National Review - Which Side Are You On?

By WILLIAM MAYER

March 31, 2005 - Washington, DC - PipeLineNews - CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations, bills itself as an Islamic Civil Rights group, along the lines of the NAACP.

In actuality CAIR is neither a civil rights organization, nor is it like the NAACP.

CAIR is an Islamist pressure group - a captive of Wahhabist/jihadi theology.

It is an enemy of secular, republican government.

No lesser authority than Daniel Pipes characterized the organization, in an April 22, 2002 article, as "'Moderate' friends of terror."

Since January, CAIR has succeeded in cowing Fox Broadcasting, Dell Computer and Spherion Staffing, into ridiculous actions to atone for trumped up "anti-Muslim" actions.

In the case of Dell, CAIR went so far as to take advantage of a group of about 30 Somali nationals - who were resettled in Tennessee, from the hell-hole which is Africa, by the US Dept. of State - and use them to wage psychological jihad against Dell on the groundless charge that Dell was impeding their free exercise of the Islamic religion on the job.

Now CAIR has mounted the head of Rich Lowry, Senior Editor of National Review, on their trophy wall, alongside that of Fox's Gail Berman and Michael Dell.

National Review was once the most hallowed of modern conservative icons; created by William F. Buckley at a time when few remembered the towering intellect of Edmund Burke.

As such, NR stood for something, alas that is no more.

Here is the controversy.

A few weeks ago CAIR began a public relations campaign against NR. They charged the magazine with complicity in promoting two books - The Life and Religion of Mohammed & The Sword of the Prophet - that were allegedly anti-Muslim.

By anti-Muslim, CAIR really means truthful.

What CAIR did was coordinate, via its E-zine - CAIR Islam Infonet - an email and telephone bullying effort against one of National Review's key advertisers, Boeing Aircraft.

Of course this got National Review's attention, it being natural for any advertising driven organization to be concerned with the potential loss of a key source of revenue.

National Review's decision was to remove from its bookstore, the books that were claimed to be offensive, thus awarding CAIR total victory on the PR front.

Contacted on the matter, Anne F. Eisele, Boeing spokesperson, was extremely forthcoming. She spent considerable time with us on the phone in a March 30 conversation.

Ms. Eisele denied that Boeing had, at any time, threatened or in any way suggested to NR, that the books be removed from the magazine's online bookstore.

Her specific statement was:

"You asked did Boeing ask National Review to remove the books in question from its website or did the company in any way pressure National Review in its apparent decision to do so? The answer is no. I confirmed that with our head of advertising, the only company official to have contact with the National Review."

Mr. Lowry, Mr. Goldberg and Mr. Nordlinger will not speak to us on the matter. Though we have left numerous voice-mail messages for them, they have been totally unresponsive.

Yet, squirreled away in the NR online blog-section, we are greeted with the following transparency by Editor Lowry:

"So, National Review didn't sit down and say, "Hey, let's have a public fight over Mohammed and aggressively market books about him," then reverse course. In contrast, Robert Spencer and some others on the right feel very strongly that it is important to discredit Mohammed and Islam as such in order to win the war on terror. That's certainly their prerogative, but it is not the tack NR has taken, even as we have vigorously attacked Islamic terrorism."

There is a name for this, it's called caving.

Caving seems to have become somewhat of a cottage industry - among faux conservatives - over the past few weeks.

We have seen it in the actions of William Frist, the leadership of the House and in the Bush administration on a number of issues - over the so-called "nuclear" option, over Congress' unwillingness to enforce a legally constituted subpoena in the Schiavo case and on illegal immigration.

The press has it easy; they operate in the world of ideas and ink, only doing battle with words. Consequently, they are seldom if ever called upon to make their actions consistent with what they say.

In this matter they have been tested and found wanting, demonstrating a considerable chasm between pontification and action.

As Bill Bennett once glibly remarked, "Hypocrisy is better than having no standards at all."

But at this point shouldn't we all hold ourselves to a little higher bar, one that might possibly include conduct?

As with all matters pertaining to how we deal with fraudulent organizations like CAIR, there is a more important point.

Every capitulation strengthens them.

CAIR thrives on these public relations victories, it fuels their cultural jihad.

My writing partner Beila Rabinowitz calls these actions Shaykh-downs, and that is precisely what they are.

These little media excursions are the actions of religiously bigoted thugs.

When we acquiesce to their strident demands we legitimize and embolden them - both in the eyes of their followers as well as with the public in general. This empowers them to go before school boards and convince them to allow CAIR to institute multicultural religious indoctrination sessions in classrooms, which might go so far as to include "extra-credit" fasting on the part of Christian students in observance of the Islamic feast of Ramadan.

Is that what we want?

It's certainly anathema to most conservatives, unfortunately, it is apparently less so to the folks at National Review.

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