May 20, 2013

Interfaith Event Teaches That U.S. Is ‘Aiding’ Oppression

Shame finger man

(Photo credit: Channelweb)

By Ryan Mauro (@RyanMauro)

The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) returned to All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California on May 5 to address the topic of radicalization in the wake of the Boston bombings. The church leader said there is a “crisis” of “Islamophobia” in America. MPAC denounced violence but said terrorism is a response to the U.S. “aiding and abetting oppression” at the behest of the military-industrial complex.

At the May 5 event, church leader Rev. Ed Bacon said that he “literally had my life changed and my thinking changed because of these two leaders,” referring to MPAC leaders Maher Hathout and Salam al-Marayati. He went so far as to say that the Islamic Center of Southern California, where Hathout is a spokesman and Muslim Brotherhood texts are used, is “my mosque.”

At the event, both MPAC leaders denounced terrorism and said Muslims must provide a counter-narrative to the violent themes that radicalize. Hathout said that too many Muslims are “soft” in confronting the radical ideas and have a “gang” mentality where they automatically side with other Muslims against non-Muslims.

However, Hathout said America is run by an elite minority beholden to lobbyists. He said that American democracy is threatened by “Islamophobia” driven by supremacists who believe “the other” doesn’t deserve equal rights.

Al-Marayati rightly pointed out that there is an ideological struggle and reform in Islamic teaching is needed, but attributed the conflict to anger over the aggression of America and its allies.

“When a superpower is aiding and abetting oppression and there are grievances, and people react in a violent way, they [Americans] look at the violence and they say it is not time to deal with the grievances,” he said.

He claimed that there is a “cottage industry” of anti-Muslim activists that is part of a “larger machine,” including the military-industrial complex and special interests. These conspirators “want more contracts for more weapons to countries that only use these weapons against their own people or against civilians.”

MPAC held its last annual conference at this church, where Reverend Ed Bacon denounced “evangelical Zionism” as an evil on par with slavery. The church and MPAC held a press conference to declare their critics “right-wing extremists” who are “hateful.”

The critics noted that MPAC was founded by Muslim Brotherhood ideologues, including Senior Adviser Maher Hathout’s brother who was a “close disciple” of the group’s founder, Hassan al-Banna. Maher Hathout says he remains “very proud” of his time in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, but emphasizes it was 60 years ago. His brother said they came to the U.S. to spread the “Islamic Movement” of al-Banna.

After coming to America, one or both of the Hathout brothers was connected to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, as a 1989 document shows. MPAC has maintained a close alliance with U.S. Brotherhood entities ever since. In 1997, Maher Hathout promoted Hassan al-Banna as one of the “reformists,” along with other Islamists like Rachid al-Ghannouchi, who MPAC still hosts. In 1998 and 1999, he and al-Marayati legitimized Hezbollah’s attacks on Israeli soldiers.

In 2000, Hathout said a “general intifada” would overthrow Arab governments guilty of “treason” for not confronting the “butchers” of Israel. Around this time, MPAC started becoming more conscious of the language it was using. Hathout said he regretted the “harshness of my remarks” when they received negative attention, but not the message. Tellingly, a radical named Mahdi Bray continued to serve as MPAC’s Political Director.

In 2003, MPAC criticized  the designations of Hamas and Hezbollah as Foreign Terrorist Organizations, suggesting that it was done out of “political considerations.” Its 2010 policy paper characterized the Muslim Brotherhood as a moderate “conservative” group that could be used to counter Al-Qaeda’s influence. In 2012, I debated al-Marayati and challenged MPAC to confront the Muslim Brotherhood. He replied that it was a “ridiculous” suggestion and “it’s not worth our time.”

To be fair, MPAC’s overall tone has changed.  Maher Hathout criticizes the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and says he’s on the side of the opposition, though he has “great respect” for the group and believes Egyptian President Morsi is “sincere.” During last year’s convention at All Saints Church, he said that Sharia Law’s penal code is not applicable for today and “we don’t want to enforce Sharia anywhere.” He also said Muslims must “chase out the ideology of death” and oppose blasphemy laws.

Al-Marayati criticized CNN for reporting suggesting that religion and mosques are causing extremism. He seemed to suggest that this network enabled the Boston bombings to happen. He said that the “rise in Islamophobia” is causing law enforcement to look in the wrong places. Apparently, one of those wrong places in his opinion is the Islamic Society of Boston, where the bombers worshiped.

He pointed out that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was thrown out of a Friday service after he confronted an imam for exalting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a non-Muslim. He didn’t mention that the mosque has deep Muslim Brotherhood tiespromoted the theme that the U.S. government persecutes Muslims, justified hitting women and children and had radical guest speakers. The radicalism at the mosque scared away a moderate Muslim who then started speaking out about it.

This is contradicted by what Islamist terrorists tell us. Their grievances flow out of their ideology. The Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader, Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, said the conflict with Jews “is not driven by nationalistic causes or patriotic belonging; it is rather driven by religious incentives.” He then goes on to talk about a prophetic battle “between the collective body of Muslims and the collective body of Jews i.e. all Muslims and all Jews.”

