Monday, April 30, 2012

Do We Pray To The Same G-d?

By Findalis
Monkey in the Middle

It is being screamed at us from pulpits in Churches and Synagogues that Judaism, Christianity and Islam all worship the same G-d.  But do we really?
How many times have you heard it said "we all pray to the same god?" These days we are hearing this from a growing number of people. To some degree one can excuse the average person from espousing such a viewpoint, as most people have not read the Bible and are not well schooled in matters of theology or eschatology.

However, what's troubling is that in recent years a growing number of religious leaders are promoting this view. Such a statement strongly suggests the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who Christians and Jews believe in, is the same as Allah, who Muslims believe in. One doesn't have to look very far to discover why this view is problematic.

The "Shahada," which is the statement of faith for the followers of Allah, reads, "there is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet." This statement clearly differentiates Allah from any other "god."

For Christians and Jews no city is more holy than Jerusalem. Mohammed showed reverence for Jerusalem when he was trying to convert the Banu Qurayza Jews to follow Allah. Yet after failing in his conversion effort, he turned his back toward Jerusalem, and never again faced it when praying. Eventually, after breaking a treaty with them to which he was party, he massacred approximately 900 of them in 627 AD.

The Quran, which is the holy book of Allah's followers, says "the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam." As this makes it clear a believer in Allah must follow Islam, one might ask if other religions are tolerated. According to the Quran, "if anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted…" So much for Islam's tolerance of other religions.

The Quran also is highly critical of Christians and Jews. Some quotes include: "Jews and Christians are evil-livers,” "Evil is the handwork of rabbis and priests,” "Don't take Jews or Christians for friends. If you do Allah will consider you to be one of them."

Fundamental values for Christians and Jews include forgiveness, in addition to prohibitions against lying, adultery, and murder. Fundamental values for Allah's followers sanction judgment (fatwa,) lying (taqiyya,) men having multiple wives, and murder/suicide (martyrdom.)

While anyone is free to leave Christianity or Judaism, if a Muslim leaves the faith, or criticizes Allah, a fatwa is issued for their execution.

These distinctions make it clear Allah is a separate deity, with fundamentally different values, and has nothing in common with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Moreover, Allah has disdain for any religion other than Islam, and is highly critical of Christians and Jews.

In spite of these clear distinctions, prominent Christian pastors of American mega churches such as Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California, and Bill Hybals of Willow Creek Church in Illinois, would have you believe we all pray to the same god.

In fact, this growing sentiment has become the cornerstone of a movement called the "Emergent Church." The movement is promoting common bonds and shared values between Christians, Jews and Muslims. The buzz term for the movement is "Chrislam." Christian Pastors, Jewish rabbis and Muslim imams are breaking bread and worshiping together in an effort to bring naive believers under the "one G-d" umbrella.

As most people are not familiar with the theology and eschatology of Christianity, Judaism or Islam, one might excuse their ignorance. However, all pastors and rabbis are required to attend theological institutions where the Bible is taught. Thus, they should be well versed in its fundamental values, theology and eschatology.

They should also understand that Judaism and Christianity have much more in common with each other than either have with Islam. For example, the Hebrew and Christian Bibles are often published in the same book. Yet have you ever seen the Quran and either Bible under one cover?

Religious leaders have a responsibility to uphold the fundamental tenants of the faith they practice. Yet we have leaders such as Rick Warren and Bill Hybals attempting to dilute these very principles; this plays directly into the hands of those who wish to promote the destruction of the United States, and other Western countries.

This is precisely what Muslims are hoping for, because Islam's goal is world dominance. Europe is already being taken over. It seems if leaders such as Warren and Hybals have their way, the day will not be far off when Christians and Jews will look around and wonder where their religious freedom went. They'll also wonder why they see only mosques where churches and synagogues once were.

When this happens, there will only be one god left to pray to, and it will not be the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Exodus 20:2
I am the LORD thy G-d, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. אָנֹכִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִיךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים:  לֹא-יִהְיֶה לְךָ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים, עַל-פָּנָי.
A very clear statement.  Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.  By his very nature, Allah is a god before and not the Most Holy.  A direct contradiction of Exodus.  A direct contradiction of G-d's word.

Islam is not the same as Judaism, as Christianity.  It is very different and should not be considered the same or part of the Judeo-Christian tradition.  If you are in a church, a synagogue that preaches this doctrine, ask yourself this:
Is this true to my faith, my beliefs, the Bible, Talmud, etc...
If not, run do not walk out the door and find yourself a church, a synagogue that does not teach this lie.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Inner Workings Of An Idiot's Mind

By Findalis

Al Kill the Jew Sharpton, host of MSNBC’s Politics Nation, has been at the forefront of the Trayvon Martin debacle, the Twana Brawley hoax, the Crown Heights Riot, and the Freddie's Fashion Mart fire has been the premier interviewer and commentator at MSNBC.  Recently he interviewed one of the two US Navy pilots that ejected before their F-18 jet crashed into an apartment building in Virginia.  This is the transcript of that interview.
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – One of the two pilots of the Navy F-18 jet that crashed into a Virginia apartment building on Friday appeared on MSNBC’s Politics Nation with host Al Sharpton. The pilots were able to eject from the aircraft before it crashed into the apartment complex, engulfing several buildings in flames. During his interview the pilot expressed heartfelt remorse about the crash. Following is a transcript of the show. 

AL SHARPTON:  I appreciate you have accepted our gracious inquest in your time of great need.

BARTHOLOMEW:  I’m sorry?

AL SHARPTON:  Now, I must tell my audience that you have asked me to call you Bart-a ?

BARTHOLOMEW:  Bartholomew

AL SHARPTON:  Can you clarify for my audience why you’re not using your real name? Is this not America?

BARTHOLOMEW:  I agreed to the interview on the condition that my identity remain anonymous.

AL SHARPTON:  What does being an Adonis have to do with crashing your plane into an innocent apartment building?


AL SHARPTON:  Mr. Bartha?

BARTHOLOMEW:  Bartholomew

AL SHARPTON:  How ’bout I just call you Bert?


AL SHARPTON:  Now, Bert, I want you to be honest because you’re on live TV and I want to ask you, were you texting on your cellphone when you crashed the plane?

BARTHOLOMEW:  No, of course not.

AL SHARPTON:  No defense, but when Al Sharpton investigates a story the hard questions are gonna be heard.

BARTHOLOMEW:  I understand. No uh, defense taken.

AL SHARPTON:  Do you admit that what could be conscrewed as a careless act of self imposition may have impacted innumerable lives to be lost, including the lives of minorities?

BARTHOLOMEW:  Uh, I am very aware that crashing the plane could have been catastrophic.

AL SHARPTON:  Not only claustrophobic, but could it have the potential of killing live human beings and even some African Americans?
BARTHOLOMEW:  Fortunately at this time there are not any reports of severe injuries or deaths. I pray it stays that way.

AL SHARPTON:  At this time there are no deaths, you say.


AL SHARPTON:  What about people who may have died in an advertent manner due to your improprieties?

