all graphics by RidesAPaleHorse]
by Little Baby Ginn
--some reports by Mondoreb
"We will conquer Europe, we will conquer America not through [the] sword but through da'wa." --Sheik Yusuf Qaradawi, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, 1995. [source: Investigative Project]
Interfaith Fast or Interfaith Jihad?
Today on October 8 across America, Interfaithfast will be promoted. Interfaith leaders called for day of fasting to end the war in Iraq. That day is today. What exactly is Interfaithfast, who's behind it and what are its purposes?
Here is the NCC press release from the religious leaders' press conference held on Wednesday, September 26th in Washington DC to call for an interfaith fast to call for an end to the war in Iraq.
Press release:What could be more harmless; this joining of hands across sects and faiths for a common goal? It's a fast, so there will be no breaking of bread. But might the absence of this traditional symbol of peace represent more?
On October 8th in local communities around our nation people will fast during the day and come together in interfaith gatherings in the evening to break the fast.
Daniel Pipes had it right back in January. In an article by Beila Rabinowitz and William A. Mayer , "Jihad As Interfaith - CAIR, Hassan Al-Turabi and the Philly Mitzvah Food Pantry", details from a November 2006 event in San Francisco are related.
Standing shoulder to shoulder with students from Gratz Jewish College and the Archbishop Carroll High School at the November 16 Sukkat Shalom/Peace Shelter/Dar Us Salaam event was Ibrahim Muhaimin of the Quba Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies who declared that the experience gave him the opportunity to "go to his new found friends with questions about their beliefs," i.e., challenging them with Islam.
Gratz College professor "Rabbi" Carol Harris-Shapiro, a board member of the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia which helped organize the event enthused, saying that "students form friendships that would not occur normally" and adding that the year-long program allows the time for "real bonds to develop...and all of the components reinforce each other...they are learning about each other as they are learning about the world..." [source]
The article continues:
Unfortunately for "Rabbi" Harris-Shapiro, the Quba Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies preaches a world-view much closer to al-Qaeda than the fuzzy kumbaya on public display at this event and has made no attempt to hide the group's Islamist roots. According to the QIAI website, the school "is a corollary of the International Muslim Brotherhood" [the radical Egyptian Islamist organization responsible for assassinating Anwar Sadat, from which grew al-Qaeda and first WTC bomber Omar Abdel "the Blind Sheikh" Rahman, among others]Why is the funding of spiritual needs in America a concern? The article examines financial ties between the various strands of the Interfaith movement and the Saudis almost ten months before Interfaithfast was announced. Rabiniowitz and Mayer warned of the dangers of this spreading network of Muslim extremists, using well-meaning American church leaders as a smokescreen to cloak their real intentions.
"Interfaith is perhaps the most disingenuous of all Islamist tactics, relying on non-Muslim's almost complete ignorance of the tenets of the religion. Most basic is that to Muslims "faith sharing" is a one way proposition, a means of recruiting converts - jihad through da'wa. In this view all non-Muslims are seen as potential Muslims. Further complicating the offering of interfaith sharing as a panacea is that the rejection of Islam is a grave offense - apostasy - and the prescribed penalty is death - converts take note. The spirit of obfuscation is also alive in the preposterous assertion that Islam is one of the "Abrahamic faiths," thus creating a false sense of kinship and moral equivalency with Judaism and Christianity." [source]Interfaithfast is being sold as the ultimate feel-good project: Muslims and Christians and Jews uniting in a spiritual experience. The spiritual experience of ending war. But Interfaithfast wants to achieve a particular spiritual experience. Their experience says nothing about ending all war, all violence. They are concerned with one war and only one side of that war. Ending U.S. involvement in Iraq. Here's The American Muslim (TAM) website regarding the Oct. 8th, 2007, Interfaith Fast.
“American culture, society, and policy are addicted to violence at home and overseas. In our time, the hope of a decent future is endangered by an unnecessary, morally abhorrent, and disastrous war.Rabbi Arthur Waskow ... Associate General Secretary for Interfaith Relations, National Council of Churches USA echoed this in another release:
Ending this war can become the first step toward a policy that embodies a deeper, broader sense of generosity and community at home and in the world.”
