Archive for Right-wing

One Out of Six Americans Believe Obama Is a Muslim

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on May 18, 2012 by loonwatch

In 2008, a poll regarding the public’s view of then candidate Obama’s religious beliefs, found that 1 out of 10 people believed him to be a Muslim – despite him stating the contrary. This perception came about, in large part, due to an Islamophobic Network that has been exposed by numerous independent journalists and research teams. These people and organizations used everything “Muslim” about Obama to “discredit” him (because “Muslim” is currently a political slur) in the minds of American voters, both Right and Left (but mostly Right). They said his name Barack Hussein Obama was proof that he was a devout Muslim; as well as the fact that he spent four years of his childhood in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world. Some simple-minded bigots even suggested that Obama “has” to be a Muslim regardless if his personal religious beliefs are aligned with Christianity, because according to “Islamic law” a son of a Muslim remains within the fold regardless if his beliefs match another religion. Obama’s father was an Atheist.

To “solve” the problem, Obama’s Indonesian step-father Lolo Soetoro was then used as proof of his Muslim identity. Since Soetoro was a Muslim, so goes the argument, Obama became an “adopted” Muslim son which means he will remain within the fold for the rest of his life. Soetoro, in Obama’s own words in Dreams From My Father, practiced a syncretic universalist form of Islam prevalent in Indonesian culture, wherein Hindu and other pre-Islamic Indonesian beliefs were melded in with Islamic teachings; and even spoke highly of the Hindu god Hanuman, the same deity that former Tea Party Express leader Mark Williams apologized to Hindus for, when he declared that Muslims worship a “monkey god.”

Lolo followed a brand of Islam that could make room for the remnants of more ancient animist and Hindu faiths.”

I’am not in the habit of declaring who is Muslim or not, but clearly this position is not really in-line with mainstream Muslim teaching, and takes one out of the fold of Islam according to the type of Muslims these conspiracy theorists fear. There is also the pointed fact that classical Islam does not really recognize “adoption” in the Western sense, but rather recognizes “Fostering” children. So either way you depict it, Obama is not a Muslim by “inheritance”; not that it would  be wrong if he were a Muslim!

On May 10, 2012, four years later, the Huffington Post released the findings of a new poll which found that 1 out of 6 Americans now believe President Obama is a Muslim.

After nearly four years in the Oval Office, President Obama is incorrectly thought to be Muslim by one in six American voters, and only one quarter of voters can correctly identify him as a Protestant, according to a new poll.”

While Americans across the board get the president’s religion wrong, the religious group that most often thinks Obama is Muslim is white evangelical Protestants (24 percent). American unaffiliated with a religious group make the error least often: just 7 percent identify Obama as Muslim.” (Emphasis added)

What I find most disturbing about this article, is that Islamophobia is downplayed as an important factor in the public’s perception. Even the executive director of the American Islamic Congress, Zainab Al-Suwaij thinks it is primarily just a “…lack of information than an attack on him,…” If only this were the case. The belief that President Obama is a Muslim is directly followed with demonization of his character. The two claims are inextricably linked in the minds of those who subscribe to this fantasy.

Research director of Public Religion Research Institute, Daniel Cox, also displays befuddlement at the poll data, and suggests that it is because Obama doesn’t “wear his religion on his sleeve” that 16% of Americans believe he is a Muslim.

Quite frankly, I’m not really sure what to make of it other than this person, although he speaks quite comfortably about his faith, doesn’t wear his religion on his sleeve,…”

“It’s an important part of who he is, but it’s not an important part of his public persona.

While this may contribute a little confusion among 16% of Americans who believe the President is a Muslim, I think Mr. Cox is ignoring the Islamophobic “elephant in the living room” (there is an Islamic pun there for those who search for it.) As mentioned earlier, there is an entire Islamophobia Industry that ceaselessly turns out blogs, books, public speakers and street thugs to depict all Muslims as evildoers who want to destroy the “Western” way of life, and replace it with an Islamic caliphate or theocracy. Moreover, many of the people who promote these conspiracy theories are religious fanatics themselves, and advocate the very things that they decry Muslims for. Rick Santorum, a prominent Muslim-basher and Birther, for example, will slip in a comment about how American law should reflect “God’s law” as enshrined in the Bible, in the midst of his anti-Muslim diatribe. He also won’t correct his supporters who claim that Obama is a Muslim to his face.