BARTHOLOMEW:  I don’t understand.

AL SHARPTON:  Let’s say, hypothenically, that an elderly woman of color was looking out her window when your plane crashed across the street from her.


AL SHARPTON:  And let’s say, and again, this is just a hypothentical, what if that woman had a heart attack because she was so afraid?

BARTHOLOMEW:  Well, that would be a tragedy.

AL SHARPTON:  Not just a tragedy, but would it not also be a travesty of heinous proportions about the escalator of racism in the United States?

BARTHOLOMEW:  I’m not sure I see …

AL SHARPTON:  Would you not then anticipate a resurrected leader of the people to demonstrate against the remergence of Jim Crow?

BARTHOLOMEW:  Sir, I don’t …

AL SHARPTON:  Because I will march!


AL SHARPTON:  Did you hear that President Obama invited me to the White House for Easter?

BARTHOLOMEW:  Congratulations, sir.

AL SHARPTON:  Thank you. Now, I was told that you and the other pilot ejaculated before your plane crashed and you dumped your load all over the neighborhood.

BARTHOLOMEW:  Uh, we dumped our fuel and ejected from the cockpit before the crash.

AL SHARPTON:  So what do you plan to do about that African American woman you may or may not have killed.

BARTHOLOMEW:  You’ve kind of lost me…

AL SHARPTON:  What do you have to say to her family?

BARTHOLOMEW:  Uh, I don’t know.

AL SHARPTON:  Don Imus apologized to me.


AL SHARPTON:  Lots of white men apologize to me. Would you be willing to apologize to me on behalf of African Americans?

BARTHOLOMEW:  Apologize on their behalf?

AL SHARPTON:  I accept your apology. Now it’s time for me to pack for my trip to the White House where I’ll be spending Easter at the bequest of the Commander of Chiefs, President Obama.
This pilot was a HERO for what he and his partner did.  Yet all Al Kill the Jew Sharpton could do is try to pin an imaginary death of a Black woman to make this HERO look like a racist.

The true racists are those idiots who watch this poor excuse for a human being and this poor excuse of an human being.

One day people will turn on Al Sharpton and his ilk.  G-d help him then.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

64 + 3500 And Counting

By Findalis

64 years ago today David Ben-Gurion watch the last of the British Garrison leave the Palestinian Mandate and that evening at the Tel Aviv Museum he spoke the following words:

ERETZ-ISRAEL [(Hebrew) - the Land of Israel, Palestine] was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books.

After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people kept faith with it throughout their Dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom.

Impelled by this historic and traditional attachment, Jews strove in every successive generation to re-establish themselves in their ancient homeland. In recent decades they returned in their masses. Pioneers, ma'pilim [(Hebrew) - immigrants coming to Eretz-Israel in defiance of restrictive legislation] and defenders, they made deserts bloom, revived the Hebrew language, built villages and towns, and created a thriving community controlling its own economy and culture, loving peace but knowing how to defend itself, bringing the blessings of progress to all the country's inhabitants, and aspiring towards independent nationhood.

In the year 5657 (1897), at the summons of the spiritual father of the Jewish State, Theodore Herzl, the First Zionist Congress convened and proclaimed the right of the Jewish people to national rebirth in its own country.

This right was recognized in the Balfour Declaration of the 2nd November, 1917, and re-affirmed in the Mandate of the League of Nations which, in particular, gave international sanction to the historic connection between the Jewish people and Eretz-Israel and to the right of the Jewish people to rebuild its National Home.

The catastrophe which recently befell the Jewish people - the massacre of millions of Jews in Europe - was another clear demonstration of the urgency of solving the problem of its homelessness by re-establishing in Eretz-Israel the Jewish State, which would open the gates of the homeland wide to every Jew and confer upon the Jewish people the status of a fully privileged member of the comity of nations.

Survivors of the Nazi holocaust in Europe, as well as Jews from other parts of the world, continued to migrate to Eretz-Israel, undaunted by difficulties, restrictions and dangers, and never ceased to assert their right to a life of dignity, freedom and honest toil in their national homeland.

In the Second World War, the Jewish community of this country contributed its full share to the struggle of the freedom- and peace-loving nations against the forces of Nazi wickedness and, by the blood of its soldiers and its war effort, gained the right to be reckoned among the peoples who founded the United Nations.

On the 29th November, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish State in Eretz-Israel; the General Assembly required the inhabitants of Eretz-Israel to take such steps as were necessary on their part for the implementation of that resolution. This recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their State is irrevocable.

This right is the natural right of the Jewish people to be masters of their own fate, like all other nations, in their own sovereign State.


WE DECLARE that, with effect from the moment of the termination of the Mandate being tonight, the eve of Sabbath, the 6th Iyar, 5708 (15th May, 1948), until the establishment of the elected, regular authorities of the State in accordance with the Constitution which shall be adopted by the Elected Constituent Assembly not later than the 1st October 1948, the People's Council shall act as a Provisional Council of State, and its executive organ, the People's Administration, shall be the Provisional Government of the Jewish State, to be called "Israel".

THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

THE STATE OF ISRAEL is prepared to cooperate with the agencies and representatives of the United Nations in implementing the resolution of the General Assembly of the 29th November, 1947, and will take steps to bring about the economic union of the whole of Eretz-Israel.

WE APPEAL to the United Nations to assist the Jewish people in the building-up of its State and to receive the State of Israel into the comity of nations.

WE APPEAL - in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months - to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.

WE EXTEND our hand to all neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighborliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.

WE APPEAL to the Jewish people throughout the Diaspora to rally round the Jews of Eretz-Israel in the tasks of immigration and upbuilding and to stand by them in the great struggle for the realization of the age-old dream - the redemption of Israel.

11 minutes later the following telegram was sent to Israel by the United States:
This Government has been informed that a Jewish state has been proclaimed in Palestine, and recognition has been requested by the provisional government thereof.

The United States recognizes the provisional government as the de facto authority of the State of Israel.


Harry S. Truman

The United States was the first nation to recognize the State of Israel.  It was followed by by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's Iran, Guatemala, Iceland, Nicaragua, Romania, and Uruguay.  And the armies of Egypt, Trans-Jordan, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Lebanon, and Syria invaded Israel.  Israel was given only 10 days before there would be a massacre of every man, woman, child.  But A MIRACLE OCCURRED THERE!  They won their Independence with no weapons, no army, no navy, and no air force.  The "experts" said that the nation will not last, could not last.  But it has been 64 years.

Israel is still here!


Israel 64 + 3500 years and counting!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hatchet Job On Israel By 60 Minutes

By Findalis of Monkey in the Middle


From Stand With Us
On Sunday, April 22, CBS` "60 Minutes" ran a shockingly biased episode, "Christians of the Holy Land" by Bob Simon. Even the always diplomatic Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren called the show a "hatchet job" on Israel.  You can watch the program here.

