Texas Senator (R) Walks Out on First Muslim Prayer in Senate

The man who has shown his compassion (not to mention his IQ) for women by offering to buy their babies from them for $500, showed his tolerance for religious freedom at the Texas Senate...by walking out on the first Muslim prayer ever held in the Texas Senate.
Yes. That's right. Dan Patrick, the reichtwing radio talk show host whose "baby buying" bill was first reported by TexasKaos' moiv and has since brought widespread condemnation of Patrick, the Texas GOP and (of course) Texas, walked out on the very first Muslim prayer held in the Senate and then had the audacity to call himself tolerant!
"I think that it's important that we are tolerant as a people of all faiths, but that doesn't mean we have to endorse all faiths, and that was my decision," he said later, "I surely believe that everyone should have the right to speak, but I didn't want my attendance on the floor to appear that I was endorsing that."
Patrick was the only Texas Senator to walk out on him.


Ok, let me get this straight. You want to show your tolerance for religious freedom...by turning you back literally on it and walking out it?!? The man, like his buddy Rick Perry, is either a bumbling idiot or a political genius. I'm going with idiot.


What adds to the irony is the fact that the lawmaker who invited the Muslim cleric, Imam Yusuf Kavakci of the Dallas Central Mosque, was a Jewish woman and fellow Republican, Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano.


So go ahead, Dan. Explain to everyone in only your delusional, "baby buying" world how your actions make sense. Explain how a Jewish woman can invite and listen to a Muslim cleric but a fundamentalist Christian cannot. Explain why she has no problem this occured before the holy Jewish celebration of Passover but you and your fellow wingers are incensed a Muslim man spoke at the Senate days before Easter. Exactly when would it be ok for a Muslim man to speak, Dan?

And that Kavakci's prayer occured so close to Easter was one of the big complaints from Patrick and his fellow wingers, including Harris County Republican Chairman Jared Woodfill
"I'm shocked that the day before the Easter recess that a Muslim is leading the prayer," Woodfill said.
You can almost hear him emphatically spit out the word "Muslim" can't you? So what was the reason for Kavakci speaking at this particular time and not another? What was the conspiracy? Wednesday is the Texas Muslims Legislative Day at the Capitol. That's it. No grand Muslim take over. No Islamo-facist plot. They were just (yaaawn) having their regular meeting. If Jared Woodfill is leading the Harris County GOP, then it is no wonder that Harris County is strongly trending Democratic. Democrats should give that man a microphone and get out the way!

The US Pastor Council of Houston, a group of conservative ministers, also complained about the prayer because of "concern over the oppressive impact of radical Islam worldwide and the pressure to accept cultural and religious diversity."
I'm not quite sure why they expected a Jewish woman to invite a radical Muslim cleric, but to her credit, and it is a credit to the GOP that Republicans like her still exist, Shapiro vetted Kavakci to make sure he was not a radical - because you know how them Islamo-facists can be.
Shapiro praised Kavakci's "extensive interfaith experience" and said he represents a "substantial constituency of Texans who deserve to be represented."


She said she checked out his reputation with the Anti-Defamation League and other groups to "make sure he was not somebody I would be embarrassed by."


Shapiro said she never leaves the floor when Christian ministers deliver an invocation "in Jesus' name" and doesn't consider her presence an endorsement of Christianity.


"I have a great respect for Christianity. I have a great respect for anyone who comes and prays. That's what this country was based on, its freedom of religion," she said.


And if the ugliness couldn't get any worse, Patrick had to say this:

"In many parts of the world, I know that Jews or Christians would not be given that same right, that same freedom," he said. "The imam that was here today, he was fortunate to be in this great country."
I don't know the citizenship of the Imam, but given that he's lead his Dallas mosque for over 20 years, I think he's earned the right to have "foreignness" brought into the picture. Is Patrick saying the imam is allowed to live the US as a priviledge? Or that the imam doesn't love and appreciate this country?


Furthermore, what is Patrick proposing? That the United States should emulate the ugliest actions of the world? That we should out-discriminate everyone else?


This country was built on equality and tolerance, by hard-working men who did not have the Daddy's name to give them everything, by beautiful Italian grandmothers who displayed the true spirit of America which the audacity and the language of liars like Newt Gingrich and Patrick has obscured recently.


It is a shame that Patrick will represent Texas. Just when we convinced the world that not all Texans are an embarrassment, we have this genius to make us look like backward, self-promoting nutcases.


In closing, I want you to re-read the statement by the US Pastor Council of Houston:

The US Pastor Council of Houston, a group of conservative ministers, also complained about the prayer because of "concern over the oppressive impact of radical Islam worldwide and the pressure to accept cultural and religious diversity."


"The pressure to accept cultural and religious diversity." They talk about "accepting cultural and religious diversity" like it's a bad thing!


And that is the fundamental problem and divide between these conservatives like Patrick and Cheney and George Bush who control the Republican Party. They fundamentally think differences of opinions and views are wrong. Either you are a loyal "Bushie" or you are a traitor.


