Dept. buys What’s Right with Islam, but that particular mention was buried at the bottom of an article and, subsequently, there were no follow-up questions on why taxpayers should be on the hook for Rauf’s screed to begin with.
Like I said, just imagine the uproar and fury if a government official defended the state-sponsored circulation of Mere Christianity.
In total, the government unloaded $16,000 on Rauf’s junket to the Middle East and another $10,000 on his book.
The reckless spending of tax dollars aside, the Obama White House was elated to give its blessing to an imam who won’t condemn Hamas, argues that the U.S. is worse than al-Qaeda, and who encourages the implementation of Sharia law right here in America.
A State spokeswoman told HUMAN EVENTS that Feisal is “an American Muslim voice to the Middle East.”