Now I've seen it all: The Islamic-Christian alliance (with wholehearted Bush support)
June 17, 2002 6:08 AM   Subscribe

Now I've seen it all: The Islamic-Christian alliance (with wholehearted Bush support) "We look at them as allies, not necessarily as friends," said Austin Ruse, founder and president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, a New York-based organization that promotes conservative values at U.N. social conferences. "We have realized that without countries like Sudan [Iraq, Iran and Libya], abortion would have been recognized as a universal human right in a U.N. document."

Liberal Western activists and governments, added Mokhtar Lamani, a Moroccan diplomat who represents the 53-nation Organization of Islamic Conferences at the United Nations, had offended the religious and cultural sensitivities of Islamic countries by proposing that a final conference declaration include explicit references to the need to protect prostitutes, intravenous drug users and "men who have sex with men" from contracting AIDS.

The Bush administration led the coalition in blocking an effort by European and Latin American countries at the U.N. children's meeting last month to include a reference in the final declaration to "reproductive health care services," a term the conservatives believed could be used to promote abortion.

"This alliance shows the depths of perversity of the [U.S.] position," said Adrienne Germaine, president of the International Women's Health Coalition. "On the one hand we're presumably blaming these countries for unspeakable acts of terrorism, and at the same time we are allying ourselves with them in the oppression of women."
posted by magullo (17 comments total)
I'm not trying to be excessively critical here, but I didn't bother to read your entire front page post because it's far too long.

I'm no expert in posting front page-ers, but yours is in the category of "way to long."

It's an interesting post, but you could put all those extra paragraphs on the inside to conserve space on the fron.
posted by Hammerikaner at 6:21 AM on June 17, 2002

I think Adrienne Germaine is correct. Religious fundamentalism is, at least potentionally, dangerous in all forms, not just Islamic. The Ku Klux Klan, for example, was arguably a Christian terrorist group.

However, the liberal oppositon to fundamentalism is occasionally in danger of overstating their position. Religion serves a valuable and important purpose, and to some, it is correct in itself. Some sort of middle ground must be found. We have to keep religious groups from becoming terrorists, but we should also be careful of neutering religion itself.

[As for the Hammerikaner's criticism of the length of the FPP, I offer several solutions to cope with the "problem." Increase your screen resolution, decrease the size of your text, or deal with the length, because it's magullo's post, not yours. Magullo chose relevant passages from the article and highlighted portions thought to be particularly interesting, which seems like a reasonable approach to me. Perhaps if our culture wasn't so obsessed with breaking our news into nice bite size pieces, we could tolerate reading four paragraphs totalling five sentences.]
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:42 AM on June 17, 2002

Very strange that they would want to join forces with Sudan, given Sudan's recent history of slaving raids against Christian communities in the south. U.S. Christian groups, including some of the more "fundie" ones, have been among Sudan's strongest critics.
posted by gimonca at 7:04 AM on June 17, 2002

I suppose you're right, monju. It's not that I am on a low-res screen, nor do I really care how long posts are. Rather, I was thinking of other people who like to have short quick posts so they can decide to read further or move on.

About the post, I always thought there would be some sort of strange alliance between fundamentalist Christians and Muslims. In a way, it just seems natural for fundies to get along and cooperate, since in all reality they often share similar goals even across ethno-religious lines.
posted by Hammerikaner at 7:55 AM on June 17, 2002

There's no reason that couldn't have been an intro with a (more inside)
posted by revbrian at 8:05 AM on June 17, 2002

I've been criticised for one-word posts, one sentence posts, one paragraph posts and several paragraph posts, so I'm not going to lose sleep over that. In this case, I thought that it would be impossible to do a one/two liner on Bush administration's efforts to push worldwide policies in conjunction with Iraq and Lybia without sounding biased and exaggerated. The story is so surreal that I felt it needed a wide range of detail to back up the fact that it is not made up or blown up one tiny bit.
posted by magullo at 8:45 AM on June 17, 2002

two words: gum arabic
posted by clavdivs at 8:48 AM on June 17, 2002

Politics makes for strange bedfellows and always has. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend," at least temporarily. From such partial overlaps in ideology have alliances always been made.
posted by kindall at 8:49 AM on June 17, 2002

When I read this on BART this morning, I almost threw up. There is so much going wrong in this world and nation right now, and so much of it is caused by intolerance and hate, a lot of it driven by our partisan, hateful, excusive, and non-understanding government. It is setting a tone of hatred that the rest of the world is following.

