The fast food chain based in Atlanta, Georgia has been under attack from gay and lesbian groups because of its support of traditional marriage – marriage defined as being between a man and a woman. Earlier this month, The Biblical Recorder, the news journal for NC Baptists, published an interview with Dan Cathy, president and chief operating officer of Chick-fil-A about the chain and its commitment to operating on biblical principles. In the interview when asked about the company’s support of the traditional family, Cathy replied, “We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit.”
This interview began a new series of attacks against the company by gay and lesbian groups. In addition the restaurant chain met with harsh criticism from the mayors of two major cities.
Boston mayor Thomas Menino wrote a letter to Dan Cathy expressing his support of same sex marriage and urging the company to “back out of your plans to locate to Boston…There is no place for discrimination on Boston’s Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it.” A copy of the letter can be viewed on The City of Boston’s Facebook page.
When asked in a television interview if he would tell the Catholic Church or the Boy Scouts that they are not welcome because of their stance on gay marriage, the mayor replied, “They are not funding an organization who are anti-gay…. It’s a different story.”
The Mayor of Boston, however, does have a history of funding an organization that is anti-gay with taxpayer money. It seems Mayor Menino sold city property valued at $2 million to the Islamic Society of Boston for $175,000 to build their mosque. This particular mosque has a history of being tied with extremists including Yusuf al Qaradawi who according to Reuters called for the murder of homosexuals.
Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel also criticized Chick-Fil-A saying, “If you’re going to be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect Chicago values.” Interestingly, Mayor Emanuel welcomed help for the Chicago community from Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam leader without questioning Farrakhan’s values.
For the last two Mondays, a group of men known as the Fruit of Islam were led by Farrakhan to form a human wall of protection in violence plagued Chicago neighborhoods. In addition, Mayor Emanuel backed an Alderman’s call to block the construction of a Chick-fil-A in Chicago, but the city recently allowed the Nation of Islam to reopen the Salaam Restaurant that “springs from the mission of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.”
Although the Nation of Islam teachings do not completely align with traditional Islamic teachings, Farrakhan has often expressed his views regarding homosexuality. He has said, “God don’t like men coming to men with lust in their hearts like you should go to a female. If you think that the kingdom of God is going to be filled up with that kind of degenerate crap, you’re out of your d— mind.”
Traditional Islamic teachings are a quite a bit harsher. The Reliance of the Traveller says, “The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:
(1) “Kill the one who sodomizes and the one who lets it be done to him.”
(2) “May Allah curse him who does what Lot’s people did.”
(3) “Lesbianism by women is adultery between them.”
The hypocrisy of those who criticize a Christian for a view that they may not agree with yet all the while advancing the agenda of Islam in their cities either reveals an ignorance of the teachings of Islam which is unlikely in both the cases presented above or a willful blind eye to truth.
PRAY FOR BUSINESS:
During a July 27th Congressional hearing, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, Tom Perez, repeatedly refused to answer Rep. Trent Franks question regarding the administration’s position on the freedom of speech.
Rep. Franks asked, “Will you tell us here today that this administration’s Department of Justice will never entertain or advance a proposal that criminalizes speech against any religion?” Earlier in the hearing, Rep. Franks had referenced an article that was published in October 2011, detailing a meeting between top Justice department officials and Islamists. Perez said he was not aware of the article.
In this particular meeting the Muslim representatives lobbied the Justice department officials for several things including, “cutbacks in anti-terror funding, changes in agents’ training manuals, additional curbs on investigators and a legal declaration that U.S. citizens’ criticism of Islam constitutes racial discrimination.”
Sahar Aziz, an Egyptian-American lawyer from the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding argued that Americans’ fear of Islamists’ bombs has evolved into racism towards dark-skinned men.
Although some in the United States have been accused of being “racist” when criticizing Islam, it is important to note that Islam is not a race. Oftentimes if one can paint their opponent as being racist, the facts do not matter.
Asst. Attorney General Perez reportedly praised the group, who he said had convinced the government to end extra security checks from twelve Islamic countries (including Nigeria – the home of the Christmas Day underwear bomber).
Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America (an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Terrorism trial), argued that “teaching people that all Muslims are a threat to the country…is against the law and the Constitution.”
