[singlepic id=15 w=320 h=240 float=left]The news of Governor Rick Perry jumping into the Republican nomination race for President, released a media tsunami that assaulted my brain. In no time at all, people came up with a long list of negatives about him. In a democracy, honest and thorough scrutiny of anyone’s records seeking a public office is not only the prerogative of the electorate, but it is its duty.

Being a lifelong critic of Islam, red flags popped up in my head at his purported cozy relationship with Islam and prompted me to look very closely at the governor’s record on this particular issue and at this specific time.

All kinds of worrisome thoughts flashed through my head. For one, I recalled another Republican Texas governor who became president and grew hoarse by so often shouting the mantra: Islam is a religion of peace. Is this another Texas Republican governor somehow beholden to oil interests, and the oil sheiks of Saudi Arabia? Is he really another for-purchase politician dispensing favors to the powers that be? In this case, are deep pocket Muslims hell-bent on furthering Islam by exploiting the vulnerabilities of democratic societies? Are his sympathies with Arabs and is he none too friendly toward Israel? I decided to strip my biases, look for facts and let them settle these issues.

The facts are that Perry has indeed had a cordial relationship with Muslims. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims live in the Lone Star State. And a governor is to serve every segment of the population in accordance with the law. I grant that. But, is Governor Perry being even-handed with Muslims, as he is expected to be, or is he favoring them?

He is reported to be particularly friendly with the Ismailis, a relatively small sect of Shi’a Islam. Is there something fishy about that? There are roughly twenty to thirty thousand Ismailis who live in Texas, a small percentage of the Muslims in the state. Besides, if Perry wanted to curry favor with Muslims, why would he hitch his wagon to the Ismailis? Ismailis are persecuted and castigated by major Islamic sects such as the Sunnis who rule Saudi Arabia and the Twelve Imamates Shi’a who run Iran.

The Ismailis are hardly a significant Islamic force, as compared to the other sects. They number around fifteen million in the world and are splintered into several sects. By far the largest of the Ismaili sects is the Nizari Ismaili with its followers adhering to dual loyalties. Their spiritual allegiance is to the Imam of the Time (Imam az Zaman) who is believed to be the interlocutor between Allah and the people. The position of the Imam az Zaman is hereditary from male to male, purportedly tracing back to Muhammad. Ismailis also owe allegiance to their countries as a fundamental obligation.

How militant and jihad-minded are the Ismailis, as compared to other sects of Islam? The Ismailis still hold to the notion of jihad, since the admonition is frequently stipulated in the Quran. They believe in what can be called “self-jihad,” battling the self to become a better Muslim, and “other-jihad,” which is warring against non-Muslims. Only the Imam az Zaman can proclaim the fatwa authorizing warring against others.  Since they are a small Muslim minority and widely scattered in many countries, they are less likely to be able to wage any kind of violent campaign against others. Yet, the idea of “other-jihad” is still within their belief make-up, since it is nearly a pillar of Islam. Furthermore, the notion of “self-jihad” can also be problematic, if the individual believer molds himself into a “pious” type by adopting the numerous anti Non-Muslims provisions of the Quran.

Any and all sects of Islam operate on the basis of the Quran and its various derivations that one and all are inimical to liberty and are violence prone. In fairness to the Ismailis, it must be granted that they are less combative and Ummahist (international community of Islam) than other sects of Islam.

It is a fact that Perry, following the practice of a long line of other politicians such as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the late President John F. Kennedy, built a cordial relationship with the Aga Khan (Imam az Zaman) of the Ismailis.

Although Perry’s cordial relationship with the Ismailis is indeed true, it hardly warrants alarm. What is more disturbing is the claim, nearly all of it originating from one source, that Governor Perry is supported by CAIR.

Facts show the contrary.  There are reports that CAIR, the Islamist organization, was upset for not being invited to Perry’s Response prayer event in Houston. CAIR has teamed up with the ACLU protesting the exclusion.

