Rick Warren: A Shill for Terror
October 3, 2010
By Joe Kaufman
A plethora of terror-related individuals surrounds the profile of Pastor Rick Warren on the "Speakers Corner" of the official website of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). He is fully aware of how he is being portrayed on the site (as this author has had correspondence with his office regarding the matter) but refuses to demand its deletion and offers no apology for its existence. Pastor Warren has become a shill for Islamic terror.
"As-salamu Alaykum. I come to you today deeply humbled and honored by this invitation. I truly mean that. I applaud your courage for inviting an Evangelical pastor. Thank you." This was the opening statement of Rick Warren, the leading pastor of the influential Southern California Saddleback Church, as he stood in front of the attendees of ISNA's 46th Annual Convention in July 2009.
He spoke these words as he stood at the podium emblazoned with ISNA's logo, an image that, for many, is a symbol of terror and stealth jihad.
ISNA is an American arm of the Muslim Brotherhood. It was founded in 1981 by a group of individuals which included the North American leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) Sami al-Arian.
In 2007 and 2008, ISNA was named by the United States Justice Department as a willing participant in the financing of millions of dollars to Hamas.
All of this and much more had been made public prior to Pastor Warren's invitation to speak at ISNA's convention, but all of it was ignored.
At the convention, Warren's fellow speakers included: Siraj Wahhaj, an "unindicted co-conspirator" of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; Zulfiqar Ali Shah, the former South Asia Director of KindHearts, a Hamas fundraising group that was shut down by the FBI in February 2006; and Naeem Muhammad, a U.S. staff member of Islamic Relief, a "charity" that the Israeli government has claimed is a front for Hamas.
Did Warren vet the other speakers at the event? If he did, like with ISNA's terror-related past, the concerns were willfully ignored.
And today, he continues to ignore the problems with ISNA, as a photo of him along with his biography are featured prominently on ISNA's official website, within what the group calls its "Speakers Corner."
That makes Mr. Warren a current assigned speaker for ISNA, a designation that he seems to have absolutely no problem with.
In an e-mail addressed to this author, dated February 1, 2010, Warren's Chief of Staff at Saddleback, David Chrzan, had the following to say regarding Warren's status on ISNA's site: "The website you reference lists Pastor Warren as one of the speakers at the 2009 ISNA Conference held in Washington DC this past July. Pastor Warren's bio on the site does not represent an endorsement of ISNA or its activities, but rather as one of the speakers who was invited to address the conference."
It has now been well over a year since ISNA had its 2009 annual convention. Indeed, ISNA concluded its 2010 convention this past July 5th. So if Warren's portrait was just about the 2009 event, why is it still there?
Of course, having one's picture on the ISNA site is more than just the remnant of a one-off speaking engagement. It's an acknowledgement from those whose photos are displayed that ISNA is somehow a legitimate institution that should be supported.
However, all one has to do is look at the other individuals exhibited within the ISNA "Speakers Corner" to understand that there is nothing legitimate about the group. They include Nihad Awad and Ibrahim Hooper, respectively the National Executive Director and National Communications Director of the Council on America-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a group, like ISNA, that has been named by the U.S. government as an accomplice to the financing of Hamas.
They include Hezbollah supporter Maher Hathout, violent jihad advocate Esam Omeish, terrorist defender Mahdi Bray, anti-woman author/lecturer Jamal Badawi, and so many other extremist members of the American Muslim community.
Chrzan went on, "While I do not wish to offer an apologia for ISNA, I would refer you to multiple articles that describe the organization's goals in reaching out to other faiths, including Judaism, and denouncing terrorism[.]"
These goals of outreach must have been overlooked, when ISNA was considering posting to its official website an English language version of the Quran which labels Jews "strongest among men in enmity" and "men who will listen to any lie" and claims that there is a "heavy punishment" for Jews in the "Hereafter" — a version of the Quran which states that "Allah's curse" is upon Jews and Christians and calls on Muslims not to take Jews or Christians for their "friends and protectors."
As well, the ISNA Quran advocates beating women who are suspected of "disloyalty" to their husbands.
This Quran has been up on ISNA's site for years, as it presently is today.
During Warren's speech to ISNA, he told ISNA's conference attendees that he loved them, and he stated to them, "[W]e need to work together." But how do you work together with an organization that believes in and preaches hatred and violence towards others?
You cannot. That is, unless you are willing to become a party to the group's actions.
By speaking at ISNA's functions and by giving his consent to having his likeness and biography placed on ISNA's website, Pastor Rick Warren has indeed become a party to ISNA's actions. He has become a pastor of terror.
You can tell a lot about a person by the friends that he keeps, and Pastor Warren keeps the wrong kind of friends.
Joe Kaufman is the Chairman of Americans Against Hate and the founder of CAIR Watch. He has been responsible for the closure of at least one terror-related charity and has convinced a number of government officials to shun the Hamas front group, CAIR. In June 2009, he won a lawsuit brought against him by seven Dallas-area radical Muslim organizations.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor assisted with this report.