The Blog

D.C.'s Iftar Season

It's time for politicians to stop honoring demagogues and fundamentalists at official Ramadan celebrations.

12:00 AM, Sep 15, 2009 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
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He began his statement with an obvious inaccuracy: "When I first came to this city, over 30 years ago, there were no Iftars, nor was there any formal recognition of Ramadan or the Eids [two annual Muslim holidays] by anyone, anywhere." Here Zogby betrayed his ignorance of Muslim life, for if it is true that official recognition of these practices were lacking, such observances were common in embassies, mosques, and private homes. Zogby continued, "At this point, there are Iftars all over this city--the White House, State Department, Congress, National Security Agency, and more." He ended with boasts of his political exploits in Dearborn, Mich., in boosting the fortunes of its large Arab population.

One may conclude that while America is committed to understanding Islam, and is presently sacrificing blood and treasure to help Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan gain freedom and prosperity, it can do little in that direction with the help of demagogues like James Zogby, to say nothing of Mattson, Hendy, or Mogahed, especially at official events.

Stephen Schwartz is a frequent contributor to THE WEEKLY STANDARD.