* To top it all off, the ISB filed libel charges against the Boston Herald, Fox News, and activist Charles Jacobs, only to drop its case when the discovery process was becoming too uncomfortable — but not before a chill on other media coverage set in.
This is — or should be — eyebrow-raising stuff. If Patrick, or his staff, were unaware, they deserve a figurative black eye. If Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker met with a group — say, a band of Tea Partiers — in a church or community center tainted by ties to right-wing nationalists, the Democrats and the press would pillory him.
The Phoenix does not object to the purpose of the meeting, which, according to the Boston Globe, was intended to get Muslims more involved in politics, to repudiate extremism, and to help the larger community transcend negative stereotypes about Islam. The repudiation of extremism, however, seems to have taken a second seat to Patrick's feel-good electioneering.
Estimates of the Massachusetts Muslim population hover at 70,000. That about 1100 from 25 institutions, including 15 mosques, attended is impressive. Patrick was right to decry the prejudice that may cost Muslims jobs, or the racial profiling that may subject some to police and citizen harassment. But he was wrong to ignore the fact that within the larger assembly of good intentions there exist small, potent, and deadly cadres who show nothing but resolve and promise to continue their acts of terrorism.
When an ecumenical rainbow coalition of religious leaders predictably assembled on the steps of the mosque to denounce Cahill for even raising the subject of terrorism, its was only two weeks after a pair of Massachusetts men, both Muslims, were arrested in a raid following the Times Square car bombing in New York. The clerics seem to be in denial about terror being a legitimate subject for political debate. And Patrick's visit to the mosque was nothing if not political.
We wonder if the irony of the situation ever crossed the minds of the interfaith participants. There they were, standing in good conscience on the steps of a mosque built primarily with money from Saudi Arabia testifying to the right of Muslims to worship in America. Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia, Buddhists and Quakers, Christians and Jews, and all others who don't subscribe to Islam, are prevented from publically practicing their faith.
Not to recognize this is to engage in a sort of Mickey Mouse multiculturalism that captivates the hard left and dominates elite university campuses, but which should have no place in real-life politics.
If Governor Patrick was determined to go to that particular mosque and meet with Imam Faaruuq, he had an obligation to progressives who support him to vigorously defend gay and women's rights and to question the provisions of Muslim law that seek to make one religion — Islam — one with the state. Patrick failed that test.
In case anyone thought that George W. Bush meant it when he insisted as president that "we do not torture" — who thought that perhaps he was uninformed, or misled about what was being done in his name — that myth has now been dispelled. Bush, it turns out, has a heart as black as Dick Cheney's.