Magazine article Church & State

Far Right Wary of Bush's Outreach to Muslim Community. (People & Events)

Magazine article Church & State

Far Right Wary of Bush's Outreach to Muslim Community. (People & Events)

Article excerpt

Some far-right religious and political leaders are beginning to criticize President George W. Bush for getting too close to Muslim leaders and the Islamic faith generally.

In mid-December Bush hosted a dinner for 50 diplomats from Muslim nations, marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and the holiday Eid-al-Fitr. It was believed to be the first time an Islamic holiday was officially celebrated in the White House.

While most Religious Right leaders and activists remain wildly enthusiastic about Bush, a few on the fringes of the movement are unhappy with the president's embrace of Islamic officials.

"Lots of people I've spoken to -- not just the grassroots but also leaders of other pro-family organizations -- are bewildered at why George Bush is doing so much to pay homage to Islam," Joe Glover of the Family Policy Network, a Virginia-based group known mostly for criticizing gay rights, told Beliefnet.com.

"Conservative evangelicals love Muslims," Glover continued. "They care for them. They want to provide religious freedom for them. However, they are diametrically opposed to Islam. It's the same difference we have with the homosexual community. We care about homosexuals, yet we're opposed to their agenda because we know it destroys their lives. Likewise, we care about Muslims, but we're opposed to even any tacit endorsement of Islam because it's against the will of God."

Janet Folger, head of TV preacher D. James Kennedy's Center for Reclaiming America, is also not pleased by Bush's outreach to Muslims. …

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