Saturday, August 20, 2011

Spencer and Geller are right to be concerned about Perry's connections with Norquist

Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller have spoken about how they've been attacked for voicing concerns about GOP candidate Rick Perry's ties to Islamic sources, which includes the whitewashed educational program that was used in Texas schools and even Perry's associations with Grover Norquist. Geller's response, to Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi, includes:

Jawad also criticizes me for pointing out that the curriculum that Perry has gotten from the Aga Khan for Texas schools is "whitewashing Islam's bloody historical and modern-day record." I stand by my words. A reader of my website has examined the curriculum and found numerous questionable aspects of it. "The religion that the Prophet Muhammad preached provided his followers an ethical and moral vision for leading a life of righteousness," it tells kids. Muhammad's jihad conquests and cultural annihilations? His child marriage? Forget it. The curriculum also discusses "the beauty and perfection of the Qur'an." Calls to jihad? Calls to hate unbelievers and wage war against them? Nothing.

Then Jawad turns to my criticism of Perry's ties to Grover Norquist, saying, "one need only note, as Pipes did, that all of Perry's connections to Norquist concern taxation issues, not Islam." That's the kind of thinking people use to say that Hezbollah is a fine group, because look, they run schools and hospitals. No candidate worth his salt should have anything to do with Norquist, for tax issues or any other reason. You can't come out for cutting taxes without playing ball with Norquist? Please.

And Perry's ties to Norquist are extensive: Robert Spencer notes that "Perry and Grover Norquist held a joint press conference in March 2011. Perry appeared at a fund-raiser for Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform group. Also, Norquist actively campaigned for Perry back in 2009. Their association is longstanding: Perry was investigated by the Texas Ethics Commission in 2004 for allegations that the Governor illegally used campaign money to finance a trip to Bahamas; the point here is not the allegations, but the fact that along on the Bahamas trip at his own expense was Grover Norquist. Perry and Norquist are clearly not just casual acquaintances."

So what will happen when Norquist approaches his good buddy Perry and asks him to give an appointment to or do some favor for some Islamic supremacist? Will Perry then turn against his old friend? I hope so. But if we don't call out Perry on his ties to Norquist now, how can we be sure of that?
More at the link, and she's quite right to be concerned. This may suggest a flaw on Pipes' behalf - to say that Perry's links with Norquist are on a financial level at best is a weak argument; why couldn't Perry do it himself?

Those who are oh so bothered about Geller's and Spencer's criticisms would do well to lay off of it, as it will do no good in getting Perry to fix some of his mistakes. If this is brought more clearly to light, it could help improve things a lot more. We can't afford to have another capitulator in the White House.

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