Falsehoods and Facts about the Middle East Forum: A Top Ten List


Unsurprisingly, the Middle East Forum (MEF) has been the recipient of Fake News lies all based on the Multiculturalist accusation of Islamophobia. Evidently the lies have become so huge that the MEF has decided to answer those lies with a Top Ten List.

 

Below is an email alert introduction to that Top Ten List which I will follow with cross post of that list.

 

JRH 8/11/17

Please Support NCCR

**************

Falsehoods and Facts about the Middle East Forum: A Top Ten List

 

By Greg Roman

Sent 8/9/2017 3:22 PM

Sent by Middle East Forum

 

Dear Reader:

As the Middle East Forum’s reach and influence expands, so too does the flurry of ad hominem, distorted, and plainly false attacks on the organization, mostly from Islamists and the far Left.

Institutions leading this assault include the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), J Street, Jewish Voices for Peace, and most recently the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. George Soros’ Open Society Foundations has a special place in our hearts for funding anti-MEF research.

Our opponents attack us for different reasons. Islamist activists loathe our national security views, advancement of women’s rights, and efforts to protect freedoms of moderate Muslim authors, activists, and publishers. Israel-haters oppose our efforts to puncture Palestinian illusions. Academics want to discredit our efforts to improve Middle East studies in North America. America-haters can pretty much take their pick of reasons.

Regardless of their motives, they all draw on the same tired canards that we so often refuted on an ad hoc basis. To save the curious some legwork, we are publishing a list of the top ten falsehoods, refuting them all at once, and maybe once and for all. Please take a look.

Regards,

Gregg Roman
Director Middle East Forum

 

+++

Falsehoods and Facts about the Middle East Forum: A Top Ten List

 

August 9, 2017

Middle East Forum

 

The Middle East Forum (MEF) is the object of repeated falsehoods. To clear the record, here follows the top ten and our corrections.

 

Falsehood 1: The Middle East Forum is anti-Muslim, or “Islamophobic.”

 

False Statements

 

Center for American Progress: “The Middle East Forum is at the center of the Islamophobia network.”

 

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR): Daniel Pipes is “considered by many Muslims to be America’s leading Islamophobe.”

 

The Southern Poverty Law Center: Daniel Pipes is “at the center of what is a large and evolving network of Islam-bashing activists.”

 

Fact 1: Far from being biased against Muslims, MEF challenges a radical ideology responsible for unfathomable Muslim suffering, and one which most Muslims reject. Middle East Forum President Daniel Pipes has been emphasizing the distinction between Islamism and the Islamic religion – and between the “completely justified fear of Islamists and unjustified fear of all Muslims” – for decades.

 

The only people who maintain there is little or no distinction between detesting Islamism and detesting Muslims are Islamists themselves and fellow travelers of the sort quoted above. The “Islamophobia” accusations they level at MEF and others are designed to conflate Islamism and Islam, claiming an attack on one is an attack on the other.

 

This conflation also attempts to delegitimize non-Islamist Muslims working to free their faith from the grip of extremists, and it is no coincidence that Muslim reformers are often viciously attacked. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a far-left organization known for its often inaccurate claims, lists Maajid Nawaz of the Quilliam Foundation alongside Mr. Pipes as an “anti-Muslim extremist.”

 

The SPLC has branded Muslim reformer Maajid Nawaz as an “anti-Muslim extremist.”

 

A lot of money finances these allegations. The Center for American Progress, for example, received a $200,000 grant from George Soros’ Open Society Foundations (OSF) to “research and track the activities” of the Middle East Forum and other NGOs working to combat the spread of radical Islam in America. The Brookings Institution’s recent focus on so-called “Islamophobia” in America likely has much to do with its decade-long partnership with Qatar, which provided it with a $14.8 million 4-year grant in 2013.

 

The latest organization to level the “Islamophobia” accusation at MEF is the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF), which lashed out after we revealed publicly that it had provided $330,524 to two extremist organizations, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Islamic Relief. It turns out SVCF is getting paid too. According to its 990 form, the extremist International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) provided SVCF with $500,000 in “program assistance” in 2015.

 

Falsehood 2: Daniel Pipes regards Muslim organizations as subversive.

 

False Statements

 

Jewish Voice for Peace: “Pipes views almost every possible Muslim activity as subversive and threatening.”

 

Center for American Progress: “The alarmist rhetoric of Daniel Pipes … brand[s] Muslims, Sharia, and even the instruction of Arabic as affronts to American freedom.

 

Fact 2: In keeping with Mr. Pipes’ oft-repeated belief that “radical Islam is the problem, moderate Islam is the solution,” MEF’s Islamist Watch project was established with a mission to “expose the Islamist organizations that currently dominate the debate, while identifying and promoting the work of moderate Muslims.”

 

MEF has a long history of supporting, employing, and collaborating with Muslims working to free their community and faith from the grip of Islamists.

