[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
Comments List
I think for some reason we are not keeping this simple. First, the book that Muslims claim to follow considers all unbelievers heathens. I need not the words of Perry or those who defend him or those who oppose him. Simple enough.

Why, at this particular point of history, should any logical thinking person think it wise to promote curriculum that introduces young people to Islam culture and life style?

Investigate please whether this curriculum is sound and according to the facts. When the culture of a people is represented it should be represented without bias and is should begin with certain foundational premises that give a fair assessment of what Islamic people are like.

Marriage in Islam. What is recognized as marriage. At what age do girls get married. At what age do men (males) get married. What are Islamic views toward homosexuality. What constitutes a family according to Islamic law and practice.

Are Islamic women viewed as equals with Islamic men. Do men wear anything in particular in order to symbolize submission to the opposite sex. Are Islamic women commonly accepted into positions of leadership.

Without understanding family values there is no objective curriculum representing Islamic culture; but rather a propaganda that is unfair to Islamic people and unfair to the American youth who may want a realistic education about Islamic people.

Why is it that Perry sees fit to have this special curriculum? So many other things that could be taught.

This reminds me of how that we have so many issues dealing with immigration. Islamic people are immigrating here by the thousands----no problem getting in. Can't meet the English requirement--come on in anyway. How about Mexicans--can't meet the English requirement--come on in anyway. So Mexicans and Islamic people come in by the thousands. They don't meet the standards that our own government set up--but our politicians break the laws they themselves made and say "COME ON IN." But that allowance only applies to those who can somehow return the favor. Here is an Irishman working in Kentucky for 14 years under his residency--been trying to get in for ten years since residency---A great worker--A leader--loyal--Intelligent---much to offer---can't get CITIZENSHIP. Many more from other countries can't get citizenship though they are here legally, working, loyal, intelligent.

But Perry has better things to do. IS THERE A MUSLIM CONNECTION? Why even ask the question. Ghadafi camped out in Trumps front yard--was there a Muslim Connection. Bush givng over our portals to the Arabs--IS THERE A MUSLIM CONNECTION. Money for businesses to Islamic people given interest free. I can't get it--you can't.

With me--it is not about my personal feelings toward Islamic people---it is about our government being so partial toward those who can help them. Those of us who are already here are being replaced by our government. Our government putting others before those of us who already lived here. That is a problem. I would have been excited if indeed Perry had used that money for maybe a poor white person who made good grades in High School but couldn't afford College. I am for the same thing when it comes to blacks. But instead we have a special program to educate us about Islamic culture. I'm sure that is going to go far when they get out of school and try to find a job in this economy.
Thanks for Share Amil I learned many things Thanks again
It seems that the "American Resistance" movement (against Islam, or the promulgation and triumph thereof) is not a united movement. The invasion of Islam has affected many Americans, in different ways, for different reasons. The "American Resistance" is not a political party, and not even a grass roots movement like the Tea Party. Should there be a national "American Resistance" movement or party, well-organized, unified, and effective? As is stands, those who resist are a collective buck-shot, and not a marksman's bullet. Maybe we should all think about a nationally organized movement to resist the social and legal improprieties of Islam.

