I wasn't going to write about Ramadan in official Washington this fall season -- not again. But I just can't resist. First, there are all the holiday trappings of this by-now annual column -- such seasonal staples as my all-time favorite "war on terror" quotation from Abu Qatada, the Al Qaeda-linked cleric. I just love to trot it out around Ramadan after President Bush has said something utterly ignorant about Islam meaning peace, or, addressing the Muslim pooh bahs he always has at the White House for a fast-breaking Iftar dinner, how the jihadists have "twisted" Islam.
"I am astonished by President Bush when he claims there is nothing in the Koran that justifies jihad violence in the name of Islam," Abu Qatada said about six years ago. "Is he some kind of Islamic scholar? Has he ever actually read the Koran?"
Ah, me. Good stuff.
Then there's the holiday excitement of combing through the White House Iftar dinner guest list looking for unindicted co-conspirators. Since I had to put this column together before White House Iftar 2007, I turned to White House Ramadans past, reading through the president's old speeches -- 2001 through 2006 -- to see if I'd missed anybody he'd singled out for a mention.
And I had! White House Ramadan is so much better than bingo. In 2003 and 2004, President Bush asked Faizul Khan, who is affiliated with the Saudi-funded Islamic Center of Washington, D.C., and serves on the board of directors of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), to give the blessing. This year, the Justice Department officially labeled ISNA as a U.S. branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, the movement aiming to establish a global Islamic empire, and also as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Hamas fund-raising Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development trial still awaiting a verdict in Dallas.
Then again, maybe the ISNA score doesn't count in this holiday game since the official co-"conspiratorialness" of the group is practically brand new. Still, as Steven Emerson has pointed out, ISNA has "never condemned terror groups like Hamas and Hezbollah by name," which really should have come under White House consideration -- if, that is, anyone at the White House ever considered anything. Heaven knows it's hard enough finding good moderates these days. Look too closely and they might find a Sharia-supporter. Sharia, of course, is Islamic law -- wholly antithetical to Western-style liberty.