Nebraska: “Tri-Faith” project has links to Muslim Brotherhood, media cowers in fear

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Jihad Watch, by Robert Spencer:

I just arrived in Omaha to speak on these issues tonight, and in Lincoln tomorrow night. The Muslim Brotherhood ties of Hamas-linked CAIR and ISNA are abundantly documented. So why would the local Omaha media be afraid to discuss these issues? Who has intimidated them into silence, or paid them off? Have Bob Smietana and Niraj Warikoo warned their Omaha counterparts that saying anything negative about the Muslim Brotherhood would be “Islamophobic”?

“Omaha ‘Tri-Faith’ project has links to Muslim Brotherhood,” by Joe Herring for the Daily Caller, April 10:

Hailed as a global first, a Jewish synagogue and an Episcopal church are co-locating their new worship facilities on a plot of land with a Mosque. They call it the “Tri-Faith Initiative,” and the project has become the darling of the progressive wings of Christianity and Judaism.

The Jewish and Christian participants’ motivations are easily discerned by reading their rather facile statements regarding the project. Standard left-progressive boilerplate about “inclusiveness and social justice” abounds.

Like the EpiscopaliansReform Jews routinely place progressive politics and social justice above doctrine, making them ideal partners for a project like this. From their statements, one gets the impression that this sort of interfaith cooperation is naughtily intoxicating.

The particular form of Islam to be practiced at this new Tri-Faith campus has yet to be revealed, as well as the name of the Imam, or even the sect of Islam from which the Imam will be drawn.

One thing is clear however, the mosque – and those behind it – have distinct ties to groups previously named as “unindicted co-conspirators” in the largest terrorist funding investigation in our nation’s history.

The first of these, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is a well-documented purveyor of Islamism, preaching the supremacy of Islam over not only all other religions, but all nations as well.

Their fellow-traveling co-conspirator, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has similarlywell documented ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Islamic supremacist organizations.

The Tri-Faith Initiative features links to both groups on their website, under the “Resources” and “Recommended Reading” tabs. Considering the security concerns presented by a post 9/11 world, these links are disturbing and warrant a discussion.

Dr. Mark Christian, the Executive Director of the Global Faith Institute (also based in Omaha) has called for the Tri-Faith Initiative to sever ties and disavow connections with all terror-linked Muslim groups.

He raised this issue with the Tri-Faith leadership and has had his concerns summarily dismissed. Perhaps it is only a coincidence, but intimidation efforts toward Dr. Christian subsequently surfaced on social media, coming from CAIR and other similarly freedom-phobic groups.

Dr. Christian is an Egyptian-born convert to Christianity from Islam. His family’s ties to the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood go back to its founding, and his conversion to Christianity has earned him a fatwa of death, should he return to his home country.

Understanding the danger as few others can, Dr. Christian is hosting a pair of conferences in Omaha and Lincoln on the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in the heartland, at which the lead presenter will be Robert Spencer, founder of Jihad Watch and favored target of radical Muslims everywhere.

Having already ignored Dr. Christian’s call to disavow CAIR and ISNA involvement, the occasion of Mr. Spencer’s arrival has led local media to further bury their heads in the sand.

In one recent instance, a large radio station has canceled a previously scheduled interview with Dr. Christian and Mr. Spencer, claiming to have done so “on advice of legal counsel.”

This is the station that features Limbaugh, Hannity and Levin as the mainstays of their weekday programming. The largest radio station in the state has expressed interest in speaking with Mr. Spencer, but only if the Tri-Faith Initiative remains undiscussed.

CAIR has been tweeting and speaking against the planned conferences, labeling them “Islamophobic” despite having made no effort to determine their content.

In CAIR’s eyes, the presence of Robert Spencer seems reason enough to launch an attack.

The primary weapon employed by CAIR and ISNA is pre-emption by intimidation. The “co-conspirators” level charges of Islamophobia at the first sign of opposition. They threaten lawsuits and boycotts, doing a 21st-century version of shouting down their opposition.

Attempts to address the concerns raised over the clear links between CAIR, ISNA and the proposed Mosque, have been met with stony silence from the Jewish and Christian legs of this Tri-Faith stool.

Both groups are profoundly leftist in orientation, and as many progressives do when faced with unpleasantness, they figuratively cover their ears and hum loudly.

Consequently, the reform-minded Muslims in Omaha, who wish to practice their faith without the interference of the Muslim Brotherhood, or 7th-century interventions from imported Imams, find themselves with no voice whatsoever.

The media – both local and national – lazily turn to CAIR and ISNA for the “Muslim perspective” on any issue. CAIR then issues statements on behalf of all Muslims and the media accepts it as such, leaving the moderate reform elements of Islam unable to overcome American media myopia.

All Dr. Christian has asked, is that the Mosque organizers eschew the support of, and affiliation with, CAIR and ISNA, as well as any other groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood or terrorism.

This doesn’t seem to be a burdensome request for a group of people who claim to be creating a global model for interfaith cooperation and respect. Their stubborn refusal to separate themselves from radical Islamists is quite disturbing. The slack-jawed and uninterested response from our mainstream media is perhaps worse.

 

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Global Faith Institute:

Is this really the face of tolerance and respect that the Tri Faith Initiative in Omaha, NE seeks to promote?
Condemning conservative Christians while leading an organization (ISNA) that operates under the auspices of the Muslim Brotherhood, not to mention the organizations status as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Trial, the largest terrorism funding case in U.S. History.
TRI FAITH INITIATIVE: CUT THE TIES!

10255765_396948847113738_2954665410722750838_nDiscover the Networks profile on Ingrid Mattson

Declassified FBI memos reveal that ISNA was identified as a Brotherhood front as early as 1987.

Listen to this radio interview:

Robert Spencer, Dr. Mark Christian and the Tri-Faith Fight on 1110 KFAB’s Scott Voorhees Show

Dr. Mark Christian bio

 

 

Christians Increasingly Duped into Interfaith Ties With Islamists

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Rev. Devorah Lindsay has become an interfaith video star, but her chief outreach partner is a Muslim Brotherhood-tied mosque.

BY RYAN MAURO:

Reverend Deborah Lindsay, Minister of Spiritual Care at First Community Church in Ohio, is a YouTube viral video star because of her call on Christians to avoid anti-Muslim sentiment. Unfortunately, her chief outreach partner is a Muslim Brotherhood-tied mosque named the Noor Islamic Cultural Center.

video of her sermon, uploaded in September 2010, has been viewed over one million times. Her outreach to Muslims was also the subject of an article in the Columbus Dispatch. In it, she is quoted as comparing jihad to Lent.

“When we think jihad, we think holy war. And that may be what it means to fanatics and terrorists, but what the vast majority of Muslims understand jihad to be is ‘struggling in the way of God…The way of God being goodness, justice, mercy and compassion. It is a personal, spiritual endeavor,” she said.

An example of jihad, she says, would be making friends or being appreciative of what you have.

That type of misunderstanding is promoted by the MyJihad campaign led by a chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity whose leadership has privately discussed how to use deceptive semantics. The campaign distracts from examination of the Islamist ideology by redefining jihad so vaguely that it becomes a meaningless term.

Read more at Clarion Project

What Elephant? What Room?

tnjihadGates of Vienna, by  Baron Bodissey:

An organization known as the Religious Communicators Council will be meeting next week in Nashville. Based on their agenda, they represent the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood, with the usual suspects from dhimmi mainstream Christian and Jewish groups providing the necessary veneer of “interfaith dialogue”.

There’s a discussion of this important event in latest newsletter from the Tennessee Council for Political Justice:

What the Religious Communicators Council WON’T Talk About in April

The Religious Communicators Council (RCC) will hold their annual convention in Nashville on April 3-5. According to their speakers schedule, they won’t be talking about:

 

  • the recent Pew Study findings of Christian oppression in the Muslim majority countries of Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, Pakistan, Iran and Yemen
  • the BDS campaign against Israel being waged by U.S. based Hamas supporters, college campus Students for Justice in Palestine and Muslim Students Associations groups

Introductory speaker Remziya Suleyman will likely tell her same old embellished story of how she organized all the Muslims in Tennessee to beat back alleged anti-sharia legislation. She likes to portray herself as having “defeated the bill” when in fact the key provisions are now in state law. Bet she won’t bother to tell her audience that it was actually an anti-terrorism/material support bill based on the jihad murder perpetrated by Muslim convert Carlos Bledsoe. Bet she also won’t bother to explain to her audience that she is the one who equated anti-terrorism and material support with sharia!