Ambassador Oren was right. Simon only paid lip service to the violent persecution and flight of ancient Christian communities throughout the region which is the real historical tragedy unfolding in the Middle East. Instead, incomprehensibly, he chose to bash Israel, the only Middle Eastern country that protects Christians. The program scapegoated and demonized Israel, distorting reality to blame Israel`s security measures -- the fence and checkpoints -- for the suffering of Palestinian Christians. Simon interviewed biased and sometimes anti-Semitic sources, treating them as legitimate.  He asked leading questions.  He dismissed the real reasons for the plight and flight of Palestinian Christians: persecution by Palestinian Islamists and the Palestinian Authority. His shoddy, irresponsible research produced propaganda, not journalism. This dangerous misinformation stokes anti-Israel prejudice and bigotry, shifting public attention away from the forces that are imperiling the survival of Christian communities in the Palestinian Authority and throughout the region.

Write to CBS executives.  Demand that CBS offer an apology, and give equal time to correct the misinformation and anti-Semitic innuendos.


"60 Minutes"
Jeffrey Fager - Chairman of CBS News, Executive Producer of 60 Minutes
524 West 57th Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10019-2930
Phone: 212.975.2006

Bill Owens - Executive Editor of "60 Minutes"
Phone: 212.975.7685

CBS News

524 W. 57th Street
New York, New York 10019

Feedback E-mail:
Phone: (212) 975-3247 (Leave a message at the tone.)


Dear _______,

We were shocked by the shoddy journalism in your April 22nd "60 Minutes" piece, "Christians of the Holy Land." We urge you to run a corrective piece and publicly apologize for the piece`s irresponsible inaccuracies, misrepresentations, and bias. Bob Simon either unwittingly or intentionally promoted hostility toward Israel and anti-Semitic views. In a pattern that he has repeated in the past, Simon interviewed biased sources and treated them as legitimate. He asked leading questions. More disturbing, he ignored and effectively belittled the real threats to beleaguered Christians, which come from rising Islamist persecution throughout the region and in Gaza and the West Bank. Instead, he focused on the one country in the Middle East that firmly protects the rights of Christians. If allowed to stand uncorrected, this program will have misinformed the public and irreparably damaged the reputation of "60 Minutes," which will no longer be considered a reliable news source.

Your Name


Despite the program`s claims, Israel is the only country in the Middle East where Christians` rights are fully protected and where the Christian population has grown instead of declined in the last 64 years.
  • Israel`s Christian population grew from 34,000 in 1948 to 154,000 in 2012.
  • Israel has fostered a positive environment for Christians, most evidenced by official recognition of 10 Christian denominations and by Israel`s distribution of free Christmas trees every year at Christmas time.
Christians have been emigrating from the Holy Land in a two-century-long trend, not because of Israel and the security policies -- the barrier and checkpoints -- it was forced to implement in just the last 10 years.
  • Major emigration occurred in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In some cases, emigrant Christian Palestinian communities grew larger than their communities of origin in the Holy Land.
  • During Jordanian control (1948-1967), Jerusalem`s Christian population dropped from 29,000 in 1944 to 11,000 in 1961. In Bethlehem, 75 percent of the population was Christian in 1947; in 1967, the percentage had dropped to 46 percent.
The program interviewed one businessman only to deny the real problem facing Christians: rising hostility and persecution by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Palestinian Islamist groups. Why didn`t the program mention any of the following?
  • The PA declared Islam its official religion, committed to Sharia law, and does not offer civil protection to other religions.  A few weeks ago, the PA declared that the First Baptist Church of Bethlehem is illegitimate.
  • Christians in the West Bank have been victims of repeated persecution, violence, and rape. In 2005, Palestinian Christians, including Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, custodian of the Holy Land, documented 93 incidents of abuse and violence by the "Islamic fundamentalist Mafia" against Christians.
  • Christians face intimidation, brutality, theft of their property and boycotts of their businesses.
  • The PA Ministry of Information reported in 1997 that "any Muslim who [converts to Christianity] or declares becoming an unbeliever is committing a major sin punishable by capital punishment."
  • Christian history is denied by Palestinian Muslims, including Yassir Arafat`s and the recently retired Mufti of Jerusalem who claim that the Jewish Temple never existed in Jerusalem.
  • The Christian population in Gaza has plummeted from 2,500 to under 1,000 because of persecution by Hamas.
Simon implied that Israel`s policies and the fence are harming the West Bank`s economy.
  • In fact, the terrorist war known as the Second Intifada, not Israel, is what harmed the West Bank`s economy.
  • As the PA has tried to control terrorist groups, Israel has been able to relax its counter-terrorism measures, bringing the PA extraordinary economic growth of 8 percent per year in the last three years.
Simon interviewed only biased sources -- and did not bother to investigate whether many Christians were afraid to speak out of fear of endangering themselves and their families.
  • Simon did not interview clergy and ordinary Christians who might have had the courage to speak up, such as Rev. Steve Khourani of the First Baptist Church of Bethlehem; Samir Qumsiyeh of Bethlehem, director of the Catholic radio Station; or the Christian leaders who signed the 2005 document detailing the PA`s persecution of Christians.
Simon asked leading questions to provoke answers that fit his political agenda.
  • Simon asked the woman who lived near the security barrier, "How can you live like this?" The barrier may be unpleasant, but his very question suggested it is unjustifiable and intolerable, and he got the answer he wanted.
  • When the woman said she wouldn`t move but would stay and "fight," he never asked what she meant by "fight" or why she didn`t instead say she wanted to seek peaceful coexistence so the barrier could be removed. Instead, he stoked the sense that the barrier was intolerable and her reaction understandable -- even though her anger betrayed why the barrier is necessary.
Simon interviewed and promoted anti-Semitic sources.
  • Mitri Raheb, the main pastor he interviewed, is well known for promoting replacement theology which Vatican II condemned as a prime source of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust.
  • Raheb delegitimizes Israel and the right of the Jewish state to exist.
  • Simon uncritically promoted the Kairos Document though it has been exposed as using high-minded rhetoric to camouflage the authors` sinister motives -- delegitimization of Israel, opposition to the existence of the Jewish state, and calls for boycott and divestment from Israel.
Simon engaged in anti-Semitic innuendos.
  • Simon claimed that Israel treats Christians well and wants to promote good Christian-Jewish relations because of the money it gets from Christian tourism.
  • In fact, Israel protects Christians, not for tourism dollars -- an anti-Semitic "Shylock" innuendo -- but because those are Israel`s values.

FACT SHEET -- Read more about the persecution of Christians by the Palestinian Authority here.
This is just one part of a greater whole to demonize Israel and the Jewish people.  Both Jeffrey Fager and Bill Owens should change their names to Joseph Goebbels.  For they are just continuing the work that he started.