Another line of argument implying Perry’s Islamic leanings, if not an out and out supporter of it, pertains to inclusion of Islam in the state’s educational curriculum. I looked closely into that claim, because it is indeed a critical juncture where young minds can indeed be influenced.

The nuggets of the Muslim history curriculum Perry helped coordinate in Texas are summarized below.  It says:
1-Countries of Western Civilization have secular governments, which means great toleration of cultural and religious differences.
2-Countries of Islamic Civilization for the most part either have religiously dominated governments or demands to make them more religious, which means less toleration of cultural and religious differences.
3-Muslims often lack respect for Western traditions and points of view. The Muslim relationship to the West is colored by the belief that Western beliefs [whether Christian or atheist] are defective and therefore inferior to Islam.

No matter how I tried, I couldn’t reach the conclusion that this inclusion promotes Islam or it is pro-Sharia. It seems that the mere fact that Islam is included in the curriculum represents supporting it.
And with regards to the concern that the education curriculum Perry promoted is pro-Arab and against Israel, the evidence is exactly the opposite. The lesson on Israel reads:

“Since the end of World War One Palestine had been under the control of Great Britain, who at first welcomed the hardworking Jewish settlers. They made the most of the harsh conditions, bringing economic success to an area that had for a very long time been poor. Arab natives also welcomed the newcomers. But as the number of Jewish settlers increased and their economic success contrasted sharply with the economic backwardness of the Palestinian Arabs, the Arab attitude began to change.

Immediately, all its Arab neighbors declared war on Israel. As a result of this war, the territory of Israel expanded somewhat, and many Arab citizens of Israel fled to a small corner of Israel called the Gaza Strip. The Arab states refused to admit these refugees, preferring them to stay there as a testimony to the evil of the Jewish state. They are still there. These Arabs began calling themselves Palestinians and demanding a state of their own.”

The bubbe meises are flying Rick Perry’s way fast and furious and from all directions. Here  Alana Goodman’s commentary bats a big one down.

And Perry’s stance on other Islam issues speaks for itself. When Perry was questioned about building a mosque near ground-zero in New York, for instance, he said, “To build a mosque near Ground Zero would be insensitive to the victims and families of 9/11 and would make the healing process much more difficult for everyone that was touched by this tragedy. I’m a big believer in freedom of religion but believe it would be best for all involved to put the facility elsewhere. However, zoning is a local responsibility and as a staunch supporter of the 10th Amendment, I do not think the federal government should take steps to intercede or overrule the wishes of local residents. The citizens of New York City will decide the fate of this building.”

What about Perry’s support for Israel? After a trip to the area in 2007, the governor supported Texas’ divestment from companies that do business with Iran, a main supporter of Hamas. Also, the Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce was created to help launch future commercial interests and solidify the strong business and cultural connections between Texas and Israel.

Governor Rick Perry was awarded the Defender of Jerusalem 2009 award during his trip when he also met with top Israeli political and academic leaders.

Unless someone can come up with solid evidence to the contrary, I feel relieved that Governor Perry is not an Islamophile, he is not even an Islamic apologist, and he can be entrusted with the responsibility of guarding our nation’s priceless heritage of liberty against the assaults of Islamic fascism.

Amil Imani is the author of a new book “Operation Persian Gulf.” Get your copy today.

2011-09-01 02:47:44
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Thank you for this article. I have been discussing this very thing and defending Perry against these ridiculous and spurious accusations. These same people think Rick is stupid. Governor Perry usually allows these people to come out in the open and then clobbers them with reality. He is too savvy and experienced to allow what happened to Palin.

Try as they will, the media will continue the smears, but facts are stubborn things.

I am not surprised that Governor Perry is receiving candidate scrutiny. I am also not surprised that Mr. Obama did not receive similar scrutiny regarding his connections to Wright, Ayers, Farrakhan and others,

What does surprise me is the blatant fictionalizing of a Perry's record by people on the Left and Right who know better.