Perez is quoted in the article as saying; “I sat here the entire time, taking notes. I have some very concrete thoughts…in the aftermath of this.”
Rep. Franks asked Perez exactly what his concrete thoughts had been. Perhaps Rep. Franks asked because of the White House ordered review of counterterrorism training material and an internal FBI investigation purged hundreds of documents of instructional material about radical Islam.
Those who have clearly shown themselves to have an agenda of advancing an anti-American system are threatening the security of our nation.
PRAY FOR GOVERNMENT:
In 1776 the United States colonies declared their independence from Britain with the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In part the Declaration reads, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This document is one of the foundations of our nation. Our adversaries also frequently twist it in their attempts to destroy, not enhance, the crucial underpinnings of our democracy as embodied in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Take the following example where Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) attempts to wrap the subjugating, medieval shariah law with the liberating political writings embodied in our founding documents.
In May, after signing legislation barring the use of foreign laws in court decisions, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback met with harsh criticism from Muslim groups. Nedhira Al-Khalili, the CAIR legal council said, “This clearly unconstitutional legislation, like all the others targeting Muslims’ religious rights nationwide, invites a legal challenge. The unmistakable and un-American bigotry espoused by the sponsors of these bills should be repudiated by Americans of all faiths.” Naeem Baig, Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) VP of Public Affairs said, “This goes against the noble principles of freedom of religion in America. Most people don’t realize that outlawing the use of Shariah would be akin to outlawing the Ten Commandments, Talmudic law, or the Gospels of Jesus. American Muslims observing Shariah are being discriminated against.”
As you can see Muslim groups use the idea of religious discrimination (though Islam is certainly among the most discriminatory of the world’s faiths) as a basis to counter this type of legislation. However, we must question what happens when Islamic religious practices take away Americans’ right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in direct opposition to both the meaning and purpose of our founding documents.
An example of a portion of shariah law that is in direct conflict with U.S. Federal law is female genital mutilation (FGM). FGM refers to the practice of partially or totally removing the external female genitalia, frequently without anesthesia. In yet another example of politically correct terminology and multiculturalism, the procedure is also referred in a U.S. government flyer as female circumcision and female genital cutting (FGC). The flyer explains, “Some people fear that parents may resent the implication that they are ’mutilating’ their daughters by participating in this largely cultural event and so reject the term FGM in favor of FGC. Some people point out that the word ‘cutting’ is less judgmental and relates better to terms used in many local languages.”
Regardless, the practice often causes serious physical and psychological effects. The World Health Organization says the practice has no health benefits and can cause a range of health problems including “severe bleeding and problem urinating, and later cysts, infections, infertility as well as complications in childbirth.” Federal law in the United States prohibited FGM in 1996, but the Center for Disease Control or CDC estimated in 2010 between 150,000 to 200,000 girls in the U.S. are in danger of being taken overseas to undergo the procedure.
The flyer produced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services further says, “Although many people believe that FGC is associated with Islam, it is not. FGC is not supported by any religion and is condemned by many religious leaders.”
Although it is certainly true FGM predates Islam and is still practiced by people from different religious backgrounds, there are Islamic shariah scholars who support and encourage FGM. The “Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law” specifically addresses female circumcision. The International Institute of Islamic Thought, the Fiqh Council of North America and the prestigious Islamic Al Azhar University have endorsed this manual.
This shariah law text states, “Circumcision is obligatory (O: for both men and women. For men it consists of removing the prepuce from the penis, and for women, removing the prepuce (Ar. Bazr) of the clitoris (n: not the clitoris itself, as some mistakenly assert). (A: Hanbalis hold that circumcision of women is not obligatory but sunna [meaning, the normal custom, or a practice decided by Mohammad], while Hanafis consider it a mere courtesy to the husband.)
Dr. Hatem al-Haj, PhD, MD, senior committee member of the Association of Muslims Jurists of America (AMJA) said in his paper entitled, “Circumcision of Girls: Jurisprudence and Medicine,” female genital mutilation is “at the very least it can be said that for women it is an honor.” After his paper, written in Arabic, was translated in April of 2012 and posted in part by Jihad Watch, Dr. al-Haj was fired by the Mayo Clinic for his position. He has since stated he only supported a “ritual nick” which is still prohibited by federal law.