For sure she won’t disclose to her audience that before she started her pro-sharia campaign, she admitted that “she never knew the concept of sharia…” In fact, she continues to remind us how little she knows about her own doctrine as she continues to promote the idea that anything violent or negative associated with Muslims and Islam is simply “culture” because it is not taught in the Quran. So how about those verses in the Quran that make wife beating sacred?

Daoud Abudiab is also a scheduled speaker. He is a Palestinian now living in Spring Hill, Tennessee who serves as the President of the Columbia Islamic Center. He will use the left’s double standard to tell the story about how an Islamophobe burned down his mosque like what every other Islamophobe out there would try to do. He’ll paint anyone who questions whether the U.S. should follow the U.K.’s example of allowing a parallel sharia system to thrive as an Islamophobe.. But when a Muslim like Bin Laden or Nidhal Hassan commits murder he characterizes it as a hijacking of the religion.

The RCC will get their victimhood mileage out of both of these speakers because they wear many hats. Both are involved with the progressive leftist organization Religions for Peace USA. Suleyman is the director of the Muslim American Center for Outreach and a CAIR/Muslim Brotherhood promoter. She also keeps her hand in refugee issues that augments her “American Muslim yearning for her Kurdish homeland.”

Abudiab is involved with the Tennessee American Muslim Advisory Council, the far left anti-American TN Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition and the open borders group Clergy for Tolerance. It would be interesting to hear Abudiab’s response to the pro-Palestinian student group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) newly established at UT-Knoxville, whose sister chapter was recently suspended at Northeastern University and cited for aggressive intimidation of Jewish students at University of Michigan.

The heavy representation in the RCC by the United Methodist Church (UMC) makes it highly unlikely that they will ever take up the issue of the anti-Israel Jew-hating BDS campaign. The UMC has been entangled with Israel hating Islamists not only through Mercy-USA, but also through the cozy “God Box” otherwise known as the United Methodist Building in Washington, D.C. In 2012 the UMC General Conference voted to recommend boycotts and sanctions. UMC is a vocal and active participant in boycott initiatives, including the recent one against Soda Stream.

The Newseum Institute, (part of the TN Freedom Forum First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt), represented by Gene Policinski, has been a long-time Islamic apologist. The institute has spent considerable resources and used their credibility as an advocate for “unbiased” media while defending the Muslim Brotherhood organizations and their sharia driven agenda. (read parts 1 -7 starting here.)

Bud Heckman from Religions for Peace USA (RFPUSA) will facilitate a discussion about the refugee propaganda film “Welcome to Shelbyville.” It seems fitting that an organization like RFPUSA would be involved with this film because of its own ties to leading Islamist Muslim Brotherhood organizations in the U.S.

The RCC’s convention focus is about Muslim victimhood. Anyone who knows anything about the magnitude of Christian persecution and the Jew-hating anti-Israel BDS campaign knows that these issues are mutually exclusive with Muslim victimhood. In fact, Christian persecution and the anti-Israel BDS campaign are the result of Islamist aggression, a topic the progressive leftists at the RCC wouldn’t want to be caught dead admitting.

What else can you expect from an organization whose Nashville chapter is headed by a Scientologist, Rev. Brian Fessler whose religious cult is based the arrival of the extraterrestrial warlord Xenu?

Has the Church in the U.S. Succumbed to the Charms of Islam?

0114-kilpatrickBy William Kilpatrick:

“[We are] but helpless Pieces of the Game He plays
Upon this Checker-board of Nights and Days;
Hither and thither moves, and checks, and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.”
–from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

New York’s Timothy Cardinal Dolan paid a visit last summer to the Albanian Islamic Cultural Center in Tompkinsville on Staten Island, where he met with a large group of Muslim leaders. As is often the case when Catholic prelates meet with Muslims, his theme was the common ground shared by the two faiths. Cardinal Dolan told his Islamic audience, “You love God, we love God, and he is the same God,” and he thanked them “for making me feel like a friend and a member of a family.” He went on to tell them how much they share in common with Catholics: “Your love of marriage and family, your love of children and babies, your love of freedom — religious freedom particularly — your defense of life, your desire for harmony and unity and your care for others, your care for God’s creation and your care for those who are in need.”

Perhaps this is true of the Muslims of Tompkinsville, but unfortunately the cardinal’s words will be taken as an endorsement of Islam in general. I say “unfortunately” because what he says about the common values and beliefs of Muslims and Catholics is highly misleading.

Two Fundamentally Distinct Faiths

Take the assertion that Muslims and Catholics love the same God. Of course, Cardinal Dolan’s statement can be justified in the broad sense: There is, after all, only one God. Whether prayer and worship are being offered to our Father in Heaven or to Allah or to the Great Spirit, there is only one God who is paying attention. But in that sense, anyone who offers up prayers is praying to the same God to whom Catholics pray.

Once we move from the general to the particular, the “same God” thesis begins to fall apart. In the New Testament, God presents Himself as a Trinity (Mt. 28:19); in the Koran, God explicitly denies being a Trinity (5:73). In the Gospels, God refers to Jesus as “my beloved Son” (Mt. 3:17); in the Koran, God curses Christians for calling Christ the Son of God (9:30). In the Christian account, God accepts His only Son’s sacrificial death on the cross; in the Muslim account, God declares reports of Christ’s crucifixion to be “a monstrous falsehood” (4:157). In light of these significant differences, it is difficult to see how the God of the Bible and the God of the Koran could be one and the same.

There are similar problems with Cardinal Dolan’s other assertions, such as, “Your love of marriage and the family.” Yes, Muslims can generally be counted on to love their families. But in many respects, the Catholic and Muslim views of marriage and family are worlds apart. To Catholics, marriage is a sacrament; to Muslims, it is a contract. Moreover, it is primarily a contract about sex and money. In fact, the Arabic language uses the same word, nikah, for both marriage and sexual intercourse. In Islam, marriage is an institution ordained to meet the sexual needs of men. Thus, a Muslim man can have two, three, or four wives at a time and as many different families. And four is not really an absolute limit because if a Muslim man gets tired of one of his wives, he need only say “I divorce you” three times and he is free to marry another. Although many Muslim men rise above their religion and stay faithful to one wife, the knowledge that one can be easily replaced creates an undercurrent of insecurity and instability that, in turn, leads to widespread family dysfunction in the Muslim world. In fact, a number of scholars contend that Islamic violence is in large part the result of Islamic family dynamics.

“Your love of children and babies.” Under Islamic law, women and children are little more than possessions of their husbands and fathers. Still, the bonds of natural affection often trump what Egyptian-born writer Nonie Darwish calls “the corrupting temptations” of Islam. Yet those religiously sanctioned temptations are ever present in the Muslim world. Take the matter of child marriage. Muhammad signed a marriage contract with Aisha when she was six years old, and consummated the marriage when she was nine. And Muhammad is considered by Muslims to be the most perfect human being who ever lived! The Koran says ninety-one times that all Muslims are supposed to pattern their lives after Muhammad. Thus, when Islamic societies strive to return to their Muhammaden roots, there is a corresponding demand for a lowering of the legal age of marriage. For example, Iranian lawmakers are now seeking to lower the age of marriage for girls to nine. Mohammad Ali Isfenani, chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee, called the current minimum age of thirteen “un-Islamic.”

Then, of course, there is the matter of honor killings. An increasing number of Muslim fathers, grandfathers, uncles, and brothers feel so strongly about family honor that they are willing to murder any female relative who calls the family honor into question. Some commentators say this practice has nothing to do with Islam but is merely an unfortunate tribal custom. But the fact is that Muslims account for the vast majority of honor killings worldwide. This is because honor killings are protected under Islamic law. Perhaps the most authoritative guide to Islamic law isReliance of the Traveler, a nine hundred-page manual that has been certified as reliable by Al-Azhar University in Cairo. Section O, which deals with “retaliations” (punishments) for killing a human being, explains that some killings are not subject to retaliation. For example, “not subject to retaliation” is “a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring’s offspring.” In other words, parents or grandparents who kill their children or grandchildren should not be punished. And so, in many places in the Muslim world, the perpetrators of honor killings are not punished or else are let off with a light or suspended sentence.

