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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Koran banned from schools for anti semitic hate speech being given away by CAIR and pushed for use in North Carolina courts

Koran banned from schools for anti semitic hate speech being given away by CAIR and pushed for use in North Carolina courts

June 30, 2005

Is there a holy war brewing in the Gate City? Jordan Green - Staff Writer The controversy over Senior Resident Superior Court Judge William Douglas Albright's refusal to allow the witnesses to use the Quran when being sworn in for Guilford County court proceedings has caught the attention of the Iranian news media, while the hullabaloo has fed domestic religious tensions in the United States.

The Tehran-based Iranian Quran News Agency mentioned efforts by the Council on American-Iranian Relations to persuade North Carolina judges to allow witnesses to swear on the Quran in a June 23 story under the headline, "Growing Anti-Muslim Sentiments in US," that also references recent incidents in which torn, burned or otherwise desecrated editions of the Muslim sacred text have been found outside a housing project in Nashville that is home to many Muslims and outside a mosque in Virginia.

In a public statement on June 21, the Council's legal director, Arsalan Iftikhar, suggested that Albright's decision might compromise the wall between church and state by inappropriately endorsing one particular religion, namely Christianity, since many witnesses swear on the Bible before giving testimony. Witnesses are also allowed to swear an oath without the Bible by raising their right hand.

"Eliminating the opportunity to swear an oath on one's own holy text may also have the effect of diminishing the credibility of the person's testimony," Iftikhar added.

Two days later, a Florida organization identified as Americans Against Hate released a press release condemning the Council's ‘Explore the Quran' program, which seeks to educate judges and other Americans about the significance of the Muslim holy book, as making use of "anti-Jewish" commentaries.

"To attempt to coerce American judges to administer oaths using a book that the Los Angeles school system has deemed ‘anti-Semitic' is a severe travesty," Americans Against Hate Chairman Joe Kaufman said in written statement. "This is no different than the Ku Klux Klan trying to tell judges to swear in people using Hitler's ‘Mein Kampf.' We call on all judges and judicial personnel to reject the offer of this Quran or any propaganda materials from CAIR."



U.S. Libraries Teem With CAIR's Islamic Package

CAIR's Package

WASHINGTON, October 20 (IslamOnline.net) – Now that nearly one year has elapsed since the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) launched its ambitious project to put quality materials about Islam in the roughly 17,000 U.S. public libraries, the Muslim advocacy group has succeeded to date in ordering a record 6,900 sets of 18 Islamic books, tapes, DVDs and videos for libraries nationwide.

Thanks to efforts made by Muslim Americans, who ordered the CAIR package (package value over $300) for a nominal price ($150) and donated it to local libraries, 'Bring Islam to Your Library' project has received a positive feedback from libraries staff, who agreed that the package helped clear stereotypes vilifying Muslims after the 9/11 attacks, The Washington Times highlighted the effort Monday, October 20.

Susan Woodcock, one of the book collectors for the Fairfax County Public Library, said all its 21 branches have a set of CAIR's books.

"These books were useful and the staff was happy to have them," she said.

Julie Pringle, coordinator of the library's book acquisitions system, echoed his colleague's enthusiasm.

"CAIR's material was in demand and it has been used since we ordered it," Pringle said.

Even many libraries, which have endured deep budget cuts this year because of shrinking state and federal revenues, have welcomed the project.

"I wouldn't have taken such a large donation had I not felt this was an area that needed additional materials," Kay Ecelbarger, chief of collections and materials management for the Montgomery County library system, told the U.S. daily.

"A lot of things on that list were from mainstream sources, so they fit pretty well with the needs of librarians."


CAIR spokeswoman Rabiah Ahmed said the project is based on donations, asserting that no foreign government was financing the project.

"Muslims pooled resources to give. One individual has donated thousands of dollars for this; another one says they will give to one library a month until the project is done. It's a way of getting out accurate information on Islam," Ms. Ahmed said.

Runia Jahan, the Sterling-based distributor for the books, said she receives thank-you letters "daily" for the donations.

By the time the project ends, almost $2.5 million will have been spent.

