"Shared Values" must really be dead

A few of us were talking last week about the recent US elections and the topic of the first Muslim Congressman came up. No, not in the incredibly stupid comments of Glenn Beck of CNN during an 'interview':

BECK: OK. No offense, and I know Muslims. I like Muslims. I've been to mosques. I really don't believe that Islam is a religion of evil. I -- you know, I think it's being hijacked, quite frankly.

With that being said, you are a Democrat. You are saying, "Let's cut and run." And I have to tell you, I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, "Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies."

And I know you're not. I'm not accusing you of being an enemy, but that's the way I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way.

I'm not even going to comment any more on Beck as he wasn't the focus. No, we were talking about how the US Embassies around the world were surely pumping up the first-ever election to Congress of a Muslim.

Fitting right into the ill-fated and poorly conceptualized Shared Values campaign, you'd think we'd see a spate of stories in the foreign press. Well, I checked last week and again today.

While you can find pages and pages of news items on Google, these are all English language. Using World News Connection gives us a deeper and more realistic look into how the story, if there was one, played out in the foreign press. Enough time should have passed by now, the election was more than two weeks ago, that most if not all the news articles to be translated have been. So what does WNC have for us when searching for 'Keith Ellison'?

  • Pakistan Writer Asks Muslim Scholars To End Misunderstandings About Islam in US Article by Hamid Mir: "An Encounter With the Condemners of Islam" - Jang - Tuesday - November 21, 2006 - Word Count: 1,061 - World News Connection®
    • Originally in Urdu, first two paragraphs:

      Las Vegas is said to be the United States' sin city. Until a few years ago, Middle Eastern princes used to stay in that city for several months for some merry making. But the numbers of such visitors to Los Vegas decreased after 11 September 2001. Now the speakers at most of the conferences held in that city of sin consider it a noble deed to criticize Arabs and Muslims. I was given an opportunity to attend a similar conference in Los Vegas last week. This conference was organized in a hotel where the biggest casino in the town is situated. The two-day conference in a hall adjacent to the casino tried to answer the question as to how Islamic extremism should be countered.

      Most of the speakers at the conference, organized by the America Truth Forum (preceding three words in English), criticized Islam instead of Islamic extremism. These speakers were furious over the success of a Muslim, Keith Ellison, in the 7 November mid-term elections. And for the first time I realized that we, Pakistanis, possess more religious tolerance than the Americans, as such hostile speeches are not publicly delivered in our country against Christianity or Judaism.

  • Croatian Commentary: Election Shows United States 'Divided,' in Need of Change Commentary by Jurica Koerbler: "A Bill for War in Iraq" - Vjesnik - Wednesday - November 15, 2006 - Word Count: 1,064 - World News Connection®
    • Originally in Croatian, makes only a passing reference to Ellison's election and in the context of change:

      The election will be unique in many ways. Nancy Pelosi, a fervent opponent of the Iraqi war, is a new U.S. political star and the first woman speaker of the House of Representatives. Democrat Keith Ellison is the first Muslim to be elected into the Congress. The 43-year-old lawyer has also pushed hard for U.S. forces to leave Iraq.

  • Selection List: Egyptian Press 11 Nov 06 The following lists selected items from the Egyptian press on 11 November. To request additional processing, please call OSC at (800) 205-8615, (202) 338-6735; or fax (703) 613-5735 - Egypt -- OSC Report - Saturday - November 11, 2006 - Word Count: 1,159 - World News Connection®
    • Originally in Arabic, this index report does not translate the referenced text but interestingly (and possibly appropriately) frames Ellison's election: Article by Muhammad al-Shabbah argues that a Muslim candidate like Keith Ellison would not have won a seat in Congress if he had not been fighting for gay rights.
  • Saudi Press Selection List, Highlights 9 Nov 06 The following lists selected items from the Saudi press on 9 Nov 06. To request additional processing, please call OSC at (800) 205-8615, (202) 338-6735; or fax (703) 613-5735 - Saudi Arabia -- OSC Report - Thursday - November 9, 2006 - Word Count: 1,606 - World News Connection®
    • Original in Arabic, this index briefly mentions of Ellison. The second is simply that he was elected without any other electoral results. The first: An inner-page report headlined: "Keith Ellison: I Refuses To Be Labeled According To Any Religion or Color; Bush Has Failed in Iraq."
  • FYI -- Pan-Arab Media Treatment of US Mid-Term Elections 8 Nov (1) - Middle East -- OSC Report - Wednesday - November 8, 2006 - Word Count: 867 - World News Connection®
    • English document stating... well article title says it all. The Ellison reference in the article is essentially the same as the Croatian article above.
  • Israeli Pundit: Growing Muslim Influence on US Voter To Cause Pressure on Israel Commentary by Sha'ul Schiff: "Muslim Arabs Getting Close to Congress" - Hatzofe - Thursday - November 2, 2006 - Word Count: 741 - World News Connection®
    • Originally in Hebrew, this was written before the election.
    • According to an assessment by Al-Watan, a newspaper published in Saudi Arabia, the overwhelming majority of Arab and Muslim candidates for the US Congress will not succeed in getting elected. It transpires that there will be quite a few of these candidates who will be seeking the US voter's support on 7 November: 37 Arab and non-Arab Muslims, and 17 Arab Christians.

      Nonetheless, one of them does have a chance. Keith Ellison, an American Muslim, is a Democratic Party candidate. If he wins, Ellison will be the first Muslim candidate of US origin to be elected to Congress. Behind Ellison and some of the Arab and Muslim candidates is a lot of money and professional advice from the best brains, and the AIPAC lobby would do well not to belittle the organization of the Muslim vote vis-a-vis the Jewish vote and Jewish money.

Not much. Only six entries and not much really said. Nothing to indicate some kind of full-court press of Ellison's election and that we're "Muslim-friendly". Well, at least Glenn Beck didn't appear in a search.