Even more revealing, especially with U.S. support of the newly elected Muslim Brotherhood president in Egypt is the legal ruling by Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood who said, “The [Islamic] hadith indicates that circumcision is better for a woman’s health and it enhances her conjugal relation with her husband.”
PRAYER FOR THE FAMILY:
Filmmaker Eric Allen Bell learned firsthand of U.S. media bias toward Islam. Bell, taking a break from his work in Hollywood, had moved to Murfreesboro, TN. He found himself in the middle of a controversy that continues today.
The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro was planning to build a 53,000 square foot mosque on some farmland on the outer edge of town. Bell, not a fan of religion as he describes himself, felt the controversy was one of fanatical Evangelicals bullying peaceful Muslims who simply wanted to build a place of worship. When he learned of an anti-mosque parade planned for the community, he decided to make a documentary to illustrate what he believed to be typical Christian intolerance. This documentary was to be titled “Not Welcome.”
The dominant liberal, mainstream media picked up on his project and soon he wrote several pieces for Michael Moore and others. He returned to California to show a short version of his documentary attempting to gain additional support to finish the project. He found someone who promised they would back him to finish the movie. The documentary on the Murfreesboro mosque would be used to focus on what he considered America’s “religious lunatic fringe” ignoring any serious investigation into the Muslims.
Around this time he returned to Tennessee and while in a taxi driven by an Egyptian cab driver, his views began to change. It began when he asked the driver, a Coptic Christian, how he felt about the fall of Mubarak. The cab driver replied he was concerned because he feared for his family back home. He said if the Muslims took control, it would become very dangerous for his family. After this conversation, Bell took a fresh look at Islam. He began to read reports from authors like Robert Spencer and Frank Gaffney, and he did his own independent research, which verified this newly discovered information for him. Indeed, this fear is especially well founded when considering how the most ancient of Christian populations is being driven from their homes in many nations in the Middle East including Iraq and Egypt. This is a good example of an Islamist government taking over from a Sunni, secular government and then systematically persecuting Christians.
Bell’s change of perspective did not endear him to his former supporters as he soon discovered as he began to share his findings with them. They told Bell his judgment was unsound and unclear and suggested he step away from the project. He was even told to make the documentary the way it was originally planned painting a strong negative perspective on Christians or to return the money. To his credit, he decided to stick to the truth.
In January of 2012, he wrote three articles for Daily Kos. The first was called, “Loonwatch.com and Radical Islam” asserting Loonwatch was “fundamentally a radical Islamic front for terrorism, spreading distorted information about the reality of rapidly spreading Islamic fundamentalism – through lies of omission.” The next day Loonwatch.com called Eric Bell the “Loon at Large.” All three articles were ultimately met with cries of Islamophobia and “hate speech.” The attacks were not on the truth of the information he presented, rather they were personal attacks no his character. His final article called, “Are You in Favor of Human Rights?” led to him being banned from Daily Kos.
Unfortunately, Eric Bell’s experiences are not unique, as we have seen recently with the personal attacks against Rep. Michele Bachmann.
PRAYER FOR MEDIA:
The term “Islamic banking” refers to a system of banking or banking activity that is consistent with Islamic law (Shariah) principles and guided by Islamic economics. The Financial Times recently published an article regarding Islamic banking. The article portrays shariah compliant finance in our banking systems as ethical, however by western standards one would question those ethics.
Shariah Finance Watch has compiled a list of financial institutions active in the United States that have a tie to shariah compliant finance along with entities that do not offer financial products but play key roles in enabling shariah compliant finance in our nation. This list includes AIG, Bank of America, Barclays, Bloomberg, Century 21, J.P. Morgan Chase, CitiBank, The Coca-Cola Company, Dow Jones, GE Capital, Harvard Law School, HSBC, International Institute of Islamic Thought, NASDAQ, and Standard & Poor’s.
Shariah compliant financial products are, as the name indicates, governed by Islamic shariah law. A product is determined to be compliant based on the approval of one or more Islamic scholars who serve on an advisory board for any institution offering shariah compliant products. The financial transactions cannot involve “impure” activities that include alcohol, pork, tobacco, gambling, pornography and western defense, and they cannot charge interest. Most importantly 2.5% of the assets of a shariah compliant instrument has to be donated as “zakat”. The Islamic scholars, serving on the advisory boards, determine how to distribute this money.