This is more than just a misunderstanding among the majority of the 16% of Americans who believe the President is a Muslim. The “white evangelical Protestant” churches have by and large become hotbeds of right-wing political ideology, and indulgers of wacky conspiracy theories, such as the “Pink Swastika.” This “theory” states that the Nazis, and fascism itself, is the culmination of a culture of “masculine homosexuality.” The more the West “tolerates” homosexuals, at the bidding of the Left, the closer we get to a totalitarian political order whereby the “true believers” will be persecuted for “telling the truth”, which also ties into their opposition to hate-crime legislation. Could this be a possible link to the ramblings of Bradlee Dean of You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International, that Keith Ellison was trying to implement Sharia law through a “homosexual agenda”?

“They are using the homosexuals as a political battering ram to bring forth what? Sharee [sic] law.”

These are the shared sources of the majority of people who believe the President is a Muslim. It’s not just an innocent misunderstanding as some would have us believe, but part of a well-worn and deliberate effort to attach the slur of “Mooslim” to gain political traction. Obama is the most prominent recipient of this jingoistic bigotry, but for as long as the fanatical anti-Muslim movement in the US exists there will be many more who will receive this treatment.

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Tom Trento Tries to Rally Shock Troops to Protest Local Muslim Conference

Posted in Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2012 by loonwatch

Florida loon Tom Trento is perhaps only out shined in his lunacy by Joe “Nuke the Mooslims” Kaufman. (h/t: JH):

Tom Trento Tries to Rally Shock Troops to Protest Local Muslim Conference

by Jacob Hausner (Islamophobia Today)

That Tom Trento is a hate-filled propagandist is common knowledge by now. He is as much a ‘human rights’ activist as David Duke or any racist who relies on lies, half-truths and innuendo to plead his case.

Trento has for quite some time been active in agitating anti-Islam and anti-Muslim efforts in Florida. In 2008, in the run up to the election of President Barack Obama, Trento was busy peddling the hate-filled anti-Muslim movie, “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War with the West.”

The website, Obsession for Hate, both catalogued and detailed the propagandistic efforts of the funders of “Obsession,” Aisha HaTorah and the Clarion Fund, to affect the outcome of the election. The not-so veiled strategy was to freely distribute 28 million DVD’s of Obsession in newspapers inside key electoral swing states, to fear-monger about the so-called pending Islamization of the USA. If anyone recalls the election of 2008, Barack Obama’s faith was a central talking point in which Republicans sought to take advantage, thinking they could sway voters by maligning the president as an evil, madrassa-indoctrinated, fifth-columnist “Muslim.”

“Obsession” failed, but that did not stop Trento.

It is 2012 now, and another election is around the corner, queue-in Trento and his fanatical band of doomsday, fear-mongering naysayers! Once again Islam and the Muslims are to be feared, and even more so, ironically because of the Arab Spring!

Trento produced the video below, calling on his compatriots to join him to protest an upcoming Islamic Society of North America conference in Florida:


Now, I would have been content to just post this article in response: ‘The United West’ Video: Is It From the Onion? No, This Lunacy is Real!, but on further consideration I don’t want to leave the Islamophobes with any excuses!

About the only thing that Trento got right in the above video is that, yes, Hasan Al-Banna did create the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928.

By now there is a plethora of well researched, academic and even lay literature on the “Muslim Brotherhood.” Just Google “Muslim Brotherhood” and you will come out with dozens of interesting titles.

One does not have to agree with or like the Muslim Brotherhood to, at the very least, concede that the Muslim Brotherhood never “joined” the Nazis in World War II. That is just a blatant lie!

So let’s look at the lies presented by Trento, one by one:

Trento Lie #1.) “Muslim Brotherhood joined the ‘Nazis’ during World War II.”

Truth: As Matthias Kuntzel noted in his book, “Jihad and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11″ (Telos Press, 2007),

‘it would be wrong to characterize the Muslim Brothers as ardent followers of the Nazis.’