Dan Patrick's own action against the muslim cleric precisely indicates the problem with the conservatives like him who control the GOP. Patrick literally felt that for him to listen to the prayer was the same thing as endorsing and agreeing with the muslim cleric.


They equate listening with agreeing and weakness. It is no wonder then that they can't listen and they can't accept different viewpoints. To them it is a sign of weakness.


I couldn't agree more. It is a very weak man who can't listen to other viewpoints. And with this repugnant action, Dan Parick signaled he may be the weakest man in Texas (at least when George Bush is not in Crawford).

Tags: Dallas Central Mosque, Dan Patrick, Florence Shapiro, George Bush, GOP, Imam Yusuf Kavakci, islam, Jared Woodfill, muslim, texas, Texas Senate (all tags)

Comments

12 Comments

Re: Texas Senator (R) Walks Out

Well...speaking as someone who is dating a muslim woman and who is open-minded about exploring Islam and marrying my girlfriend in that faith, the aforementioned asshole can go fuck himself.

by johnalive 2007-04-05 09:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Texas Senator (R) Walks Out on First Muslim Pr

i say give him a microphone. the more he talks the tougher it is for the GOP to hide their "compassionate" natures.

speaking of tolerant, did y'all know that Ann Coulter is a Mexican?

Seriously, check it out.

by krazypuppy 2007-04-05 09:54AM | 0 recs
of course not

patrick is a big time wingnut, has his own radio show, and ran on an "i hate mexicans" platform.  he's also the author of the most controversial abortion trigger bill (which would outlaw all abortion in texas if roe gets overturned).

he's a nutbag, plain and simple, and an ignorant one at that.  walking out on the prayer just showed how truly intolerant he is.

i'm embarrassed that he's a texan!

by annatopia 2007-04-05 11:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Texas Senator (R) Walks Out on First Muslim Pr

OK - so does this mean it would be politically acceptable for an atheist to walk out on every prayer?

Just curious.

by RickD 2007-04-05 03:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Texas Senator (R) Walks Out on First Muslim Pr

I was raised more or less Episcopalian. But I would never walk out on a Muslim prayer. They have that prayer thing DOWN!

by blues 2007-04-05 03:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Texas Senator (R) Walks Out on First Muslim Pr

Voters in Texas don't seem to ask, expect or get very much by way of their elected officials.

by watchbird 2007-04-05 07:29PM | 0 recs
Walks Out on First Muslim Prayer in Senate

I just don't see the big deal here.

He's not Muslim, why would he be interested in sitting through the prayer?  I wouldn't sit through any prayer.  Does that make me a bad person?

by Vox Populi 2007-04-06 04:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Walks Out on First Muslim Prayer in Senate

"He's not Muslim, why would he be interested in sitting through the prayer?"

I don't think it would kill him to show a modicum of respect for the Muslim citizens of his state and district.

by KTinOhio 2007-04-06 04:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Walks Out on First Muslim Prayer in Senate

But part of religious freedom is being able to choose what to do when it comes to religion.  I don't see anything wrong with him walking out, I do see something wrong with him trash-talking Islam.

by Vox Populi 2007-04-06 04:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Walks Out on First Muslim Prayer in Senate
I think you are conflating religious expression with civil behavior. When I participate in my friend's Seder dinner, I don't become Jewish. It is a civil act of friendship and closeness and recognition and respect of something that is close to his core identitiy. I am civilly grateful to be close enough to my friend to participate in his Seder, but I'm not Jewish for a night.
I suppose you could argue that a person also has a right to be uncivil, but we hold representatives to a higher standard precisely because they are representatives--of their constituents and of American values.
by johnalive 2007-04-07 02:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Walks Out on First Muslim Prayer in Senate

Oh well, we'll agree to disagree on this issue.

You choose to go to your friend's dinner.  It's possible the Representative was unaware there would be a Muslim prayer just before the Christian Holy Weekend.

I do think we have a right to be uncivil.  We also have a right to not vote for the office-holder when he comes up for reelection.  Choices are wonderful.

by Vox Populi 2007-04-07 02:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Walks Out on First Muslim Prayer in Senate

I think it's about hypocrisy, intent, and the higher standard that we hold elected officials to.

Here is an elected state representative who presumably sits through the various prayers given before the chamber, and presumably some of those are not of his specific denomination.  That he singles out the Muslim prayer specifically when willingly sitting through others is suspect.  That he claims to be tolerant while simultaneously implying that a Muslim prayer might somehow infect the spirit of Easter is hypocritical, not to mention bizarre.

The intent is clear, and as in criminal law, intent matters a great deal.  His intent was not simply his personal preference not to sit through prayer, as he has sat through prayer before.  Nor was his intent simply to "not endorse" the prayer, as he claims, as he made clear in his personal privilege speech at the end of the session that he found it extraordinary that such a thing would be allowed so close to Jewish and Christian holy days.

And of course, his behavior is bizarre, but that's self-evident.

by KevinH 2007-04-06 05:32PM | 0 recs

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