Call, Write, Boycott the network.  If this is allowed to continue on, the next step will be worse.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sharia Workshop at Loyola Marymount University

Gary Fouse


L-R in front: Tariq Ramadan, Sayyid Mustafa al Qazwini, Amir Hussain at podium, Muzammil Siddiqi, unidentified

On April 18, I attended a day-long Shariah workshop at Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles), which was hosted by the Shura Council of Southern California. The event consisted of a series of panels conducted by several Islamic leaders. In addition, there were attorneys, Christian and Jewish clerics who spoke. Tariq Ramadan, who spoke the previous evening in Anaheim, was also there and was also called upon for a short impromptu speech. The principal host was imam Muzammil Siddiqi, of the Islamic Center of Southern California. (I have already posted aspects of that day which I felt deserved their own separate posting.) The themes of the day were to present Sharia to non-Muslims, demonstrate that it is in conformance with our laws,  show the relationship between religion and American law, and complain about Islamophobia. Throughout the day, there were many references to the Republican Party, as well as specific Republican figures.

After welcoming remarks from Siddiqi, in which he spoke about "myths" surrounding Sharia and Islamophobia",  Jamal Badawi, executive board member of the Fiqh Council spoke on "The essence of Sharia". Badawi is another one of those Muslim leaders who was sent the Freedom Pledge letter  by Former Muslims United asking them to sign a pledge that Muslim apostates in the US not be harmed. (He never signed it or responded.) He spoke from an outline that explained Sharia, Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), sources of Sharia, its objectives (protect life, property, mind, family, wealth and faith), and misconceptions about Sharia, specifically its perceived harshness.

Next followed a panel discussion moderated by Naeem Baig, executive director of the Council for Social Justice, Islamic Circle of North America. The panelists were   Ameena Qazi, Deputy Executive Director of CAIR in Los Angeles, who spoke on the origin of anti-Sharia bills and its affect on America, Badawi, and UC Berkeley professor Hatem Bazian, who spoke about Sharia hysteria and its impact on democracy (his words, not mine).

Qazi spoke about the two dozen or so states that have attempted to pass anti-Sharia legislation into their state laws and called it "paranoia'. She referred to "the right-wing", conservative Republicans and Christian evangelicals. She specifically mentioned Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Frank Gaffney, ACT for America, and attorney David Yerushalmi (who is involved in many of the state efforts to preclude any laws that would conflict with US law and the Constitution).

Bazian is a two-trick pony. One pony is named Israel, and the other is named Islamophobia. He tried to make a connection between Islamophobia and political campaigns-specifically Republican campaigns. He brought up the old story about Willie Horton, who was supposedly discovered by George Herbert Walker Bush's campaign adviser Lee Atwater. (Horton was actually discovered by the Democrats in the primary and used against Michael Dukakis before the Republicans ran the ad.) Continuing, Bazian brought up the film, "Obsession", which he stated was distributed in the battleground state of Ohio during the 2008 campaign of John McCain. He attributed the 2010 Republican electoral success, in part, to Islamophobia. He talked about how the Republican party has trouble "appealing to people of color" and how they "represent one segment of the population".  He also stated that "promoting racism is the norm, not the exception" and accused the Tea Party of attacking Muslims. And not to be completely partisan, he called out Harry Reid, who he said spoke out against the Ground Zero mosque in order to win re-election.

The next panel was on the Constitution and religion featuring Heather Weaver, staff attorney, ACLU-DC, Marcy Strauss, Professor, Loyola University Law School, Steve Rohde, ACLU-So. Calif President, and Zulfiqar Ali Shah, Executive Director of the Fiqh Council. The moderator was civil rights attorney Reem Salahi.

Rohde spoke about freedom of religion, separation of church and state from a historical point of view. Strauss spoke about the Establishment Clause. Weaver talked about "increased attacks on Muslims", profiling, being denied access to government buildings because of their dress, and all that stuff. She showed a video of Oklahoma politician Rex Duncan (Republican, of course) defending the effort to keep Sharia out of Oklahoma state law (to guffaws from the audience). During the Q and A, Rohde sounded off against Clarence Thomas, quoting Thomas as claiming that each state had the right to establish its own state religion. He also made the statement that "fascism comes wrapped in a flag and a cross." Here again, we heard more references to the "religious right", the Republican party, and to the "danger of Christianity as a state religion".

Shah's topic was the influence of Islam on the founding fathers. Here we heard about John Locke, the British thinker who influenced the thinking of the founding fathers, such as Jefferson and his (Locke's) interest in Islam. It was during the Q and A, that I asked Shah about his relationship with Kind Hearts, an Islamic charity shut down by the FBI in 2006 for raising money for Hamas. In his answer, he made the statement,
"I condemn Hamas."

The moderator (Salahi) permitted two questions from the audience.

The next panel was on religious law in Abrahamaic faiths and featured as panelists Rabbi Elliot Dorff, who spoke on Jewish law in American life, Pastor Anna Olson, who spoke on Christian law in American history and Dr Siddiqi, who spoke on Islamic law and Muslims in America.The moderator was Peter Laarman, Executive Director of Progressive Christians Uniting. I would guess that the aim of this session was to draw a parallel between Canon Law, Jewish Halakhah law, and Shariah law.  In her presentation, Olson dragged on and on to the point that she lost her audience. I noticed two people in audience who had fallen asleep including Sherman Jackson, who was on the next panel.

Siddiqi, in his talk, tried to explain Sharia. He described it as comprehensive and that it "covers everything". He brought up the topic of how Muslims living in non-Muslim lands should live. According to Sidiiqi 1/3 of the world's Muslims live in non-Islamic countries. He pointed out that in the past, Muslims were told not to immigrate to non-Muslim lands since "they could not fulfill their Islamic duties". That debate is now over, according to Siddiqi, since so many Muslims have immigrated.

Siddiqi reiterated that Muslims are not trying to impose Sharia on non-Muslims. They are instructed to obey the laws where they live (as long as it doesn't conflict with their duty to God).

Here are some other notes I jotted down.

Non-Muslims in Muslim lands have full liberty.
Honor-killing is absolutely forbidden.
Certain things permitted in Islam are not allowed by US law. (For example, he cannot perform a marriage without a license and he cannot divorce a couple.)

During the break, I approached Siddiqi and asked him why he had not signed the Freedom Pledge letter sent to him by Former Muslims United. That conversation is repeated in this link.

Then, after some forgettable remarks by LMU President David Burcham, the final afternoon panel began, moderated by Amir Hussain, professor of theological studies at LMU. The theme was the role of religion and religious law in the public square. The panel consisted of Imam Sayyid Mustafa al-Qazwini, an Iranian-born Shi'ite cleric (Shura Council), Rabbi Reuven Firestone,  professor of medieval Judaism and Islam at Hebrew Union College, Dr Maher Hathout, Muslim Public Affairs Council, Dr. Sherman Jackson also known as Abdal Hakim Jackson, from the King Faisal Chair in Islamic Thought and Culture, University of Southern California, and once again, Marcy Strauss.

The only notable comments I wrote down were when Qazwini stated that Sharia fails under dictatorships, but is successful in a democracy (Which democracy would he give as an example?), and when Firestone stated that during the "Golden Age" in Spain, Jews were second-class citizens, but were treated better (by Muslims) than by Christians.

It was during this Q and A, that the audience members were finally able to get in some questions.