 

See a list here of Muslim organizations the Forum regards as vital allies in this fight, some of whom it helps fund.

 

Falsehood 3: Pipes supports interning Muslims, akin to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

 

False Statements

 

Jewish Voice for Peace: “The Southern Poverty Law Center notes that ‘Pipes endorsed the internment of Muslims in America,’ referencing WWII Japanese American concentration camps as a model to be used against Muslims today.”

 

Silicon Valley Community Foundation: “Daniel Pipes, president of Middle East Forum, has written in support of the model of Japanese internment camps in relation to American Muslims.”

 

Fact 3: This canard is a paradigmatic example of how charges initially levelled by one radical organization metastasize through repetition by others. The SPLC report misquoted at right by Jewish Voice for Peace actually states, “In 2004, Pipes endorsed the internment of ethnic Japanese in American prison camps in World War II and held that up as a model for dealing with Muslims today.”

 

But even this isn’t true. In 2005 an Islamist organization in Canada had to apologize and make a charitable donation to the Middle East Forum for making this claim.

 

The original article did not argue for internment camps as a model (a follow-up explaining how CAIR and others distorted Pipes’ position can be read here), but rather concluded with support for author Michelle Malkin’s thesis about threat profiling: “She correctly concludes that, especially in time of war, governments should take into account nationality, ethnicity, and religious affiliation in their homeland security policies.”

 

Falsehood 4: MEF is wrong to label CAIR as “terrorism-linked.”

 

Clockwise from top left: Randall (“Ismail”) Royer, Ghassan Elashi, Bassem Khafagi, Rabih Haddad, Nabil Sadoun, and Muthanna Al-Hanooti

 

Fact 4: Here are many reasons why MEF can reasonably describe CAIR as “terrorism-linked.”

 

  • CAIR was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial.

 

  • During that trial, U.S. District Court Judge Jorge Solis concluded that, “The government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR…with Hamas.”

 

  • In 2014, the United Arab Emirates, a Muslim ally of the United States, designated CAIR a terrorist organization.

 

 

  • CAIR itself implicitly acknowledged the truth when it settled a 2004 libel lawsuit against a group making this allegation called Anti-CAIR, with no apology, retraction, or removal of offending Internet materials.

 

Falsehood 5: CAIR, Islamic Relief, and other Muslim groups criticized by MEF are respectable civil rights organizations.

 

False Statements

 

Jewish Voice for Peace: “Contrary to the Middle East Forum’s smear campaign, CAIR is a nationally-recognized civil rights organization that has received praise from seventeen U.S. Senators and 85 U.S. Representatives from both sides of the political aisle.”

 

Fact 5: CAIR and Islamic Relief are focused on promoting social insularity and distrust of authorities among U.S. Muslims, not defending their civil rights. In fact, both groups frequently host and promote extremist speakers who advocate against civil rights as most Americans understand them.

 

Siraj Wahhaj, for example, preaches that homosexuality is a “disease” of society, that the punishment for adultery is death, and that Muslims shouldn’t have non-Muslim friends. Omar Suleiman has rationalized honor killings, telling women thinking of promiscuity that they could be killed by their fathers for “offending Allah.” Jamal Badawi has said that men have a right to beat their wives. Abdul Nasir Jangda has argued that they have the right to rape their wives.

 

Falsehood 6: CAIR and Islamic Relief have clean bills of health on links to terrorism from the federal government and from charity watchdogs.

 

False Statements

 

Silicon Valley Community Foundation: “The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Islamic Relief … are nonprofit organizations in good standing with federal agencies, and do not appear on any U.S. government list as having been tied to terrorism.”

 

Silicon Valley Community Foundation: “GuideStar reports … whether a nonprofit organization is identified as a ‘Specially Designated National’ on the Office of Foreign Asset Control’s list. In simpler terms, this is the list of U.S. organizations designated as having links to terrorist organizations. Neither CAIR nor Islamic Relief is on this list.”

 

Fact 7: MEF is a research institution that promotes American interests. Islamist Watch presents factual research on the influence and activity of non-violent U.S.-based Islamist groups and their leaders. Some oppose Israel, to be sure, but most are more focused on targeting women, homosexuals, and others.

 

Campus Watch researches, analyzes, and critiques the academic study of the Middle East. It argues against “analytical failures, the mixing of politics with scholarship, intolerance of alternative views, apologetics, and the abuse of power over students,” but it accepts divergent perspectives. Campus Watch recently published a favorable review of a lecture at the City University of New York (CUNY) by Sari Nusseibeh, a former senior PLO representative under Yasser Arafat whose views hardly qualify as pro-Israeli. A cursory examination of the project’s research articles demonstrates that the characterization of Campus Watch as Israel-centered is false. As for the “dossiers,” CW took down those initial eight profiles 15 years ago in favor of an institution-focused survey method.

