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Courtesy: Salon.com

When George W. Bush calls Islam a “religion of peace,” does he mean it? Of course not, says long-time conservative activist Paul Weyrich. An article in the Christian news service Agape Press assures “people of faith” that President Bush knows the “real score” — and has only embraced Muslims and Muslim-Americans, so far as he has, because he must.

“Paul Weyrich, president of the Free Congress Foundation, says he is concerned about the growth of the Muslim faith in the United States. But he emphasizes he is not concerned about President Bush’s frequent references to Islam as a ‘religion of peace’ that has simply been hijacked by a radical fringe.”

“‘I can say with certainty that [the president] knows what the real score is,’ Weyrich says. ‘He feels he has to say these things — and maybe if you and I were president, we’d have to do the same thing.’ Weyrich says if the president actually declared that America is in a war against Islam, there might be more Muslims taking up arms against the U.S. — a ‘real jihad,’ as he puts it. So Bush, according to Weyrich, is soft-peddling his rhetoric in order to ‘tamp down’ any worldwide activity that might occur.”

“‘I know the president has to say certain things — and I understand that,’ the conservative icon says, ‘but I also know that he doesn’t believe it.'”

Of course, if the “people of faith” referred to here, which we suppose means “Christians” only, feel betrayed by Bush’s attitude toward Islam since 9/11 — they should talk to Muslim-American people of faith, who can relate. From the PATRIOT Act and the use of secret detentions and evidence, the Iraq war, abuse of prisoners and Israeli-Palestinian policy, Muslim-Americans, who supported Bush in large numbers in 2000, are disillusioned and mobilized against him for November’s vote.