“Your love of freedom — religious freedom particularly.” Religious freedom? But what about the freedom to change one’s religion? This would seem to be one of the most basic exercises of religious freedom. Yet there is near unanimity among Islamic scholars and jurists that male apostates from Islam should be killed. And the average Muslim in the street tends to agree. A 2010 Pew Forum survey of public opinion found that eighty-four percent of Egyptians agree that apostates should be killed. A Pew survey of Pakistanis revealed that seventy-eight percent favor death for those who leave Islam.

Read more at New Oxford Review

William Kilpatrick taught for many years at Boston College. He is the author of several books about cultural and religious issues, including Psychological Seduction, Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right From Wrong, and, most recently, Christianity, Islam and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West. Prof. Kilpatrick’s articles on cultural and educational topics have appeared in First Things, Policy Review, American Enterprise, American Educator, Los Angeles Times, and various scholarly journals. His articles on Islam have appeared in Catholic World Report, National Catholic Register, Aleteia, Saint Austin Review, Investor’s Business Daily, FrontPage Magazine, and other publications.

Islamist-Interfaith Alliance Battles Foreign Law Bans

IslamWillDominateWhiteHouseBy Ryan Mauro:

Shoulder-to-Shoulder, an interfaith coalition allied with the Islamic Society of North America, is mobilizing its supporters against state legislation that stops foreign law from superseding the Constitution. The Islamists’ non-Muslim allies are helping frame it as an unnecessary, bigoted initiative that threatens all people of faith.

The coalition is holding a webinar on February 27. The announcement correctly notes that current legislation does not mention Shariah, though it is covered under the terminology of “foreign law.” Seven states have passed such bills since 2010.

Shoulder-to-Shoulder’s description makes it sound like the legislation is a ban on foreign law influencing judges’ decision altogether. It states:

“Most religious laws that influence these contracts (like Jewish Halakha, Catholic Canon law, or Islamic Shariah law) were not developed within the United States and would be considered foreign law under such legislation. While anti-Muslim sentiment is still the motivating factor behind these laws, Americans of every faith should be concerned about their impact on religious freedom.”

This is an easily refutable misrepresentation of the bills, based on the American Laws for American Courts draft legislation. It does not ban religious contracts like those mentioned by Shoulder-to-Shoulder, nor is it a blanket ban on foreign law. It only applies when there is a conflict between the U.S. Constitution and foreign law in court and it victimizes no one, especially not Muslims because Muslim-Americans are benefactors of it.

2011 study found 50 cases where Shariah or foreign law based on Shariah influenced the court case. The American Public Policy Alliance has a list of 10 cases where a Muslim-American party objected to the role of Shariah. The summary is as follows:

“In cases 1-3, the Appellate Courts upheld Shariah law; in cases 4-7, the Trial Courts upheld Shariah, but the Appellate Courts reversed (protecting the litigant’s constitutional rights); in cases 8-10, both Trial and Appellate Courts rejected the attempts to enforce Shariah law.”

ALAC is sometimes criticized as unnecessary and driven by unsubstantiated paranoia. It is hard to imagine that an American judge would ever rule give foreign law precedence over American law. The American Public Policy Alliance explains that the bill fixes a troublesome loophole:

Most states merely state that foreign laws and judgments that violate the state’s “public policy” shall not be recognized. But the courts consistently rule that the state legislature has the responsibility to articulate clearly what the state’s public policy actually is.

The ALAC website points out the hypocrisy of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. In response to business dress codes enforced on Muslim-American women in France, CAIR communications director Ibrahim Hooper unwittingly supported the rationale behind ALAC.

“A discriminatory dress code implemented in France does not supersede American laws protecting the religious rights of American citizens,” he said. He said CAIR is “defending American law from foreign intrusion.”

The American-Islamic Forum for Democracy supports ALAC-type bills because it has seen how Shariah has affected Muslims in Europe. The bills’ purpose is not to pre-empt a hypothetical situation. It’s a reaction to what is actually happening right now.

2010 study found that Shariah courts in the United Kingdom lack accountability, to say the least. There are not clear standards for appointing judges and monitoring proceedings and rulings often conflict with British law. For example, British courts’ first priority is the interest of the child. Shariah courts rule that children automatically go into the custody of the father after a certain age.

The British Justice Ministry investigated Shariah courts and had to end give up because of a lack of cooperation from the court staffs.

The misrepresentations by Shoulder-to-Shoulder stem from its relationship with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity and unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation. The Foundation was another Brotherhood entity that was shut down for financing Hamas. This isn’t six degrees of separation: The Holy Land Foundation operated within ISNA, according to a 2009 ruling by a federal judge.

ISNA said on its website last month that it “founded” Shoulder-to-Shoulder to counter increasing bigotry against Muslims. Elsewhere on its website, ISNA saysit “helped convene” the coalition of 28 religious organizations. Whichever way it is worded, the point is that Shoulder-to-Shoulder is largely a product of ISNA.

And who is the ISNA official leading its interfaith campaign and, therefore, its work with Shoulder-to-Shoulder? Former Secretary-General Sayyid Syeed, who is seen in The Grand Deception documentary saying in 2006, “Our job is to change the constitution of America.” His current job title at ISNA is National Director of ISNA’s Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances.

Read more at Front Page

London Holocaust Day Speaker Admires Hitler, Despises Jews

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Arutz Sheva, by Colin Cortbus, Gil Ronen & Ari Soffer 1/27/2014

An interfaith group which works to combat political and religious extremism in the UK has raised awkward questions about the way anti-Semites “use” holocaust memorials to “sanitize” their own images, even as they actively engage in anti-Jewish bigotry.

On Holocaust Memorial Day in 2013, a young British Muslim named Hassan Farouq was a participant in the official Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony at London’s City Hall. During the ceremony he read out a text about the importance of reflecting upon the consequences of the Holocaust and remembering the victims of Nazi persecution.

Yet Stand for Peace today released clear evidence of Farooq’s own rabid anti-Semitic views, including open glorification of Nazism and Adolf Hitler, and questions whether London officials who approved his participation in the ceremony ascribe any value to Holocaust Memorial Day at all.

Hassan Farooq – Nazi sympathiser

 

“I look up to Hitler”

As part of its investigation, Stand for Peace has published a slew of offensive tweets made by Farooq. They include the following:

“The hour will not come until the Muslims kill the Jews.”

“Let’s go Jewish bashing.”

“Oh hypocrisy nothing new its in his blood after all you can’t blame him he’s a Jew”

“I look up 2 Hitler :p”

“Hitler: I can kill 10000 by putting them into gas chambers B-)”

“Gassing is my hobby”

Glorifying Nazism on Twitter Screenshot – Stand for Peace

Support for terrorism

Apart from anti-Semitic tweets, Farooq has also expressed his extremist views on Facebook, including a passionate defense of the infamous Woolwich terrorists who murdered off-duty British soldier Lee Rigby.

In another message on Twitter, he defended extremist preacher Anjem Choudary, who was recently implicated as being a key player behind an Islamist network actively recruiting young British Muslims to fight in Syria.

Farooq also posted messages against women and homosexuals.

One way of “remembering the Holocaust” Screenshot – Stand for Peace

According to Stand for Peace, Hassan Farooq is a “senior member” of the Newham Dawah Team, an East London-based Islamic missionary organization which attempts to spread the message of Islam.

In 2009 students at NewVic Sixth Form College, which Farooq attended, released a video featuring calls in Arabic for a “war against the Jews”.

‘War against the Jews’

 

Newham Dawah Team is part of the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) Network, and its officials regularly liaise with iERA officials such as Abdurraheem Green. The iERA is an extremist Salafi group, some of whose officials have been banned from the UK. In the past – despite his apparent work with various “interfaith” initiatives – Abdurraheem Green has been quoted as talking of a Jewish “stench” and advocates the killing of homosexuals.

Sam Westrop, Director of Stand for Peace, questioned how “such a solemn and important duty can be entrusted to a vile extremist who does not even try to hide his hatred for Jews, women and homosexuals?” and suggested that the apparently puzzling contradiction in Farooq’s action is actually nothing new.

“Once again, anti-Semitic activists are attempting to exploit the commemoration of the Holocaust to sanitize their public image,” he explained,but added that “the facade is a thin one.”

Westrop questioned the commitment of the event’s organizers, given that Farooq apparently made little effort to hide his anti-Semitism.