Richard Wolin in an exchange with Jeffrey Herf (author of “Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World”) comments on this, saying,

Here there is simply no squaring the circle; too many aspects of Nazi ideology–its paganism, its Aryan racial doctrines, its conception of Germanic geopolitical supremacy–are incompatible with the key tenets of political Islam. As Küntzel rightly concludes, Hassan al-Banna was too devout a Muslim to latch on to someone as impious as Hitler as a political role model.

Trento Lie #2: “In 1981, that same Muslim Brotherhood assassinated Anwar Sadat.”

Truth: A quick read on Wikipedia could have easily disabused Trento of this embarrassing falsity. Anwar Sadat was assassinated by Khalid Islambouli and a group of renegade Egyptian military soldiers. Islambouli, in fact was not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood but instead of a group called the “Egyptian Islamic Jihad,”

After graduating from the Egyptian Military Academy with excellent grades, he was accepted as an officer in the Bombardment Forces of the Egyptian Army with the rank of Lieutenant. Sometime after this appointment, Islambouli joined the proscribed Egyptian Islamic Jihad movement.

Trento Lie #3: “In 2011, that same Muslim Brotherhood overthrew President Hosni Mubarak, for the express purpose, as the United West predicted, to establish the Islamic caliphate in Egypt.”

Truth: Trento seems to be living in the past when the internet and new media wasn’t readily available. As it turns out it wasn’t the “Muslim Brotherhood” that overthrew Hosni Mubarak, (who wasn’t really a “president” as Trento so reverently refers to him, but a “dictator”) they were actually late to the protest game, it was a mass popular movement of “Egyptians” that toppled Mubarak. To suggest otherwise is tantamount to spitting on the sacrifices of all those brave souls who were killed, injured and tortured by Mubarak-thugs. Most rational people realize this.

Trento Lie #4: “Obama…gave the Muslim Brotherhood 1.5 billion dollars”

Truth: Seriously? Do we have to even answer this one? In fact, the money was not given to the Muslim Brotherhood, but to Egypt, just as it has been for over thirty years ever since the Camp David accords, when President Jimmy Carter reached a peace deal between Egypt and Israel.

Trento Lie #5: “Now, in May, the Muslim Brotherhood is coming to Tampa Bay, Florida for the express purpose of continuing the ‘cultural jihad’ to turn the United States eventually into an Islamic State.”

Truth: Trento is referring to the Islamic Society of North America’s (ISNA) “East Zone Conference.” ISNA happens to be one of the oldest and largest Muslim organizations in the United States, and perusing their website, ISNA.net, and looking at the program and topics of the conference, there was surprisingly NOT one lecture, seminar or group activity relating to “cultural jihad to turn the United States eventually into an Islamic State.”

If we were to find anything relatively close to what Trento is talking about I am sure it would have been on ISNA’s own website, right!? Alas, it does not exist, and much like Trento’s ludicrous video, this too is an outlandish, kooky lie, ginned up to try and rally anti-Islam bigots and shock troops to counter a peaceful Muslim conference.

Hopefully, Trento’s “protest” won’t devolve into the type of hate-filled “protests” we have come to know and expect from him and his friends:

UKIP Candidate: “Koran is Worse than Adolph Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’”

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2012 by loonwatch

No surprise that the UKIP is parroting statements like those of Geert Wilders (h/t:githensmazer). I wonder is Julia Gasper like a UK version of Lou Ann Zelenik:

UKIP Candidate: “Koran is Worse than Adolph Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’”

(PoliticalScrapbook)

A candidate for UKIP has compared Islam’s holiest book to Adolf Hitler’s Mein KampfPolitical Scrapbook can reveal. Academic Julia Gasper — a former Westminster hopeful and current council candidate in Oxford – said the Koran was “fascist” and compared those who defend Islam to holocaust deniers.

In emails seen by Scrapbook, Gasper ranted:

“Why is it any more wrong to assert that the Koran is a fascist book than to assert that Mein Kampf is a fascist book? The Koran is a lot more explicit in advocating hate and murder than Mein Kampf is.”

Having dismissed comparisons between sections of the Koran and the Old Testament as “not valid”, Gasper responded to suggestions that her hateful bile was demonising Muslims:

“Words like “demonization” are just self-deception. They are being used to persuade you to keep your eyes shut. In fact, the apologists for Islam are really very similiar to Holocaust deniers.”