When called upon, I introduced myself, and  my question went like this:

"We have heard a lot of talk today about hate and intolerance, but there is an 800 pound gorilla in the back of the room, and its name is hate and intolerance. It is not the hate and intolerance that may or not be directed to you, but the hate and intolerance that is being carried out by Muslims against religious minorities in Muslim countries-people being killed and their places of worship destroyed-from the Coptic Christians in Egypt, to the Christians in Pakistan, the Jews in Yemen, the Baha'i in Iran, the Christians in Iraq and the Christians and animists in Sudan. In addition, Jews in Europe are now experiencing the worst anti-Semitism since the 1930s. It has gotten to the point where they cannot walk the streets wearing Jewish garb lest they be insulted, spat upon or assaulted. Yes, some of the perpetrators are neo-Nazis and skinheads, but the primary perpetrators are young, male Muslim immigrants.  'I am not attributing that to Muslims in America', I said. 'I don't hate Muslims and I don't know anyone in this room who does, but why do you never speak out against that hate and intolerance?"

Qazwini was the first to respond. He said there were two problems. First of all, most of these countries are not free countries, and for the past 8 decades, the Western superpowers, including the US, have supported these regimes. "Don't blame Islam", he said. "Don't blame it on Muslims."

Qazwini  also said that he has been active on the UC Irvine campus for 17 years and every Friday, he speaks out against this intolerance.

Jackson stated that it was a "false criteria". He also said, "Just because a problem persists, doesn't mean that Muslims are not speaking out. "Nobody is more concerned or affected by extremist interpretations than Muslims".

Hathout stated that he had just been involved in a Muslim conference on religious minorities (in Muslim countries). He also stated that "oppression of the majority will lead to oppression of the minority."

It was here that a lady told of her experience a year or so ago at UCLA when a speaker (Amir Abdel Malik Ali) led a Muslim Student Association Western regional audience in the pledge of allegiance-which turned out to be the Muslim Brotherhood pledge of allegiance.

It seemed as if only Hathout knew who Ali was. He described Ali as a fiery speaker with his own agenda.

Another audience member told of her involvement in February 2010 Yorba Linda protest against the speaking appearance of Amir Abdel Malik Ali and Siraj Wahhaj at a charity dinner held by the Islamic Center of North America. She told of the angry response she got from an organizer when community members tried to convince ICNA not to bring two questionable speakers into their community.

Since Ali had become the center of the debate, I raised my hand and was called upon by Qazwini. As I started to say, "I have engaged with Ali many times at UCI....", I was cut off by Hussain, who said, "We're not going to go there."

"He called on me," I replied.

Hussain then said, "I am exercising my prerogatives as moderator."

Once the event was over, I and some other non-Muslims stayed to exchange views and concerns with some of the Muslims-both speakers and audience members.

To sum up, I would say this: Shariah law was presented to us as the "path" to being a good Muslim. It contains rules governing behavior that revolve around treating others justly. Yet what was mostly left out was the part called hudud, which prescribes the punishments for transgressions. Adultery was mentioned, but stoning was not. We heard about the strict rules for conviction, if you will, the 4 witnesses, the confessions, the acts of mercy, the right of a murder victim's family to forgive the murderer. What nobody could or even tried to explain was why a woman would be stoned to death for adultery, or why an apostate would be subject to the death penalty.

That leads to the obvious question the reader would ask, "Why didn't you ask them?" Opportunity for questions was limited. In the morning, we were told that after each panel discussion, people could write down questions and send them up front. I was able to send two up front, but they were never read. Nobody else's was either. After the first two I sent up, I wrote out almost 10 more. Nobody collected them. After each morning discussion, we were told there was no time for questions. We were told that there would be time in the afternoon. I was told that myself by Shakeel Syed of the Shura Council when I complained about the lack of Q and A.

I missed the press conference, which took place during the final panel. Pity bcause I wanted to ask one of
the participants, Edina Lekovic, about her time as an editor with the UCLA Muslim Student newspaper al-Talib, which published an article in July 1999 praising Osama bin Laden.

This, of course, is part of the tactics. Set ground rules for Q and A. Call for written questions that they can screen. That, of course, cuts out follow-ups. Another tactic was demonstrated at the George Galloway event at UC Irvine a couple of years back. You came up to the microphone, asked your question then had to return to your seat before the question would be answered. Again, that cuts off follow-ups.

But it was well worth the time spent. I was able to meet Ramadan at the coffee table and ask him about his call for a moratorium on stoning. Others were able to make important points. This event was part of a nation-wide campaign to sell Sharia to the American public as a benign code of religious laws that threaten no one. Much of it is so, but there is still that part that has to be addressed (hudud). That is where they want to limit the debate. They know their talking points. They also know that their talking points will not hold up to  
real followups by knowledgeable questioners.

I assume that most, if not all, of the Muslims in the audience who came are decent people. One lady told me after the event that it is they who are most affected by extremism. I agree. My belief, however, is that the Muslim community in America is ill-served by its so-called leaders. As the reader will note from the links in this posts, many of the figures who spoke at this event have questionable histories.

These events are worth attending, but those going should insist on meaningful interchange and true Q and A.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Muzammil Siddiqi and the Freedom Pledge

Gary Fouse

Muzammil Siddiqi

"Letter? What letter?"

Last May, I posted an article on the Freedom Pledge, a letter initiated by Nonie Darwish, a Muslim apostate, who is the head of Former Muslims United. In 2009, this letter was sent to 100 Muslim leaders in the US asking them to sign a pledge that Muslim apostates in the US not be harmed

Yesterday, I attended a Shariah workshop at Loyola Marymount University hosted by the Shura Council of Southern California. The principle organizer was Muzammil  Siddiqi, head imam of the Islamic Center of Southern California and one of the recipients of the letter. As mentioned in the above post, Siddiqi neither signed the letter nor responded to it.

I will be posting later on the workshop as a whole, but this particular part of the event deserves its own posting.

During a break in the workshop, I approached Siddiqi and re-introduced myself. I asked him why he had not signed the letter or even responded to it. He acted as if he didn't know what I was talking about, so I explained the letter, who sent it, and the fact that two other leading figures present at the event had also received the letter (Jamal Badawi and Zulfiqar Ali Shah). Siddiqi did not seem to know who Nonie Darwish was. Finally, he told me that he had never received such a letter.

At that point, I asked him whether he believed that apostates should be put to death. His reply was that if someone wants to leave Islam, it's OK-let them go. I then asked what if in addition to leaving Islam, they proceeded to publicly criticize Islam, and I gave as examples, Darwish and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Although he didn't seem to recognize Ali's name (I had to give further details about her-being from Somalia and living in Holland), he then stated that this was different. As an example, he gave an Afghan who fought with the  Russians in Afghanistan. "That is treason", he said. As for apostasy alone, he said that "some (Muslims) say it should be" (punishable by death), but as for him, no.

Later, at the end of the event, Siddiqi came over to say goodbye. I told him that maybe I would get Darwish to send him another copy of the letter.

Of course, I can't resist the opportunity to point out again that Siddiqi last year received a community leader award from the Orange County Human Relations Commission under Rusty Kennedy, the prestigious "Rusty Award".

