The Blaze Just Asking: Did Imam's One Weird Prayer Damn Navy Seals To Hell At Their Own Funeral?
You guys should go take a look at Ana Marie Wossername's thinky piece about how the wingnut media doesn't seem to have learned a damn thing from the failure of its "Obama Is Evil" narrative in the 2012 election. It's pretty good, and we think this writer has a lot of potential. But we honestly thought she'd made up the example she used to lead off with, a supposed Blaze article with the ludicrous headline "DID AN IMAM REALLY USE ARABIC PRAYER TO COVERTLY DAMN FALLEN SEAL TEAM 6 MEMBERS TO HELL DURING THEIR FUNERAL?" Silly us, we should know better by now, because of COURSE it's real.
So here's the backstory on all this: You may recall that in August 2011 a Chinook helicopter was shot down by the Taliban, killing 30 Americans and 8 Afghans onboard; among the dead were 22 members of Seal Team 6. Because nothing bad ever happens without the direct involvement of Barack "Satan" Obama, the wingnutosphere has long tried to blame Obama for the attack, either indirectly (he said the words "Seal Team Six" after the raid that killed bin Laden, therefore treason) or directly (Obama is a sekrit Muslin who personally pulls the trigger on every RPG launcher in Afghanistan). Yesterday, four families of servicemen who died in the attacks held a press conference at the National Press Club to share with the world their belief that the U.S. government was complicit in their sons' deaths. Would you be surprised to know that the families are represented by legal ace Larry Klayman, who seems to turn up with disturbing regularity in stories about the Loony Right, as if he were some sort of bugfuck-crazy Zelig? Of course you would not, because you read Wonkette.
Some of the claims made by the families seem at least maybe plausible -- or they would, if you turned off the "Larry Klayman is involved with this" part of your brain. Who knows, perhaps there was insufficient scrutiny of Afghan military partners, who might have tipped off the Taliban? But even that mundane level of treachery is not nearly scary enough, so The Blaze focused on the families' claim that
military brass, while prohibiting any mention of a Judeo-Christian God, invited a Muslim cleric to the funeral for the fallen Navy SEAL Team VI heroes who disparaged in Arabic the memory of these servicemen by damning them as infidels to Allah.
And so, The Blaze treats us to dueling translations and explanations of the cleric's prayer. One, from Klayman, has all sorts of helpful interpretations mixed in, to make it completely clear that the imam was laughing at the infidels and damning them to the fires of hell at their own funeral. Klayman has looked into this, with experts and everything!
Noting that he has consulted with a certified translator, he paraphrased the meaning of the imam’s words as follows: “That the fallen seals should be damned and go to hell as infidels.”
Klayman's preferred translation goes like this:
“Amen I shelter in Allah from the devil who has been cast with stones. In the name of Allah the merciful giver. The companions of the fire are not equal with the companions of heaven. The companions of heaven are the winners. Had we sent this Koran to a mountain, you would have seen the mountain prostrated in fear of Allah..."
But for the sake of balance, The Blaze also presents a "somewhat less pointed" translation that was "commissioned by Islam expert Stephen Coughlin." This version reads
“I announce the evil by all-aha. By the name of the merciful all-aha. People of hell and people of heaven are not equal (even, not the same), people of heaven are the winners, if we [unintelligible word] the Koran on the mountain, you will see, you will see him in submission and humble of alla-aha’s fear...
So basically, this is your basic "Believe in my god or you go to hell" god-bothering boilerplate, only this time it was said by a holy guy of the wrong Abrahamic religion, so it was secretly a HUGE DISS on OUR BRAVE DEAD TROOPS. What we love is that The Blaze presents this as a "debate" between Klayman, who says the prayer was adeliberate slur, and Coughlin, who takes the more moderate position that all Islamic prayer emphasizes that infidels are damned, so the slur was inevitable but no more so than any other prayer by one of those Islamic types. Says Coughlin, who does not speak Arabic but paid an Egyptian dude to translate,
“We don’t know what he was thinking. He could have known … and it was a dig to get in,” he posited. “But it’s also possible that he was going through the [typical] motions that an imam would go through at this point.”
Coughlin has his own history as part of the anti-Islam paranoiasphere; a Wired article summed up his message in a seminar for FBI agents as "Islam is out to take over the world and there is no such thing as a loyal American Muslim."
See, what we might have done, were we an actual journamalist and not just a dick-joke blogger, would have been to maybe talk to someone who wasn't a crazy lawyer or a guy who gives CPAC talks with Pam Geller. You know, maybe even talk to someone who actually understands all that durka-durka talk, instead of getting a summary of a second-hand translation. But then, we also are not the kind of people who would try to score points against the president by suggesting that he just casually sits back and laughs while soldiers die, or that he sends out his muslim pals to their funerals as "a final act of betrayal."
We're kind of weird that way.