“The public officials who chose this extremist clearly do not believe the Holocaust Day Memorial has any real value, or they would have made the minimal effort to ensure suitable speakers were found.”‏

Stand for Peace recently published a comprehensive document detailing how Islamist groups with openly bigoted agendas and support for terrorism are similarly whitewashing their images by “monopolizing” interfaith efforts, and using the opportunity to sideline moderate voices within the Muslim community.

The Abrahamic Fallacy

TAQIYYA SOftening hearts of non believer fingers crossedby Mark Durie (February 2014)

Presented at Ahavath Torah Synagogue, Stoughton, Massachusetts January  9, 2014
and at Children of Holocaust Survivors in Las Angeles, California, January 21,2014

 

Introduction

The Abrahamic Fallacy is the belief that Abraham is a figure of unity for Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

The phrase “Abrahamic Religions” has become very popular as a cover-term for these three faiths. It is particularly popular among Jewish and Christian progressives on the one hand, and Muslim apologists on the other. The term implies a kind of unity or brotherhood across the three faiths.

More broadly, the term “Abrahamic religions” has become the standard term, both in comparative religions and popular parlance, to refer to the three monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, in contrast, for example, to Indian religions and East Asian religions.

In essence the claim embodied by the expression is that Abraham is “shared” as a point of common origin by all three monotheistic religions, and naming him as their shared identity is meant to signal that these three faiths are linked together in some kind of theological continuity.

The expression is in fact used in a variety of ways. Adam Dodds points out that for some, it is simply a cover term for the grouping of Islam, Christianity and Judaism, a kind of functional shorthand without any intended theological content. Others – perhaps the majority of writers – use the phrase to imply some degree of “historical and theological commonality,” perhaps unspecified. For still others the term implies an intimate unity, namely that it is one and the same God who has authored the Bible and the Qur’an, and the same eternal message is presented in both books.

But is the construct of “Abrahamic religion” helpful, or quite the opposite, a bad idea? And specifically, is the multi-faith Abraham the same person found in the pages of the Torah, or is he merely a product of wishful thinking?

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The prototypical Muslim

From the Quran’s perspective, Abraham was the prototypical Muslim. He is used by Muhammad in the Quran as a stick to beat over the heads of Christians and Jews. This arises for example in the context of Muhammad’s disputes with the Jews of Medina (specifically in this Sura: 4:44-57, 156-162). Muhammad is in effect saying, “You quote the name Abraham to me, but Abraham was a Muslim, one of a long line of prophets. If you accept Abraham, you must accept me.”

Islam is the true Judaism and the true Christianity

Not only Abraham, but Moses and Jesus were Muslim prophets according to the Quran. So Islam is the true heritage of Jews and Christians. Jews and Christians who convert to Islam are actually reverting to the faith of the patriarchs, returning to the one true religion.

An Abrahamic political vision for America

According to this view, the “religion of Abraham” is a kind of code for Islam’s precedence over all other religions. Islamic da’waor mission to Christians and Jews involves calling them to the “religion of Abraham,” i.e. to Islam. Shamin A. Siddiqi of Flushing, New York put this position in a letter to Daniel Pipes:

Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad were all prophets of Islam. Islam is the common heritage of the Judeo-Christian-Muslim community of America, and establishing the Kingdom of God is the joint responsibility of all three Abrahamic faiths. Islam was the din (faith, way of life) of both Jews and Christians, who later lost it through human innovations. Now the Muslims want to remind their Jews and Christian brothers and sisters of their original din. These are the facts of history.

This vision, clothed in harmonious-sounding language, in fact is of a sharia-compliant United States led by Muslims and created with the help of Jews and Christians. It is “Abrahamic” in the sense that it is Islamic, as Islam is the common heritage of the three faiths. And within this vision of sharia America, non-Muslims should be relegated to the subservient role of promoters of Islam.

Today the phrase “Abrahamic religion” has become a touchstone of interfaith dialogue and unity between Islam, Christianity and Judaism. But ironically this phrase is another rendering of the “religion of Abraham” of the Quran: the phrase refers to Abraham as a Muslim.

Abraham a Figure of Division Between the Three Faiths

In reality Abraham is an intensely divisive figure between Jews, Christians and Muslims. For many Christians he is the apostle of salvation by faith alone, in opposition to Torah-observance. For Jews he is the Torah-observant father of the Jewish nation, and a reminder of God’s irrevocable covenant with the Jews. For Muslims he is the prototypical Muslim prophet, a prominent forerunner and validator of Muhammad’s claim and the ground of Muslim claims that Islam both predates and supersedes the Biblical faiths.

The Origins of the Expression “Abrahamic Religion”

I have been tracing the origins of the concept of “Abrahamic faith” in reference to monotheistic dialogue. Its most important and influential promoter was a Lebanese Maronite priest, Youakim Moubarac, following in the footsteps of his teacher, Massignon, who regarded Islam as a faith of genuine revelation — and Muhammad as a prophet — but in more primitive stage than Christianity.

Moubarac devoted his 1951 doctoral dissertation Abraham dans le Coran to the topic of Abraham in Islam. He was subsequently a significant influence on Vatican II’s policy on Islam, which has shaped the current Catholic catechism, which sees Islam and Christianity as united by adoration of the one God:

841 The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.” [330]

An Abrahamic utopia and dhimmi theology

Moubarac saw in the theme of Abrahamic faith a force which could unite Christians, Jews and Arabs into one family. Thus he wrote that one should “promote an egalitarian Palestine in which Jews, Christians and Muslims demonstrate together its abrahamic and ecumenical vocation.”

This vision of a political and spiritual reconciliation between faiths based upon a shared identity as followers of “Abrahamic faith” is fundamentally flawed. In fact it leads to Islamization, as a society based on the Quranic concept of Abrahamic faith is a sharia state, which by virtue of the structure of Islamic law, is devoted to the decline and ultimate disappearance of Christianity and Judaism.

It should not be surprising that a Christian from a dhimmi background, from a nation traumatized by the massacres of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, would produce an quintessential dhimmi theology, one which offers to Christians the option of serving Islam by embracing the legitimacy of Islam and thus of Muslim power. Bat Ye’or writes:

Moubarac interpreted the end of Christian political power [i.e. in Lebanon] as a religious liberation which would restore to the Church the vocation that Islam had assigned to it: a service of charity and love toward Muslims. (Islam and Dhimmitude p. 183.)

The promotion of “Abrahamic faith” as the touchstone of interfaith religious dialogue was linked in its origins with a vision of a Middle Eastern utopia in which Christians, Muslims and Jews would live side by side in unity. In reality this vision encouraged Islamophile church leaders in Lebanon to fight alongside Palestinians to destroy the political and national structures of Christianity in Lebanon. The ultimate outcome has been, and will continue to be, the progressive Islamization of that nation and destruction of the church – in accordance with the internal goals of Islamic doctrine, a process which is now reaching end-game stage in Iraq and perhaps also Syria.

Rowan Williams on Sharia law in Europe

I am minded to recall the previous Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams’s suggestion that the British embrace aspects of Sharia law, claiming that “It is not as if we’re bringing in an alien and rival system.” Undoubtedly Williams’ views were based upon his experiences of interfaith dialogue, which had schooled him in the underlying unity of the Abrahamic faiths. Thus he became an apologist for sharia law and its alien and abhorrent treatment of women: the pointy end of Williams’s proposal is of course the entrenchment of sharia courts in the UK, which are not good for the rights of Muslim women. By making this statement he became, albeit unwittingly, an apologist for the sharia itself, including by implication its demand that Muslims be politically dominant.

Conclusion

The concept of “Abrahamic faiths” is a fallacy. Its contemporary influence was, tragically, born out of a century of Christian suffering in the Middle East and foisted upon the unsuspecting West. It is reasonable to ask whether this is a theological Trojan horse designed to promote an Islamic worldview of relations between faiths.

By all means, let us discuss Abraham and what he stands for in different faiths, and note that the narratives of the three monotheistic faiths refer to Abraham. But it is unwise to take Abraham as a touchstone of unity and theological continuity. On the contrary, the name of Abraham stands for the profound divisions between the three monotheistic faiths.