To those who consider my comments both ludicrous and ridiculous: We have the above article and a known entity in Pamela Geller telling us that both Amil Imani, and other unmentioned scholars (Dr. Andrew Bostom, David Stein (she called him an Asshat in regard to this very issue)) because they see no danger in Governor Perry's support of the Agha Khan, the head of a known sect of Islam that it somehow represents their own endorsement of Islam and inclusion in the Texas school curriculum, as well, and is also indicative of their underlying support...the entire notion is shear nonsense...(it's both a false assertion and a false premise) and she in fact stated that this is her belief...and that not only does it represent an endorsement of the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry who somehow is an Islamic apologist but that these documenters of Islam also support this so-called whitewash of the 'religion of peace' within that curriculum and I'm the one that's being ludicrous??? What is really ridiculous and provably wrong is that somehow all of these gentlemen who offered a different viewpoint on the Ismaili sect, an offshoot of Shi'a Islam and not the Texas school curriculum are personally attacked by both Robert Spencer & Pamela Geller in different articles ...If you check your facts, both Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller have in the past been known friends and supporters of Amil Imani and have endorsed his books...and all of sudden Ms. Geller is attacking him?? You are the one demonstrating absurdity and a complete lack of knowledge, not I and you should be wondering why this is the case??...If you knew what were talking about, you should be asking questions, not attacking others for making equally valid points..and perhaps you should pursue a bit more research about Amil Imani and Dr. Bostom, among others who actually have done the research on this specific topic and have actual personal life experiences with Islam as in Mr. Imani's case...I don't see where either Ms. Geller or her friend Mr. Spencer meet either of these criteria..I can surmise the specifics: this remains a case of envy: that Pamela Geller doesn't appear to want any opposition to her opinion even from an known expert...she intends on being the sole arbiter of what Islam is and isn't...and is jealous of anyone presenting an alternate opinion and point of view..especially if it disagrees with hers on even these minor points..the point I am making is that she is wrong...and no one, I repeat, no one could be more against the advancement of Islam or Shari'a in the United States or anywhere else for that matter than Amil Imani and Andrew Bostom..and if anyone reads the hundreds of articles out there and the research these scholars have done, they would know that as well and ask questions themselves...so, the only answer left is, a case of sour grapes and jealousy and if anything, a personal jihad, if I may use the term on her part...to malign, impugn and denigrate someone who has actually done a significant amount of research for which it appears she wants sole credit..she may conceivably be doing the work of Islam and Shari'a if she continues down this path...to separate all of us (and we need to be together) by infighting...where any opposition will be reduced to nothing when we continue to fight amongst ourselves...she's accomplishing that by sending out people who do nothing but divide us and spew nonsense in support of her one-sided personal beliefs...that she's trying to take down Rick Perry is obvious...I don't believe that's what she'll accomplish..I suspect all of this dissension is what the result will be...and Islam will win when that happens...I would offer a suggestion because I like and admire Ms. Geller enormously...she needs to stop finding reasons to formulate personal attacks...she is harming her own cause greatly by making it personal..many people are turning away from her because of it with these attacks in a number of these articles she's been publishing lately... I view this with a great deal of sadness, because we all need to stand together, working to defeat not only the threat of Islam and Shari'a but the reality of it...Amil Imani & Andrew Bostom know this and do that with their own work...introducing enmity, discord and disagreement amongst ourselves only serves those who want to conquer us and it's not the answer we need to destroy the scourge that is Islam
Of attacks against Gov. Rick Perry is rather comforting to a Conservative Jew like me. It tells me that the Leftwing Progressivist Democrats are frightened to death of this candidate.Their own candidate, BHO, has some kind of record to run with, eh? And how about that floundering around when he doesn't have his teleprompter in sight? Sad, O so very sad. BHO is eminently beatable come 2012. And the GOP will likely be in strong control of BOTH Houses of Congress. Hmmmmmmmm...
Perry's longtime support for Israel speaks for itself
While Obama spent 20 years in an anti-Israel church (we see how that worked out for Israel so far), Perry spent the past 20 years supporting Israel through trade agreements between Texas and Israel worth billions of dollars over the years. Two months ago Perry assisted the Shurat HaDin in stopping an American boat from taking part in Gaza Flotilla II. Even Democrats admit Perry is staunchly pro-Israel. The Ismaili Muslims? They are seen as outcasts because of their support for Israel.
Excellent article: Stellar Journalism
I appreciate the genuine determination to find the facts. Very informative
Mr. Imani:

Good morning sir.

I have read your article on Gov Rick Perry, “Governor Perry’s Islam Connection,” published September 3, 2011 in American Thinker.

Your point of view is refreshing and your attention to research aids your reader (me) in making an assessment of the validity of your conclusions.

Thank you for addressing the concerns you had regarding any influence and control that Islam or Muslims have over Governor Rick Perry and his character, leadership, governing decisions, and his worldview.

Are you familiar with and do you subscribe to the idea that a person has or lives with a “world view” as a lens of understanding through which he interacts with those around him? Do you find it helpful in your research to explore and discover the “lens” or perspective, a person or group you are writing about, has of the world? It seems to me that the value of your writing is that you are researching and identifying the world view (though not naming it) and in doing that enable the reader to assess for himself what motives and sincerity (truthfulness) to attribute to the actions and words of the subjects.

I look through a lens of understanding of the world, that has been “ground” or “is being shaped” and provided to me by the God who spoke to Abram, Isaac, and Jacob. I think of it as a biblical world view.

Sincerely appreciative of your perspectives,

Amil...you are doing yeoman work to illuminate the public through your absolutely brilliant and riveting articles. This one is another slam-dunk! I'm so happy to be on your mailing list. Be assured that I send out your articles to my formidable list. Keep up your great work!

All the best...

From what I've seen of curriculum including Islam, it's ALWAYS whitewashed and politicians are either facilitating it or doing nothing to stop it.

Regardless: Whoever the Republican nominee is, s/he MUST take a clear stand AGAINST Islamization to get my vote.

I'm glad Geller opened this very important discussion.