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tariq Ramadan Speaks in Orange County

Gary Fouse

                                                                                    Tariq Ramadan

Swiss-born Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan, grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al Banna, spoke Tuesday night at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Anaheim before a crowd of about 500 people, mostly Muslims. Ramadan, until recently, was banned from entering the US because of questionable associations with certain organizations. Last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lifted the ban. Ramadan is presently on a speaking tour in the US.

Ramadan's appearance was sponsored by the Shura Council of Southern California as part of a nation-wide campaign by them and the Islamic Circle of North America to educate Americans about shariah law. There was a crowd of about a dozen protesters outside the hotel with posters. (I didn't see them.) The defense of Sharia was part of the theme of Ramadan's speech, but the main part was about Muslims living in the West.

I should say at the outset, that Ramadan is an intellectual in every sense of the word. He is multi-lingual and articulate in English, His native languages are French and Arabic since he was born in Geneva. He spoke, of course, in English, almost entirely without notes.

There was an opening prayer in Arabic. One person who was present and knows Arabic  has supplied me with a translation:

"The opening prayer was the Exordium (Surah 1) which includes the lines, “Guide us in the straight path [Sharia] the path of those whom  You have favored, Not of those who have incurred Your wrath [meaning the Jews], Nor of those who have gone astray [meaning the Christians].”

Prior to Ramadan, a young man, probably a college student, opened the event and made reference to the protesters, urging the audience not to engage with them in any way. Then Muzammil Siddiqi, imam of the Southern California Islamic Center, spoke for a few minutes. He stated that opponents were spreading anti-Sharia propaganda and spreading hate against Muslims. He also stated (as he has in the past) that Sharia is perfectly compatible with the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. He also said that Muslims do not impose Sharia on others, and that they respect the laws where they live.

Then Sheikh Abdur Rahman Khan, who is member of the Islamic Circle of North America Shariah Council and national shura, spoke about Sharia and defined it simply as the "straight way" for Muslims to conduct themselves and treat others. He referred to the "false propaganda" about Islam and the efforts in various states to pass legislation banning Sharia. He compared Sharia to the Christian Canon Law and Jewish Halakhah Law.

At one point, the event was interrupted for 20-30 minutes for prayers. As the non-Muslims sat around, the Muslims went to a back wall and did their prayers, men in front, women in back. Some women remained seated. I am told that menstruating women do not join in. It was the first time I had listened to a complete call to prayer, which was performed by a young man with a microphone. It is rather haunting, I must say.

But the main event was Ramadan. I should state at the outset that you must listen carefully when he speaks because his speech was a combination of sermon and philosophical lecture. He, of course, defended Sharia as directing Muslims to be honest and respect the rights of everyone else. He also spoke about the way Muslims in western countries should conduct themselves. He encouraged his listeners to understand American society and the Constitution. He also mentioned that in the West, it is indisputable that we have freedom of conscience and freedom of worship. He also made the comment that (Muslims) respect the laws in the country they live in because of Sharia (which, in fact, tells Muslims to respect and obey the laws if they live in a non-Muslim country).

Ramadan also said that Muslims must assert their rights and proceed to their goals (my emphasis)-and not react to their enemies. (I will come back to that point later.) He said that (Muslims) want the same rights within the legal framework to be Muslims as do Jews and Christians.

Among other notes I jotted down, Ramadan stated that "Jihad has nothing to do with holy war". He also stated that according to recent studies, 80% of young Americans and the same percentage of young Europeans are comfortable with Muslims. He pointed out the Tea Party as spreading propaganda against Muslims. He used the term "racists" to portray Sharia opponents. He also mentioned the name of (attorney) David Yerushalmi, who is active in the anti-Sharia legislation lawsuits, and who allegedly said, "We need the controversy."

Here is where it gets interesting. As he neared the end of his speech, Ramadan urged Muslim leaders not to be naive. They must have vision. Don't always respond to attack. Know when to ask for something and when not to. Muslim leaders should not always be so quick to react. The leaders need wisdom and patience. "We have time", he told the audience in a manner that made me feel as if he were specifically addressing the Muslims in the audience. "We have our institutions, our mosques, our schools".

Here is my quandary: If a group of Americans are saying they are not being treated fairly and equally and demand justice, then you don't state, "We have time." On the contrary, if you want justice and an end to discrimination or second-class treatment, then you want it now. There is nothing to wait for-not under the American system. So what is this goal that they have time for, according to Ramadan, for which they can wait? Wait how long-5 years, 25 years, 50 years, 100 years? What was Ramadan talking about? Was he talking about a day in the future when Muslims will become a majority in the West and then can install Islamic rule?

As for question and answer, the audience was asked to write their questions down and they would be collected. I had one, but never saw anyone collecting papers. Apparently, they did. After a handful of questions, none earthshaking, it was over.

* The next day at Loyola Marymount  University in Los Angeles, I briefly met Ramadan while attending a Sharia workshop (which will be the subject of an up-coming post.) I introduced myself to him while he was outside the conference hall. I recognized that I was not going to have the chance for a prolonged conversation, so I decided to ask the question I had tried to send up the previous evening. To break the ice, I started the conversation off in French, and we exchanged brief pleasantries about Switzerland, a country which I am very familiar with.  I then asked my question in English. The question was about his call a few years ago for a moratorium on stoning. ( Ramadan had then stated that stoning in the Islamic world was being applied unjustly-in other words -only against the poor and powerless. He asked that a collection of leading Islamic scholars gather and study the issue and make a decision on it.) I asked Ramadan why he did not call for a complete abolition, and if he were to do so, would that be considered blasphemy. He replied that it was not possible to do it that way. He stated, "The Muslims would not accept it", and made a reference to  "the text", which I didn't catch. He stated that he had to do it this way and referred me to his new book, in which he discusses the issue. I assume that would be "The Quest for Meaning", published in March. His body language told me he wanted to end the conversation and return to the hall, so I thanked him and let him go.

Perhaps, I chose the wrong question. Perhaps, I should have asked him what he meant the previous evening when he said,

"We have time."

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sharia Law in the US and Quiet Muslims

Gary Fouse

My friend and colleague Karen Lugo has written a great article in National Review on the PR move by the Islamic Circle of North America to promote Sharia law in America. She also refers to the so-called "quiet Muslims", who perhaps, don't want to see Sharia here in the US.

I heartily concur with Lugo that it is time for Muslims who came here to enjoy freedom unencumbered by religious dictates to speak up and take their communities back from the stealth jihadists who are in charge. The plain fact is that organizations like CAIR, ICNA, ISNA, MPAC and MSA are stealth jihadists who support terrorist organizations abroad like Hamas and Hizbollah.

Now they are engaged in a major PR campaign to convince Americans that Sharia is perfectly compatible with our Constitution. They talk about justice, equal rights, and compassion in describing what is the legal system for Islamic law. Keep in mind that Islam is more than a religion. It is also a political ideology designed to control every aspect of a person's life. Sharia law is what has brought us beheadings, stonings of women for adultery, so-called "honor-killings", and second class status for non-Muslims in Muslim-dominated societies and nations. The above American organizations and countless imams in the mosques of America have a long-range vision of America, the West, and the entire world becoming one big Islamic caliphate under sharia law. Will it happen in our lifetimes? Surely not. However, if you think it can't happen in the West, watch the events in Europe. Massive immigration, no assimilation, high birth rates, and changing demographics are transforming Europe before our very eyes.

