Monday, May 19, 2008

U.S. prez says Islam 'fanatic and fraudulent'

Not that president. But give me a second to mention this week's paper first.

I like The Jewish Journal's cover for Israel@60 because it shows some of the diversity of Israeli society. Inside is the thickest issue we've published since at least High Holy Days, and quite a few notable bylines -- Avraham Burg, Yossi Klein Halevi and, my favorite, Tom Tugend.

There also is an article titled, "Israeli Heart, Jewish Soul," written by Michael Oren,, author of the bestseller "Six Days of War." Oren's most recent book is "Power, Faith and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to Present," and I've been working through it for the past month and marked up countless pages to blog about. Here's one nugget, surprising for what it reveals about Americans' early view of Muslims, and for who's saying it.
John Quincy Adams ... believed that Islam was a "fanatic and fraudulent" religion, one that was founded on "the natural hatred of Mussulmen towards the infidel" and the subjugation of others by the sword."
Actually, those words don't sound so unfamiliar. Americans may no longer use the term "Mussulmen," but too many still look cockeyed at all Muslims.

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