Monday, September 13, 2010

Went to see a "Moderate Muslim" Eboo Patel speak at the University of Puget Sound

I enjoyed this non-professional professional report from a fellow ACT! chapter leader so much, I figured it was only right to share it with all of you.

Things Aren’t Always What They Seem . . .
I am a student finishing up my degree in forensic science. I am also a chapter leader for ACT! for America. In my search for a four-year school in my area to finish my bachelor’s degree in science, I happened upon a lecture presented at a school I was looking to go to. A guy name Eboo Patel, author of Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation would be speaking September 7th.

I read the story that the University of Puget Sound had on their website about this guy. He is a member of the President’s Advisory Council of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Okay, impressive. He also serves on the Council on Foreign Relations… uuh … hmmm … and he is on the board of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the National Committee of the Agha Khan Foundation USA, oh boy… He has started the “Interfaith Youth Core,” a Chicago based institution building the global interfaith youth movement.

Now I am interested. There are certain words that are red flags to me: Interfaith, Global, Council on Foreign Relations, Chicago (when it involves Muslims since that is where the Muslim Brotherhood is headquartered).
Okay – so I decide to go to this, hoping that this guy was legit and really wanted to work to reform Islam to be a civil, fully integrated religion in our society like many others are. My studies, life experiences and involvement with ACT! for America were telling me otherwise, but I decided to go and listen with an open mind.
Ya know, we have instincts for a reason … Patel opened his speech with an outright misleading statement. He started his speech with, “A Muslim cabbie was stabbed for being a Muslim. A future mosque site in Tennessee was recently firebombed…” He used some other so called “hate crime” against Muslims but after his first sentence, I already knew where this guy was going. Oh never mind the fact that the guy who stabbed the cabbie worked for the Cordoba Initiative and volunteered for an Interfaith charity. That would not fit his narrative. Nowhere did he talk about the fact that hate crimes against Jews are about 65% as compared with 7.7% for Muslims according to the FBI’s latest Hate Crime Statistics. But holy smokes, the way this guy opened his speech made it sound as if mobs of villagers were tracking down poor innocent Muslims and burning down their whole community (hmmm… but that does remind me of another group of people I have heard of doing that around the world).

So Patel opened his memorized speech implying that the majority of Americans were ignorant bigots and later implied that the “oh so enlightened” group of bright-eyed and bushy tailed college students who were there (mainly coerced by faculty who gave extra credit or assignments as confirmed by several students I asked) were going to save the world from their ignorance.

He went on to talk about pluralism. I happened to know that pluralism is usually not encouraged in Islam. He claimed to want mosques “from the redwood forests to the gulf stream waters” to encourage this acceptance of “all” religions. He compared anyone who did not agree with interfaith ideas to racist, intolerant, and bigoted KKK members and Nazis. At this point I couldn’t decide if I wanted to get up and scream or throw up. He went on to say that our enemy is not all Muslims or Islam… our enemy is not his 11 month old son or his 5 year old son! Wow – this guy is good… I mean what kind of mean person would consider a child your enemy, right? He has the crowd right where he wants them. They are eating out of the palm of his hand. I’m not buying his garbage. He said that our enemy was extremism. The way he presented it sounded like he was denouncing terrorists as we define terrorism but I know that how WE define something can be very different than how they define something. I thought he was referring to the extremists that were supposedly targeting the Ummah (Muslim community). I know that many Muslims do not consider Hamas or Hezbollah to be terrorist groups and consider Israel to be the terrorists. So without an agreed-upon definition, we could not be sure that he was actually denouncing extremists that stone, hang, behead, burn down churches, villages, people, etc., or denouncing us, who do not want Sharia in our country or want to convert to Islam.

He went on to say we do not live in a Christian versus Muslim world and could not for the life of him understand why we would oppose the “community center” at Ground Zero. WHAT??? He said that when the towers came down, there were “whispers” that it was the Muslims, terrorists, it was Islam. (Well, yeah, because it WAS.) He then likened this to what happened in World War II when the American government rounded up Japanese Americans and put them in internment camps. He stated that those people who brought down the towers stepped out of Islam. I have heard this argument before and I also know that if enough Muslims perform jihad, the whole Ummah gets credit for it. This allows plausible deniability for the rest of the Muslims who do not physically support jihad but might, with their Zakat (tithe), support it financially or morally. This allows those who do not strap bombs to their bodies to promote creeping Shariah (Islamic) law.

