Incredible as it may seem, at a time when American troops are being murdered by Muslim terrorists and when the atrocities of 9/11 are just six and a half years removed, the Iowa House of Representatives invited a Muslim imam to open its 2008 session with prayer. After speaking in Arabic, Muhammad Khan of the Islamic Center of Des Moines, spoke in English and prayed, "I seek refuge in God against the accursed Satan in the name of God, most gracious, most merciful." To many Muslims around the world, America is the great Satan. Was Muhammad Khan referring to America and stigmatizing it as "accursed?" In leading the Iowa Legislature in prayer, was he asking his god for the destruction of America? Certainly, the use of the language he chose was incendiary. Without any indication to the contrary we must conclude that he knew very well the connotation of "Satan" as employed by millions of Muslims around the world.
Khan went even further. He made no direct reference to the war in Iraq but he spoke of his god as "the master of the day of judgment" and asked for "victory over those who disbelieve." Now that is pretty specific. To a Muslim imam, those who disbelieve are infidels. America's troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are, according to Muslims, unbelievers, infidels. I believe that it was for their defeat that this Muslim cleric prayed to ask Allah in the Iowa House of Representatives for the defeat of their own troops. And for whose victory do you suppose he was praying? Since it was a victory over unbelievers he had in mind, it stands to reason that he was asking for victory to given to the forces of "belief," that is, the forces of Islam.
Muhammad Khan was a guest of Iowa State Representative Ako Abdul Samad of Des Moines, another local Muslim leader. I can only suppose that Samad found the imam's prayer to his liking. What concerns me is that I have heard of no Representative who rose up in protest or who walked out of the chamber rather than listen to the sectarian rant of a Muslim insulting the legislature and the nation. Whatever anyone's view of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, for a State Legislature to sit docilely while a Muslim leads the members in prayer for the defeat of his own nation and for the victory of Islam over his own troops is disgraceful.
I have noted that there has been no outcry from the ACLU. If a Christian minister prays in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ or includes anything specifically Christian in his prayer, the ACLU will cry "Separation of Church and State" and seek to silence such public prayer. But when a Muslim prays as Muhammad Khan did in Iowa it goes strangely silent. Even the clearly understood references to political and military matters do not call forth their ire. It seems that the only religious expression that offends the liberals of the ACLU is anything that professes to be Christian.