The American Library Association (ALA) has no guidelines on donations and does not track how many and which groups seek to donate materials.

ALA spokeswoman Larra Clark said the package "was a pretty good supplement" to the county system's collections."

CAIR said that the highest percentage of orders is in southern libraries in the Bible Belt - specifically Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Louisiana.

Several books are part of the package, including "The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality?" "The Essential Koran" by Thomas Cleary; "Critical Lives: Muhammad", "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Islam," by Yahiya Emerick, "Daughters of Another Path: Experiences of American Women Choosing Islam" by Carol L. Anway; and the 62-page "Gender Equity in Islam" by Jamal Badawi.

CAIR's next move is to go to with its package to university libraries after all public libraries are serviced.

This is not the first time CAIR has embarked on an ambitions campaign to defend to defend the image of Islam in the eyes of the world.

Last year, the council also published a guide to the North American Muslim community.

The 350-page book, called "The North American Muslim Resource Guide: Muslim Community Life in the United States and Canada [Rout ledge]," was the first comprehensive analysis of the structural make-up of Muslim communities in both.



U.S. Televangelist Steps Up Anti-Islam Rhetoric

Robertson regretted that Bush once praised Islam as "a religion of peace"

WASHINGTON, November 26 (IslamOnline & News Agencies) - As part of his incessant anti-Muslim campaign, popular U.S. televangelist Pat Robertson said Monday, November 25, that western media and leaders failed to educate Americans about what he claimed was violence in the Qur'an and Islamic history.

In an interview with the Washington Times, Christian preacher and conservative commentator Robertson regretted that U.S. President George Bush once praised Islam as "a religion of peace."

Unhappy with Bush's statements, the one-time presidential hopeful, who has been highly critical of Islam in the past, asserted that the president "is not elected as chief theologian."

"It would have been better for the president to speak only politically about the Islamic world, and not religiously," he said, alleging this "is leading to needless confusion."

Robertson claimed that the American public would be better served if the media would investigate the content of the Qur'an and what he alleged are many passages that incite Muslims to kill nonbelievers.

Robertson, whose previous anti-Islam comments have been denounced by Jewish and Muslims groups alike, alleged that violence against Christians in countries such as Sudan and Nigeria arises from Islamic Sharia (law), claiming that violent behavior is tied to Islamic beliefs.

Though Robertson relinquished his Baptist ordination to run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1988, he has taken it up again and describes his primary work as promoting Christianity.

For 18 years, his Christian Broadcasting Network had an Arab-language broadcast station in Lebanon, which he claims "was overrun by Hezbollah."

"In terms of Islam, I don't think the issues have been ventilated at all in the press because no one has read the Qur'an," he claimed.

"I have never advocated ferreting out Muslims in America," he said. "They are citizens like I am."

Robertson claimed that if American Muslims are funneling money to Hamas, a Palestinian resistance group dubbed by the U.S. and some European countries as a "terrorist" organization, "they ought to be deported."

U.S. Muslim groups have organized a yearlong project to put a package of books and a PBS video on Islam, all by American authors, in the nation's 16,000 public libraries to promote understanding of the religion.

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) reports that supporters have sent in 4,219 "sponsorships" of dollars 150 each to pay for the library package, but the number of libraries accepting them is not yet clear.

"It's a yearlong campaign, and it will take a year or so to sort that [number] out," said CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper.

Last week, Hooper said on a New York radio show that conservative religious leaders such as Robertson were "equivalent" to Osama bin Laden because they want to divide the world into a religious war.

When asked whether Christian leaders would urge killing members of a different faith as bin Laden has done, Hooper said: "Given the right circumstance, these guys would do the same in the opposite direction."

He also confirmed reports that a Saudi billionaire, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, donated dollars 500,000 to CAIR for the educational push.

"I think most of it is going for the library project," Mr. Hooper said.

Hooper said a positive image of Islam is important to protect the civil rights of Muslims in the United States.

He cited a recent FBI report that "hate crimes" against people of Middle Eastern ethnicity had increased from 28 in 2000 to 481 in 2001 across the country.