Read it all

Dr Mark Durie is a theologian, human rights activist and pastor of an Anglican church. He has published many articles and books on the language and culture of the Acehnese, Christian-Muslim relations and religious freedom. A graduate of the Australian National University and the Australian College of Theology, he has held visiting appointments at the University of Leiden, MIT, UCLA and Stanford, and was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 1992. at the University of Leiden, MIT, UCLA and Stanford, and was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 1992.The Third  Choice, Islam, Dhimmitude and Freedom is reviewed under the title Dhimmitude Dominates and excerpted in theNew English Review. An interview with Dr. Durie can be found in The West Speaks published by the New English Review Press. He also is a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

 

Also see: Jewish Myopia Towards Islam (newenglishreview.org)

Chilling Effect for Me, But Not for Thee

yhFront Page, by :

“I don’t apply the same standards” as in the United States, the Muslim Harvard Law School professor Intisar A. Rabb stated at a November 21, 2013, Georgetown University conference with respect to “hate speech” restrictions and Islam abroad.  In connection with her concern about an American Muslim’s terrorism conviction “chilling speech,” Rabb’s acceptance of “just a different legal regime” abroad revealed troubling double standards towards Islam.

Raab addressed the final panel of “Muslim-Christian Relations in the 21st Century:  Challenges & Opportunities,” a controversial conference (see herehere, and here) marking the 20th anniversary of Georgetown’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU).  Rabb opposed a recent appeals court conviction affirmation for Tarek Mehanna, as elaborated in an amici curia brief in Mehanna’s appeal.  Therein Rabb and others warned of a “serious chilling effect” on speech from convicting Mehanna for translating the book 39 Ways to Serve and Participate in Jihad for the website at-Tibyan.

The federal government considered the book, website, and Mehanna’s “disfavored political and religious beliefs” all supportive of Al Qaeda.  The appellate opinion noted that Mehanna had a First Amendment right to praise Al Qaeda, but Al-Qaeda-coordinated advocacy was terrorism support.  “Under the Government’s theory,” amici curia warned, “translating an al-Qa’ida text is lawful, as is espousing beliefs…supporting al-Qa’ida,” but together these “legal acts gives rise to criminal liability,” a particular concern for scholars researching terrorism.

Rabb at Georgetown therefore demanded that action beyond speech underlie any terrorism support conviction.  Yet, unmentioned by Rabb, Mehanna had traveled in 2004 to Yemen, irrespective of any translation work charge.  The appeals court rejected his “rose-colored glasses” presentation as a “devoted scholar…protected by the First Amendment” and found a jury conclusion “virtually unarguable” that Mehanna “went abroad to enlist in…terrorist training.”

Legal issues aside, amici curiae did not consider Mehanna’s reading and website choices objectionable.   At-Tibyan, for example, “primarily” concerned “Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi…a theologian and a jurist” who “endorses rebellion against…illegitimate Muslim regimes.”  Among “innumerable mainstream theological texts,”39 Ways also involved “basic…Sunni jurisprudence,” namely the “individual duty (fard ‘ayn) incumbent on all Muslims” to “contribute to wars of self-defense.”  “All collections of the words and deeds of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad (hadith) and all Islamic law books” endorsed this “standard position in all Sunni legal schools.”

The amici curiae cited a 2003 fatwa from “mainstream Muftis” at OnIslam, “[o]ne of the most popular websites in the English-speaking world devoted to Islam.”  The muftis considered whether for Muslims it is “necessary to fight alongside Afghans” or otherwise resist American-led forces in Afghanistan.  Citing Quran verses legitimating fighting against non-Muslims, the muftis answered that the “Muslim Ummah (nation) is considered one body, which if a single organ aches all the other organs will share the feelings of agony.”

Robert Spencer of the website Jihadwatch could not have explained such doctrines of jihad in a more troubling manner.  Questions in the brief about targeting civilians aside, the cited Islamic doctrine justified the killing of military personnel “attacking” Muslim nations, cold comfort to, among others, beheaded British soldier Lee Rigby or the 13 Americans of the Fort Hood shooting.  Rabb’s brief could only confirm the criticisms of Islam by individuals like Spencer or Holland’s Geert Wilders and incite Terry Jones to burn another Quran.

Unlike Rabb, though, Spencer has faced exclusion from the United Kingdom and Wilders criminal prosecution in Holland for their comments on Islam, while destroying a Quran is prohibited hate speech in countries like Belgium.  Such domestic legal actions accord with the longstanding international agenda of majority-Muslim nations in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to prohibit criticizing Islam.  This agenda has culminated in the March 24, 2011,United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 with troubling implications for free speech even after Western-induced modifications.

In this context, Rabb’s invocation of the proverbial “chilling effect” on free speech prompted my question about criticizing Islam.  Rabb’s “each regime is different” response allowed for “dignity laws” as a “prerogative” for other democracies dealing with anti-Islam speech grouped by her with Nazism.  Muslim-majority countries also had such laws, Rabb indicated, a worrying statement in light of Islamic blasphemy laws.

Critical issues involving Islam, however, were not absent from the conference.  George Soros-financed leftist evangelical Richard Cizek, for example, recalled during a panel how a fellow evangelical had once told him that “insults in Lynchburg produce riots in Lahore.”  Convicted terrorism financier Sami Al-Arian, meanwhile, discussed with me in the audience viewing the conference’s morning segment before going home to comply with his house arrest.

“Islamophobia” critic Nathan Lean was also in the audience.  Called a “stalker” by Spencer, Lean has repeatedly tweeted an article supposedly containing Spencer’s address and wife’s picture, a “clear attempt to intimidate me.”  Addressed by me on this matter, Lean curtly replied that it is “not appropriate” to discuss Spencer at a Christian-Muslim understanding conference and walked away.

Thus Lean, Rabb, and others, concerned about fundamentally necessary anti-terrorism laws infringing intellectual inquiry in the United States, exhibited little principled concern about uninhibited discussion of Islam.  Yet as the conference and Mehanna’s conviction show, the needs of security and liberty demand robust debate precisely with respect to Islam.

This article was sponsored by The Legal Project, an activity of the Middle East Forum.

Wilders to Pope Francis: Contrasts Papal Ecumenism, With Jew/Infidel-Hatred of Current Sunni Pope Al-Tayeb

Ahmad Al-Tayeb, Sunni Muslim Papal equivalent

Ahmad Al-Tayeb, Sunni Muslim Papal equivalent

by Andrew Bostom:

In a blog yesterday (12/5/13), I analyzed recent statements and actions by the two most recent Catholic Popes, Benedict XVI, and his successor, the current Pope, Francis. I further contrasted their ecumenical words and deeds with the overt, canonical Jew-hatred espoused by their Sunni Muslim  counterparts, Al Azhar University Grand Imam Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi (d. March, 2010), and his successor, the current Grand Imam of Al Azhar University, Ahmad al-Tayeb. My conclusions are reproduced, below:

Former Pope Benedict XVI, and current Pope Francis have openly expressed their ecumenism toward Jews and Judaism, while acknowledging Christianity’s indebtedness to Jewish ethical values. This ecumenical message has been coupled to frank, mea culpa-based contrition for the tragic legacy of Christian antisemitism. The disparity between their attitudes and their two contemporary Sunni Muslim equivalents, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi and Ahmad Al-Tayeb—the latter having emphatically and triumphantly re-asserted the modern relevance of canonical Islam’s conspiratorial Jew-hatred—could not be more striking.

Both Tantawi’s and his successor Ahmad Al-Tayeb’s career trajectories to the pinnacle of Sunni Islamic religious education, despite their own public endorsements of virulent, if “sacralized” Islamic Jew-hatred, reflect the profound moral pathology at the very heart and soul of mainstream, institutional Islam.

Now, in a welcome follow-up to my discussion, Geert Wilders has boldly ventured where no Western leader has gone heretofore: openly contrasting Papal ecumenism with the virulent Jew-hatred publicly spewed by Sunni Islam’s Vatican and its Papal equivalents.  Reproduced below is Wilders’ Open letter to his Holiness Pope Francis posted at The Gates of Vienna:

Your Holiness,

In your recent exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (Paragraphs 247-248) you draw the world’s attention to the indebtedness of Christianity to the Jews and their faith. The exhortation also contains a sharp condemnation of the terrible persecutions which the Jews have endured from Christians in the past.

Your words are words which might inspire many.

Unfortunately, they are in sharp contrast to the expressions of hatred which were voiced last October by the spiritual leader of Sunni Islam, Ahmad Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of the Al-Azhar Institute in Cairo.