And this guy Zulfiqar Ali Shah, who talks about John Locke?  Here is some background on this friendly fellow from Frontpage Magazine and Militant Islam Monitor:

John Locke, indeed!

But what about American Muslims who came here to escape the stifling oppression in their homelands? What do they think? Unfortunately, most do not speak out. There are reasons for their silence,. They don't want to be castigated from their community. They don't want to put their lives in jeopardy.

The result of this silence is that they are increasingly under the control of leadership that is strangling their own personal freedoms-right here in America. By their silence, they are making themselves irrelevant.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Janet Napolitano at UCLA

Gary Fouse

"I love the way you roll your eyes."

Tonight Janet Napolitano spoke at UCLA, and yours truly was in attendance. Let me sum up her speech in one word:


Yes, it was a classic, read from the rostrum, bureaucratic info blurb on what a great job the Department of Homeland Security is doing. She read through a list of new initiatives, full of acronyms I had never heard of. The young student sitting next to me fell asleep. I don't blame him. Janet basically lost the audience in the first 10 minutes. She talked about international cooperation. She talked about seeking great jobs in government. At least she didn't mention, "If you see something, say something."

Outside a group of no borders folks were chanting in protest. About ten of them came into the hall, and during the Q and A, stood up and did a neat imitation of the Irvine 11.

"Education. Not deportation". Then they left. Unfortunately, no arrests were made. What would they do, for crying out loud? They would have had to turn them over to Janet for deportation.

Did I mention LA Sheriff to the Stars Lee "Footballhead" Baca was there? He makes all these events looking for people to shake hands with.

"I don't think that's funny."

But let's get to the crux of the matter. During the Q and A, someone handed me the mic and here was my question: I identified myself a as retired DEA agent, and that my question was in connection with Operation Fast and Furious. I told Napolitano that during my career I had had occasion to work with ATF, and in my mind, there was no way any street agent could have concocted Fast and Furious. In my mind, this scheme  originated in the highest levels of the Justice Department. I then mentioned that one or possibly two of her own agents had been killed by guns linked to Fast and Furious (Brian Terry and Jaime Zapata). I went on that she had told Congress that she had no discussions with Eric Holder about Fast and Furious since the scandal broke. I finally said that, with all due respect, if it had been my agents who were killed, I would be pounding on Eric Holder's desk demanding answers, and I wanted to know why she had not.

In her answer, Napolitano briefly summarized Fast and Furious and described it as an operation in which there was insufficient control. She referred to controlled deliveries and (correctly) assumed that in DEA I had participated in controlled drug deliveries (under surveillance to arrest the ultimate recipients). She stated that she would not get into her conversations with Holder, but that the investigation was in the hands of the Inspector General of the DOJ. At that, I rolled my eyes, and she made a caustic comment, "You can roll your eyes"...

She was not amused.

But I was.

It was a weak response. Control? What control? There was no control. This was nowhere near a controlled delivery. The guns were allowed to cross the border and disappear into Mexico. She wasn't going to go into her conversations with Eric Holder? According to her testimony before Congress, there have been no discussions. And that reference to the inspector general was a joke. That is the same inspector general who is holding on to 80,000 documents requested by Congress.

That was it, crime fighters. There was absolutely nothing else of interest said. It was nothing more than an off-the-shelf stump speech that bored the audience. For me, it was a chance to tell Napolitano what I have been writing in print for months.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Saudi Grand Mufti calls for All Churches in Region to be Demolished

Gary Fouse

In Saudi Arabia, there are no Christian churches nor Jewish synagogues. That is because it is illegal to practice any religion other than Islam-at least openly. So it is hardly surprising that the Saudi grand mufti, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, recently called for the demolition of all Christian churches in the Middle East. There hasn't been much publicity about that, but the Zionist Organization of America has spoken out with a press release.

Keep in mind that Saudi Arabia, with its huge oil wealth, finances many of the mosques in America and many new Middle East studies departments in American universities staffed with lots of radical professors who have as their major goal the demonization of Israel (and America as well). The Saudis also send Wahhabist imams to preach in US mosques. Wahhabism is considered the most intolerant of Muslim schools of thought.

Of course, it never occurred to the Saudis that the tens of thousands of college students they send to the US annually are able to practice their own religion here freely-as they should be. Yet, Saudi Arabia does not permit the (open) practice of any other religion.

This, of course, is not an isolated bigot speaking here. Christians are having a rough go of it in Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, and several other countries. Yet, we have the 56-member Organization of  Islamic Cooperation making a strong lobbying effort within the UN to have all member nations observe an international law against "defamation of religions". Hillary Clinton has actually participated in two conferences with OIC on this subject. Don't ask me why "religions" is in plural because there is only one that would be protected against any critical discussion.

The intolerance, the hate and the violence is overwhelming, and yet the world is afraid to call attention to the 800 pound gorilla standing in plain sight, not in the back of the room, but front and center, on the stage, and in front of the microphone.

It is not hateful to call out hate. It is not an attack on all Muslims to stand up to the preachers of hate and violence. The longer it takes the West to elect strong leaders who will protect us from this threat, the more radical the future leaders will have to be.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Education Under Fire: The Plight of the Baha'i in Iran

Gary Fouse

On April 9, I attended a presentation at UC Irvine entitled, "Education Under Fire", which is the title of a documentary film describing the persecution of the Baha'i religious minority in Iran, a subject of which I have previously written. Briefly stated, the Baha'i faith was founded in Iran in the 19th century and is not recognized in Iran. It is considered as apostasy from Islam. Under the Islamic regime, Baha'i are actively persecuted by the government. They are subject to arrest and imprisonment for "treason". Their homes have been burned. Some have been hanged by the government. In addition, they are denied higher education.

Other smaller Baha'i communities in countries like Egypt and Iraq also suffer varying forms of discrimination.

The film we watched also focused on the efforts of Baha'i to educate their youth in the face of the ban on higher education. This resulted in 1987 in the establishment of the Baha'i Institute of Higher Education (BIHE), a clandestine system of classes throughout the country, largely held in secret in members' homes with homework assignments literally being mailed in to special addresses in different cities and towns. Originally, the subjects were science and math, which branched out into sub-subjects and have now grown to other courses. More recently, with advanced technology, instruction is conducted largely online. Since the entire enterprise is clandestine, those who have completed the study have found that universities in other countries have no knowledge of BIHE. Thus, they do not recognize the credits for admission and further study. (Two departments in Harvard and Stanford have recently agreed to accept credits from BIHE. More on this later.)