INTERFAITH FAST TO END THE WAR IN IRAQ: October 8. FROM CONQUEST TO COMMUNITY, FROM VIOLENCE TO REVERENCEThe rabbi added:
Call for a nationwide fast day on October 8 to help Americans move away from the policies and practices of violence, at home and overseas.
This work crystallized in two approaches – one focused on ending the war in Iraq, the other on challenging the entire culture of violence that is honeycombing our society. The laser-beam focus on the war was preferred and adopted by a number of major leaders and institutions of American religious life, and is going out to many others as well. It follows.What is the significance of October 8? It is the most holy day of Ramadan, the Night Of Power.
Among all the church leaders lining to endorse Interfaithfast, there was one voice crying out in the warm-and-fuzzy wilderness. Mark Tooley, executive director of UMAction, a Methodist organization.
"Left-wing Mainline Protestants are joining Muslims in a political fast aimed at getting the United States to 'end the war' in Iraq, an objective that no U.S. action could quickly accomplish. The sectarian conflict in Iraq likely will continue with or without U.S. involvement."Tooley continues.
--Mark Tooley, Executive Director UMAction
Religious Left officials are asking Americans to fast from dawn to dusk on Columbus Day, October 8, as a protest against the Iraq War. The group, which includes leaders from the National Council of Churches, the Islamic Society of North America, the Council on American Islamic Relations and several Mainline Protestant agencies such as the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, wants all U.S. troops to leave Iraq immediately.
Ostensibly, the Religious Left fasters want to "end the war in Iraq." But they do not explain how removing U.S. and allied troops would accomplish that goal.
"Left-wing Mainline Protestants are joining Muslims in a political fast aimed at getting the United States to 'end the war' in Iraq, an objective that no U.S. action could quickly accomplish. The sectarian conflict in Iraq likely will continue with or without U.S. involvement.
"Organizers cite the biblical prophet Isaiah as a model for fasting, but Isaiah called upon the people of Israel to fast as an appeal to God's mercy, not to make a political statement. This protest fast is not about spiritual transformation but about exploiting an ancient religious practice for a political purpose."
Back to the true-believers at Interfaithfast.
"When you are fasting for Ramadan, you are enhancing your sense of compassion," said Dr. Sayeed Syeed from the Islamic Society of North America.† "We will be asking mosques to open their doors to people of other faiths around the world on October 8 for prayer and dialogue.” [source]So Interfaithfast is a particularly holy day for Muslims. Nothing sinister there on the face of it. Let's meet the good folks at Interfaith and those who've endorsed it. The following is a short list of the endorsers.
Some of The Players:
Council Of American Islamic Relations (CAIR)
The General Board of Church And Society of United Methodists (Jim Winkler)
ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal
Buddist Peace Fellowship Call To Action Philadelphia
Episcopal Peace Fellowship
Mary Ellen McNish, General Secretary, American Friends Service Committee
National Council of Churches USA Office of Interfaith Relations
Network of Spiritual Progressives New Hampshire Council of Churches
National Catholic Peace Movement
Presbyterian Peace Fellowship
The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
Parvez Ahmed, Council on American Islamic Relations
Nihad Awad, Executive Director, Council on American Islamic Relations
Dr. Sayyid M. Sayeed, Secretary-General, Islamic Society of North America
American Jewish University; Rabbi Howard A. Cohen
Dr. Shanta Premawardhana, National Council of Churches USA
Council Of American Islamic Relations (CAIR)
fFrom Front Page Magazine:
CAIR is a non-profit advocacy group for Muslims based in Washington, DC. It has 32 regional offices and chapters in the United States and Canada. Founded in 1994 by Nihad Awad, Omar Ahmad, and Rafeed Jaber of the Islamic Association Of Palestine with funds from the Hamas group, Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. The United States State Department has labeled Hamas as a “designated Foreign Terrorist organization.CAIR achieved attention for filing lawsuits against websites which had exposed their ties to Hamas-backed groups.
