Fleischer won’t name
‘peaceful Muslims’

By Les Kinsolving

WASHINGTON – In yesterday’s White House news briefing, WND asked presidential press secretary Ari Fleischer about his knowledge of “peaceful Muslims” who have protested recent terror attacks – a similar query he posed to the two major candidates for governor of Maryland.

WND: Ari, you and the president have emphatically described Islam as “a religion of peace” – emphatically. And in connection with that, have you heard of any public protest by any peaceful Islamic organization of what President Putin described as international Islamic terrorists in Moscow, and more of them in Bali and Israel, New York, the Pentagon, and allegedly by a Nation of Islam member, in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia?

FLEISCHER: You lost me, Lester.

WND: Have you heard any protest from the peaceful Muslims that you refer to, as a religion of peace? Have you heard any protest of these atrocities?

FLEISCHER: Protest in which atrocities, Lester?

WND: All of these atrocities – in Moscow, Bali and elsewhere – have you heard any protests?

FLEISCHER: Lester, I am not a protest tracker except for when I travel with the president. Then I look out the window.

WND recently posed a similar question to the two major candidates for governor in Maryland, Rep. Bob Ehrlich, R-Md., and Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, a Democrat.

WND: President Bush keeps referring to Islam as “a religion of peace.” Have you heard of any peaceful Muslim organizations that have publicly protested such Islamic terrorism as in Moscow, Bali, New York, Washington, Israel and allegedly by a Nation of Islam member in Montgomery County, Md. Can you name one?

TOWNSEND: I think there are a number, Les.

WND: Could you name even one.

TOWNSEND: You know what, Les, there are plenty of organizations and people who are Islamic in heritage and belief.

WND: You can’t name one, can you?

TOWNSEND: Hey, Les, there are plenty.

Here’s how Ehrlich responded to basically the same question:

EHRLICH: Actually, many, including in Maryland.

WND: Who has spoken out?

EHRLICH: Many, many have.

WND: Could you identify one?

EHRLICH: Actually, if you call my office today, we’ll identify them for you.

WND’s second question in the White House briefing was about illegal immigration.

WND: Why is the use of our military to protect the skies above the District of Columbia justified when the use of U.S. troops to seal all of our borders is not being done, and an illegal immigrant from Jamaica named Malvo, who was arrested by the U.S. Border Patrol, was released by the INS?

FLEISCHER: Lester, one of the eternal issues that makes our country great is our openness to people from other countries. And since Sept. 11 what we’ve realized is that we need to make certain that people who are not supposed to come to America, that we redouble our efforts to make certain people who don’t belong here cannot get in here. By the same token, one of the things that makes us a free country and a strong country and a great country is the fact that we welcome people from other nations to this country.

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