Robertson claimed that his main business is not Islam but Christian evangelism.

"I don't want to change my ministry and become some kind of Muslim fighter," he alleged.

"I don't want to alienate Muslim people around the world," said Robertson, adding that Muslims want more information about the West and even Christianity.

He claimed that Islam is "a deeply held religious belief pushed by mullahs all over the world" as a basis for attacking Jews and Christians.

"Maybe we can counter it by American propaganda. Maybe we can counter it by love," Robertson alleged.

Robertson's comments were just the latest in a string of anti-Islamic remarks from prominent U.S. conservative Christians in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Earlier the hate speech of Baptist minister Jerry Falwell, who in a television interview last month called the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) "a terrorist," resulted in the death of 8 people in India.

His comments sparked international outrage and deadly riots in the Indian city of Bombay. Falwell later apologized.

Franklin Graham, son of the noted preacher Billy Graham, has also been accused of making defamatory statements about Islam.

CAIR distributes Koran banned as anti semitic



(see commentary)

Posted on 06/03/2005

In an attempt to quell the rancor resulting from Newsweek's retracted Quran-desecration story, a controversial U.S. Muslim lobby group is giving away free copies of Islam's revered book.

The particular edition, however, "The Meaning of the Holy Quran," previously was banned by the Los Angeles school district because commentary notes accompanying the text were regarded as anti-Semitic.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations has included the edition in the Islamic book-package it offers libraries nationwide and now is giving it away to help "improve America's image" through a program called "Explore the Quran."

"We want to turn a negative image into a positive one," said CAIR's Florida director, Altaf Ali, at a news conference in Cooper City, Fla, announcing the project. "America's image is taking a beating, and it's affecting us all, of different faiths." WorldNetDaily contacted Ali at his Florida office, but he refused to be interviewed for the story.

CAIR's library project, begun in September 2002, was funded in part by a $500,000 donation from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. In 2001, bin Talal's $10 million donation to New York City was rejected by then-Mayor Rudolph Guiliani after the prince suggested U.S. policies in the Middle East contributed to the Sept. 11 attacks.

The Saudi-funded CAIR is a spin-off of a group described by two former FBI counterterrorism chiefs as a "front group" for the terrorist group Hamas in the U.S. Several CAIR leaders have been convicted on terror-related charges.

A Florida-based group, Americans Against Hate, drew attention to CAIR's distribution project, noting the book's commentary and index makes it clear the Quran's references to "apes" and "pigs" are descriptions of Jews.

Khaleel Mohammed, an assistant professor of religious studies at San Diego State University, says the Saudi-approved edition was first published by Abdullah Yusuf Ali in 1934 at "a time both of growing Arab animosity toward Zionism and in a milieu that condoned anti-Semitism." Ali, according to the professor, constructed it as a "polemic against Jews."

Until recently, he said, it's been the most popular version among Muslims. Yet, despite revisions over the years, Mohammed added, the footnoted commentary about Jews "remained so egregious" that in April 2002 the Los Angeles school district banned its use at local schools.

According to the Los Angeles Times, about 300 copies of "The Meaning of the Holy Quran" were donated in December 2001 to the Los Angeles Unified School District by a local Muslim foundation as a goodwill gesture in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Jim Konantz, director of information technology for the district, said the usual review process was skipped for an unknown reason, and he received a complaint from a history teacher.

"It's not an issue of whether the Quran should be available in the library," Konantz told the Times in a February 2002 story. "It's like any other research volume. But these interpretations are certainly in question."

Ali's rendering of Surah (Chapter) 2:65 of the Quran, which reads like most English versions, says: "And well ye knew those amongst you who transgressed. In the matter of the Sabbath; we said to them: 'Be ye apes, despised and rejected."

In his corresponding note, Ali says: "There must have been a Jewish tradition about a whole fishing community in a seaside town, which persisted in breaking the Sabbath and were turned into apes."

Under the heading "Jews" in the book's index, is a reference to Surah 5:60, which says: " ... Those who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath, those of whom some he transformed into apes and swine ... ."