CAIRS TIES TO HAMAS
The Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) is widely regarded as the “primary voice in the United States” of the terrorist group Hamas.† The IAP was founded by Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook, a “senior political leader” of Hamas, and the organization is credited with publishing the actual Hamas charter.† In a prepared statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Government Information, Steven Emerson stated, “internal Hamas documents strongly suggest that parts of the Hamas charter… were first written by members of the IAP in the United States in the early to mid-1980's.”Nihad Awad (now Executive Director of CAIR) was the public relations director for the IAP. In 1994 Awad met with the then IAP President Omar Ahmad, Rafeeq Jaber, (Ahmad’s successor as IAP President) in order to discuss the IAP moving into a new direction. This was the beginning of CAIR.
In June of 1994 the three incorporated the Council Of American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Awad became the group’s Executive Director, Omar Ahmad, Chairman of the Board. A 5,000 dollar “donation” was used to open an office in D.C., the origin of the donation from The Holy Land Foundation For Relief And Development founded by the same person who founded the IAP, Mousa Abu Marzook. [From Investigative Projects]
Shortly after September 11 2001, if one went to CAIR's website, it could click on “Donate to the NY/DC Emergency Relief Fund”. Anyone wishing to donate to such a worthy cause, however was directed to the website of the infamous Holy Land Foundation. Holy Land Foundation is on trial for being a front group for terrorist organization, Hamas. Another CAIR-Holy Land Foundation link? Besides the fact that CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial.
Back to the website which sent people seeking to donate to victims of Islamist terror to a website by one being prosecuted for helping Islamist terror.
From Let Freedom Ring:
The link was on CAIR’s website up until the beginning of December, when the information mysteriously disappeared.
On December 4, 2001, the reason for the disappearance was apparent, as the Holy Land Foundation’s assets were blocked by the United States government for funneling money to Hamas. According to the White House website, “The U.S.-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development [provided] millions of dollars each year that [was] used by HAMAS.”
That’s the most damning proof of CAIR’s, and therefore Awad’s, involvement with Islamic terrorists. CAIR, with Awad’s direction, played on America’s generosity in a time of incredible pain by posting a picture of the burning World Trade Center towers, then directing people to donate to the “Donate to the NY/DC Emergency Relief Fund”, knowing that the money was going to the Holy Land Foundation, where the money would be sent to Hamas. Here’s what the State Department memo says about freezing the Holy Land Foundation’s assets:
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has suspended the tax-exempt status of three charities because of their links to terrorist networks.”Parvez Ahmed – Chairman, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
In a November 14 news release, Treasury said that contributions to the three charities, Benevolence International Foundation, Global Relief Foundation, and Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, would no longer be deductible for federal tax purposes.
“We will continue to use all available means to fight the financial war on terrorism,” Pam Olson, Treasury’s assistant secretary for tax policy, said in the news release. “Organizations found by the United States government to support terrorism should not be exempt from federal income tax, and contributions to those organizations should not be deductible for federal tax purposes."
One quote should give you Mr. Ahmed's view of the USA in relation to the Middle East and Hamas.
[W]hen U.S. policies lead to killings and bombings as in Iraq, or the continued occupation as in Palestine, or even Afghanistan where the Taliban is reforming and there is a lot of violence, or the U.S. is not engaging with the democratic regimes -- We're talking about democratization in the Middle-East, but the most freely and fairly elected government in the Middle-East, which is the Palestinian government, the U.S. government is not engaging with them." (statement by Parvez Ahmed on Al-Jazeera television show discussing a new poll showing widespread anti-American feelings throughout the Muslim world, April 24, 2007) Immediately after Ahmed made his statement about how the U.S. should engage with Hamas ("the Palestinian government")It shouldn't be difficult to guess Ahmed's views on other related topics. Say the state of Israel's right to exist; what the U.S. position on the War in Iraq should be; or perhaps, the War on Terror.
Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, National Director of Islamic Society Of North America and former member of board of advisors to CAIR is also an Interfaithfast endorser and/or co-sponsor.