 

Falsehood 8: Daniel Pipes and the Middle East Forum have funded the political campaigns of Dutch right-wing leader Geert Wilders.

 

False Statements

 

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “David Horowitz and Daniel Pipes are reported to have put some $150,000 of foundation money into his campaign.”

 

Fact 8: Not a penny from Daniel Pipes or the Middle East Forum has gone to Wilders personally, his political party, or his campaign.

 

MEF did provide a grant to pay legal bills in Mr. Wilders’ trial over his film on radical Islam.

 

As the New York Times notes: “the funds that were sent to Geert Wilders were to help him in his legal cases and were not political donations.”

 

Falsehood 9: Campus Watch seeks to stifle academic freedom.

 

False Statements

 

CAIR: Campus Watch [is] part of a larger anti-intellectual campaign aimed at regulating discourse on the Middle East.

 

Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, The Nation: Campus Watch is “neo-McCarthyite” and part of the “New McCarthyism” that seeks to silence anyone with whom it disagrees.

 

Fact 9: Campus Watch critiques contemporary Middle East studies, which years ago jettisoned rigorous scholarship and teaching for politicized, biased, and inferior work. There is nothing wrong with scrutinizing and criticizing academic research.

 

No cliché is more hackneyed, no charge intellectually lazier than that CW engages in “McCarthyism” (see right). Unlike the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy, Campus Watch—a private organization—neither possesses nor seeks the ability to silence or persecute anyone.

 

Only in the fevered imaginations of some professors do rigorous critiques by outsiders equate with an anti-Communist witch-hunt.

 

Falsehood 10: Daniel Pipes has lost the support of his former academic colleagues

 

False Statements

 

Al Jazeera [interviewing a spokesman from the Center for American Progress]: Pipes has a “scholarly background, but … he has lost the support of many of the people he used to work with, and associate with, when he was a well-respected scholar.”

 

Fact 10: Mr. Pipes never stopped being a “well-respected scholar” When President George W. Bush nominated him to the board of directors of the U.S. Institute of Peace in 2003, 30 academics signed a letter in support of the appointment. For a more recent example, Professor Edward Alexander of the University of Washington lavished praise in 2016 on Pipes’ Nothing Abides.

 

That said, it is true that a radicalized academia condemns Pipes and the Forum for their mainstream outlook – and especially for their role in exposing the failure of Middle East studies.

_________________

©1994-2017 The Middle East Forum  

 

MEF About Page

 

With roots going back to 1990, the Middle East Forum has been an independent tax-exempt 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization based in Philadelphia since 1994.

 

Mission

 

The Middle East Forum promotes American interests in the Middle East and protects Western values from Middle Eastern threats.

 

The Forum sees the region — with its profusion of dictatorships, radical ideologies, existential conflicts, border disagreements, corruption, political violence, and weapons of mass destruction — as a major source of problems for the United States. Accordingly, we urge bold measures to protect Americans and their allies.

 

In the Middle East, we focus on ways to defeat radical Islam; work for Palestinian acceptance of Israel; develop strategies to contain Iran; and deal with the great advances of anarchy.

 

At home, the Forum emphasizes the danger of lawful Islamism; protects the freedoms of anti-Islamist authors, activists, and publishers; and works to improve Middle East studies.

 

Methods

 

The Middle East Forum realizes its goals through three main mechanisms:

 

  • Intellectual: The Forum provides context, insights, and policy recommendations through the Middle East Quarterly, staff writings, public lectures, radio and television appearances, and conference calls (see below for details).

 

  • Operational: The Forum exerts an active influence through its projects, including Campus Watch, Islamist Watch, Legal Project, Washington Project, Apartheid Monitor, and Shillman/Ginsburg Writing Fellowship Program (see below for details).

 

  • Philanthropic: The Forum annually distributes US$1.5 million in earmarked donations through its Education Fund, helping researchers, writers, investigators, and activists around the world.

 

Activities

 

 

MEForum.org (this website) hosts a complete archive of Middle East Quarterly articles; articles by MEF staff; audio recordings and summary accounts of guest lectures and conference calls; and MEF alerts for Forum events, media appearances, and news releases.

 

Middle East Quarterly, published since 1994 and edited by Efraim Karsh, it is the only scholarly journal on the Middle East consistent with mainstream American views. Delivering timely analyses, cutting-edge information, and sound policy initiatives, it serves as a valuable resource for policymakers and opinion-shapers.

 

Public Outreach. Television and radio rely on Forum specialists, who appear on virtually all the major American over-the-air and cable news programs, plus stations around the globe. MEF staff also brief ranking officials of the U.S. government, testify before Congress, and conduct studies for executive branch agencies.

 

READ ENTIRETY

 

Shafiq and Dr. Shafiq – Moderate Muslims?


