Friday, September 21, 2012

White House advisor honors Ayatollah Khomeini

by Carl in Jerusalem

Just when you thought that the White House's groveling to the most militant Islamists couldn't possibly get worse, we find out that US Department of Homeland Security advisor Mohamed Elibiary spoke at a tribute to the founder of the 'Islamic revolution' in Iran, Ayatollah Khomeiniin 2004 (Hat Tip: MFS - The Other News).
It has come to our attention that in December 2004, Mr. Elibiary spoke at a tribute to Ayatollah Khomeini titled “A Tribute To The Great Islamic Visionary” sponsored by the Metroplex Organization of Muslims in North Texas in Irving, TX. When the event was criticized in an editorial carried by a local newspaper, Mr. Elibiary offered the following explanation claiming that he hadn’t realized that “the event honored Imam Khomeini”: 
I have been asked whether, if I had realized before I spoke that the event honored Imam Khomeini, I would have left immediately. I don’t know. My activism, which is designed to bring Muslims into the mainstream, calls upon me not to cede any territory to radical views without presenting a moderating counterpoint. I have learned that, to his supporters, Imam Khomeini is not the hostage crisis, or the one who hated America as the “Great Satan,” but a liberator from the shah’s hated dictatorship. As Natan Sharansky correctly points out in his book The Case for Democracy, people flock to promises of freedom, because all human beings desire to be free. I have been asked what I would say to someone who believes that there is no good reason to attend a tribute to Imam Khomeini. If their concerns revolved around the American experience of him, I would say that I echo their feelings. But if anyone wishes to learn about their opponent, they must listen, or they’ll remain ignorant and make mistakes that cost them in their struggle to defend their values and views. Just because I listen to Osama bin Laden’s tapes and agree that the West routinely insults Muslim dignity, that doesn’t make me al-Qaeda. By listening I gain a better understanding of a philosophy I wish to counter. Just because I agree with Che Guevara that nonregulated capitalism is exploitive of the poorest in a society, that doesn’t make me a communist – just one who sees the benefit of Teddy Roosevelt’s crusade against business monopolies.
It is to at all clear to the GMBDR how Mr. Elibiary could have failed to recognize that the event was a tribute to Khomeini given the name of the event and the associated flyer. It is also not clear why Mr. Elibiary agreed to share a podium with Mohammad Asi given what his own characterization of Mr. Asi:
Imam Mohammad Asi, who also spoke at the MOMIN event, is more troubling than Khomeini, in my opinion, because his views are a direct threat, not just a historical one, to our American way of life. He does believe that America is the “Great Satan” and opposes the reformers in Iran who are calling for a dialogue between Islam and the West. He sees “Zionist Jews” as controlling the entire world (outside Iran, of course) and strongly ridicules full political participation by Western Muslims. I don’t know what to say about all this other than that it’s diametrically opposed to the views of the invited speakers – Imam Kavakci, Iyas Maleh and myself. Mohammad Asi’s beliefs run counter to the very existence of our organizations, decades of activism, everything we said and saw from the leadership at the MOMIN Center.
posted by Carl in Jerusalem @ 12:44 PM