Saturday, February 13, 2010

Why do we need an envoy to a religion?

A tweet from Jake Tapper caught my eye this morning in which he said in part "POTUS to name new envoy to Muslim world" and linked to this item on his Political Punch blog.
President Obama will make some news in his video address to the U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar today, sources tell ABC News, announcing a special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

With 57 member states on four continents, the OIC is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations. It bills itself as "the collective voice of the Muslim world" working to "safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among various people [But by no means ALL the people! --ed.] of the world."
All editorial snark aside, what is it about Islam that compels us to provide an "envoy" to a religion? Yeah, I'm aware that we have diplomatic relations with the Holy See in Vatican City, but that's an established city-state with nominal membership in the United Nations. If we have envoys to the Buddhist or Episcopalian worlds, I'm unaware of them.

Tapper points out in his piece that this isn't new with the Obama administration. George W. Bush appointed the first envoy to the OIC in 2007.


Anonymous said...

perhaps this is the "57 states" Obama referred to on the campaign trail?

Mark said...

I'm sure the envoy is there to halt the forced conversions of Christians in Saudi Arabia, and to lobby for the construction of Churches there.

Or something.