To compound matters, the rant comes to light as another UKIP candidate is suspended for expressing sympathies with Norwegian mass-murder Anders Breivik – and just days after Julia Gasper herself was slammed for saying gays should stop ‘complaining about persecution’ and start thanking straight people for giving birth to them.

Looks like they’ll be making that a double suspension then.

Unease Grows in Sarkozy Party over Rightward Lurch

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on April 29, 2012 by loonwatch

Sarkozy’s right-ward lurch is supposedly rankling some feathers in his own party (via. Islamophobia-Watch):

Unease grows in Sarkozy party over rightward lurch

Unease is growing in French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s centre-right UMP party a week before a presidential election over his lurch to the right in pursuit of supporters of anti-immigration candidate Marine Le Pen.

Some mainstream conservatives have voiced public dismay at his embrace of the campaign themes, language and even some proposals of Le Pen’s National Front. In private conversations, doubts are widespread about the morality and effectiveness of the strategy.

In the last week, Sarkozy has repeatedly declared that there are too many foreigners in France and vowed to reduce legal immigration. Echoing a Le Pen proposal, he has called for police to be given greater license to shoot fleeing crime suspects. He has accused his Socialist rival Francois Hollande of being backed by Islamists and said Le Pen’s voters are respectable and her party compatible with the French Republic.

“Even though I will vote for Nicolas Sarkozy on the second round, it’s clearly my duty to ring the alarm bell about this strategy,” Etienne Pinte, a UMP lawmaker, told Reuters.

He said former prime ministers Jean-Pierre Raffarin and Alain Juppe, Sarkozy’s foreign minister, had made clear in internal meetings their reticence about the rightward drift. ”All through the campaign, we felt there were misgivings among a number of parliamentary colleagues and the two former prime ministers about the exploitation of these extreme-right themes,” Pinte said.

Sarkozy hardened his discourse as soon as the results of last Sunday’s first round showed Le Pen, with nearly 18 percent, had won twice as many votes as centrist Francois Bayrou. The president needs to draw support from both sides to beat Hollande, the clear frontrunner in opinion polls, in the May 6 second-round runoff.

Raffarin hinted at his distaste in an interview with the newspaperLe Monde last week, saying: “If I were to express reservations today, it would weaken my own side … but I remain attached to the humanitarian values of our program.” Asked whether the strategy drawn up by Sarkozy’s political guru Patrick Buisson, a former extreme-right newspaper editor, had not strengthened the far right, Raffarin said the time for analysis would come after May 6. “We are in a battle now, and in a battle, the honorable thing is to be loyal,” he said.

Another former Gaullist prime minister, Dominique de Villepin, deplored what he called “crossing one republican red line after another (in a) shameless seduction of extremist votes”. Without mentioning Sarkozy by name, Villepin warned the mainstream right in an article in Le Monde against betraying its own values.

“One would think there were only National Front voters in France,” he wrote. “As if there were not more important issues than halal meat, legal immigration and (single-sex or mixed) bathing hours in public swimming pools.” Sarkozy has played up each of those issues in his quest to win over Le Pen voters.

Reuters, 29 April 2012

Anti-Islamism common amongst the over 60s

Posted in Loon Blogs with tags , , , , , , , on April 27, 2012 by loonwatch

 

Anti-Islam_Blogs

Another reason people may be turned off and or leave the anti-Islam bandwagon may be because they appeal to an older, lonely, above 60′s year old crowd.

Youth really don’t seem to care about the ‘counter jihad’ so much, as Reza Aslan pointed out most youth are more interested in Snookie’s “underwear” than they are topics related to bigotry or geo-politics (via. Islamophobia-Today):

Anti-Islamism common amongst the over 60s

Men at home over 65, with little education and no children reportedly represent the average reader of anti-Islam websites.

Klassekampen writes it used Alexa to examine eight sites that allegedly inspired Anders Behring Breivik and his manifesto. It claims its investigations revealed readership groups to websites Gates of Vienna, Jihad Watch, The Brussels Journal, Islam Watch, Atlas Shrugged, Tundra Tabloid, Vladtepesblog and The Green Arrow showed a clear pattern.

