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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Muslim World League "Interfaith Conference" Descends into Jew Bashing Da'wa Fest

Muslim World League "Interfaith Conference" Descends into Jew Bashing Da'wa Fest

July 22, 2008

Shocked And Amazed...Muslim World League "Interfaith Conference" Descends Into Jew Bashing Da'wa Fest

By BEILA RABINOWITZ and WILLIAM MAYER

July 22, 2008 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Last week's Muslim World League conference held in Spain, appears to have been a public relations disaster for the Saudi government, which organized the event.

Rather than coming together in an attempt to reconcile the disparate factions of the Islamic world, the affair - chaired by Saudi prince Al-Turki - ended with a UAE official urging Muslim leaders to "avoid the company of Zionists."

In this parlance of course, Zionist translates into "Jews," despite the participant's best attempt at semantic gymastics.

As these writers cautioned in AJC Rabbi Ill Advised To Attend Interfaith Conference With Terror Linked Muslim World League the conference participants, which included prominent American Jews, became nothing more than Saudi stooges.

During the conference, one of Saudi Arabia's most senior religious figures, an imam of the grand mosque in Mecca, Saleh bin Humaid, defended his country's ban on churches and synagogues stating, "from a religious point of view, they can't build a synagogue or a church because it's a sacred place for Muslims."

It has also been revealed that the Saudi's have gone back on their promise to the U.S. State Department, having refused to remove extremist textbooks from the country's schools.

"For example, a textbook for 10th graders on Islamic jurisprudence not only says it is permissible in Islam to murder a homosexual, but recommends the methods for doing so: burning alive, stoning, or throwing one off a high building," [see, http://www.nysun.com/editorials/the-saudi-monologue/82289]

Providing a fitting end to the event and in total disregard of recent history, the closing statement of the conference - called the Madrid Declaration - disingenuously called terrorism a "universal phenomenon," rather than being something intrinsic to certain interpretations of the Muslim religion.

Above all, there are two important lessons that can be drawn from such events. "Interfaith dialogue" with the Muslim world is a sham, an obviously phony process designed to intentionally mislead and present the Islamic religious institutions who have invested billions to enforce Wahhabist/Salafist religious orthodoxy and crush the forces of moderation, as being reasonable and interested in reformation.

That is why these conferences always result in a one-way conversation, an effort to present a false perception of Islam to a public which is either unsuspecting or self-delusional. This is classic da'wa, religious proselytization.

Unless or until those who should know [fill in the blank here, the U.S. State Department, American Jewish and Christian groups and individuals for example] refuse to participate, these faith spreading exercises will not only continue to increase but serve to preclude the very necessary religious reform that Islam requires. http://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=mwlid=7.22.08%2Ehtm

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MIM: A report on the da'wa as dialogue conference. King Abdullah began his speech with the words:

"We all believe in one God, who sent messengers for the good of humanity in this world."

Saudi King Denounces Extremism, Touts Islam's 'Moderation and Tolerance'

'Just Another Event of No Consequence'?

By Joseph Goldstein Staff Reporter of the Sun | July 17, 2008

MADRID, Spain In a bid to counter Iran's influence and establish himself in the eyes of the West as the dominant figure in the Muslim world, Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is here to preach that "Islam is a religion of moderation and tolerance" to a group of bishops, rabbis, swamis, and other religious leaders whom he convened here yesterday.

During an opening speech at the conference he is sponsoring, the Saudi monarch appeared to want reconciliation between the clerics of the Muslim world and their counterparts among Christians and Jews.

In one scene at El Pardo palace yesterday, where the conference began, a group of rabbis softly chanted their afternoon prayers while waiting to be received by Abdullah, who stood one room away. In Abdullah's kingdom, which encompasses Islam's two holiest places, such a scene would be unthinkable. There, public worship by non-Muslims is outlawed.

"The bottom line is he stood up and said that we Muslims are going to have to take more seriously those parts of our religion that hallow difference and diversity as expressions of a divine plan," a rabbi in attendance, Bradley Hirschfield, said of the Saudi monarch. He added that Abdullah "stepped out of his comfort zone."

