"We in America know the benevolence that is at the heart of Islam," declared Condoleezza Rice, addressing assembled Muslim dignitaries at the annual Ramadan dinner at the State Department -- and provoking a second, consecutive examination in this column of the rhetoric of the most important U.S. official next to the president.
The Secretary of State's annual Ramadan dinner at the State Department is not to be confused with the president's annual Ramadan dinner at the White House, although it's easy to get mixed up. The legacy of 9/11 has left us with: an open-ended war abroad; the introduction of homeland hyper-insecurity; and the open-ended introduction of Ramadan celebrations all over official Washington, which is worth a question or two on its own, beginning with: "Why"? Why has it become the post-9/11 function of the U.S. government to celebrate Ramadan? The buzzword of "Muslim outreach" comes to mind, but, as the Judeo-Christian culture hit by Islamikazes on 9/11, haven't we got it exactly backward? That is, wouldn't Muslims better outreach themselves if the Saudi Embassy, for example, celebrated Christmas and Hanukkah?
But I digress. Getting back to Ms. Rice's shindig, Ramadan wouldn't be Ramadan without Nihad Awad, the executive director of the notorious Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). His invitation alone deserves separate mention -- and maybe an investigation into whether security concerns arose over bringing into the State Department someone from a Hamas-linked group boasting five current or former officials arrested, convicted or deported on terrorism-related charges. Oh well. In the holiday spirit, let's just recall, as bestselling author Robert Spencer did at www.jihadwatch.com, the words of CAIR's former board chairman, Omar Ahmad: "Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faiths, but to be dominant."
By Washington's Ramadan measure, Mr. Ahmad's wish is America's command. After all, George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice aren't breaking the fast with Jews on Yom Kippur, supping with Hindus on Diwali, or cavorting with Druids on the Winter Solstice. And they certainly aren't feting official Christendom on Christmas Day -- and no, the children's Easter Egg roll doesn't compare.