During an interview, aired on Egyptian television on October 25, Grand Imam Ahmad Al-Tayeb reaffirmed the relevance of Koranic verse 5:82, which states that of all people the Christians are closest to the Muslims, while the Jews are strongest in enmity towards them. This verse has inspired centuries of Islamic hatred of Jews.

Al-Tayeb’s invocation of Koranic Jew-hatred is in line with fourteen centuries of Islamic teaching. Grand Imam Al-Tayeb’s predecessor at Al-Azhar, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, even wrote a book, entitled The Children of Israel in the Koran and the Sunna, in defense of Jew-hatred based on Koranic teachings.

The current suffering of Christians from Islamic persecution in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Sudan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Indonesia, and so many other countries, clearly indicates what Christians have to endure from the followers of the Koran. What atheists and Jews, who are considered the worst enemies, have to endure from Islam is even worse.

In your exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (paragraphs 252-253) you state that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.”Reality does not confirm this statement.The Koran is full of bellicose and hate-mongering verses against non-Muslims. Your Holiness will be able to find them if he reads the Koran, but I will name just a few:

2:191-193: “And slay them wherever you come upon them, […] Fight them, till there is no persecution and the religion is Allah’s.”

4:89: “If they turn their backs, take them, and slay them wherever you find them; take not to yourselves any one of them as friend or helper.”

5:33: “This is the recompense of those who fight against Allah and His Messenger, […]: they shall be slaughtered, or crucified, or their hands and feet shall alternately be struck off; or they shall be banished from the land.”

 8:60: “Make ready for them whatever force and strings of horses you can, to terrify thereby the enemy of Allah and your enemy.”

 9:5: “When the sacred months are drawn away, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush.”

 9:29: “Fight those who believe not in Allah.”

 9:30: “The Christians call Christ the son of God. That is a saying from their mouth; they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah’s curse be on them.”

9:123: “O believers, fight the unbelievers who are near to you; and let them find in you a harshness; and know that Allah is with the God-fearing.”

47:4: “When you meet the unbelievers, smite their necks.”

I hope that the Holy Father will help us defend the West’s Judeo-Christian and humanistic civilization, to which even atheists and agnostics owe their freedom and democracy.

Nothing will be gained by a refusal to face reality.

We must speak the truth about Islam — the largest threat to mankind in this present age.

Very respectfully,
Geert Wilders

Member of the Dutch Parliament
Leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV)

See also:

The Continuation of Warfare by Other Means: Washington, DC, Conference Delegitimizes Israel’s Past and Present, Part I

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https://www.facebook.com/baptistswagingpeace

by  (@AEHarrod)

The “racist concept” of a Jewish national state is an “impediment to peace,”Philip Farah of the Palestinian Christian Alliance for Palestine (PCAP) judged during the panel “Myths about the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict and Impediments to Peace.”  Farah spoke at the November 8-9 (with Sunday worship following on November 10), 2013, Waging Peace in Palestine & Israel conference.  Farah’s anger towards Israel was typical among the event’s self-professed Christians who consistently undermined the Jewish state’s legitimacy in numerous ways.

The conference sponsor was the Alliance of Baptists (AB), founded in 1987 as a “prophetic voice in Baptist life” among “people of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, theological beliefs, and ministry practices.”   “[C]ombining progressive inquiry” and “prophetic action,” these diverse individuals are “married, divorced, single, committed and somewhere in between.”  AB’s partner congregation in Washington, DC, Calvary Baptist Church, was the conference host.

AB in the conference’s program described the event as an “effort to be faithful to our Statement of support to Palestinian Christians.”  Reprinted in the program, The Alliance of Baptists Respond to the Kairos Palestine Document is also available at the AB website.  In this statement AB affirmed the December 15, 2009, declaration Kairos Palestine—A Moment of Truth:  A Word of Faith, Hope, and Love from the Heart of Palestinian Suffering as representing the “most prevalent views of Palestinian Christians living in the occupied territories.”

Read online, A Moment of Truth set the conference’s troubling tone.  The declaration invokes a “Palestinian people who have faced…clear apartheid for more than six decades,” namely since Israel’s very founding in 1948, and not since any post-1967 Six Day War occupation.  The declaration describes Israel solely as an attempt by the “West…to make amends for what Jews had endured in the countries of Europe…on our account and in our land.”  Yethalf of Israel’s present Jewish population is of Middle Eastern/North African (Mizrahim) origin, many of them descended from Jews expelled by Arab countries in the years before and after Israel’s 1948 establishment.  Such charges call into question A Moment of Truth’s subsequent attribution of hostility with Israel to its post-1967occupied territories, namely that “if there were no occupation, there would be no resistance, no fear and no insecurity.”

A Moment of Truth’s “Palestinian Christians declare that the military occupation of our land is a sin against God and humanity, and that any theology that legitimizes the occupation is far from Christian teachings.”   The declaration’s “clear position” is that “non-violent resistance to this injustice is a right and duty for all Palestinians including Christians” as well as the international community.  A Moment of Truth, though, does not specify whether the Palestinians’ “thousands of prisoners languishing in Israeli prisons” for whom the declaration asks “when will they have their freedom” have a similar commitment to nonviolence.  Indeed, the declaration denounces Israeli use of “armed…Palestinian legal resistance” as a “pretext to accuse the Palestinians of being terrorists.”

Thus A Moment of Truth flatly rejects any Israeli concern about indefensible “Auschwitz borders” along the 1967 cease fire lines stemming from Israel’s 1948 independence war.  Likewise receiving no mention are Jewish claims to what Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon called Israel’s “historic heartland” of Judea and Samaria in the area first called the West Bank by Jordanian occupation authorities in 1950.  Rather, A Moment of Truth flatly calls for an “independent Palestinian state with Al-Quds [Jerusalem] as its capital.”

Amidst its condemnation of Israeli behavior, A Moment of Truth presents a false moral equivalence in the condemnation of “all forms of racism, whether religious or ethnic, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.”  The declaration thus continues the practice of various Islamic supremacists (analyzed herehere, and here) of equating anti-Semitism, a hatred of individuals like other prejudices based upon ancestry and appearance, with “Islamophobia,” a supposed irrational fear of Islam as an idea entailing certain beliefs and behaviors.

Such beliefs and behaviors are at issue, for example, with respect to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian affiliate Hamas.  Ruling the Gaza Strip since seizing power there in 2007, this terrorist organization’s charter draws upon canonical Islamic sources to express a genocidal agenda against Israel.  Hamas merely receives an oblique reference in A Moment of Truthwith criticism of the international community’s refusal “to deal positively with the will of the Palestinian people expressed in the outcome of democratic and legal elections in 2006” swept by Hamas.  Only in a “call to reject fanaticism and extremism” for Muslims do any concerns about (anti-Semitic) sharia and jihad shimmer through in the declaration, caveated by a “message to the world that Muslims are neither to be stereotyped as the enemy nor caricatured as terrorists.”

Read more at Juicy Ecumenism

UK: The Interfaith Industry

Leading interfaith activists such as Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg have defended working with extremist institutions by claiming, “We have to take risks to engage with each other. The Jewish community will be far weaker if we all shelter within a comfort zone labeled ‘They all hate us out there’.”

As the British Islamist preacher Haitham Al-Haddad noted, not only do Islamist groups employ interfaith dialogue as a deception, but it is a deception that is crucial: “We are talking about minorities living in the West so we have to provide them with workable solutions in the short run. … It is not the far ultimate aim of Muslims because the far ultimate aim for Muslims is to have Islam governing the whole world, Islamization of the whole globe.”

Unfortunately, honorable activities do not only attract those with honorable intentions. Over the next decade, religious extremists may, in all likelihood, continue to foster violence and hatred in Britain. Should government really be in the business of promoting homophobes, anti-Semites and supporters of terror by continuing to fund, with taxpayers’ money, interfaith networks so closely involved with the extremists themselves?

by Samuel Westrop:

Interfaith dialogue is a powerful industry in Britain. Many hundreds of groups receive many hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ funds to promote dialogue between groups of different faith. On the face of it, such initiatives appear to indicate progress and civilized discussion. But what sorts of groups are involved with the world of interfaith?

download (31)The Inter Faith Network for the United Kingdom

The largest umbrella group in Britain for interfaith initiatives is the Inter Faith Network for the United Kingdom(IFN). Founded in 1987, the IFN claims it works to “promote understanding and respect” between different faith groups.[1]

The IFN has received millions of pounds of taxpayers’ funds: 80% of the IFN’s budget, in fact, is taxpayers’ money.[2] In 2011 alone, the Department for Communities and Local Government granted £373,990 to the IFN.[3]

In July 2013, a delegate to an IFN meeting in Birmingham told the conference that he had heard a senior interfaith official claim that “Jews were a disease.”[4] The delegate then denounced a number of groups present at the conference for their collaboration with signatories to the Istanbul Declaration, a document that calls for attacks on British troops and Jewish communities.[5]

The IFN’s stated aims, then, are clearly at odds with the views held by some of its membership.