In the index under "Jews" also are these phrases: "cursed," "enmity of," "greedy of life," "slew prophets," "took usury," "unbelief and blasphemy of" and "work iniquity."

Scholars point out that Muslims believe the Quran was dictated word-for-word by Allah in the Arabic language, so any rendering in other languages is imperfect and can be seen only as an interpretation.

But author and researcher Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, says that while Ali's notes are particularly anti-Semitic, his rendering of the Quranic text largely is no different than any other version.

"It's an indication that what we think of as extreme in Islam is not really extreme but mainstream," he told WND. "You won't find a translation that doesn't have Jews being turned into apes and pigs."

Some Muslim scholars say the text refers only to particular groups of Jews, such as those breaking the Sabbath, and is not meant to apply to Jews today.

But Spencer says the global, mainstream understanding regards this as a current, universal reference to Jews.

The Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI, includes in its archives many translated writings and texts of sermons by prominent Muslims leaders who make such references.

For example, the highest-ranking cleric in the Sunni Muslim world, Al-Azhar Sheikh Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, called the Jews "the enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs" in a weekly sermon in April 2002.

In a TV program broadcast on Iqraa, the Saudi-Egyptian satellite channel, a 3-year-old "real Muslim girl" was interviewed about Jews. Asked whether she liked Jews, she answered, "no." Asked why, she replied Jews were "apes and pigs."

"Who said this?" the moderator asked. The girl answered, "Our God." "Where did He say this?" "In the Quran."

At the end of the interview, the obviously pleased moderator said: "No [parents] could wish for Allah to give them a more believing girl than she. ... May Allah bless her, her father and mother. The next generation of children must be true Muslims. We must educate them now while they are children, so that they will be true Muslims."

Spencer said many in the United States are unaware that this kind of rhetoric is common in the Muslim world.

"I think that maybe this is a chance for Americans to become aware of just how the text of the Quran itself plays a role in the creation of jihad terror," he said.

It's also a chance, he continued, "for Muslims who claim to be moderate to face that honestly and develop a genuine, non-literal understanding of the text that is convincing to their fellow Muslims and propagate it aggressively."

MIM: CAIR is presently giving out Korans which have been banned in California because of their anti semitic hate speech but aligned with the Free Muslims Against Terror to make a show of protesting at a school in Virginia(which had been raided on terrorism charges) over a textbook which tells students that any other religion then Islam is false

In order to bolster their facades as civil rights group the FMAT and CAIR have hyped this to the media as concern the beliefs of other faiths when the issue is one of how Islam is being portrayed to Muslim students.

The only reason that CAIR and the FMAT oppose the textbook is theological, and has nothing to do with concern for non Muslim sensibilities. ( CAIR spokeman Ibrahim Hooper also used the opportunity of the new coverage to take a swipe at Judaism and Christianity as well.)

The generally held view is that Muslims Jews and Christians do worship the same god. under a different name. Therefore teaching that Christianity and Judaism are false religions would imply that they worship a different god then then Muslims. This claim would hurt da'wa (conversion efforts) which are the basis of CAIR's Koran giveaway which is based on getting Christian and Jews to call god Allah. The claim that other religions are false negates the premise that Christians and Jews worship the same god .


"... CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said the textbook page conflicts with the teachings in the Koran, which says Jews, Christians and all "who believe in God" will "have their reward with their Lord."
"The [page of the] textbook is inaccurate in terms of portraying Islam's relationship with other faiths," Mr. Hooper said. "I would suggest either removing the textbook or inserting a notation that something is being changed in the textbook."
Mr. Nawash began a campaign this week criticizing the school. CAIR studied the textbook page and backed his stance..."