When presented with the results, Andreas Malm, journalist and author of the book ‘The Hate against Muslims’, told the paper, “The typical profile of conspiracy theorists are elderly, lonely men, who become obsessed with a particular question, and who may be attracted to anti-Islamic conspiracy theories.”

“There is a preponderance of older men, often unemployed, who may feel ostracized from society, and seeking for an explanation and a scapegoat,” he declared.

Tor Bach, editor of the magazine ‘Vepsen’, is not surprised. He adds that the anti-Islam organizations’ groups of older members share a common “mistrust of society and the democratic system, sincerely believing someone wishes them harm.”

“These people [also] fully believe in the existence of a conspiracy, where the Arab world will take over the European one,” concluded Mr Bach.

Original post: Anti-Islamism common amongst the over 60s

As Geert Wilders Star Fades in Europe, He Hopes to Make it in America

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2012 by loonwatch

 

I have the strange sense that Geert Wilders ‘star’ is fading. The momentum from Fitna, the anti-immigrant rhetoric, the calls for deporting Muslims has been blunted by the departure of his former friend Brinkman, the embarrassment over the anti-Polish site his party created and other such incidents. This does not mean that he is less of a force for bigotry but for the moment it seems we may have reached a downward curve in his rise.

In America Wilders will have more luck, and will make tons of money scamming not just poor Christian right-wingers but also the small, rich anti-Muslim cadre who hang on his every word.

If fake ex-terrorist Walid Shoebat can still rake in cold hard cash from Bible thumpers even when it is well known that he is a liar, how much better will the peroxide-dyed anti-Muslim politician do?

Update (via. Al-Bakrastani): The government his (Wilders) Fascist party supported has crashed and most likely new elections will decimate his party.

(via. Hugo Treeds) Today he blew up Dutch governement and yesterday his party blew itself up in his home-district of Limburg. Almost weekly party representatives now leave the party and decimate his powerbase in cities and provinces. So your analysis very probably is correct and he will try to flee the mess he made over here in The Netherlands. So America, beware!

Wilders’ new book aimed at US market may appeal only to his ‘small, rich and fanatical group of followers’

A new book by Geert Wilders aimed at the American market is not due to be officially launched until May 1, but details gleaned from advance and review copies are already doing the rounds.

The book is entitled Marked for Death, Islam’s war against the West and me and according to Wilders’ own website ‘tells the story of Geert Wilders’ fight for the right to speak what he believes: namely that Islam is not just a religion but primarily a dangerous ideology which is a threat to Western freedoms.’

The book will be officially presented at an as-yet secret location in the US, and is regarded by some as Wilders’ calling card to America. The Dutch MP has made no secret of his international ambitions and is keen to launch and International Freedom Alliance, he said last year.

Magazine HP/De Tijd looks at one incident in the book in which Wilders writes how he was robbed by “three Arab youths” in the Utrecht district of Kanaleneiland – an area of poor housing and high unemployment.

In fact, the robbery took place in a more upmarket part of town several kilometres away the magazine says, citing references to the incident in a biography of Wilders published several years ago.

Tom Kleijn, Washington correspondent for television show Nieuwsuur says the book is a dry, almost academic recount of “how Wilders has become what he is”. The book even contains an index and sources, he points out. “Wilders has a small, rich and fanatical group of followers in America,” Kleijn said. “But it remains to be seen if this book will boost Wilders’ popularity.”

Current Dutch president Mark Rutte is not mentioned once, but Wilders states five times that he and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Dutch Somali Muslim critic who now works for a US think-tank, are of the same opinion, Kleijn points out.

Nos correspondent Eelco Bosch van Rosenthal describes how Wilders emphasises his admiration for former US president Ronald Reagan and states current president Barack Obama is a dhimmi – a submissive non-Muslim in a Muslim state.

Dutch News, 21 April 2012

Robert George: Saying Nice Things About Islam While at the Same Time Funding Islamophobes?

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on April 11, 2012 by loonwatch

 

While Robert George has had positive relations with Muslim leaders such as Hamza Yusuf, and has also made positive statements regarding Islam and Muslim in the public, he has still left unanswered lingering questions about his troubling membership on the board of the Bradley Foundation, one of the largest funders of Islamophobia.

