Monday, October 20, 2003

BOYKIN WORSHIPS PAGANS: I briefly commented on the General Boykin controversy and since then he has issued a non-apology put together by Pentagon lawyers. In the apology, Boykin argues that his reference to idol worship refers to Somali warlord Osman Ato's "worship of money and power." This, though, contradicts his original statement:

"He went on CNN and he laughed at us, and he said, 'They'll never get me because Allah will protect me. Allah will protect me.' Well, you know what, I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God, and his was an idol."
His apology is (reluctantly) accepted, but since these statements have been publicly noted, it--I suspect--will discourage a lot of patriotic Muslims of enlisting in the army or becoming linguists at the FBI.

In addition to that, Fareed Zakaria puts the smack-down on Boykin and suggests that he should be fired. Pointing to the findings of a commission set up by Bush, he notes that 12 percent of respondents surveyed in Arab and Muslim countries believed that "Americans respect Arab/Islamic values." Tolerating Boykin would definitely send the wrong message.

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