I had not anticipated much of a crowd, but upon arriving at the hall, was surprised to find it packed with students and some faculty. The reason was that one of the panelists was a well-known comedic actor named Rainn Wilson (a Baha'i), who appears in a sit-com called, "The Office". (I must confess I had never heard of him or his show.) Also speaking on the panel was Ms. Nezanin Boniadi, an Iranian-born British actress, who is also active with Amnesty International. There was Ms. Safineh Tahmassebi, an Iranian Baha'i immigrant, now a US citizen, who teaches in the UCI Extension with yours truly. In addition, there was a young Baha'i student who himself had completed the BIHE course and spoke of his difficulty getting a US university medical school to accept his class credits.

At the conclusion of the film, Pastor David Woods from San Juan Capistrano spoke for a few minutes then introduced Wilson. Wilson spoke for a few minutes and described how he became active in the Baha'i cause. (As soon as Wilson finished, about 30 or so students got up and left.) Then a panel discussion ensued in which the moderator asked specific questions of each panelist. The topics basically reflected what was shown in the film as to the plight of the Baha'i-particularly in educating themselves. Wilson told a second-hand story told to him by an Iranian Baha'i recounting how as a student, a "cleric"  came to speak to the students one day and told them that "it would be OK if the students made sure there were no Baha'i in the school". That day, the Baha'i students were all chased home from school by other students who beat them and spit on them.

"It comes from the top on down", stated Wilson.

Here are some other items I noted down from the speakers and/or the film.

Under the Shah's regime prior to the revolution, Baha'i were persecuted, but to a lesser degree.

Some Muslim professors took the risk of teaching BIHE classes.

The Iranian government has actually carried out raids against the classes and arrested participants. The second such raid took place in May 2011.

Then there was time for question and answer. Myself and about 5-6 others stepped up to the microphone to ask questions. I asked the panelists whether they had received any support from American Muslim organizations like CAIR, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the Islamic Society of North America or the Islamic Circle of North America, or if they had reached out to these organizations for support, moral or otherwise. I added that these organizations in no way were connected to the events in Iran, but that perhaps they could at least add a moral voice. (I am paraphrasing from memory.)

None of the panelists were aware of any such support or contact. One of them did state that certain Muslims headed human rights organizations which supported the Baha'i cause and mentioned one from an Iranian human rights organization. Wilson emphasized that this was about the actions of the Iranian government and not the one billion peace-loving Muslims in the world.

So what can be done? The panelists had some suggestions. For one, we can support the right of Baha'i to an education, a basic human right. I am enclosing below a link to the Education Under Fire website, where we can all sign a petition to the Iranian government. One may think that the Iranian government cares nothing for world opinion, but the panelists maintain that is not the case.

Second, we can support efforts to get US universities to accept BIHE course work for admissions. Most universities are not even aware of BIHE.

Of course, educating others about what is happening is crucial. You don't hear about this in the news media. If you write your elected represntatives, they need to be aware as well. Sadly, many are not.

Finally, I am adding Education Under Fire as a link to this site under, "Worthy of Our Support".

What is happening to the Baha'i in Iran is part of what is happening to religious minorities in varying degrees in many Islamic countries. It is happening to Baha'i and Coptic Christians in Egypt, Christians in Iraq, Christians in Pakistan, Christians and animists in Sudan, Jews in Yemen, and on and on. Mr Wilson pointed out that it doesn't mean that the one billion Muslims in the world are engaged in persecution of other religions. That is true. Yet, religious persecution is taking place on a large scale. It is also happening in Europe, where Jews are being assaulted, insulted and harassed by young male Muslim immigrants (as well as skin-heads and neo-Nazi types).  The Europeans have been unable or unwilling to deal with it, largely because they are loathe to name the main culprits. That is the crux of the problem, shall we say, the 800 pound gorilla in the back of the room. If you want to combat persecution, you have to be willing to name the perpetrators.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Center for Security Policy Alert on ICNA

Gary Fouse

The Center for Security Policy (CSP) has issued the below alert in regards to a campaign by the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) to promote Sharia in the United States.

The president and founder of CSP is Frank Gaffney.

Below is ICNA's announcement of the drive.

ICNA, in my view, is one of the more insidious of the so-called mainstream Muslim organizations in America. This is the same outfit that held that so-called charity dinner in Yorba Linda in February 2010 that drew a large protest. The ICNA speakers were Siraj Wahhaj, who has implicitly called for giving uzis to black ex-cons and turning them loose in the neighborhoods, and Amir Abdel Malik Ali, who has made dozens of incendiary speeches on California campuses in support of suicide bombers, Hamas, Hizbollah, Islamic Jihad, as well as  suicide bombers who commit terror against Israel. He has insulted Jews in many of his speeches. These men are both anti-American jihadists. No truly moderate and patriotic organization would have them as speakers.

So now comes this propaganda campaign to convince gullible Americans that sharia law is, as Muslim leaders Abdul Faisal Rauf and Muzammil Siddiqi assure us, perfectly in conformance with the US Constitution.


Killing homosexuals is not in conformance with our Constitution.

Killing apostates or those who criticize any aspect of Islam (blasphemy) is not in conformance with our Constitution.

Wife beating is not in conformance with our Constitution.

Honor killings and stoning women is not in conformance with our Constitution.

Any denial of women to equal rights with men is not in conformance with our Constitution.

Denying women equal weight in court testimony is not in conformance with our Constitution.

Yes, there are aspects of sharia that are innocuous, however, it is the legal code of Islam and governs all aspects of a Muslim's life and sets out punishments which include death. It does not respect separation of the state from the religion.

Yes, they will tell you that Muslims living in a non-Muslim country are to obey the local laws-as long as they do not contradict Islam. However, as the Muslim percentage of the population increases, thus do the demands for accommodation. You need look no further than Europe to see where this is heading.

It is a long-range plan. Contrary to groups like al Qaida, many realize that bringing about a world-wide caliphate under Shariah law is a long term project, which can be achieved peacefully through immigration, demographic change, Da'wa (outreach) and finally, if necessary when Islam holds the power, forced conversions or violence (jihad). Today, in almost every predominately Muslim country, religious minorities are being persecuted.

ICNA is nothing more than another arm of the Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat e Islam. Like other organizations, such as CAIR, they are engaged in in a massive taqiyya campaign of deception. In addition, they are indoctrinating the jihadists of tomorrow and making sure that Muslim youth in America stay within the fold rather than assimilate and become full-fledged Americans. What is sad is there are Muslims who came here to escape the stifling lives they led in their countries of origin. Now they see an effort right here at home to bring that stifling control here to America. We cannot let that happen. To allow sharia within the US is to tell Muslims that they cannot enjoy the freedoms to change religion, be gay, live your sex life as you wish, leave a marriage (if you are a woman), and other rights that we take for granted.

It is true that so many Muslims in America remain silent out of fear. Unfortunately, that makes them irrelevant to the debate. It is Muslims like Zuhdi Jasser, Stephen Schwartz, Tawfik Hamid, and others who dare to speak out and expose the threat in our midst. Yes, there are painfully few of them, but they deserve our support.

But to the 5th column at ICNA, ISNA, CAIR, MPAC and MAS, we must stand up and say no to sharia. If they want to live in sharia, they know where they can go back to.