As the bulk of CPAC attendees filed into the Marriott Ballroom for speeches by Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.), Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) and Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), more than 400 people crowded into an adjacent room to join in the launch of the Freedom Defense Initiative: “Jihad, the Political Third Rail.” At the door, security guards checked IDs — they were trying to keep one specific, unnamed person out of the room.
“The only event on the CPAC schedule about terrorism was ‘Why real conservatives oppose the war on terror,’” said Pamela Gellar, who blogs at Atlas Shrugs and is a rock star among terrorism-focused conservatives. They’d invited a writer for the libertarian AntiWar.com to participate in that panel, said Gellar. “Why don’t they just have Cindy Sheehan?”
“She takes names,” marveled one student near the doors, right before Gellar called the Christmas Day terrorist the “balls bomber.”
“He’s got more balls than our political elites, right?” she said.
In the front of the room, images of Muslim riots played on a pull-down screen, stopping when the speaker line-up got started. In the back, signed copies of “Muslim Mafia” were on sale. The line-up of speakers included “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam” author Robert Spencer, former Pentagon analyst Steve Coughlin, and congressional candidate Lt. Col. (ret.) Allen West. And the first speaker was Wafa Sultan, a former Muslim who won fame in 2005 for her combative debates on Arab-language TV.
“It seems that Obama’s administration is not yet prepared, and neither was President Bush,” said Sultan, to call out Islam as an “aggressive and violent ideology that aspires to world domination.”
Sultan spoke slowly, apologizing for her accent — the only interrupting sounds came from the room’s air conditioner. “September 11 was a tragic moment in history,” said Sultan. “The integration of Islam in our society is a subject of equal concern. I urge each of you to fight the application of Sharia law in this country.” She closed by paraphrasing Thomas Paine. “If there must be trouble, let it be in my day so that my child can live in peace. Islam is here. Let us deal with the evil of Islam now. Right now! So our future generations can live in peace!”
Sultan wrapped up, nodded at her standing ovation, and apologized again for her accent.
“The truth is intelligible,” said Spencer, “no matter what the accent may be.”