For centuries, state legislatures all over the United States have opened with prayer, sometimes offered by a man of the cloth. In the past few decades, legislatures have invited in Christian priests and ministers, Buddhist priests, and, especially since 9/11, imams.
According to Radio Iowa, an imam in that state opened the House of Representatives 2008 legislative session with a four-minute prayer, which has led to some controversy:
The 2008 Iowa Legislature has convened and the opening prayer in the Iowa House of Representatives was delivered by a Muslim. Imam Muhammad Khan of the Islamic Center of Des Moines spoke first in Arabic."Refuge in God against the accursed Satan"? What could that mean? The Pilot Tribune provides a different wording for that phrase:
"I seek refuge in God against the accursed Satan in the name of God, most gracious, most merciful," Khan said in English at the beginning of his prayer. Khan made no specific mention of the war in Iraq or foreign affairs, but he called God the "master of the day of judgment" and asked for "victory over those who disbelieve."
"Protection from the great Satan"Also according to the Pilot Tribune,
Pastor Steve Smith of the Evangelical Free Church in Albert City is among those concerned about the Muslim prayer. Rev. Smith admits that he doesn't know about all the levels of Muslim but knows that the Jihadists believe those in the U.S. are the great Satan.Here is another excerpt from the imam's prayer:
Rev. Smith also wants to point out the mention of "victory over those who disbelieve." He feels "this is a request in the Iowa Legislature for God to grant the Muslims victory over every non-muslim. Not a request for salvation." Smith takes it as a gesture not of prayer but more as a political statement...
"...We ask that you guide our legislators and give them the wisdom and knowledge to tackle the difficult problems that face us today in order to eliminate the senseless crimes on humanity...."Let's be fair here. Maybe "the great Satan" is an incorrect translation. And maybe that last excerpt has nothing to do with the ummah. However, according to Hot Air, there seems to be no controversy over this particular phrase:
“victory over those who disbelieve”Could that victory be a reference to jihad and Dar al-Islam?
Hot Air also reminds readers of the following:
[I]t’s not the first time an imam has taken the opportunity of a convocation to turn the rhetoric up to 11.The same posting at Hot Air states the following:
Remember that radical-tinged imam who prayed a noxious prayer at the Democrats’ winter meeting a while back? Well, he has an ally who graced the Texas Senate with similar incantations this week. His name is Imam Yusuf Kavakci of the Dallas Central Mosque, and he was invited by a bi-partisan pair for the invocation. Follow the link; he’s a Khomeini apologist among other things.Hot Air also has the audio of Imam Yusuf Kavokci.
If you are in America, maybe you should check to see what's been going on in your state legislature.
[Hat-tip to commenter Vince]