More Advocacy for U.S. Muslims from Reporter Neil MacFarquhar

In "Abandon Stereotypes, Muslims in America Say," his Tuesday story from a Muslim convention in Rosemont, Ill., Times reporter Neil MacFarquhar, who covers Muslims in America for the Times, onceagainwrote more like a pro-Muslim advocate than an objective reporter.

"It is time for the United States to stop treating every American Muslim as somehow suspect, leaders of the faith said at their largest annual convention, which ended here on Monday....The image problems were among the topics most discussed by many of the 30,000 attendees. A fresh example cited was an open letter from two Republican House members, Peter Hoekstra of Michigan and Sue Myrick of North Carolina, that attacked the Justice Department for sending envoys to the convention because, the lawmakers said, the Islamic Society of North America was a group of 'radical jihadists.'"

If MacFarquhar had bothered to read the letter instead of parroting the organization's talking points, he'd have known the letter didn't call the Islamic Society of North America itself "radical jihadists." Here's some of the text, as reported by the Washington Times:

"In light of the threat that our currently facing from radical jihadists, and because of the president's commitment to fighting the war on terror on all fronts, we believe it is a grave mistake to provide legitimacy to an organization with extremist origins, leadership and a radical agenda."

MacFarquhar continued:

"The lone Muslim in Congress, Representative Keith Ellison, Democrat of Minnesota, the keynote speaker here, dismissed the letter as ill informed and typical of bigoted attacks that other minorities have suffered."

MacFarquhar avoided mentioning an actual inflammatory statement made by Ellison in July, as reported by the Associated Press.

"At an appearance before a group of atheists in Minnesota on July 8, Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., called Sept. 11 'the juggernaut' that led to war, tolerating torture and increased discrimination against religious minorities.

"'It's almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that,' he said. 'After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it and it put the leader of that country in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted.'"

More of MacFarquhar's pro-Muslim talking points:

"Leaders of American Muslim organizations attribute the growing intolerance to three main factors: global terrorist attacks in the name of Islam, disappointing reports from the Iraq war and the agenda of some supporters of Israel who try taint Islam to undermine the Palestinians.

"American Muslims say they expect the attacks to worsen in the presidential election and candidates to criticize Islam in an effort to prove that they are tough on terrorism."