Mohammed Shafiq

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mohammed Shafiq

 

                                                                                                                                                                

                                                                                                                                Dr. Muhammad Shafiq  

 

John R. Houk

© September 19, 2014

 

Let’s look at Mohammed Shafiq the CEO of the Muslim British youth group Ramadhan Foundation. I was a bit confused because I read an article about a speaker at St John’s Church on Humboldt Street who had given a speech on ISIS. The St John’s speaker was listed as Dr. Mohammed Shafiq. I suspect the writer was referring to Dr. Muhammad Shafiq a Muslim Professor and Executive Director at Nazareth College with the Center for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue (CISD). I will get to Dr. Shafiq in a moment in relation to the ISIS speech at St John’s.

 

Now Mohammed Shafiq of the Ramadhan Foundation is considered by Muslim apologists and Left Wing multiculturalists to be a Moderate Muslim that denounces Islamic extremism. Indeed he has the death threats to back up credentials as a Moderate. Evidently the Somalian terrorist group al-Shabaab that was influential in the public beheading of British soldier Lee Rigby on the streets of London in broad daylight issued the death threat to Shafiq via video. Al-Shabaab was perturbed for Mohammed Shafiq condemning the barbarity of Rigby’s beheading.

 

So that makes Shafiq the image of a good Muslim that we non-Muslim Westerners like to hear about, right? Hmm… Has anyone heard the claim that a good Muslim believes that the pseudo-prophet Mohammed was the perfect man in Islam? In order to be a good Muslim one is to struggle to emulate the perfect man pseudo-prophet Mohammed.

 

Somehow Muslims seem to be only aware of the tolerant merciful Mohammed in his early days in Mecca prior to fleeing to Medina in what has become known as the hijra. Something seemed to have warped Mo’s mind in Medina because evolved from a monotheistic cult religious leader to a robbing bandit and finally to a vindictive conquering army leader killing and assassinating enemies with a special vengeance reserved for Jews. Thus emulating the perfect man (graphic 22 minute slide show) becomes problematic for me.

 

I sense that Mohammed Shafiq desires to be a good Moderate Muslim, but when push comes to shove, defending the principles of Islam overrules the Western image of a good Muslim and is replaced by the Islamic image of a good Muslim.

 

When there was a sex scandal involving numerous Muslim men enslaving young female sex-slaves in Shafiq’s British hometown of Rochdale:

 

Together Against Grooming (Tag) was organised in the wake of the convictions of Muslim men in British courts for a series of horrific cases, including in Derby, Rochdale, Telford, Bradford and Oxford, where on Thursday five men were jailed for life and two others received long sentences for the sexual abuse of girls. (Muslim youth leader says more must be done to fight grooming; By Haroon Siddique; The Guardian; 9/28/13 15.01 EDT)

 

The Muslim youth leader in title is Mohammed Shafiq. Shafiq in this article was shown to praising a Muslim sermon that denounced this purist Muslim treatment of young white British sex-slave gals. But at the same time Shafiq takes a walk on the racist side yet not mentioning Islam. From Debbie Schlussel:

 

At least one Muslim has the guts to tell the truth about his people, though he falsely couches it in purely ethnic, rather than religious terms:

 

‘There is a particular problem with groups of Pakistani men who think white girls are worthless,’ said Mohammed Shafiq, director of the Ramadhan Foundation. ‘They think they can use and abuse these girls in this abhorrent sort of way and then discard them.’ (UK Muslims Gang Raped White Girls b/c They Weren’t Muslim; Islamic Studies Teacher @ Mosque; By Debbie Schlussel; DebbieSchlussel.com; 5/9/12 2:56 pm)

 

To get a grasp of the emulation of the pseudo-prophet became a cultural rift in the UK this is a rather horrid description of what these British white sex-slaves went through:

 

The girls were repeatedly raped, often by groups of men several men at a time, and some were subjected to “torture sex” tortured, the jury heard. The three-and-a-half month trial at the Old Bailey exposed a series of failings by Thames Valley Police and Oxford social services. Despite being told on several occasions by the girls and their parents about their abuse, the two organisations failed to act until 2010.

 

One of the defendants, Mohammed Karrar – who was accused of branding an 11-year-old, forcing her a girl of 12 to have an abortion when she was 12 and subjecting her to gang rapes – initially refused to come up from his cell.

 

The mother of Girl C – who told the Guardian she had begged social services staff to rescue her from the gang – said that her daughter’s abusers had threatened to cut the girl’s face off. and promised to slit the throats of her family members. She said that they had been forced to leave their home after the men had threatened to decapitate family members. (Oxford child sex abuse ring ‘threatened to cut off victim’s face’; By Alexandra Topping; The Guardian; 6/26/13 11.50 EDT)

 

Then to cap it off, Mohammed Shafiq became upset over some quite innocuous comments from fellow Moderate Muslim and fellow British Liberal Democrat member when in an interview/question & answer session flippantly ignored a couple of teen kids portraying Jesus and Mohammed respectively on their T-shirts.