Look for the Left and establishment Right to keep this up. The Left knows that Perry is a formidable candidate who will be unafraid to take it to Obama, hence all of the false accusations of racism in the Tea Party; patent nonsense. Expect the Establishment Right [Rovesputin and his ilk]to focus on him being to far Right to be elected; also patent nonsense. Ron Paul's supporters will try to resurrect their base's fears about the North American Union and a proposed trade corridor through Texas to Mexico.

There is no ambivalence about this man. Our overseas adversaries will respect him and many will fear him. Europeans will cringe at another "Cowboy President" even though Bush and Reagan Administrations were a great friend and ally or European nations. Perry will roll back the Obama Marxism and restore and promote an era of jobs and good will for America.

As you can tell, I support the Governor. He and Palin are friends. I expect Palin to announce a run for the Senate against Lisa Murkowski and to give Perry an open road.

If Unemployment and the Economy are the main issues then I would not be surprised to see Romney with him on the ticket. If it is about American Exceptionalism and goodness, then Marco Rubio is a good choice. Allen West and Michelle Bachmann and Rudy Giuliani are also good VP choices for various reasons.

Thanks again for an excellent presentation.

All the best, Bill

William R. Mann
Lt. Colonel, US Army, Retired
Aut Pax Aut Bellum!
One of Rick Perry’s first acts after being elected agriculture commissioner in 1991 was to create the Texas-Israel Exchange, which promoted information and research sharing.

Gov. Perry Received Defender of Jerusalem Award Thursday, August 13, 2009
Amil,


As a card-carrying member of two anti-Islamist groups I am grateful to you for doing the leg work on the ground in Texas researching the U.S. Ismailis. Far more concerning than the Ismailis are Perry's associations with the radical Palestinian millionaire (Shami?), Grover Norquist, and his weak stance on illegal immigration

After I determine which is the real Islamic curricula set up by the State of Texas I will know know which side of this issue to come down on.
Amil is using one teacher's lesson plan not the actual curriculum which you can find online. Yes, that teacher's lesson plan is not too bad but the official curriculum is pretty bad. Not only do i say it, parents with kids in that school felt their children were being indoctrinated at that school. The politician (Perry) may find it dandy to inculcate children with such nonsense. An informed parents seems to think differently and I will trust a parent's instincts over those of a politician every time.
Do you deny the veracity of the quotes cited by Sultan Knish?
http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2011/08/rick-perry-and-islam.html

I tracked down and verified this one:

"Like most of the world’s major religions, the Islamic faith preaches peace, love and tolerance. Indeed, terrorism is the antithesis of the basic tenet to which the one billion Islamic followers all over the world adhere.

The Koran teaches that “whoever killed a human being, except as punishment for murder or other villainy in the land, shall be regarded as having killed all mankind; and that whoever saved a human life shall be regarded as having served all mankind.”"
http://governor.state.tx.us/news/editorial/10089/

I need a candidate who knows Islam and tells it as it is. I will not vote for Shrub II, one was enough.
Great site, Amil. Keep up the good work. The battle for truth never ends.
Mr. Spencer is so "absolutely reliable and correct" that he "debunks" my published article titled, "governor perry's Islam curriculum." As a matter of fact, I never published a piece with that title. I assume, however, he was referring to the article I published, "governor perry's Islam connection." I only wish that Mr. Spencer would get his facts straight in his attempt at debunking what I have written, although he starts out by getting the title of the article wrong and goes on to cut and paste allegations that I have found to be less than solid facts. I bear no animosity or grudge toward Mr. Spencer and I admire his work in combating Islamic fascism. I only wish that he would spend his talents and valuable time in debunking Islamic falsehood and not questioning my reporting without supplying solid evidence.
Yesterday the Iranian-American writer Amil Imani published a piece, "Governor Perry's Islam Curriculum," which retails the same false information about the Perry/Aga Khan curriculum on Islam for Texas schools that we have debunked here at Jihad Watch several times, but since Imani's piece is making the rounds, it is all worth repeating.

