Ingrid Mattson - Ex Catholic convert to Islam who leads organisation on terror fund list tells Jews to beware of fundamentalist Christians
May 28, 2007
Islamic leader urges Jews be wary of fundamentalists
By Charles A. Radin, Globe Staff | March 14, 2007
CAMBRIDGE -- The president of the Islamic Society of North America warned last night that American Jews who ally with right-wing Christians to oppose Muslim organizations are pursuing a high-risk strategy that could backfire.
Speaking at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, at an event sponsored by the school and four Muslim student organizations, Ingrid Mattson, a Canadian-born convert from Roman Catholicism who became the Islamic society's first woman president last year, said that many American Jews have an existential fear that Muslims are anti-Israel.
Such fear leads Jews to ally with Christian fundamentalists who are supportive of Israel and critical of Islam, she said.
"Right-wing Christians are very risky allies for American Jews," Mattson said, "because they [the Christians] are really anti-Semitic. They do not like Jews" and enter into the alliance on the basis of fundamentalist beliefs that it would be desirable for all Jews to return to Israel. She suggested that fundamentalist Christians might turn against Jews or that there could be backlash from ordinary Americans against Jewish and fundamentalist Christian supporters of Israel.
Mattson, who is professor of Islamic studies and director of Islamic chaplaincy at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut, said that constructive interfaith exchanges between Muslims and Jews and between Muslims and Christians are much more numerous than is generally appreciated.
Some Muslims and Jews from the Boston area have visited and talked with faculty at the seminary about how to resolve the bitter standoff between a group of Jewish organizations and the Islamic Society of Boston over the local Islamic society's efforts to build a mosque in Roxbury, she said.
MIM: Background on Ingrid Mattson:
As the first female convert head of one of the largest Muslim organisations in America Mattson's appointment as a woman and convert was deliberately calculated to put a modern and non threatening face to the Saudi backed da'wa goals of the organisation. By using her the poster girl of the Western educated female convert they are sending the message - you can be female, revert, and become influential in the Muslim movement. (Besides the obvious fact that an english speaking, North American born convert to Islam attacts more converts, Mattson is a poster girl for useful idioacy and was"groomed" by the former ISNA head Abdullah Idris, to take over the organisation in the hopes that her tokenism would garner more funding from wealthy Muslim women.)