 

Abishek Phadnis och Chris Moos

 

Here’s the scenario:

 

In 2013, two students from the London School of Economics (LSE), a major UK university in central London, set up their stall at the annual freshers’ fair (an event bringing together representatives of various clubs and societies to advertise to new students) for the LSE Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society to which they belong.

 

At the fair, Chris Moos and Abishek Phadnis each wore a ‘Jesus and Mo’ t-shirt – shirts featuring a cartoon from the Jesus and Mo series (www.jesusandmo.net) which satirises Jesus and Mohammed.

 

Chris and Abishek were immediately ordered to remove the shirts because wearing them apparently amounted to “harassment”. When they refused to do so, their stall was surrounded by uniformed security who threatened to remove them from university premises by force.

 

Later, the university apologised to the two students.

 

In January of this year, guests on the BBC Sunday morning show “The Big Questions” discussed causing offence to religious sensibilities. Chris and Abishek were invited to offer their views. When presenter Nicky Campbell questioned them on the t-shirt affair, Chris and Abishek opened their jackets to reveal the offending garments. The BBC camera operators made sure we did not get a clear view however.

 

Also on the programme was Maajid Nawaz. Nawaz is a former Islamist and member of Hizb ut-Tahrir who spent time in an Egyptian jail and now heads the anti-extremism think-tank the Quilliam Foundation, which hit the headlines in 2013 having begun work with the former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson. Nawaz is also a Parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrat Party.

 

To demonstrate that he, a believing Muslim, was not offended by the depictions of Mohammed displayed in the Jesus and Mo series, Nawaz tweeted a copy of the cartoon saying that it did not upset him. (Blasphemy returns to Britain; By Anne Marie Waters; Dispatch International; 2/18/14)

 

Just so we are on the same page here. Maajid Nawaz a former Radical Muslim turned Moderate who has associated with Counterjihad enthusiast Tommy Robinson (who is often accused wrongfully of being a neo-Nazi) tweeted photos of the capricious young college students wearing the Jesus and Mo T-shirt parody. You need to catch that Nawaz operates an “anti-extremism think-tank” called the Quilliam Foundation.

 

How did the Moderate Muslim Mohammed Shafiq handle Maajid Nawaz tweeting Jesus-Mo caricatures? Shafiq put out the word to fellow Muslims and to crazy Radical Muslims that are terrorists that Nawaz was a blasphemer. And how does Islam handle blaspheming the pseudo-prophet Mohammed? A death sentence is issued. Now that is true Islam.

 

Mohammed Shafiq has tried to walk back any involvement in the get-even and dump fellow Liberal Democrat Nawaz. I look how Nick Cohen of The Observer puts it:

 

At the time we went to press, about 20,000 people had signed Shafiq’s petition to Nick Clegg, saying that the tweet had caused an “extreme amount of insult, hurt and anguish”. The Lib Dems must stop Nawaz standing as their candidate in Hampstead and Kilburn at the next general election, they demanded.

 

 

Shafiq denies that he is spreading fear and if you had not done the research you might believe him. Certainly, you could think him a man who can snuffle out offence where no one else can find it. You could think that the 20,000 or so who have signed his petition are so desperate for reasons to censor that they will manufacture them. But this is a free country and they are entitled to their hysterias.

 

But to put it as politely as I can, Shafiq is not your standard Liberal Democrat. He is in charge of the Ramadhan Foundation, which has hosted speakers whose attitudes towards gay people and Jews are anything but liberal. To make sure that Nawaz felt the full force of his critique, Shafiq slipped an aside into his open letter to Nick Clegg. He talked of Nawaz’s “expected, suspected, wanted reaction from the minority of unhinged in those communities”. Nawaz was deliberately soliciting attacks from the “unhinged”, apparently. He expected them. He wanted them. And if the unhinged should assault or kill him – he had no one to blame but himself. Shafiq told me that he did not mean that Nawaz was inciting his own murder, but I struggle see how else his followers can interpret his words.

 

On Twitter, Shafiq went further and gave a masterclass in double speak. “Ghustaki Rasool Quilliam,” he tweeted. Most of his audience had no idea what he meant. A few knew all too well. “Ghustaki Rasool” is “defamer of the prophet” in Urdu: a charge that incites Islamists to murder. Fanatics took to Twitter to prove the point. “Have spoken to someone in Pakistan,” one of Shafiq’s followers replied. “They will have a surprise for him on his next visit!” Another Twitter user contacted Nawaz to say: “Gustak e rasool is punishable by death anywhere in the world. Btw I’m in the UK not Pakistan.” A third cried that “dogs like Maajid Nawaaz will be punished!” (The Liberal Democrats face a true test of liberty; By Nick Cohen; The GuardianThe Observer; 1/25/14 13.04 EST)

 

At any rate the leader of the UK’s Liberal Democrat Party must have been doing some arm twisting. In a joint statement signed by both Maajid Nawaz and Mohammed Shafiq they offer a bit of give and take publicly which I doubt makes either one happy privately.