He also said that if there were an extremist with only one bullet in his gun and he had Patel and one of us against the wall, the extremist would shoot him first. Maybe because he said he had zero desire to see Shariah law implemented in the United States? Yes, he did say that.

He again, misleadingly, told the group of sponges (who were looking at him adoringly as a beacon of tolerance and light) that Muslims have been in America for 400 years. He also stated that Keith Ellison, the 1st Muslim Congressman, used Thomas Jefferson’s copy of the Qur’an. REALLY??? TJ had a Qu’ran? Wow… I guess Islam is okay!!! He failed to mention that TJ had a Qur’an to try to figure out a way to BEAT the Muslims in the Barbary Wars… Ohh, yeah, well, that doesn’t fit the agenda, either, so we’ll skip that.

Then the fun really began – Christian bashing! the new American past-time. He stated that there were churches that would hold up the Bible from the pulpit and scream that we have to hate Muslims and take the “sword of Christ” to them. REALLY?? Wow! What churches are you going to, Eboo? I have never ever heard anything like that and I have been in church since I was a baby. He said that preachers were preaching that we Christians should hate children. Holy Smokes!!! He must be thinking of the Hillsboro Baptist church that protests at soldier’s funerals because sincerely, I have never heard this kind of talk from any pulpit – and I come from a family of preachers. What I have heard, Eboo, is “love your enemy,” “pray for those who spitefully use you.” “Pray for the souls of the lost.” That is what I have heard from the churches I have been to. Boy, for a guy who claims to be so interfaithy – that sure sounds like the hateful rhetoric he is attributing to us.
He quoted many lovely, peaceful Suras – all from the Meccan period.

He stated that “even President Bush said Islam meant “peace” and that bigotry was the antithesis of America. Then not missing an opportunity to take a swipe at Bush, he backtracked and said, “Well, he probably didn’t use the word “antitheses.” The well-indoctrinated students all laughed hysterically. He proselytized for awhile, talking about Ramadan. He later compared bad people that stone and behead to bad people who burn the Qur’an. Hmmm. Yes, I can see how two examples of murder compare to burning paper.

While I don’t think that the burning of the Qur’an is going to do anything productive, I do understand people’s frustration. And while it may not be wise to do this, it is their right under the first amendment. (Hey, where have I heard that argument before?) He talked about Ramadan being a time for forgiveness and about Dr. Omar Abdullah who wrote A Place of Tolerance in Islam. Again, without agreed-upon definitions, (and in all fairness, I have not read the book) we cannot know whether this “place of tolerance” is a place of dhimmitude, living side by side with Muslims as long as we pay the jizya tax, feel adequately subdued, and live as second-class citizens. Is that the tolerance this book speaks of?

But of course, the audience who was audibly cooing and aaaawing (really, they were) doesn’t understand that we do not have the same definitions. They listen with Western ears assuming that everyone understands as they do. BIG mistake!

He closed with a couple of things that I did agree with. Hate begets hate. Yes, it does. That is why I believe that in fighting this threat without hate, without burning Qur’ans or harassing Muslims. We must fight this fight in politics, policies, in the courtroom, in the media, and in the classrooms. We must remember that even though this group of people is capable of doing some of the most brutal and vile things, they are human beings and the only thing that changes people, really, is love. This is not to say we cannot stand up for ourselves and defend our society but we have to balance strength with common sense. The other thing he said was that “what we do is watched all over the world.” Indeed. He got a standing ovation from everyone but me and my group.

The question and answer time proved equally interesting. One older Japanese person asked if we should just get rid of all religions and have one global religion …WOW… CREEPY! And I don’t think so, buddy.
Another well-indoctrinated kiddy asked if American “Imperialism” would hurt the cause of pluralism … Wow, who is teaching at UPS? Marx? Lenin? Stalin? I normally don’t hear those terms unless someone involved with Communism or Marxism.

