“A Common Word: Christian and Muslim Yale Workshop and Conference”
An event held at Yale University Divinity School
July 24-31, 2008
Profiled by DiscoverTheNetworks (March 2009)
On July 24-31, 2008 the Divinity School at Yale University presented an event titled “A Common Word: Christian and Muslim Yale Workshop and Conference.” According to the website promoting this conference: “Without peace and justice between these two religious communities, there can be no meaningful peace in the world. The future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians.” The featured speakers at the event included the following professors, scholars, and activists:
John Kerry is a Democratic Senator from Massachusetts and was the 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee.
During the 2004 presidential campaign, Kerry spoke before the Arab American Institute (in Michigan) and expressed his dismay over the construction of the Israeli security barrier”“I know how disheartened Palestinians are by the Israeli government's decision to build the barrier off of the Green Line – cutting deep into Palestinian areas. We don't need another barrier to peace. Provocative and counterproductive measures only harm Israelis' security over the long term, increase the hardships to the Palestinian people, and make the process of negotiating an eventual settlement that much harder.”
At the Yale workshop, Kerry made no mention of the fact that the security barrier had greatly reduced the number of terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens.
In October 2004, a prominent aide of then-Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat stated that Arafat would prefer to have Kerry win the 2004 presidential election. “The president [Arafat] is frustrated with Bush's policies,” the aide said. “The president [Arafat] thinks Kerry will be much better for the Palestinian cause and for the establishment of a Palestinian state.”
In February 2009, Kerry acted as a liaison between the U.S. government and the Islamic terrorist organization Hamas, accepting a letter written by Hamas official Ahmed Yousef addressed to President Barack Obama. The letter called on Obama “to deal in a fair way with the Palestinian issue,” and declared that “Mr. Kerry's visit to Gaza showed that the new administration has a clarity of vision and is not controlled by Israeli propaganda.”
Dalia Mogahed is a Senior Analyst and Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, a “research center dedicated to providing data-driven analysis, advice, and education on the views of Muslim populations around the world.”
Through her work at the Center, Mogahed has worked alongside such individuals as the anti-Semitic, anti-American Islamic scholar Hamza Yusuf and the London-based professor Karen Armstrong, who contends that Palestinian suicide bombers are motivated by “absolute hopelessness” rather than by hatred.
Along with radical Islam apologist John Esposito, Mogahed co-authored the 2008 book Who Speaks for Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think. Mogahed is also a member of the Brookings Institution’s “Crisis in the Middle East” task force.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf serves as Director of both the Islamic Cultural Center of New York and the Islamic Center of Washington, DC.
Imam Feisal alleges that the U.S. and the West, and not countries in the Muslim world, were the first to engage in the practice of attacking civilian targets. “The Islamic method of waging war is not to kill innocent civilians,” says Feisal. “But it was Christians in World War II who bombed civilians in Dresden and Hiroshima, neither of which were military targets.” Imam Feisal believes that there will be little progress between Eastern and Western relations until the U.S. acknowledges its propensity to support dictators and the U.S. President delivers an “‘America Culpa’ speech to the Muslim world.”
Imam Feisal has written three books on Islam, including: Islam: A Search for Meaning (1996); Islam: A Sacred Law – What every Muslim should know about the Shariah (2000); and What's Right With Islam: A New Vision for Muslims and the West (2004).
Hashem Kamali is a Professor of Law at the International Islamic University of Malaysia, and currently serves as the CEO and Chairman of the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies in Malaysia. Kamali is also the author of Islamic Commercial Law 2000, a study of the application of Shariah principles to financial institutions, and is currently a Shariah Advisor with the Securities Commission of Malaysia.
In 2005, Kamali spoke at the International Islamic Conference in Amman, Jordan. There, he made a case that the word “jihad,” in its true sense, has nothing to do with fighting and war. Rather, he explained, it means “serving the society.”
Seyyed Hossein Nasr
Seyyed Hossein Nasr is a professor of Islamic studies at George Washington University.
In 2004 Nasr was a keynote speaker at a U.N.-presented seminar titled “Confronting Islamophobia.” In his address, Nasr stated that the term “anti-Semitism” was originally directed at the Arabs in Spain and was only used in reference to Jews following World War II. In truth, the term dates only to 1879 and was coined by the German journalist Wilhelm Marr as a specifically anti-Jewish expression.
Nasr contends that Western culture routinely attempts to conceal the positive contributions made by Islam.
Alan Godlas is an Associate Professor in the Department of Religion at the University of Georgia (UGA). He is also the director of UGA’s Virtual Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of the Islamic World, a charitable and outreach organization catering to Muslims on campus.
Godlas maintains a website called Islam and Islamic Studies Resources. “Most web sites about Islam are heavily biased,” says Godlas. “But I knew that for Muslims and the rest of the world to live together in peace in today’s global village, at the very least there needed to be somewhere on the web to which people would turn for information on Islam that was balanced and fair.” Notwithstanding that characterization, articles contained on the website include pieces written by such individuals as:
· Tariq Ramadan: A Muslim professor of philosophy, Ramadan is grandson of Hasan al-Banna, who founded the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2004, Ramadan had his U.S. visa revoked due to his numerous connections to Islamic terrorism.
· Juan Cole: A professor of modern Middle East and South Asian history at the University of Michigan, Cole was elected President of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) in November 2004. Cole decries the term “Islamo-fascist” as a “thoroughly abhorrent” form of bigotry, even as he routinely brands Zionism “racist” and “fascist.”
· John Esposito: A professor at Georgetown University, Esposito is a celebrated apologist for radical Islam. For example, he traces the root causes of the 9/11 attacks not to Islamic extremism, but directly to the doorstep of the United States and what he calls its exploitation of Muslim nations. He advises Americans “to look at the proximate grievances, not to justify what terrorists do, but to be able to address, when one can, those conditions which foster the growth of radicalism and extremism in societies overseas.”
· Khaled Medhat Abou El Fadl: A law professor at UCLA, El Fadl, like other Islamists, wants Muslims to live by Islamic law (Sharia), which endorses, among other things, slavery, execution for apostasy, the repression of women, and the mistreatment of non-Muslims. El Fadl blames the West for all the negative aspects of Islamic culture. Islamic terrorism, for example, he deems “part of the historical legacy of colonialism and not the legacy of Islamic law.”