 

 

“We recognise that, when it comes to this question, some Muslims of various persuasions may take different views. However, we also recognise that there are many Muslims who have taken offence, and we assert that images of the spiritual leaders of all religions should be deemed to be respectful. We also respect the freedom of every member of the Liberal Democrats on either side of this debate who feels offended by tone or language to make representations to the Liberal Democrats as is their democratic right.

 

“We are both Liberals and support the principle of freedom of speech. But we also understand the importance of respect for others’ views and of moderation of language. In so far as this second principle of moderate language has been breached in the heat and passion of the current debate, we regret this and call for all those who have differing views to ensure that any debate which continues on this subject should use language and attitudes which conform to Liberal standards of respect and moderation.

 

“We now call on those on both sides of this argument to return to moderate debate, free of insult and threat and we do so because we believe this is in the interests of our Party, of the wider Muslim community in Britain and of the principles of peace to which Islam is committed.” (Statement by Maajid Nawaz and Mohammed Shafiq; Posted by The Voice; Liberal Democrat Voice; 1/28/14 12:10 pm)

 

Okay, that was about the good Moderate Muslim Mohammed Shafiq, born and raised in the United Kingdom.

 

Now let’s look at Dr. Muhammad Shafiq of Pakistani origin and a Muslim inter-faith Professor at a Christian college called Nazareth College located in Rochester, NY. The college’s origins in 1924 derived from Roman Catholic Sisters of St Joseph but there is no mention of Catholicism in the private school’s current curriculum. The college seems to have evolved from a parochial school to a Liberal (and I’m not talking liberal arts here) multicultural diversity slant in its current curriculum.

 

I have to tell you that Dr. Shafiq’s public character is representative of what an American would call a Moderate Muslim. He is the Executive Director of Rochester College’s interfaith program which seems to me to emphasize Islam more a typical Religious Studies collegiate program that usually examines all the global religions equally. Now granted secular college Religious Studies programs usually de-emphasize the Christian faith; however there is a close examination of the major religions that will include Islam. Dr. Shafiq’s direct connection to the Islamist organization the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) and his seeming promotion of Islamic interfaith understanding with American culture suggests an Islamic emphasis at Nazareth College. This is America and if the privately funded Nazareth College that had its beginning within a NY State Catholic Diocese has no problem with a person at least sympathetic with Radical Islam then who am I to complain. The only criticism I have is that IIIT representation smacks of deception in the portrayal of a peaceful Islam. It might be a good idea to examine the IIIT bona fides.

 

Clarion Project on IIIT

 

 

The decision to establish IIIT was made at a major Islamist conference in Lugano, Switzerland in 1977. A lead organizer was a senior member of the Egyptian Brotherhood that was also the father-in-law of Ahmed Elkadi, the president of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood from 1984 to 1994. Participants included the leaders of other Brotherhood-originated groups like the Islamic Society of North America and the Muslim Students Association and non-American Brotherhood leaders like Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi.[5]

 

 

Swiss police raided Nada’s home in 2001 and discovered a secret 1982 Brotherhood plan called “The Project” that called for infiltrating countries around the world in order to advance the Islamist agenda. A stated goal is supporting jihad for “the establishment of an Islamic State, in parallel with gradual efforts aimed at gaining control of local power centers through institutional action.”[7]

 

A 1988 FBI file states that IIIT board members Jamal Barzinji and Yaqub Mirza are among those “previously characterized as … members and leaders of the IKHWAN [Muslim Brotherhood].”[8]Another 1988 FBI document states that a source inside the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood network “advised that the IIIT … and all the subsidiary and sponsoring Muslim organizations under the control of the IIIT … are in fact IKHWAN organizations.”

 

A source told the FBI that IIIT leaders speak of a six-stage plan to “institute the Islamic Revolution in the United States.” The leaders “indicated that in this phase, their organization needs to peacefully get inside the United States government and also American universities.” They “claimed success in infiltrating the United States government with sympathetic of [or] compromised individuals.” The source believed IIIT was only in the first stage.

 

The FBI source warned that the Brotherhood has “unlimited funds” and has “set up political action front groups with no traceable ties to the IIIT or its various Muslim groups.” In a document made public, the FBI redacted the name of a Brotherhood leader, presumably within IIIT, that the source claims “stated that Muslims in the United States have to be prepared for martyrdom.”[9]

 

In 1991, a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood memo stated its “work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within.” The same memo listed IIIT as one of “our organizations and the organizations of our friends.”