The IFN’s executive committee includes Ayub Laher,[6] who is part of the ultra-conservative Deobandi movement. Laher belongs to Jamiat Ulama-e-Britain (JuB), the representative body of Deobandi scholars in Britain, whose Pakistani partner, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, is “directly affiliated” to Pakistani Deobandi seminaries with close ties to the Taliban.[7] The Pakistani group’s leader, Fazlur Rehman, described in Pakistan as a “patron of jihad,” has stated that his organization and the Ayub Laher’s JuB “have a unanimity of thought and ideology.”[8]

From 2011-12, the IFN’s co-chairman was Dr. Manazir Ahsan (although his term expired in July of this year, he remains a member of the IFN’s executive committee), a leading British Muslim activist who helped to coordinate the riots in the UK against Salman Rushdie after the publication of his book, The Satanic Verses. Manazir Ahsan was, in addition, a founder of the UK Action Committee on Islamic Affairs, which organized book burnings and protests, and called for the book to be banned and Rushdie to be prosecuted.[9]

Read more at Gatestone Institute

UK Politicians Collaborate with Muslim Brotherhood Islamists?

by Samuel Westrop:

Speakers at the upcoming Global Peace and Unity conference can be categorized as follows: 65% are anti-Semitic, misogynist, homophobic and pro-terror preachers, 20% are public servants offering political legitimacy and moral credibility to the other speakers, while the remaining 15% could perhaps claim to be part of the conference’s “project dedicated to creating a more harmonious world.”

“Peace and unity…thanks be to Allah…a fantastic thing.” — Simon Hughes MP, speaking to the Conference in 2008

At the end of this month, on November 23-24, UK politicians, in a crushing betrayal of Britain’s moderate Muslims, are planning join many of Britain’s most outspoken Islamist groups and preachers at the sixth Global Peace and Unity conference, due to be held in London. Tens of thousands attend these conferences; journalists applaud the initiative, and cabinet ministers, political commentators and other policy-makers address its crowds.

Mohamed Ali Harrath, a leading figure in the British Muslim community, founded and organized the Global Peace and Unity conferences in 2005. He claims the events are designed to “promote dialogue, exchange ideas and information, and work towards dispelling misunderstandings surrounding the multiculturalism and co-existence of faiths.”

Speakers at this annual event, however, have included Ebrahim Rasool, a vocal supporter of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, who has described its founder, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, as an “inspiration;” as well as Zakir Naik, an Indian Islamist preacher recently banned from entering the UK, who has expressed support for suicide bombings and claims that Jews “as a whole” are the enemies of Muslims.

In 2010, the Daily Telegraph reported that, “items glorifying terrorism were on open sale [at the conference] … Also available were ‘shahada headbands’ as worn by many Palestinian suicide bombers… The headbands contain the personal testimony of the suicide bombers.”

Harrath, incidentally, has a conviction in Tunisia for terrorism-related offenses, and the television station of which he is CEO, the Islam Channel, has been accused by a Muslim think tank, the Quilliam Foundation, of promoting extremist groups and encouraging hatred towards women, Jews and minority Muslim sects.

 

Mohamed Ali Harrath (centre) with Ismail Haniyeh (right), leader of Hamas in Gaza, in 2008. (Image source: Harry’s Place)

This year, Veritas Consultancy — a company that also provides services to groups such as Interpal, a US-designated terrorist organization — is handling the logistics of the conference. Veritas Consultancy, however, has just one director: Mohamed Ali Harrath.

Harrath is a leading Muslim Brotherhood member; and the wealth of evidence that ties the conference, its affiliates and the proposed speakers to Islamist networks seems inescapable. Paul Goodman MP has described the conferences as the “Royal Ascot of the British Islamist calendar.”

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Jews and Christians Play the Interfaith Kumbaya

20131105_cross_jewishstar_crescent_threereligions_LARGEby JANET LEVY:

The first chapter of the Koran, Al Fatiha, is recited at the start of Muslim prayer rituals at five different times of the day for a total of 17 recitations daily.  The Al Fatiha entreats Muslims to follow the straight path – obedience to Allah and his messenger Mohammed – and not the path of those who have angered Allah or gone astray.  For centuries, revered Islamic scholars have interpreted this foundational surah of Islamic doctrine as referring to Jews and Christians: Jews as those angering Allah because they know the “truth” about Islam and knowingly reject it, and Christians as those gone astray because they are ignorant of Islam and therefore misguided.  Thus, the idea of both Jews and Christians as having strayed from the “straight path” is reinforced daily and also in later verses of the Koran.

The significance Al Fatiha can’t be underestimated.  According to Robert Spencer, an expert on Islam and author of 13 books on the subject, “Mohammed said that the Fatiha surpasses anything revealed by Allah.”

Given the damning inherent in this compulsory prayer and the active and historical enmity of Muslims toward them both, it is puzzling and even dangerous that both Jews and Christians today engage in many interfaith activities and forums with committed Muslims.  Indeed, they often reject alliances with each other, even to the point of occasionally working at cross-purposes.  In the face of the serious worldwide threat Islam poses to both religions, their failure to work together could eventually prove to be a fatal mistake.

Read more: Family Security Matters 

Open Letter to Rabbi Mark Shaftan The Temple Nashville

dawaOctober 23, 2013

Rabbi Mark Shaftan

The Temple
Congregation Ohabai Sholom
5015 Harding Road
Nashville, TN 37205

Dear Rabbi Shaftan:

We  understand that  you undertaking an upcoming bus trip on Sunday, October 27th to visit the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro (ICM), “A Sacred Journey of Understanding.”   You  are likely to be presented with Da’wah (proselytizing) by Imam Ossama Bahloul, who is an expert in it, trained at al Azhar University in Cairo, a bastion of Sunni Supremacism with deep connections to the Muslim Brotherhood.  The founder of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), Hassan al Banna, was an Egyptian teacher from Ismailia and an  acolyte of Adolf Hitler. The MB credo is:

“Allah is our objective, the Quran is our law, the Prophet is our leader, Jihad is our way, and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations”.

Hardly peaceful, as attested to by the current violence in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East on the borders of Israel.

The Peculiar case of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center

In June 2009, the Boston Jewish community, Massachusetts Governor Derval Patrick and former Boston Mayor Tom Menino welcomed the opening of the $22 millionIslamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC)  allegedly built with with funds from Saudi Arabia and the Emirates.  Those allegations spurred a suit by the ISBCC in 2005, against  several plaintiffs. They  included The David Project and then  founder Dr. Charles JacobsSteve Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism,The Boston Herald American and Fox News TV channel WFTX in Boston.  Jacobs went on to found Americans for Peace and Tolerance. The suit was dropped in 2007 by the ISBCC leaving the plaintiffs  to foot $2.0 million in legal defense fees.    ISBCC is controlled by the Muslim American Society (MAS), a Muslim Brotherhood affiliate.

The ISBCC sponsored a Mosque across the Charles in Cambridge. Among its attendees were the Tsarneav brothers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhor the perpetrators of theBoston Marathon Bombing.   Another  was Aafia Siddiqui  aka ‘Lady Al Qaeda ‘ a convicted terrorist serving a term of 86 years for being an al Qaeda courier and financier. She was  captured by US troops in Afghanistan in an attempt to kill them.  She was a Pakistani scientist and distinguished graduate of both Brandeis and MIT.   Another ISBCC attendee was an American Muslim pharmacist Tarek Mehanna of Sudbury, Massachusetts who was convicted in 2012 for providing material support for Al Qaeda and is now serving a 17.5 year term. He was involved in planning a Nairobi style mall attack in the US .  Another ISBCC attendee and colleague of deceased Tamerlan Tsarneav, was Ibragrim Todaschev. Todaschev was  killed by an FBI agent and Massachusetts state troopers in his Orlando, Florida  home in May 2013. He confessed to perpetrating, along with the late Tamerlan Tsarneav, a ritualistic murder of three men in suburban Waltham, Massachusetts on 9/11//11; two of them were fellow Jews.

