Reposted by arrangement with Think Progress
ormer Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) blasted Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) for failing to take a hard-line against Muslims or embrace the Islamophobia currently sweeping across the GOP.
- What is not yet as widely known about Perry is that he extends his taxpayer-funded compassion not only to illegal aliens but also to Muslim groups seeking to whitewash the violent history of that religion. Perry endorsed and facilitated the adoption in Texas public schools of a pro-Muslim curriculum unit developed by Muslim clerics in Pakistan.
Tancredo cites “Islam scholar” Robert Spencer — Spencer plays the role of a “misinformation expert” in the Islamophobia network examined in the Center for American Progress’ new report Fear, Inc. — who examined the program and concluded:
- The curriculum is a complete whitewash and it’s got the endorsement of Perry. It’s not going to give you any idea why people are waging jihad against the West — it’s only going to make you think that the real problem is ‘Islamophobia.’
Indeed Perry did develop a relationship with Pakistani religious leader and philanthropist Aga Khan and helped facilitate a 2009 agreement between Texas and Aga Khan organizations in the “fields of education, health sciences, natural disaster preparedness and recovery, culture and the environment.” At the signing ceremony, Perry said:
- [T]raditional Western education speaks little of the influence of Muslim scientists, scholars, throughout history, and for that matter the cultural treasures that stand today in testament to their wisdom.
Not all conservative pundits have bought into the anti-Muslim hysteria. The Center for Security Policy’s David Reaboi and conservative blogger Ace of Spades have written lengthy rebuttals and characterized the attacks on Perry and his Aga Khan connections as inaccurate. But Perry’s involvement in the development of curriculum to teach Texas high school students about Islam has served as a rallying cry for anti-Muslim advocates who see the curriculum as a threat to their portrayal of Islam as an inherently violent religion.
Tancredo concludes his anti-Muslim editorial by suggesting that Perry’s affiliation with Grover Norquist, a Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) board member and president of Americans for Tax Reform, is yet another sign of “Perry’s Muslim blind spot.” Tancredo asks:
- Why does [Perry] think he can claim to be the “tea party candidate” while endorsing a whitewash of Islamic extremism in Texas schools?
Tancredo’s reliance on discredited “scholars” like Robert Spencer and his assertions that radical Islam, via Grover Norquist and Aga Khan, have coopted Perry into spreading a “pro-Muslim curriculum unit” in Texas public schools offers an insight into the hateful and paranoid mindsets of those who embrace an anti-Muslim political agenda. (HT: Little Green Footballs)