 

 

In 2002, the headquarters of IIIT was raided as part of a terrorism-financing investigation called Operation Green Quest. The probe continued until at least 2007 when the U.S. government tried to force convicted terrorist Sami al-Arian to testify before a grand jury about his links to the organization.[10] IIIT was the largest donor to Sami al-Arian’s front for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group, providing at least $50,000. Al-Arian even said in a letter to IIIT’s president in 1992 that the two groups are one.[11]

 

IIIT employed a founder of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Bashir Musa Nafi, until he was deported in June 1996. Nafi was a close friend of Al-Arian’s. [12] Another IIIT employee, Tarik Hamdi, gave cell phone batteries to Osama Bin Laden, according to a former U.S. Treasury Department official in 2002.[13] In 2003, IIIT made a donation of $720 to the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation in Oregon. The Foundation was shut down as an Al-Qaeda front the following year.[14]

 

 

IIIT has long published and promoted Islamist texts. In 1990, it endorsed the English translation of an Islamist text on Sharia (Islamic) law, Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law by Umdat al-Salik, calling it a “valuable and important” work for “teaching Islamic jurisprudence.” In 2001, it published a book authored by an IIIT official titled Violence that approved of attacks on Israeli civilians as “justified acts of a liberation struggle, not terrorism.”[16]

 

The organization’s website still lists Islamist books it has published. This includes at least three by Brotherhood spiritual leader Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi. Former IIIT president Taha Jabir Al-Alwani authored one text that complains that there are no academic institutions in the Muslim world that teach “the Islamic vision with the same force and persuasiveness” as Western ideas are taught in the West.[17]

 

READ ENTIRETY (International Institute of Islamic Thought; By RYAN MAURO; The Clarion Project; 4/2/13)

 

This IIIT profile by Ryan Mauro is just an excerpt. You really should read the entire article. Discover The Networks (DTN) also has an excellent essay on IIIT. Most of the information corroborates The Clarion Project exposé but for brevity’s sake here is an excerpt that adds some extra info.

 

DTN on IIIT

 

In the early 1990s, IIIT invented and promoted the term “Islamophobia,” a term which implies that any societal fear associated with Islam is necessarily irrational, even if that fear stems from the fact that Islam’s prophet and its modern-day imams call on believers to kill infidels, or from the fact that the 9/11 attacks were carried out to implement those calls. Moreover, the term suggests that any negative societal reaction to such exhortations to violence reflects a bigotry that itself should be feared.

 

Former IIIT member Abdur-Rahman Muhammad — who was with that organization when the word was formally created, and who has since rejected IIIT’s ideology and terminated his membership in disgust — now reveals the original intent behind the concept of Islamophobia: “This loathsome term is nothing more than a thought-terminating cliche conceived in the bowels of Muslim think tanks for the purpose of beating down critics.” In short, in its very origins, “Islamophobia” was a term designed as a weapon to advance a totalitarian cause by stigmatizing critics and silencing them. This plan was an outgrowth of the Muslim Brotherhood’s deceptive “General Strategic Goal for North America.”

Although the term was coined in the early 1990s, “Islamophobia” did not become the focus of an active Brotherhood campaign until after 9/11.

 

Controlled by the extremist, Saudi-based Wahhabi movement, IIIT maintains that reports about mosques distributing hate-filled literature are untrue, and claims that the concept of jihad in no way condones or connotes violence. As an IIIT public-relations flyer puts it: “Jihad does not mean ‘holy war.’ Literally, jihad in Arabic means to strive, struggle and exert effort. It is a central and broad Islamic concept that includes struggle against evil inclinations within oneself, struggle to improve the quality of life in society, struggle in the battlefield for self-defense or fighting against tyranny or oppression.” …

 

 

IIIT is a prominent endorser of the book Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law, an authoritative compendium of sharia written by an eminent 14th-century Islamic jurist. By IIIT’s reckoning, the English translation by Umdat al-Salik is “a valuable and important work” that is highly successful in “its aim to imbue the consciousness of the non-Arabic-speaking Muslim with a sound understanding of Sacred Law.” According to Andrew McCarthy, Reliance “denies freedom of conscience, explaining that apostasy from Islam is a death-penalty offense”; contends that “a Muslim apostatizes not only by clearly renouncing Islam but by doing so implicitly — such as by deviating from the ‘consensus of Muslims,’ or making statements that could be taken as insolence toward Allah or the prophet Mohammed”; “approves a legal caste system in which the rights and privileges of Muslims and men are superior to those of non-Muslims and women”; “penalizes extramarital fornication by stoning or scourging”; endorses the death penalty for homosexuals and for people who make interest-bearing loans; venerates jihad; and exhorts Muslims “to strive to establish an Islamic government, ruled by a caliph.” READ ENTIRETY (INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ISLAMIC THOUGHT (IIIT); Determine The Networks)

 

Muslim apologists will look you in the eyeballs and tell the Reliance of the Traveller is not accepted as authoritative among Sharia scholars. The reality Reliance is authoritative but it is not singular. The Reliance is one of many instructive tools used by Sharia scholars.

