Hartford City Council to Start Meeting With Islamic Prayer

-By Warner Todd Huston

In a move sure to see some controversy, the city council of Hartford, Connecticut has decided to start off its city council meetings with a Muslim prayer. An email from the city says they are doing this as “an act of solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters.”

The email from the city invokes the supposed “anti-Islam events” sweeping the country. “One of the goals of the Council is to give a voice to the many diverse peoples of the City, which is especially important given the recent anti-Islam events throughout the country,” it says.

There is more explaining from the council:

On Facebook, Council Minority Leader Luis Cotto wrote: “We start every single council meeting with a prayer. 99% of the prayers are Christian based, and in three years I recall one Rabbi coming through.”

Were I a member of that council I’d have voted no just because Islam is not a religion fit for a democratic government to celebrate. Islam is an oppressor’s religion, not a democrat’s religion. On the other hand, Luis Cotto’s sentiment is reasonable if you assume Islam to be a religion worthy of recognition. Especially if you are a politician that has a Muslim community that is desirous of a Muslim prayer starting off a city council meeting – that is democracy, after all.

But democracy is not why the council is doing this. They are doing this for the wrong reason, that of pretending to stand opposed to all these “anti-Islam events” sweeping the country. They are doing this for PCism and not because their constituents demanded it.

The fact is there is no wave of “anti-Islam events” surging through the United States. Granted there is more disgruntled talk against Islam, but there are few incidents of actual anti-Islam discrimination happening anywhere in the country.

In fact, the only real “event” going on is the one near Ground Zero as Islamic interlopers attempt to insert themselves into a situation in which they aren’t wanted because their people are the ones responsible for the deaths of thousands nearby. This stirred “event” is of the Muslim’s making, not anyone else’s.

Does it sound counter intuitive to say there are no “anti-Islam events” going on around the country? In actuality it isn’t. We have but to check the FBI’s hate crime statistics to see this fact born out. The FBI shows that it is far more likely that you’ll be discriminated against if you are Jewish then if you’re a Muslim.

The last year that the FBI has released full data for hate crimes is 2008, but it shows that hate crimes against Jews far out number those against Muslims.

FBI Hate Crime Statistics: Religious bias

    Of the 1,732 victims of anti-religious hate crimes:

  • 66.1 percent were targeted because of an offender’s anti-Jewish bias.
  • 7.5 percent were victims because of an anti-Islamic bias.
  • 5.1 percent were victims because of an anti-Catholic bias.
  • 3.6 percent were victims because of an anti-Protestant bias.
  • 0.8 percent were targeted because of an anti-Atheist/Agnostic bias.
  • 2.8 percent were victims because of a bias against other religions (anti-other religion).
  • 4.0 percent were victims because of a bias against groups of individuals of varying religions (anti-multiple religions, group).

But let’s face reality, here. As I said, there is a lot of disgruntled talk among Americans in general against Islam. This is only natural due to the provocations Muslims have indulged. America didn’t just wake up one day and decide to hate Islam. Islamists have for 50 years been doing their best to provoke that hate. They started the ball rolling by blowing people up, cutting off people’s heads, stoning women, hanging gays, destroying world art treasures, killing American soldiers, “honor” killing children, and generally making a hazard of themselves. Then they have the gall to say WE are the ones in the wrong? Points to them for blatant arrogance, I guess.

Going back to the Hartford City Council, then, their actions end up actually feeding into the very thing they are claiming to want to remedy. They claim there is all this anti-Islam fever going on in the USA, but the stats just don’t show it. The council’s ballyhooing of such sentiment does more to promote that anti-Islam sentiment than it does to combat it simply by feeding into the false claim that it is pervasive.

In the end what is far more likely than anything else is that we have a few left-wing politicians that want to get their names in the national news so that they can puff their chests and claim to be the most “tolerant” people on earth. And in that, I guess I just helped them do it (well, except that I exposed their attempt).
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, AmericanDaily.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

For a full bio, please CLICK HERE.

Copyright Publius Forum 2001