Allen West: Anti-American, and Proud of It

Tea Party candidate Allen West made clear his disdain for the “Coexist” bumper sticker. West was quoted as saying,

“[A]s I was driving up here today, I saw that bumper sticker that absolutely incenses me. It’s not the Obama bumper sticker. But it’s the bumper sticker that says, ‘Co-exist.’ And it has all the little religious symbols on it. And the reason why I get upset, and every time I see one of those bumper stickers, I look at the person inside that is driving. Because that person represents something that would give away our country. Would give away who we are, our rights and freedoms and liberties because they are afraid to stand up and confront that which is the antithesis, anathema of who we are. The liberties that we want to enjoy.”

West makes clear that what he objects to is the symbol of Islam on the bumper sticker, saying that people choosing that bumper sticker would give away America because they won’t stand up against radical Islamists. It seems to me that he reaches a conclusion without any chain of logic connecting the premises he starts from to the conclusion he wishes to reach. We can reject the extremism of some without trampling on the rights of other citizens; West doesn’t appear to get that.

The Bill of Rights to the Constitution does provide for freedom of religion, and Islam, last I checked, is a religion. There are practitioners of Islam who don’t agree with radical Islam, just as there are Protestants who aren’t in favor of hanging or burning witches and Catholics who aren’t into pederasty or burning heretics at the stake. We aren’t ‘giving up America’ when we tolerate our Protestant and Catholic neighbors, and we aren’t ‘giving up America’ when we tolerate our Islamic neighbors. It is, though, ‘giving up America’ when we let foreign extremists of any sort encourage us to turn our back on freedom of religion here in the USA. It is curious that Allen West can’t seem to see that his attitude is the problem, not the fellow with the “Coexist” bumper sticker.

Update: I’ve already been told in the comments that West “is not anti-religion”. Here’s another reported quote from West continuing his anti-bumper sticker comments:

– “We already have a 5th column that is already infiltrating into our colleges, into our universities, into our high schools, into our religious aspect, our cultural aspect, our financial, our political systems in this country. And that enemy represents something called Islam and Islam is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology, it is not a religion. It has not been a religion since 622 AD, and we need to have individuals that stand up and say that.”

– “George Bush got snookered into going into some mosque, taking his shoes off, and then saying that Islam was a religion of peace.”

The above demonstrates the very generically anti-Islam sentiment that West advocates. West is not targeting Islamic radicalism or radicalism in general; he is setting himself up as an arbiter of who gets First Amendment freedom of religion rights. That’s about as scary as politics gets in my book.

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Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.

9 thoughts on “Allen West: Anti-American, and Proud of It

  • 2010/08/22 at 9:09 am
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    Col. Allen West GETS IT ALL and that is what the liberal left winged media and blogs do NOT get. I am a life-long Democrat and I am so turned off to all the vilification, distortions and downright lies from the spinmeisters out here that I honestly believe that I will vote Republican across the board just so that I can get change that I CAN believe in. Col. Allen West believes 100% in the Constitution and the First Amendment. 61% of New Yorkers are opposed to a Mosque built near Ground Zero and so am I. This does not mean West is against religion. What these Muslims should do is reconsider their outrageous slap in the face to America and build their mosque somewhere else.

  • 2010/08/22 at 10:42 am
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    Lynn,

    The news reports I saw didn’t show West putting his comments in the context of the “Ground Zero mosque”. If you have a link, that would be appreciated.

    Maybe you can provide what West didn’t: an actual argument connecting the “Coexist” bumper sticker to either complacency or cowardice concerning opposition of radicalism, including radical Islamic elements.

    Until then, no, you can’t claim to “get it”, since you have no way of communicating just what it might be that there is to get. (One reason that people coyly talk of “getting it” is because if they said it honestly and straightforwardly, it would be exposed as pure prejudice and bigotry.)

    West’s comments were not focused solely on Islamic radicals. West is espousing a generic anti-Islamic stance. West is wrong, and if your somewhat heated comment is endorsing a generic anti-Islamic stance, then you are wrong, too.

  • 2010/08/22 at 5:21 pm
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    Frank Rich had an excellent opinion piece on how the “Ground Zero mosque” thing is a politically motivated manufactroversy that undermines the war effort in Afghanistan, as well as being pretty much pure demagoguery.

    After 9/11, President Bush praised Islam as a religion of peace and asked for tolerance for Muslims not necessarily because he was a humanitarian or knew much about Islam but because national security demanded it. An America at war with Islam plays right into Al Qaeda’s recruitment spiel. This month’s incessant and indiscriminate orgy of Muslim-bashing is a national security disaster for that reason — Osama bin Laden’s “next video script has just written itself,” as the former F.B.I. terrorist interrogator Ali Soufan put it — but not just for that reason. America’s Muslim partners, those our troops are fighting and dying for, are collateral damage. If the cleric behind Park51 — a man who has participated in events with Condoleezza Rice and Karen Hughes, for heaven’s sake — is labeled a closet terrorist sympathizer and a Nazi by some of the loudest and most powerful conservative voices in America, which Muslims are not?

  • 2010/08/23 at 3:34 pm
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    What these Muslims should do is reconsider their outrageous slap in the face to America and build their mosque somewhere else.

    Man, I really wish that some moral authority had given advice about what good Christians should do when slapped in the face.

    …oh wait…

  • 2010/09/19 at 12:14 am
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    You say, “The above demonstrates the very generically anti-Islam sentiment that West advocates. West is not targeting Islamic radicalism or radicalism in general; he is setting himself up as an arbiter of who gets First Amendment freedom of religion rights. That’s about as scary as politics gets in my book.”

    Allen West is referring being governed under a state/church religion (Islam) not the practice of it’s religious rituals. Countries who have embraced Islamic laws do not have the freedom like the United States has.

    Have you heard about the Wellesley, Massachusetts public school students learning how to pray to Allah on their school sponsored trip to a mosque? It’s all over youtube and other news outlets. If one man’s response to a mere bumper sticker or a location dispute on one mosque represents Anti-Islam in the West then this public school field trip represents more on the West’s pro-Islamic stance!

  • 2010/09/19 at 6:24 am
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    Michael,

    You seem to be at pains for find some exculpation for West. His words, though, don’t fit your apologetic. He isn’t, for instance, just making a “response to a mere bumper sticker”. West says that he is incensed over what the bumper sticker represents. That’s a bit different, isn’t it?

    Nor is West “referring [to] being governed under a state/church religion (Islam) not the practice of it’s religious rituals”. West is clearly referring to what we have in this country in his reference to a “fifth column”, not elsewhere, and we are not being governed under Islamic law.

    Further, you should pick an argument and stick with it. Either West’s intended scope of comments is so insignificant that we should overlook it (“mere bumper sticker”), or so perceptive that we should all join him (creeping Islamacism infects Wellesley!!!). Going for both in the space of three paragraphs is pretty scatter-shot.

  • 2012/08/05 at 5:46 am
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    Can I start a weblog that has documenting of bad customer service?

  • 2012/08/05 at 1:25 pm
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    Sounds like a good idea. WordPress.com might be a good place.

    What does any of that have to do with Allen West, though?

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