THE DAILY BEAST – Right Wing Islam Obsession at the Values Voter Summit

by Michelle Goldberg, The Daily Beast

Selected Article Excerpts:

  • Kamal Saleem, one of the most enthusiastically received speakers at the Values Voter Summit, claims that before finding Jesus Christ he was a jihadist who worked for Yasser Arafat, Saddam Hussein, and Muammar Gaddafi, among others.
  • Saleem is a fairly preposterous figure whose claims have been discredited numerous times. Writing in Christianity Today’s Books & Culture magazine, Douglas Howard, a professor of Middle Eastern history at the evangelical Calvin College, concluded that he’s a fraud and his book’s distortions are “bizarre.” (In response, Saleem told me that Howard is an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood.)
  • There is a grotesque irony in the way speakers at the Values Voter Summit kept invoking the deaths of the four American officials in Libya to argue that the United States needs to adopt a more belligerent stance toward Muslims… From these speeches, one would never know that at least two of the dead were deeply devoted to fighting the sort of politics that the Values Voter Summit represents.
  • Former Navy Seal Glen Doherty, meanwhile, was on the advisory board to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an organization that fights Christian fundamentalism in the armed forces.
  • “If he knew that his name and his death was being used this way, he would find it beyond his ability to show contempt,” says Mikey Weinstein, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s founder and a close friend of Doherty. Doherty, who served in Iraq and worked as a security contractor in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen, was under no illusions about the danger of radical Islam, but he hated the way right-wing Christians, particularly those in the military, promoted Islamophobia. Weinstein never knew how Doherty voted, but he recalls him saying, “Mikey, all I can tell you is this type of religious supremacy has no place in the profession of arms.”

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