The article below is from ultra-neo-con friendly Washinton Times, so they are trying to put a good face on this absurdity, but the readers of this blog are savvy enough to read between the lines, I am sure!
The chaplain, Imam Yahya Hendi, was in India for three days late last week to debunk myths about the status and treatment of Muslims in America, much as he has done in State Department-sponsored trips to the Middle East, Africa and Europe.
The visit, arranged by Karen Hughes' two-year-old public diplomacy office at the State Department, did produce successes.
At our mosque the imam wanted to lead a mass prayer and interact with the people," said Hyder Ali, a spokesman for the Baitul Aman Mosque, the largest in West Bengal. "But we turned down the request ... because he was acting on behalf of a government which for long years has been responsible for killings and sufferings of innocent Muslims in many countries including Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan. We did not want to betray our brothers and sisters in those countries by extending him hospitality in our mosque."
Nur-ur Rahman Barkati, the chief of another prominent Calcutta mosque, said he would be pleased to allow Imam Hendi to conduct a prayer at his mosque had the American been on a "purely religious mission, with no connection with America's foreign diplomacy."
"He is a Muslim -- he is our brother. But we could not take him in our arms because he was here as a representative of the American government and George Bush -- the enemies of Islam and the world's Muslims," he said.
"We took part in this ... prayer only because we knew an American imam would conduct it. Had we known that he was sent by the American government we would have never dreamed of standing behind him on this prayer," said Rifat Hossain, a 21-year-old student. A dozen of his friends nodded in agreement.
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