Now that the Democratic National Committee has reversed its original stance and decided to allow New York Cardinal-Archbishop Timothy Dolan to deliver the closing prayer at the DNC convention next week, Buzzfeed is reporting that LGBT groups are upset with the decision. “While Cardinal Dolan has a respected track record in the ministry, his work to undercut the dignity of LGBT people cannot be overlooked. There are many faith leaders who would be an ideal fit to close out the Democratic National Convention — but Cardinal Timothy Dolan is not that leader,” said Michael Cole-Schwartz of the Human Rights Campaign.
In light of their perception that a bigot has been invited to pray over the convention, it is curious why there isn’t more criticism coming from the LGBT folks toward the “Jumah at the 2012 DNC” event, a Muslim prayer vigil and “issues conference” that has been promoted on the official 2012 DNC website. Sponsored by an advocacy group which calls itself the Bureau of Indigenous Muslim Affairs, the Jumah will “serve and facilitate the efforts of Islamic organizations and Institutions in their endeavors as well as spread awareness about Indigenous Muslim issues.” Apparently, this includes topics like Islamophobia, anti-Shariah bills, the NYPD surveillance program, and the Patriot Act. There’s nothing inherently wrong with Muslims being included at a political event, but the organizers of the Jumah seem to have a history of radicalism. According to The Blaze:
The mosque of Jibril Hough … is owned by the North American Islamic Trust, which was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial as one of the entities “who are and/or were members of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.”
Siraj Wahhaj, the “Grand Imam” for Jumah at the DNC, is often considered a “moderate” because he was the first Muslim to give an invocation in the U.S. Congress, but as Robert Spencer notes, he has a number of troubling ties to dangerous radicals. In the early 1990′s the man reportedly sponsored talks by “the Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel-Rahman in New York and New Jersey mosques, and told his followers that the United States will fall unless it “accepts the Islamic agenda.”
The Blaze also quotes Zhudi Jasser, a Muslim who founded the anti-extremist American Islamic Forum for Democracy, who said, “The leaders of this event — Jibril Hough and Imam Siraj Wahhaj — [are not] moderates. They are radicals. These individuals embrace Islamist supremacy and have demonstrated support for radical ideologies.”
If the organizers of the Jumah are as radical as they seem to be, then there’s a moment of cognitive dissonance happening here within the Democratic coalition. While LGBT groups are indignant at the inclusion of Cardinal Dolan, there’s been no quarrel from them on the invitation extended to individuals that share sympathies with hardline Islamist groups. Radical Islamists have a far, far more intolerant attitude toward homosexuals than any Catholic clergyman, to the point that they have recently been stoned and burned alive in some countries. Why doesn’t the LGBT lobby get as fired up about the organizers of the Jumah as it does about Cardinal Dolan? Partly, adherents to the Judeo-Christian tradition are familiar targets for the LGBT lobby. But this situation is also the product of the unqualified embrace of pluralism that characterizes the left. When moral judgments are subordinated to the mantra of “diversity,” then the truly odious views aren’t diminished. The result is that the LGBT lobby has become another group on the left that fails to see the danger that radical Islam poses to all of us.
David Wilezol is a producer for “Morning in America,” a nationally syndicated radio show hosted by former U.S. Secretary of Education Bill Bennett. Follow him on Twitter: @davidwilezol.