Friday, July 26, 2013

‘Islam, Shariah, and the Brotherhood Make Inroads at Chautauqua'

CLARE M. LOPEZ July 26, 2013
The Chautauqua Institution, located amidst lovely natural surroundings on the shores of Lake Chautauqua in southwestern New York State, is home to a "unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities," according to its online Home Page. Drawing tens of thousands of visitors each year, Chautauqua is also one of the most liberal organizations one could possibly imagine anywhere on earth....especially about topics involving faith-based belief systems, like Islam. Regular summer program speakers who downplay and whitewash the counter-Constitutional aspects of Islamic jihad and shariah are not balanced with others who might address the issue with more honesty. The name of Chautauqua's 2013 Week Eight lecture theme offers a glimpse of its delusions about Islam-dominated societies: "Turkey: Model for the Middle East." But the introduction to the 2013 "Pursuit of Happiness" lecture series is the dead giveaway:

"The goal of every religion is to help seekers everywhere learn to cultivate true and lasting happiness within themselves."
If they were referring to Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, or any of a number of other great world religions, this quote would make perfect sense. With reference to Islam, though, not so much, as its own founding figure, Muhammad made quite clear in everything from the Qur'anic verses Muslims believe he received from Allah, to his recorded biography (the Sirat), to the actions and sayings recounted by his followers (ahadith). A few examples will illustrate:
Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): "I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them." (Qur'an 8:12)
Lo! those who disbelieve, among the People of the Scripture and the idolaters, will abide in fire of hell. They are the worst of created beings.  (Qur'an 98:6)
 Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah,' and whoever says, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah,' his life and property will be saved by me except for Islamic law, and his accounts will be with Allah, (either to punish him or to forgive him.)"  Hadith of Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 196)
Putting the seal of immutable law on these authoritative Islamic sources, the shariah (Islamic Law) likewise codifies Islam's rejection of any other faith, even Christianity or Judaism.
... It is unbelief (kufr) to hold that the remnant cults now bearing the names of formerly valid religions, such as "Christianity" or "Judaism," are acceptable to Allah Most High after He has sent the final Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) to the entire world. (Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law, ‘Umdat al-Salik, w4.0[2])
And yet, deliriously heedless of what Islam really says about how Muslims should think of non-Muslims, the Chautauqua Institute continues to feature honey-tongued apologists for interfaith dialogue on its annual program line-up. In July 2012, Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf spoke to rapt audiences about the non-existent Islamic commandment to "love thy neighbor" while his wife, Daisy Khan is reported to have played the gullible Chautauqua audience with shovels-full of taqiyya about how gender equality is an intrinsic part of the Islamic faith. She is said to enjoy speaking at Chautauqua because "she has found audiences are mature concerning religious and faith-based arguments." Utterly clueless about Islam would seem to be a more accurate description.

This year (2013), it was the turn of Dalia Mogahed, the Egyptian-born former executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies and director of the Abu Dhabi Gallup Center, current CEO of Mogahed Consulting, and full-time advocate for Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated groups like CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations), ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America), and ISNA (Islamic Society of North America). A protégé of John Esposito, Executive Director of the Saudi-endowed Prince Alwaleed Bin-Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, Mogahed formerly served on President Barack Obama's Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. She appeared as a speaker at the 2009 annual convention of ICNA, another organization that consistently whitewashes Islamic terror (jihad). She also has shown no hesitation in sharing the podium with Tariq Ramadan, scion of the founding family of the Muslim Brotherhood, appearing with him at an April 2010 event at Cooper Union in New York City. In April 2013, Mogahed spoke at a Georgetown University Alwaleed Bin-Talal Center-sponsored interfaith conference, "The Boundaries of Religious Pluralism and Freedom: The Devil is in the Detail." Predictably, she gushed about the "long overdue march to freedom" underway in what she termed the "pro-democracy uprisings" of the "Arab Spring." Not a word about the Muslim Brotherhood or its 85-year quest for power in the service of jihad and shariah.
With this kind of resume, then, it's no surprise that the hijab-wearing Mogahed often gives jihad a pass, as she and co-author Esposito did in their 2007 book, "Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think." On the subject of jihad, the two pushed the shop-worn taqiyya line about jihad being a "struggle for God," that might mean wearing the headscarf, but never ever "warfare to establish the religion," as defined in Islamic Law (shariah). You see, for Muslims, jihad has only positive connotations. Well, yes, that does seem to be so: Islamic conquest of the infidel historically has been quite popular (among Muslims anyway). According to Steve Emerson, Mogahed has even gone so far as to claim that "'Islamic terrorism' is really a contradiction in terms because terrorism is not Islamic by definition." She must have forgotten about Qur'anic verses such as the one that says
Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into the hearts of the enemies.... (Qur'an 8:60)
At this year's Chautauqua Amphitheater lecture, Mogahed got a little closer to the truth when she said, "You know, this idea that Islam's being hijacked - it's not being hijacked." When asked about freedom of speech to criticize Islam, she also told the Chautauqua audience that "There are red lines for freedom of speech..." when it comes to "sacred religious symbols and concepts."
And the dazzled Chautauqua audience smiled and clapped.

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