17 February 2011

If you ignore enough history, anybody can look "tolerant"

 As reported this morning on WMAL-AM, Washington, DC - The Grandy Group:
VMI Celebrates Muslim Invasion, Brutal 781-year Occupation of Spain - Patrick S. Poole BigPeace.Com
Next month his beloved Virginia Military Institute will be convening a celebration commemorating the 1300th anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Spain under the Muslim warlord Tariq ibn Ziyad in 711 A.D. The March 23-25 celebration entitled “711-2011: East Meets West” and organized by VMI’s Center for Leadership and Ethics, is scheduled to feature standard Muslim apologists Reza Aslan and Akbar Ahmed. VMI Superintendent Gen. J.H. Binford Peay has even filmed an invitation to the celebration.

No word if VMI’s World War II commemoration will be entitled “Germany meets Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Belgium, France, Norway, The Netherlands and Russia”.
From the current version of the event page, that I understand has been heavily edited since Poole began writing about the "East Meets West" celebration:
A fusion between two worlds began 1300 years ago with Tariq ibn Ziyad’s crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar in 711.
Up until recently that was known as an invasion.  That "fusion" was at the point of a sword.  I wonder if these same people talk about the expulsion of the invaders in the same manner?  That series of actions were called The Crusades and were the reaction to what VMI celebrates commemorates.
Please join us to commemorate the brilliant contributions resulting from the blending of eastern and western cultures.
That 'blending' came through a lot of bleeding.  Christians and Jews were murdered, expelled or forced to convert to Islam during this period.
The agenda will tell the vital story of the achievements when Christians, Jews, and Muslims thrived side by side in Western Europe, building a society that lit the Dark Ages. Experts will discuss how to transform education, promote tolerance, civility, political reform, and advance human development so that we can emulate the spirit and triumphs of the early years.
The experts appear to have missed the point that Spain and France were invaded and brutally occupied for almost 800 years.  I fail to see the cause for celebration, other than to appease the most radical elements of a movement that uses religion as its sword.

In their half-hearted attempts at appeasing critics, VMI has issued this statement:
LEXINGTON, Va., Feb. 4, 2011 – VMI has received criticism on some blog sites concerning an upcoming conference that it is sponsoring. This conference, “711-2011: East Meets West,” will examine 1,300 years of interaction between the East and the West.

This controversy centers on the use of the word “celebrate” in promotional materials in describing centuries of tri-cultural harmony and scholarly achievement by Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

Some of the complaints VMI has received are from people who have suffered losses in the years since the September 11th terrorist attacks, and even from terrorist activities prior to that. In retrospect, we see how the word “celebrate” can be an inflammatory term for some people.

VMI regrets the misunderstanding this has generated, and most especially the anti-Muslim comments that have filled the blogs because of it. The promotional materials have been revised.
Even in a retraction/rewording/apology this culture of appeasement cannot seem to get it right.  If they provided an example of "anti-Muslim comments" that would be one thing, but this is quite another.  In the context of the announcement and of this 'explanation' the hosts and organizers label any and all criticism as "anti-Muslim".  The more I read the VMI materials, the more I find the criticism as being pro-accuracy and the VMI position as propaganda.
VMI intends to proceed with the conference. The topic of the “East Meets West” conference is both timely and important.
No doubt and don't let any facts get in your way.
For information about the conference, visit www.vmi.edu/eastmeetswest.
For even more important facts, read here about the Muslim Brotherhood/CAIR connection:
Out of Cordoba,” (2008) was directed by Jacob Bender, self-described as “one of the initiators of interfaith dialogue with the American Muslim community. He has spoken dozens of times at mosques and at large gatherings of Muslims in the United States, particularly at the conventions of the Islamic Society of North America, the largest Muslim organization in the US.” He neglects to mention that ISNA was also named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism finance trial.
That post also reveals the DOD funding connection to this event.

I am waiting for the announcement to relocate the conference to Dearborn, MI or Buffalo, NY.

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