Zakat is giving a portion (2.5%) of one’s wealth to charity and is one of the five pillars of Islam. The money can be distributed between eight categories: the poor, those short of money, zakat workers, those who hearts are to reconciled, slaves purchasing their freedom, those in debt, those fighting for Allah and travelers needing money. The phrase, those fighting for Allah, means, “people engaged in Islamic military operations for whom no salary has been allotted in the army roster” (Reliance of the Traveller h8.17 p. 272). Those fighting for Allah are given money even if they are wealthy which is to be spent on weapons, clothing and other expenses including supporting the fighter’s family.
Although zakat is found in the Qur’an, Islamic finance cannot be found in the Qur’an or the hadith. Islamic leaders in fact invented it in the 1940s and 1950s. Abul A’al al-Mawdudi and Sayyid Qutb – both who desired to insulate the Islamic world from western civilization wrote about Islamic economics, but at the time Islamic financial products did not exist.
The idea of Islamic financial products did not take root until the Arab Oil Embargo in the 1970s when countries such as Saudi Arabia, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates developed large banking institutions. The nation of Iran began to dominate the industry after the 1979 Islamic revolution and today 6 of the 10 top shariah compliant financial institutions are actually Iranian state banks.
There are only around two-dozen shariah scholars who serve on the advisory boards of shariah compliant financial institutions around the world. These scholars sometimes serve on the boards of competing institutions, which would be considered a conflict of interest in the western world.
Mufti Taqi Usmani was the chief of the Dow Jones shariah advisory board and the chief of HSBC’s shariah advisory board. After it was uncovered that Usmani believed Muslims in the West had a duty to rise up in jihad against their Western neighbors and had served as an officer of the madrassa in Pakistan that gave birth to the Taliban, he was replaced by his son.
Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood has been on the advisory boards of many financial institutions. This includes a bank called Al Taqwa based out of the Bahamas. The bank had an association with a real estate investment firm called BMI based in New Jersey. Both were shut down by the US Treasury Department for sending funds to finance terrorism.
PRAY FOR BUSINESS:
Members of Congress are required by Article VI of the U.S. Constitution to be bound by oath or affirmation to support the Constitution. The oath reads in part, “I, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…”
Five members of Congress, defending the Constitution against an enemy that is operating both foreign and domestically, have been attacked personally by other members of Congress for simply calling for an investigation by government agencies regarding the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in our government. The hesitation of members within our government to investigate these valid concerns raises the question of how seriously those leveling personal attacks take their oath of office.
The Muslim Brotherhood was founded by Hassan al-Banna in Egypt in 1928 as a result of the dismantling of the last Islamic caliphate by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1924. Al-Banna was angered the caliphate had been dissolved and said, “It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.” The creed of the Muslim Brotherhood is, “God is our objective, the Qur’an is our law; the Prophet is our leader, Jihad is our way and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.” In case you think the Muslim Brotherhood has toned down its message, one week ago, Muhammad Badi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide, “called on all Muslims to wage jihad with their money and their selves to free al-Quds [Jerusalem].”
The Muslim Brotherhood today is active in more than 100 countries around the world – overtly in some countries and covertly in others. The United States has a large and active Muslim Brotherhood presence. During the 2007, Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development trial, the largest terrorism funding trial in our nation’s history, evidence was introduced about the Muslim Brotherhood’s activities in the United States.
One document called The Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America detailed the Muslim Brotherhood’s strategy for our nation. The document said the Brotherhood is engaged in “a civilization Jihadist process” planning on “eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within.” In addition this document listed 29 “organizations of our friends.” These friends include many prominent Islamic groups currently operating in our nation including the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Muslim Students Association of the U.S. and Canada (MSA), the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT). These groups were named “unindicted co-conspirators” in the Holy Land Foundation trial. The Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) actually opened its first office through a $5,000 donation from the Holy Land Foundation.
An excellent 10-part video series about the Muslim Brotherhood’s activities in America is available from the Center for Security Policy. The Center reveals, “The Muslim Brotherhood’s civilization jihad is being pursued through stealthy means involving penetration and subversion of this country’s civil society and governing institutions. A central feature of this stealthy, pre-violent jihad is what the military calls ‘information dominance’ – it helps the Muslim Brotherhood keep us ignorant of the true nature of the threat they pose and the progress they are making in bring shariah to America.”