 

The second source text of Islamic jurisprudence used to prepare our summaries is Reliance of the Traveller, compiled and written in the 14th century by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri. Reliance of the Traveller is a systematic codification of the laws of the Shafii school of Sunni Islam. It is based primarily on the writings of Imam Rafii and Imam Nawawi,[3] scholars of Islamic law who lived in the 12th-13th centuries and in the 13th century, respectively[4]. Although it is based on the laws of only one of the Islamic legal schools, Reliance of the Traveller is more comprehensive and detailed in its discussion of Islamic law than The Distinguished Jurist’s Primer is. Therefore, there are a number of places where our summaries refer solely to the Shafii school because certain topics are discussed in Reliance of the Traveller but not in The Distinguished Jurist’s Primer. The English translation of Reliance of the Traveller also includes some sections written by a variety of commentators ranging from the 9th to the 20th centuries. In certain cases, we have cited these other commentators, always clearly noting that these citations are not from the Ibn Naqib’s original 14th century Reliance of the Traveller. On occasion, Keller’s translation of Reliance of the Traveller points out an alternative view of one of the schools other than the Shafii on a particular legal point and we have mentioned these variant interpretations in our summaries. When a footnote on this site designates a source as “RT” without any mention in the text or the footnote of the time from which the comment is taken, that means that the citation is to the translation of the original 14th century text of Ibn Naqib. The full title of the original work is Umdat al-salik wa uddat al-nasikThe Reliance of the Traveller and Tools of the Worshipper. The English translation by Nuh Ha Mim Keller is called: Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law. Our summaries of Reliance of the Traveller are based on the 1994 revised edition of this work published by Amana Publications, Beltsville, Maryland, USA. (Laws of Religion – Source Texts Used for Laws of Islam: Jurisprudence of Schools of Islam; Religion Research Society; Last updated 10/23/12)

 

Al-Azhar University in Egypt can loosely be described as Sunni Islam’s versions of verified Islamic theology much like the Papacy is the final authority on all things Roman Catholic. Al-Azhar University has given the official stamp of approval to Reliance of the Traveller not only on the original medieval Arabic document but also the English translation by American converted to Islam Nuh Ha Mim Keller (now living in Jordan).

 

The Revised Edition (published 1991, revised 1994) is “The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law ’Umdat al-Salik by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri (d. 769/1368) in Arabic with Facing English Text, Commentary, and Appendices”, edited and translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller. The publisher is listed as amana publications in Beltsville, Maryland.

 

This an authoritative source on Sunni Islamic law, because it is certified as such by Al-Azhar University in Cairo. There is no higher authority on Sunni Islamic doctrine than Al-Azhar; it is the closest equivalent to the Vatican that can be found in Islam. (A Complete Collapse of Reason; By Baron Bodissey; Right Side News; 6/24/14 06:16)

 

Counterjihadists point out that Reliance is a manual on how Muslims can become brutal human beings and justified by Islam. For a synopsis of that brutality you really should read Mapping Sharia’s exposé of Reliance. Mapping Sharia also provides a link to the PDF of the full English translation of Reliance. If you want to delve into all 1251 pages in confirmation, knock yourself out HERE.

 

Dr. Muhammad Shafiq is a proud member of IIIT. As a proud member of IIIT he ironically is actively drawing the picture of one desirous of an interfaith dialogue between Islam and the West. AND YET as a member of IIIT he has to be supportive that organization’s secretive goals of promoting a Radical Islam (a la Muslim Brotherhood and Saudi Wahhabism) and a stealth infiltration of Western governments and culture to message acceptance of the antichrist religion of Islam.

 

Okay, I’ve spent a bit of time differentiating two Muslims with the same pronunciation of their names yet with different spelling. First I looked at Mohammed Shafiq and followed that by looking at Nazareth College/IIIT professor Dr. Muhammad Shafiq. Both try to project an image of a Moderate Muslim yet associations and actions expose that moderation as a probable deception.

 

At this point I intended to cross post Paul Sutliff’s LinkedIn page report entitled “Dr. Shafiq vs. Me”. I do believe I have ran out of time and space if you have actually read this far. So this is what I am going to do. I will first post this Shafiq and Dr. Shafiq examination then in a separate post I will cross post Mr. Sutliff’s report pointing back to my thoughts via a link.

 

As background it would do well for you to be cognizant of the portion of this post pertaining to Dr. Muhammad Shafiq. This will help you to understand Sutliff’s outrage about the good professor’s ISIS talk at St John’s Church on Humboldt Street in Rochester, NY on the date September 16, 2014.

 

(Mr. Sutliff actually re-edited his LinkedIn post and got it published at the blog calling itself The Independent Chronicle. I’ll be sticking with the LinkedIn version since that is what inspired me.)

 

JRH 9/19/14

Please Support NCCR