Imani writes:

Another line of argument implying Perry’s Islamic leanings, if not an out and out supporter of it, pertains to inclusion of Islam in the state’s educational curriculum. I looked closely into that claim, because it is indeed a critical juncture where young minds can indeed be influenced.

The nuggets of the Muslim history curriculum Perry helped coordinate in Texas are summarized below. It says:

1-Countries of Western Civilization have secular governments, which means great toleration of cultural and religious differences. [...]

No matter how I tried, I couldn’t reach the conclusion that this inclusion promotes Islam or it is pro-Sharia. It seems that the mere fact that Islam is included in the curriculum represents supporting it.

The only problem with Imani's analysis is that he isn't examining the actual curriculum. You'll note that Imani relies for his information about the curriculum on Alana Goodman's piece at the dhimmi publication Commentary, and that Goodman in turn relies on David Stein's claim that the Perry/Aga Khan curriculum was written by one Ronald Wiltse, a retired San Antonio high school teacher. In contrast, Pamela Geller and I have been working from teacher training session material (http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2011/08/here-is-aga-khan-perry-curriculum-scrubbed-from-web-cached-scrubbed-from-google-today.html) that bears the legend "the curriculum for this project was developed at Harvard University and modified at the University of Texas at Austin," and which, in contrast to Wiltse's material, is a dhimmi whitewash of Islam (see here for details: http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/08/here-is-the-aga-khanrick-perry-curriculum-scrubbed-from-the-web-cache-scrubbed-from-google-search.html).

So which is the real curriculum? The one drawn up by Wiltse, or the one drawn up by Harvard and UT-Austin in collaboration with the Aga Khan Foundation?

What do you think?

With all due respect to Mr. Wiltse, how likely do you think it is that Harvard, UT-Austin, and the Aga Khan Foundation would choose a retired high school history teacher to write their curriculum, and publish his work under official auspices even though it contradicted the tone, thrust, and editorial line of their own teacher training sessions? Harvard and UT-Austin are no doubt full of dhimmi academics -- including the ones who actually produced the teacher training material. Wiltse's lesson plan does show up on the (now scrubbed) Aga Khan/Perry teacher training curriculum pages, but only in a section headed "Lessons and Strategies," which included other lesson plans and was clearly just a repository site for the individual lesson plans that teachers who attended the teacher training program (as Wiltse did, according to David Stein) developed in response to an assignment asking them to create such plans.

That means that to represent Wiltse's lesson plan as the official Perry/Aga Khan curriculum is like representing a 9th grader's history paper as the official curriculum for his school district. Was Wiltse actually hired by UT-Austin and/or the Aga Khan Foundation to develop their Islam curriculum for Texas schools? Of course not, and even David Stein, who has never retracted his false claims about the curriculum, doesn't claim that.

It is a shame to see someone like Amil Imani, who generally sees things clearly, not only fall for this deception but retail it himself. I expect the dhimmi dim bulbs at Commentary to spread falsehoods, but I expected more from Amil Imani.

And let's not lose sight of the larger question: Rick Perry is demonstrably closer than other candidates are to Grover Norquist, and has sponsored the institution of a whitewashed, misleading Islam curriculum into Texas schools. Instead of demonizing those who have called attention to this, Perry supporters need to start asking their man some hard questions. But here again, I won't be holding my breath.
Dear Mr. Imani,

Geller (and also Schlussel) are screaming hyenas. No class, uncouth.........and lacking in grace. Without grace - plus a dedication to finding and publishing the truth in all things - no one can persuade very many people for very long. The public doesn't respond to screechers.

Your efforts help to counteract both of the above, whom more & more people are realizing are simply off the wall. They're journalist tyrants in their own way - therefore offensive.
The issue originated with a parent that though her children were indoctrinated at their school. You can check the actual curriculum online in addition to the Perry supporter article Amil quotes. I have to go with the parent's instincts.