In light of what our own government has uncovered regarding the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in our nation, the call by Reps. Bachmann, Gohmert, Franks, Rooney and Westmoreland is completely warranted and necessary for the security of our nation. Contact your Congressmen and urge them to support these Representatives and their call for investigations.
PRAYER FOR GOVERNMENT:
President Thomas Jefferson considered the founding of the University of Virginia as one of his greatest achievements. Referring to the university in a letter dated, December 27, 1820, he stated, “This institution will be based on the illimitable (limitless) freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.”
Today’s universities are increasingly distancing themselves from the vision of Thomas Jefferson. This is especially true when you examine certain groups such as the Muslim Student Association (MSA) that are present on many campuses. Jefferson’s desire for the human mind to be free allows students to follow truth, but when this western mindset of freedom to pursue truth meets Islam there is a clash of mindsets. The religion of Islam presents itself as absolute truth and unlike Christianity does not allow its followers to question its teachings. Both the Qur’an and the hadith warn Muslims not to question Islamic teachings. The Qur’an says “A people asked such [questions] before you; then they became thereby disbelievers” (sura 5:102). In the classic manual of Islamic Sacred Law, “The Reliance of the Traveller” it says that to deny any verse of the Qur’an, or anything which by scholarly consensus belongs to it, is apostasy from Islam, which is punishable by death.
Perhaps even more tragic is the refusal of western universities to insist their students employ reason to combat error when it comes to Islamic issues. Rather than insisting students examine issues and form opinions by considering differing viewpoints and engaging in respectful dialogue, universities far too often attempt to be politically correct and tolerant in their treatment of the Islamic religion and Muslim views on political and social issues. How can our institutions of higher learning follow truth when they are unwilling to allow reason to even be voiced much less considered?
A recent example occurred when speaker and author, David Horowitz was invited to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to discuss the increasingly dangerous position of Israel in the Middle East. The Daily Tarheel, the campus newspaper, reported nearly all the students in attendance for the lecture walked out about 20 minutes into Mr. Horowitz’s speech. However, another report says the majority of the students stayed for the entire lecture.
The Carolina Review, UNC’s conservative journal reported, a spokesperson for the Muslim Student Association (MSA) that participated in the walkout said, “…Mr. Horowitz hurts the ‘culture of tolerance’ that UNC has worked to build over the years, because UNC has made such great progress in making ‘a point of respecting diversity and minority voices on this campus.’”
The campus newspaper printed three articles, an editorial cartoon and one letter to the editor regarding the event that were all critical of Mr. Horowitz’s views. In addition to one-sided reporting of the incident, The Daily Tarheel refused to print a letter to the editor from David Horowitz addressing the walkout, which included the following observation:
The closed-minded students – mainly but not exclusively members of MSA – who came not to listen to what I had to say but with the intention of walking out on cue exemplified an attitude that is all too common on campuses today. The intent of these “protests” is to defame a speaker whose views they oppose but cannot answer intellectually.
Rather than respecting Mr. Horowitz’s opinion and engage in the question and answer session that followed his speech, this group of students left. This is not the first time a group of Muslim students have left such a gathering. In February of 2010, eleven students that were part of the Muslim Student Union at the University of California Irvine disrupted and walked out of Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s speech. Because their actions were disruptive and stopped the Ambassador from being able to continue to speak, 11 students were arrested and the Muslim Student Union was suspended for an academic quarter. The school obtained e-mails that showed the group, “planned, orchestrated and coordinated” the protest.
Far too often those who disagree with the Islamic viewpoint on issues are the victims of insults and personal attacks in an effort to silence them. There can be no dialogue, education nor reason in such environments, only delusion.
PRAYER FOR EDUCATION:
• Pray those that are the victims of these attacks will continue to be invited to campuses across the country and will continue to speak truth.
• Pray that Muslims attending universities will begin to examine the teachings and political stands of their religion.
• Pray that God’s TRUTH will resound across college campuses throughout our land.
• Pray that Thomas Jefferson’s words will become reality – that our universities and colleges will not be afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead.