CuriousLurker has a very interesting diary over at Little Green Footballs which I urge folks to read here. It is basically a discussion of a YoutTube video posted on Newt Gingrich's own channel discussing Muslims and Modernity at the AEI. Here is some adice he has:
"...we should be in the business of maximizing the networking and the communicating and the capabilities of people who are prepared to defend and support a reconcilable modernizing Islam."
It would be nice if Newt Gingrich, who compared the current developers of the Burlington Coat Factory Cultural Commnunity Center to Nazis, would listen to Newt Gingrich.
That is not all he says:
This is from 2007, and here is some of the transcript (thanks to Curious Lurker), starting at about 00:58
"...if you read all of the documents that surround Islam, there are plenty of ways you can decide to be modern.If you go back and look at the greatest of the Caliphates you will find that they were very modern, very cosmopolitan. They were actually better for Christians and Jews than a number of Christian places. They had very enlightened policies."He even goes on to say "they were actually better for Christians and Jews than a number of Christian places, had very enlightened policies."
It is after this that he says:
>"...we should be in the business of maximizing the networking and the communicating and the capabilities of people who are prepared to defend and support a reconcilable modernizing Islam."
He clearly recognizes that Muslim doctrine is open to interpretation, by the extremists and by those who embrace tolerance and understanding. HE GET THIS, so why doesn't he recognize Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is EXACTLY the kind of Muslim he thinks we should be dealing with? (Well we do know that he find it perfectly legitimate to act one way and say something else).
For comparison here a profile of Imam Rauf at Time Magazine:
And yet Park51's main movers, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his wife Daisy Khan, are actually the kind of Muslim leaders right-wing commentators fantasize about: modernists and moderates who openly condemn the death cult of al-Qaeda and its adherents
His litmus test is how does that Muslim think women should be treated. It is not a wholly unreasonable area of demarcation if you ask me. Are women encouraged to get an education, to get jobs or not. Imam Rauf has given no indication that he is anything but in favor of Muslim women being professionals, getting an education, etc. His wife does not wear a Hijab,he has organized conferences for Muslim Women to inspire them and show their progress.
Of course Newt is not known for intellectual honesty, so I guess we should not be surprised that he has decided to demonize a good man in Imam Rauf and act as despicably as he has.