Getting in bed with Islam fundamentalists is just further evidence of the intolerance and hatred that fills Christian groups, as well as the head of our commander-in-chief.

Why do they hate women and gays so much? Why do they do everything in their power to take away rights and protection? What are they so scared of?

The whole thing makes me sick. I can't decide what to protest about, write letters about, or do something about. There are so many things that I just end up doing nothing because it's all so depressing.
posted by aacheson at 10:02 AM on June 17, 2002

Yet more evidence against Nader's claim that Bush and Gore were the same thing.
posted by billder at 10:08 AM on June 17, 2002

(I'm glad it was long, I would have missed it otherwise, because it didn't catch my attention right away)
posted by Espoo2 at 10:08 AM on June 17, 2002

BART=bay area rapid transit?
posted by rhyax at 11:46 AM on June 17, 2002

Sorry. I vote for way too long. Breaks up the continuity of the page.
posted by adampsyche at 11:52 AM on June 17, 2002

There was a disturbing Salon Premium article recently about the Population Research Institute, the group that convinced Bush to withdraw support for the United Nations Fund for Population Activities. If it's true, these people are complete crackpots. This is from the article:

In his budget proposal last year, Bush asked for a $25 million appropriation for the United Nations Population Fund (also called the United Nations Fund for Population Activities or UNFPA). In written testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that spring, Secretary of State Colin Powell said, "We recognize that UNFPA does invaluable work through its programs in maternal and child health care, voluntary family planning, screening for reproductive tract cancers, breast-feeding promotion and HIV/AIDS prevention ... We look forward to working with you and your colleagues to secure the funding necessary for UNFPA to continue these activities." Congress complied with Powell's request, appropriating $34 million for the fund.

Then Bush reversed himself. Not only has he not released the money, he's threatened to veto a bill that would force him to. And he's doing it based on nothing more than oft-disproved charges by a tiny far-right antiabortion group called Population Research Institute, which claims -- falsely -- that the UNFPA money is used for coercive abortion and sterilization in China.

"What I find so outrageous is that Bush withheld this $34 million based solely on testimony from the Population Research Institute, an arm of a far-right group," says New York Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney. "PRI is the only organization that has ever made these allegations. The administration is going against the will of Congress and the international community by allowing a small band of extremists to hamstring its foreign policy."

Despite its innocuous name, PRI is indeed extreme. The Virginia-based group is a spinoff of Human Life International, a hardcore antiabortion organization founded by Benedictine priest Paul Marx, a notorious anti-Semite known to blame Jews for abortion. In a 1993 HLI newsletter, Marx wrote, "Today, certain members of this people whose ancient religion and culture managed to survive Auschwitz and Buchenwald are presiding over the greatest Holocaust in the history of the world. American Jews have been leaders in establishing and defending the efficient destruction of more than 30 million preborn children in this country."

Marx started PRI in 1989, and according to an HLI press release from two years ago, HLI has invested more than $1 million in the group. In 1995, Marx hired Steven Mosher to head PRI.

posted by homunculus at 12:27 PM on June 17, 2002

Rhyax, yes, that very BART.
posted by aacheson at 2:18 PM on June 17, 2002

I say Taliban, you say Taleban ...

posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:57 PM on June 17, 2002

Women's Rights: Why Not?

"An international women's treaty banning discrimination has been ratified by 169 countries so far (without emasculating men in any of them!), yet it has languished in the United States Senate ever since President Carter sent it there for ratification in 1980. This month the Senate Foreign Relations Committee got around to holding hearings on it, but the Bush administration, after shyly supporting it at first, now is finding its courage faltering."

Quick, someone tell Laura Bush, she'll make everything okay.
posted by homunculus at 11:05 AM on June 18, 2002

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