In a story reported by the Washington Times, the Defense Department’s recent liaising with various Muslim groups has been attacked as demoralizing the American people on the war on terror. Various officials note that during the Cold War, the Pentagon did not invite Soviet groups for caviar and vodka; thus American liberals’ influence in involving Muslim groups has now risen to a level of that is detrimental to US security.

However, organizing an iftar (breaking of the Ramadan fast) with an American Muslim group seems to me to rather be an effort at dialogue and showing the American Muslim populace a sense of solidarity – that the US government is not fighting them or including them as enemies in this war. These same groups that allege this move was rather an effort to derail the war also claim that the Muslim group invited by the Pentagon (the American Muslim Alliance) is a terrorist group because it has recently had dialogue with the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Muslim Public Affairs Council, some of whose members have expressed support for Hamas and Hizballah. Again, dialogue does not equal complicity – it is merely an effort to understand an alternate viewpoint.

Furthermore, just because an organization’s members have certain political beliefs does not mean that the organization has the same opinions. That would be like saying the NRA is pro-choice because some of its members happen to be both gun-lovers and pro-choice. It sounds ridiculous from a different angle doesn’t it?

These groups are also upset that the American Muslim Alliance’s purpose of existence is to get Muslims elected to high levels of government. This article and its proponents make it sound like a conspiracy theory. However, this goal is no different than that of Emily’s List, another nonprofit that works to get women elected to high levels of government. That doesn’t sound like a conspiracy for women to take over the US government does it? It is more like a grassroots effort at affirmative action. However, any time a Muslim group is thrown into conversation among members of this neoconservative administration, the conspiracy theories abound and rationality ceases to work.