A Muslim woman got up and began her diatribe, bashing Christians, saying the Jews pray and bow, the Muslims pray Allah Akbar but what do the Christians do? She went on to say that she couldn’t do drugs so she couldn’t be a Christian – HUH??? WHAT???? So, as you can see, this interfaith event was anything but.
One person asked how he could reconcile the violence in the name of Islam. He said that we must replace bad theology with good theology. Oh… now I understand why the extremist would shoot Patel first. He must be an apostate, a heretic. He talked about the two theologians he trusts who interpret the violence in the Qur’an. Imam al Fathum and Imam Feisal Rauf! Wait a minute – did I hear that right? RAUF??? The ground zero mosque guy? The one who thinks that America should be under Shariah law? He said that there was historical abrogation meaning that the violence was meant only for that time and that we all have free will and can CHOOSE what is okay in Islam. He said if you read the Qur’an with hate in your heart, you will see hate.

This guy’s taqiyya (lying for the cause of Islam) is impressive! Unfortunately, the people wanted so badly to believe Patel that no one questioned his connection with Rauf. Rauf was recently was caught saying on mic (when he thought he was off mic) that the process of his Cordoba Initiative and of implementing Sharia Law was like a football game. Each down is made to gain ground until you are at the goal line. As Militant Islam warns, “motivated primarily by a sense of feel-goodism, Jewish and Christian groups are actually furthering the spread of Islamism because they are not exercising even a modicum of judgment before engaging in such phony interfaith exercises. At some point the Judeo-Christian community must take personal responsibility for the enabling of its mortal enemies.”

When I got home I did a little research on Ebrahim “Eboo” Patel and got confirmation of my suspicions. He is connected with Council on American and Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) which are both fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood - a terrorist group out of Egypt who has since been banned from Egypt. Patel is listed on the ISNA’s website as an official speaker of their speaker’s bureau and is a member of the Islamic Society of North America. According to Brenda Elliot of World Net Daily, “ISNA through its affiliate, North American Islamic Trust – a Saudi government backed organization – reportedly holds the titles on 50-80% of the mosques in the US and Canada.” The problem with that is that Saudi Arabia is the exporter of the most extreme form of Islam - Wahabism. The ISNA was founded by the Muslim Student Association which was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood,

So my hopes of a truly moderate Muslim were once again dashed on the jagged rocks of reality. “Patel plays both sides as the kumbaya moderate who runs a da'wa (Islamic outreach) front under the guise of the Interfaith Youth Core. Interfaith is one of the most favored Islamist tactics used to sugarcoat da'wa in order to lure non-Muslims with a "more in common then we think" feel good dynamic to bring them into contact with Islam. His participation in the CAIR annual event shows he is a stealth Islamist.’ (Militant Islam

 As one participant of Patel’s so called “Interfaith conference” put it: “I attended the Interfaith Youth Core conference in October of 2007. This conference was lead by Eboo Patel, and I was very excited about it. That is, until the political agenda became very clear. The conference centered on the superiority of Islam. Every "interfaith" group or event carried this message. The keynote speaker was an Islamic convert, the interfaith prayer room was covered with Islamic prayer rugs, the keynote professors, one a Muslim convert, from the University of Chicago, claimed that there was no such thing or threat of "Islamofascism." Eboo's opening address talked about the faith line. He created this idea that there were 2 types of people, interfaith and fundamentalists. The implied message was that anyone who disagreed with Eboo and the conference agenda was a fundamentalist. The last event I attended was a panel of Jewish activists that were facilitating meetings with leaders of Hamas. To portray any of these leaders as "spiritual" guides with only a hard-line approach, is simply lies. No one questioned any of these programs because they were under this facade of "interfaith." I found the entire event very disturbing. The next month, I received Eboo's journal, "The Review of Faith and International Politics." Same agenda. The topics included the weakness of Zionism, convincing Evangelicals not to support Israel, and extremism in Judaism. Patel even has blog post denouncing Ayaan Hirsi Ali as a money-grubbing capitalist! Well, at least she escaped the "infidel" charge. Quite a step up….”

Wow, now that is really showing your true colors, Mr. Patel.

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