Now while Massachusetts Governor Patrick warmly welcomed the ISBCC Mosque opening in 2009, their current Imam, Suhaib Webb, an American convert and former Oklahoma convicted felon, was disinvited from the ecumenical service at Holy Cross Cathedral in Boston the Friday following the Marathon Bombing on April 15, 2013. A substitute Imam not affiliated with the ISBCC and the Muslim Brotherhood replaced Sheik Webb at the ecumenical service.

The ISBCC has had some very problematic trustees, one of whom will appear at the ICM in a presentation  on November  3, 2013 in an Abrahamic  Religions event,“God’s Books”Jamal Badawi.

ISBCC trustee Abdulrahman Alamoudi is serving a 23 year sentence in a Federal prison convicted of being in a murder plot against the Saudi King and laundering funds for Al Qaeda. Another trustee is extremist Muslim Brotherhood Egyptian ‘spiritual leader’ Yusuf al Qaradawi. He was caught on video extolling anti-Semitic hatred during a Cairo Tahrir Square rally in February 2011 after returning from exile in Qatar. Al Qaradawi was famously quoted as saying:

“Conquest through Da’wah [proselytizing] that is what we hope for. We will conquer Europe, we will conquer America! Not through sword but through Da’wah.”

Jamal Badawi of Canada, a former trustee of the ISBCC, was named as a  un-indicted co-conspirator in the 2007- 2008  Holy Land Foundation terrorism trial in Dallas, Texas over the funneling of upwards of $35 million to Hamas, which is the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Badawi  has been an enduring trustee of the Islamic Society of North America  and CAIR. He was an attendee at the 1991 Philadelphia  Summit of the American  wing  of the Muslim Brotherhood  that  created  a master plan for subversion of America  and spawned  the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Badawi has some peculiar beliefs  including  wife beating and execution of apostates- more on that subject later.  Badawi and fellow MB operative, Nihad Awad, Executive director of CAIR will be present for the”God’s Books “ program at the ICM on November 3, 2013. You might consider returning to ask them some pointed questions during the Q+A.

Some things to know about the ICM

As you planning to take busloads of your congregants to visit the ICM here are some things you should know about its leader Imam Bahloul, Shariah versus Jewish Halacha and what the Rambam Maimonides had to say about  Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.

Imam Bahloul is a distinguished graduate who holds a Masters in Da’wah – the call to Islam- from the 1,000 year old Sunni al Azhar University in Cairo. He is  a specialist in reaching out to unbelievers like you and your congregation endeavoring to  convey  a version of Islamic doctrine representing it as a religion of peace.

Given the turmoil in the Middle East doesn’t appear  to be much evidence of peace or tolerance towards non-Muslims.  Two things about the ICM and Imam Bahloul that you ought to know.  During the controversy over the building of the ICM, we found with the assistance of Steve Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism  screen shots on the Facebook pages of a board member of the ICM, Mosaad Rawash. They  contained  tributes to leaders of Hamas, the late blind Sheik Yassin and Dr. Rantisi, both assassinated by the IDF.  Further, when we sent Imam Bahloul and the ICM board in February 2010, a Freedom Pledge abjuring Shariah death fatwas for apostates, former Muslims, he refused to acknowledge it.  When approached by a local group in Murfreesboro in the fall of 2010 to consider a similar pledge  regarding Sharia Islamic law  concerning apostasy, treatment of women and gays he once again refused an opportunity to sign it.

Now, Imam Bahloul has every right to practice his faith with his members  of the ICM under the Freedom of Worship provisions of the First Amendment.  When Ms. Deborah Lauter, director of Civil Rights of the Anti-Defamation League was asked about the ICM board member’s support for Hamas, she said it was “irrelevant”.  What was important in her view was the ICM freedom of worship and ability under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized  Persons Act of 2000 to build a mosque wherever they wanted. The ADL backed that up by filing an Amicus Brief in the Murfreesboro Chancery Court proceedings on behalf of its Interfaith Committee on Mosques.

What’s the difference between Sharia and Halacha?

Before we go further, Shariah is not the equivalent of Halacha.  It’s not. It is a total system of law controlling every aspect of Muslim life.

Rabbi Jon Hausman of Congregation Ahavath Torah in Stoughton, Massachusetts is qualified to distinguish between the two. In addition to his Orthodox ordination, he also undertook study in Arabic and Qur’an doctrine at the American University in Cairo. He reads and speaks Arabic fluently in addition to English and Hebrew. He wrote an article for our publication, the New English Review,Halacha, Sharia and the Religious Acceptance of Constitutional Governance.  Note what Rabbi Hausman said:

In theory, Sharia jurisprudence actually intended to be applicable to Muslims only. Christians [Jews] and other non-Muslims were supposed to be exempt from the provisions of the law; a provision that is not and has never been universally followed. Indigenous Christian and Jewish populations of the Middle East whose communities pre-dated the advent of Islam by centuries later were and are subjected to jizya and other punitive taxes and dissociative treatment. This is a result of their direct or indirect refusal to submit to  Islam according the Qur’an and Hadith as applied   today. Because in Islam, Religion is State and State is Religion.  Islam is political, and is determined to conquer.

Is that the hidden agenda of ICM Imam Bahloul and his board despite their Abrahamic Faith narrative?

What did  Maimonides  warn Jews  about the Prophet Mohammed and Islam?

I’m sure  during your  rabbinic training  you read the  commentaries of Maimonides. Perhaps you may be acquainted  with his Epistle to fellow Jews in Yemen written  in 1172 C.E. to Jacob ben Netan’el al-Fayyemi, who headed the Jewish community in Yemen:

“After him arose the Madman [ha-meshugga] who emulated his precursor since he paved the way for him. But he added the further objective of procuring rule and submission, and he invented his well known religion.”

Then there is this additional comment from the  Maimonides’  Iggeret Teiman:

“Remember, my co-religionists, that on account of the vast number of our sins, G-d has hurled us in the midst of this people, the Arabs, who have persecuted us severely, and passed baneful and discriminatory legislation against us [...] Never did a nation molest, degrade, debase and hate us as much as they. Therefore when David, of blessed memory, inspired by the holy spirit, envisaged the future tribulations of Israel, he bewailed and lamented their lot only in the Kingdom of Ishmael, and prayed in their behalf, for their deliverance, as is implied in the verse, “Woe is me that I sojourn with Meschech that I dwell beside the tents of Kedar.” (Psalms 120:5).

Maimonides fled his native Cordoba during the era of the fanatic Berber Almohads who stormed across the Straits of Gibraltar to take over Al Andaluz in Muslim occupied Spain. The Almohads perpetrated some of the more heinous pogroms of Spanish Jewry. Thus, the myth of ” la convivencia ” that  medievalists  on the faculties of the Jewish Theological Seminary and your own Hebrew Union  Seminary have perpetrated is a dangerous historical delusion. After all the Alhambra predated the Almohad occupation of Spain. Maimonides had no such delusions. Neither should you.

Remember the Firebombing of your rabbinic colleague in Nashville?

A final note about the  problematic Jewish  Muslim community relations  in Nashville.   A homegrown terrorists that impacted Tennessee was the unfortunate case of Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, formerly Melvin Bledsoe. Bledsoe was a Muslim convert from Memphis who killed an Army recruiter Pvt. Andy Long  in June 2009 at a Little Rock, Arkansas Mall as payback for fighting his brothers in the Muslim Ummah in Iraq and Afghanistan. Muhammad was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in July 2011. You may recall that Bledsoe/Muhammad had firebombed the home of an Orthodox member of the Nashville rabbinate, Rabbi Saul Strosberg of Sherith Israel in an attempt to kill Jews.

Then there was the incident captured on video at Vanderbilt U in a Q+A session with  Dr. Ahwad Binhazim , part time Muslim chaplain who responded to a question about treatment of gays under Shariah:

Question:  Under Islamic law is it punishable by death if you are a homosexual?”
Binhazim said, “Yes. It is punishable by death.”

We  hope this letter might  equip you for your announced trip with your congregants  to the ICM this Sunday.

 

Jerry Gordon

Senior Editor

New English Review

And author of The West Speaks