As the old saying goes, it’s better late than never. That particular adage may apply to the handful of conservative-leaning national news outlets picking up on Carly Fiorina’s 2001 speech to Hewlett-Packard in which she claimed the Islamic World from the centuries spanning 800 – 1600 was “a civilization that was the greatest in the world.”
As reported by NBC News and the self-proclaimed progressive-leaning Mother Jones news portal, both on Aug. 17, 2015, former Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) took to social media the day prior notifying her followers on Twitter that a guest columnist penned an opinion article on ChristianHeadlines.com regarding Fiorina’s 14-year-old speech while still the CEO at the computer giant. Either provocative or indifferent, depending on one’s perspective, Fiorina’s speech, entitled “Technology, Business and Our Way of Life: What’s Next” prompted the former North Star State congresswoman to tweet, “Carly Fiorina delivered this speech in MPLS praising Muslims 2 weeks after 911” along with the web address.
As NBC News reporter Nick Kim Sexton correctly noted regarding the GOP hopeful’s speech, “Fiorina lauded the contributions of ancient Islamic civilization to modern American society, saying that the ‘gifts [of Muslim civilizations] are very much a part of our heritage.'” However, the author of the op/ed in question took exception to, as she interpreted the speech, Fiorina’s attempt to pass her personal opinion as factual information.
As Bethany Blankley opined in her article, Carly Fiorina’s Post 9/11 Speech in Praise of Islam Resurfaces, Fiorina’s statements on Sept. 26, 2001 “evidence her exceptional ineptitude or blatant, galling, willful deceit.” Blankley cited a number of Fiorina’s claims accompanied with her retorts. With Fiorina’s words from her speech in quotation marks, a handful of examples include:
- “When other nations were afraid of ideas, this civilization thrived on them, and kept them alive. When censors threatened to wipe out knowledge from past civilizations, this civilization kept the knowledge alive, and passed it on to others.” Censorship did exist, but under Suleiman’s rule and Islamic Shari’a law, which, is exactly what Islamists are seeking to reinstate today.
- Under Suleiman three continents were “allowed a degree of peace and prosperity that had never been known.” And, the “Islamic world from the year 800 to 1600, which included the Ottoman Empire and the courts of Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo, and enlightened rulers like Suleiman the Magnificent … contributed to our notions of tolerance and civic leadership.” One need only read historical evidence of Suleiman’s numerous military conquests, whose methods are nearly identical to those of ISIS.
However, Mother Jones reporter Tim Murphy did seize the opportunity for at least one instance of less-than-veiled sarcasm; “[Bachmann] drew her followers’ attention to a 14-year-old speech Fiorina had given in Minneapolis, in which she defended the cultural, legal, and scientific heritage of the Muslim world. The catch: It was delivered just weeks after 9/11. What nerve!”
Murphy also may have allowed his bias to show when he wrote, “Fiorina’s comments on Islamic civilization have also been criticized by fringe-right outlets like the American Thinker and Western Journalism Review.” Nonetheless, there has been questions raised regarding the candidate’s sense of timing with her “civilization that was the greatest in the world” praise of openly militant Islamic centers of power, especially in light that the remains of Manhattan’s Twin Towers were still smoldering.