Islamic groups hit curriculum at Saudi school

By Christina Bellantoni
Published August 2, 2004

Two Islamic groups say a private Saudi school in Alexandria is teaching first-graders an extreme version of Islam that fosters contempt for other religions, a charge denied by the Saudi government, which creates curriculum for such schools.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a District-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy group, has joined with the Free Muslim Coalition Against Terrorism in calling for an Arabic textbook to be removed from classes at the Islamic Saudi Academy.
One page in the manual for the first-grade textbook instructs teachers to tell students that any religion other than Islam is false.
"These first-grade students are very impressionable," said Kamal Nawash, a Palestinian and practicing Muslim who runs the six-month-old Free Muslim Coalition Against Terrorism.
"The extremist version of Islam encourages violence. We don't need to be teaching that anymore in this diverse world. We need to teach people to get along."
The Islamic Saudi Academy referred inquiries to the Saudi Embassy, which dismissed Mr. Nawash's assertion as an attempt to restart a failed political career.
Embassy spokesman Nail Al-Jubeir compared the textbook to any other religious teaching and said it was "shameful" of Mr. Nawash "to be using this as a source of bigotry."
"They are making a big thing out of nothing," Mr. Al-Jubeir said. "If that's the only thing they have to bring up, how pathetic the argument is. Judaism does not recognize Christ as the Messiah. Christians say the only way to salvation is accepting Christ in your heart."
CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said the textbook page conflicts with the teachings in the Koran, which says Jews, Christians and all "who believe in God" will "have their reward with their Lord."
"The [page of the] textbook is inaccurate in terms of portraying Islam's relationship with other faiths," Mr. Hooper said. "I would suggest either removing the textbook or inserting a notation that something is being changed in the textbook."
Mr. Nawash began a campaign this week criticizing the school. CAIR studied the textbook page and backed his stance.
According to the academy's Web site, its educational curriculum and materials are established by the Saudi Ministry of Education.
"We strive to educate and develop every aspect of a student's life, including spiritual, moral, intellectual, and physical," the site states. "Simultaneously, the Academy aspires to create an atmosphere that motivates students to strive for academic excellence, take personal responsibility, and become productive citizens in their communities."
A few years ago, Mr. Nawash said, the Saudi government revised 5 percent of its textbooks and classroom material considered offensive. Mr. Nawash thought that the Islamic Saudi Academy's materials had been edited, but he found the disputed page recently in the 2003 edition of the school's manual for first-grade teachers.
Mr. Al-Jubeir suggested that Mr. Nawash is taking advantage of recent attacks on Saudi Arabia by filmmaker Michael Moore in "Fahrenheit 9/11" and by others. Mr. Al-Jubeir also suggested that Mr. Nawash is criticizing the school for political gain.
Mr. Nawash, a Republican immigration lawyer from Falls Church, tried unsuccessfully to unseat state Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple, Arlington Democrat, in 2003. He received 30 percent of the vote, and Mrs. Whipple was elected to a third term.
He also ran unsuccessfully for the state House of Delegates in 2001.
But Mr. Nawash said he has no intention of running for office again and that his only motive is to stop extremist teaching that he fears will lead to terrorism.
"This is much more important, and it should have been done a long time ago. There is a strong movement of people pushing extremist Islam that tolerates any means, including terrorism, to meet their goals," he said. "It's not a handful, it's a worldwide uprising. ... We're not staying silent anymore."
This is not the first time Mr. Nawash has been under scrutiny.
His law firm once represented Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi, a prominent U.S. Muslim leader who had a role in a Libyan conspiracy to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. Al-Amoudi on Friday pleaded guilty to illegal financial transactions with Libya and admitted his role in the plot.
Al-Amoudi had donated $10,000 to Mr. Nawash's campaign for the state Senate. Mr. Nawash returned the donation.
When asked whether he was friends with al-Amoudi, Mr. Nawash refused to comment.
"I was part of a law firm that represented him," he said. "I can't really comment on that. One of the attorneys in the firm represented him for a short time."
Al-Amoudi's current attorney, Stanley Cohen, said Mr. Nawash's firm has had "nothing to do" with the case for 10 months.
In defending his position, Mr. Hooper cited the teachings of the prophet Muhammad in the Hadiths: "Both in this world and in the Hereafter, I am the nearest of all people to Jesus, the son of Mary. The prophets are paternal brothers; their mothers are different, but their religion is one."
•Jerry Seper contributed to this report.

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