Osama Bin Laden said the same thing. In discussing the core of the war with the West, he explained, “There are only three choices in Islam: [1] either willing submission [conversion]; [2] or payment of the jizya, through physical, though not spiritual, submission to the authority of Islam; [3] or the sword — for it is not right to let him [an infidel] live. The matter is summed up for every person alive: Either submit, or live under the suzerainty of Islam, or die.”

The message of MPAC and its allies to interfaith audiences is that Islamist terrorism is what happens when you ignore their advice.


This blog post originally appeared on the FrontPage magazine website as an article. 

8 Responses to Interfaith Event Teaches That U.S. Is ‘Aiding’ Oppression

  1. Tim Vernon says:

    When I’m standing in an airport holding my shoes in my hands, I really don’t think that the “crisis” is Islamophobia, I think the crisis is very violent hatred for America, and the religious lefties seem to possess that same hatred, they just don’t act on it the way the Muslims terrorists do. Am I wrong in thinking there is some kind of weird death wish here – blow us up, please, we’re such horrible people!

  2. David Virtue says:

    THANK YOU for this article. Am posting to VOL. Bacon is crazy so is Susan Russell…these people have lost the plot on sodomy and Islam. What a church TEC has become….Keep these articles coming. You are doing first class work for the Kingdom and we need to expose this kind of thing

    Warmly in Christ,


    On Mon, May 20, 2013 at 11:30 AM, Juicy Ecumenism – The Institute

  3. More Islamophobic fear mongering from The IRD.

    Are you sure y’all are Methodists? I don’t see much “Open minds, Open hearts, Open doors” when it comes to our Muslim brothers and sisters.

    • benmwelliver says:

      Wow, looks like the liberal side has added a 4th element to its all-purpose holy trinity slur of racist-sexist-homophobe, now they tack on Islamophobe too. Last time I checked, “phobia” meant “irrational fear,” and there’s nothing irrational about discussing the threat of Islamic terrorism because, in case you didn’t get the memo, it’s REAL, so discussing something REAL isn’t exactly “fear-mongering,” is it? If you think that “Open minds” business is a good thing, maybe you shouldn’t be so hasty about labeling people as Islamophobes. FYI, not speaking for IRD, but this site has never identified itself as Methodist, and thanks to this kneejerk liberalism we encountered, a lot of us are EX-Methodists (a growing group, btw). “Open minds” sounds wonderful, except it translates as “Abandon the Bible and Christian ethics and accept radical feminism, abortion, gay ‘marriage’ and anti-Semitism.” In other words, “Open minds” is a sugarcoated code for “Dump Christianity.” I’m guessing that why the “Open doors” seem to be opening outward, as in Exit the post-Christian denomination and find a church that still practices the faith.

      If you wish to get all gooey and refer to terrorists as your “brothers and sisters,” go right ahead. I don’t claim brotherhood with people who kill. Surrendering in the face of terrorism isn’t “compassion” or “tolerance,” it’s cowardice.

    • vincewtalley says:

      I think part of the problem is that liberals inhabit a very dramatic world in their heads where they pose as Defenders of All Good Things, and at zero risk to themselves. They need to climb out of that land of melodrama and be realistic: Islamophobia is not the core problem here, terrorism is. But, guess what, it’s easier to take a stand against Islamophobia than against terrorism, isn’t it? Brian McLaren, who is not even remotely in touch with reality, devoted his book Why Did Jesus Mohammed etc Cross the Road to bashing evangelicals for their Islamophobia, depicting all of us as on the verge of extreme violence – based on no hard data but on his own fantasy. Memo to him and people like him: BE REALISTIC. Climb down out of your head where you are Saint and Hero and face the real world, which has its own dramas, though not ones where you’ll necessarily be the hero. In the real world, Christians are not hating or conspiring against Muslims, we’re just trying to live out lives without getting atomized, like everyone else. Christians are not making bombs, Muslims are. Let’s accept that and deal with it, we can’t dream it away or project our fear onto an innocent group of people.

      BE REALISTIC ought to be our core message to these dream-addled appeasers. Act and think based on what exists, not what is imaginary. If the emperor is buck naked, the realist says, Emperor, you’re buck naked. The dreamers – the anti-reality herd – say, Oooh, nice suit there, man, very stylish. The Episcopalians and their ilk look at a nation that lives under the constant threat of attack and says, Hmm, it’s clear there is a crisis here – Islamophobia. With minds that warped, no wonder they support the killing of infants and the blessings of “transgendered” people. Once you unhook your mind from reality, bizarre things happen. Being Christian doesn’t mean being stupid and shutting down your brain.

  4. […] THE USUAL SUSPECTS: Interfaith Event Teaches That U.S. Is ‘Aiding’ Oppression … […]

  5. Rev. Albert W. Kovacs - UCC says:

    The Muslim faith is built upon an ancient Hammurabic Code of an eye for an eye, not on any revelation from God, and one can only expect barbarian savagery from a primitive credo,

  6. Rev. Albert W. Kovacs - UCC says:

    What kind of “moderate religion” is this when they are so busy slaughtering each other – Sunni vs Shiite, both vs Alawites and other branches – and still find time to slit the throats, loot stores and burn the churches of Christians and of Jews as well? The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and when the tree is bad all we get is sour apples. The bucket is full of rotten ones!

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