Syeed is the first director of the Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances (IOICA), which opened earlier this year. The IOICA works to enhance positive relationships and understandings between Muslim Americans, government agencies and Congressional representatives. Syeed served as secretary general of the Islamic Society of North America from 1994 to 2006, actively working to foster understanding among the world’s religions and developing global interfaith alliances. He has served on the board of advisors for the Council on American-Islamic Relations and on the board of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions. [source]The average Joe, upon hearing about Interfaithfast most likely nods his head in approval. What little he has heard has been from a series of press releases, either from the Interfaithfast group or one of their participating members. Words and phrases like "ecumenical", "universal love" and "brotherhood" might come to mind.
Other words might come to mind if Joe were a federal prosecutor. Words like "unindicted co-conspirator".
Federal prosecutors have named three prominent Islamic organizations in America as participants in an alleged criminal conspiracy to support a Palestinian Arab terrorist group, Hamas.Mary Ellen McNish, AFSC General Secretary. listens as President Ahmadinejad respond to questions from religious leaders. [ AFSC photo
Prosecutors applied the label of "unindicted co-conspirator" to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America, and the North American Islamic Trust in connection with a trial... for five officials of a defunct charity, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. [source]
] Another Interfaithfast endorser is Mary Ellen McNish, General Secretary,American Friends Service Committee. Ms. McNish was prominent last month in a meeting between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and many of the same Interfaithfast church leaders. Many of these same Interfaithfast group members also held meetings with Ahmadinejad in February of this year, when 17 of of the church leaders traveled to Iran; and in September 2006, during Ahmadinejad's last visit to the U.N.
One finds it hard to question the motives of a Religious Society of Friends (Quaker) member in matters of peace. It is one of the founding tenets of the Quakers long tradition since their founding in England in the 17th century. Some might question the wisdom of meetings with the man who has publicly vowed on more than one occasion to exterminate Israel if he gets nuclear weapons, but not the motives.
A search through AFSC promotional materials reveals many causes and goals. All religions have such principles. "Peace" and "family" are two common concerns of all religions. So is "life". While opposition to the death penalty was prominent, after a search, no such opposition to abortion could be found. It proved no obstacle to becoming General Secretary that, according to public internet sources, Ms. McNish was previously the chief operating officer at Planned Parenthood of Maryland. We contacted AFSC requesting an interview but heard no response.
Groups claiming to speak for Methodists, Quakers, Mennonites, Jews, Muslims, Buddists, Episcopalians, Unitarians, Presbytarians and Catholics, as well as the National Council of Churches, are represented at Interfaithfast. Do they speak for their members? Do their members know about about their church leaders ties with terrorist apologists? Do they approve? Do they consider the possibility that Interfaithfast might be another brick in the da'wa [conversion of the infidel] wall?
Is Interfaithfast a vehicle, as some have suggested, for "useful tools and religious fools"?
There are many questions on this October 8, the Night of Power during Ramadan. The day that Interfaithfast, the day-long protest against the U.S. involvement in the War in Iraq, takes place across America. One of those questions might be: are there any Interfaithfasts planned in the near future to protest the murder of innocent women and children by Hamas gunmen and suicide bombers? How about a protest against the hanging and torture of homosexuals in Iran, where Ahmadinejad insists none live? Are there any plans to ask some hard questions of Syeed, Awad and others involved in the Interfaithfast?
All questions that thoughtful Unitarians, Buddists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Quakers and the others sponsoring Interfaithfast, might ask themselves today every time their stomachs growl. Questions when they are putting money into the collection to help their church leaders bring about good works. Questions the next time an Israeli child is killed by Hamas.
A great many people attend a place of worship for the feeling of peace it may bring: for spiritual succor. To dwell on a political particular foreign policy position of the United States is not on their meditative menu. Those same people may also go to church to contemplate a higher power than any here on earth; to escape the woes of this mortal coil.
If church leaders ignore their primary mission of ministering to the spiritual needs of their charges, they risk alienation. Eventually, members of their church turn elsewhere for spiritual guidance. The church leaders involved in Interfaithfast might ponder on the dwindling attendance figures at almost all of the church denominations involved. And they might ask themselves if an anti-war protest event will help their members feel closer to God. These are questions they might pose to themselves.
But they most likely won't.
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