George’s unwillingness to answer questions about his position as a board member of the Bradley Foundation since 2006 is one of the main reasons he should not be considered as a commissioner on the USCIRF. His positive statements about Muslims do not give him a free pass in this regard.

Robert George’s Moral Cowardice on Islamophobia

(FaithInPublicLife)

Since it was revealed last fall that Robert George sits on the board of a conservative foundation that funds some of the worst anti-Islam extremists, the prominent Princeton professor has remained silent on the issue. Even when asked directly, he refused to discuss the subject.

Monday, his colleague Jennifer Bryson of the Witherspoon Institute tried to defend him. Unfortunately her attempt comes up short.

Bryson starts by conceding that the anti-Islam organizations in question are “in [her] view, misguided” before moving on. But let’s be clear, the people we’re talking about are indefensibly hateful. They describe Muslims as “Islamic Nazis,” tell lies about the President’s faith, and promote elaborate conspiracy theories about secret Muslim infiltration of the United States government and civil society. They also bear some responsibility for the rise in attacks on the religious freedom of Muslims in the last few years. And their work is being funded to the tune of over $4 million dollars by the board on which Robert George sits.

Bryson goes on to allege that critics are charging George with “being anti-Muslim” or being “hostile to Islam” and rebuts these charges with a litany of George’s statements criticizing anti-Islam bigotry. I might have missed something, but none of the posts I’ve written or read on this subject have said any such thing. In fact, I’ve made a point to laud these very statements and suggested his otherwise positive record on this issue is exactly what makes his place on the Bradley Foundation board so disappointing.

After twelve paragraphs refuting this straw man, Bryson finally gets to the fundamental moral conflict at stake, relaying George’s defense:

Yet what about George’s position on the Bradley Foundation board? Is it inconsistent with his advocacy of the rights of Muslims and his work for Christian-Muslim cooperation? The Bradley Board discussions are confidential and, says George, “what I have to say about Bradley grants and grantees I will say to them and my colleagues on the Bradley board.”

But this of course is a non-answer. Under the guise of confidentiality, George refuses to say what (if anything) he says to the board about the Bradley Foundation’s record of funding the Islamophobia industry. Did he show them the disgusting records of the people they’re funding? Was there a fight about this decision? Even if he protested and voted no, is he embarrassed that his colleagues are contributing to the same religious bigotry he opposes in other contexts? We don’t know any of this, because George won’t say.

Bryson, however, jumps to conclusions:

Frankly I am glad that he is part of the Bradley Board. He can have more influence by participating inside than by protesting from outside, and having so prominent a defender of Muslim rights, and of Islam as a faith, in such a visible place of honor and influence in the conservative movement sends a clear message to other conservatives that they need not, and should not, view Islam with contempt or regard their Muslim fellow citizens with suspicion.

If George’s strategy is to influence the board from within, he’s failing spectacularly. The foundation has been giving money to these extremists since 2001. George’s election to the board in 2006 failed to do anything to stop the flow of funds — publicly available annual reports through 2010 show that grants have been awarded in every year since.

Moreover, Bryson has her cause and effect wrong. George is not a prominent conservative leader because he is on the board, his stature comes from his other work and lends the board credibility and visibility. Given that practically no one knew about this situation until a few months ago, can Bryson really argue with a straight face that George’s secret, silent protest of an unknown issue has “sent a clear message” about religious tolerance to his fellow conservatives?

Of course not. George’s silent participation does the exact opposite, sending the message that these organizations are credible and worthy of funding.

What if the groups in question weren’t anti-Islam extremists, but active racists? Would George act the same way if the Bradley Foundation were funding the KKK? Would being a silent advocate for African Americans be morally sufficient? Would conservatives accept George’s “behind the scenes advocate” defense?

Imagine, though, what kind of message George could send by making public his vociferous opposition to his colleagues’ decision and resigning from the board in protest. Now that would be a moral example that might inspire fellow conservatives to refuse to sit by silently while xenophobic extremists hijack their movement.

But instead, George appears content to whistle past the graveyard. That’s certainly a moral and strategic choice he has a right to make. But it’s a choice that deserves to be made public, especially for someone recently appointed to a prominent position defending religious liberty around the globe. And he and his allies shouldn’t be surprised if others determine that his association with anti-Muslim groups disqualifies him from such an important and prestigious role.