Although the themes of the conference religious moderation and interfaith dialogue are benign, almost banal, by Western standards, the king, merely by courting leaders of other faiths, risks a backlash at home, where Wahhabism, a severe form of Sunni Islam, is the religion of the land.

One Saudi in attendance noted privately that Abdullah's visit last year with Pope Benedict, the first meeting between a reigning Saudi king and a pope, was poorly received by large segments of the population in Saudi Arabia.

And the relatively limited attendance of top Muslim clerics in Madrid raises questions about whether Abdullah's gambit is failing to attract the support among powerful clerics in either his country or in the greater Muslim world. Although the imam of the grand mosque in Mecca, Saleh bin Humaid, was present, other prominent Sunni religious figures, including some who had just last month attended a religious conference sponsored by Abdullah in Mecca, were not present in Madrid.

That the Saudi king, who began his rule in 2005, decided to convene the Spain event is being interpreted by some conference observers as a testament to the monarch's intentions.

"He knows there is an opposition to some of his ideas," the editor-in-chief of the Saudi government-controlled newspaper al-Watan, Jamal Khashoggi, said, speaking of opposition within the Muslim world. "He is not trying to reform Saudi Arabia through a dictatorship like the shah of Iran. He wants to reform through consensus. He is creating magnets that will push for reform such as establishing this dialogue."

Other recent efforts by Abdullah, Mr. Khashoggi said, include the establishment of the country's first public co-educational university, which is being headed by a Singaporean, as well as the introduction of Shiite clerics present in his court, as he receives visitors.

The attendees at the conference Abdullah convened yesterday also include several prominent Shiite clerics, including one of Saudi Arabia's most influential, Hassan Saffar, and an Iranian diplomat and ayatollah, Mohammad-Ali Taskhiri. Several conference participants also said they believed that King Abdullah was competing with Iran for influence within the Muslim world by hosting this conference.

"I came to you from the place dearest to the hearts of all Muslims, the land of the Two Holy Mosques, bearing with me a message from the Islamic world," Abdullah said yesterday from El Pardo, with Juan Carlos at his side, in his opening address to the conference.

"Islam is a religion of moderation and tolerance; a message that calls for constructive dialogue among followers of religions; a message that promises to open a new page for humanity in which - God willing concord will replace conflict," Abdullah said yesterday.

He continued later, saying that "If the Almighty had so desired, all mankind would have shared the same religion."

Although 15 of the 19 hijackers in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were Saudi citizens, Abdullah's speech largely steered clear of mention of terrorism. He said the word only once, in enumerating a list of woes from which mankind suffered, that also included drug abuse, crime, the disintegration of the family, racism, and exploitation of the poor.

At another point, Abdullah said that "the tragedies that have occurred in human history were not attributable to religion, but were the result of extremism from which some adherents of every divinely revealed religion, and of every political ideology, have been afflicted."

A rabbi in attendance, David Rosen, who lives in Israel, said he "would not expect an opening speech to stun the audience with revolutionary principles."

"The significance of this event is that it's taking place," Rabbi Rosen said, adding that "time will tell if this is just the beginning or just another event of no consequence."

Other than Rabbi Rosen, who is listed as an American in conference material despite his Israeli residence, no Israeli or Palestinian Arab religious figures were invited to the conference, Rabbi Rosen said.

Some Jewish leaders have criticized the conference on the grounds that Israeli rabbis should be included as part of any sincere effort by Abdullah to foster dialogue with representatives of Judaism.

Abdullah is not expected to attend the actual conference meetings, which will run through tomorrow at a hotel near Madrid's airport. The sessions are closed to the press.

Buddhist and Hindu leaders were present, including a swami from India who carried with him a stick symbolizing his renouncement of worldly things. Yet Abdullah's message was geared less toward them.

His speech began: "We all believe in one God, who sent messengers for the good of humanity in this world." http://www.nysun.com/foreign/saudi-king-denounces-extremism-touts-islams/82088/

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