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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > American Jewish Committee rabbi to attend terror linked Muslim World League interfaith as da'wa conference

American Jewish Committee rabbi to attend terror linked Muslim World League interfaith as da'wa conference

July 7, 2008

AJC Rabbi Ill Advised To Attend Interfaith Conference With Terror Linked Muslim World League

July 7, 2008 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - The American Jewish Committee's director of interfaith relations, rabbi David Rosen has accepted an invitation from the Muslim World League - a Saudi backed terror linked Islamist group - to attend what is being billed as an, "interfaith summit," in Spain scheduled to begin on July 16th. According to the AP Rosen is not identified as an Israeli on the conference list but rather as "an American Jewish Committee official," a move which is apparently being done since the Saudi kingdom shuns dealings with Israel in any official capacity.

This is not the first time that the AJC has participated in forums with Islamists. In a piece entitled, Why Are Prominent Jewish Groups Represented On Bernardin Center's Board Alongside Notorious Islamists? we documented how AJC's presence on the Bernardin Center's Board alongside Islamists served to legitimize them. An accompanying article Muslim World League Behind Saudi "Interfaith" Da'wa Conference shows how Saudi interfaith efforts are in actuality Wahhabist da'wa exercises, a fact as much admitted to by King Abdullah who has openly proclaimed that interfaith was the best way to recruit converts to Islam.

Abdullah's understanding of interfaith dialogue aligns with that of the Grand Mufti [head religious leader] of Saudi Arabia, Abdul Aziz Al al-Sheikh, who has stated that dialogue with other religions was a way to bring non-Muslims into Islam. The cleric, who is the highest official of religious law, believes that converting people to Islam was the ultimate goal of dialogue, a point he has repeatedly made, "It is the opportunity to disseminate the principles of Islam. Islam advocates dialogue among people, especially calling them to the path of Allah."

The brochure advertising a recent interfaith strategy conference in Saudi Arabia cites verses from the Qur'an that tell Muslims to "invite all to the way of the lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching and argue with them in the ways that are best and most gracious."

At that conference the Grand Mufti endorsed the king's project and said the whole Ummah [the world's Muslim population] was looking up to the benevolent king to take the lead and bring different communities of the world together with the words, "He has taken this step with good intention and this is the only way of propagating the real values of Islam...We cannot live in an isolation. We need to cooperate with others to make the most of advancement in all aspects of life."

The MWL conference in Spain is not the first time that rabbi Rosen and the AJC has had worked closely with Islamists. He is on the board of the "World Economic Forum Council of 100 Leaders," another Saudi funded da'wa enterprise. For more on the WEF see, Pimping for the Profit :World Economic Forum as Saudi Da'wa.

The Muslim World League's ties to terrorism are well documented. According to Dore Gold, author of "Hatreds Kingdom", a book documenting Saudi terror funding, the Al Haramain Foundation is the hub of the Saudi terror funding network which includes the Muslim World League and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth. Other authoritative sources reach the same conclusion:

"MWL promotes Wahhabism, the extremist form of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia. In the 1980s, the League's Pakistan office was run by Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood and brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden. Khalifa was the co-founder of the Benevolence International Foundation and he helped to finance Operation Bojinka, a foiled 1995 plot that would have simultaneously detonated bombs aboard eleven U.S.-bound airliners, blowing them up in mid-flight over the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea.

In addition, two members of an al Qaeda sleeper cell based in Boston worked at MWL's Pakistan office. One worker, Nabil al-Marabh, number 27 on the FBI's list of wanted terrorists, was arrested by federal agents in Detroit shortly after 9/11; it was reported that he "intended to martyr himself in an attack against the United States." The other operative, Raed Hijazi, was apprehended and tried in Jordan on charges that he planned to blow up a hotel filled with Americans and Israelis on New Year's Eve in 2000...MWL at one time oversaw Rabita Trust, a now-defunct charity whose professed purpose was to give aid to Afghani refugees in Pakistan. The Trust came under investigation by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee based on evidence that it had knowingly funded terrorist groups.

Today MWL oversees the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), one of the vehicles through which the Saudi government finances Islamic extremism and international terrorism." [source, http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=7347]

By participating in the Muslim World League interfaith symposium rabbi Rosen is running the very real risk of allowing the AJC to be used as a stooge of the Saudis, who seek only to legitimize their faith spreading efforts under cloak of interfaith dialogue.

Though Rosen seems to be aware that this conference might well be just another Saudi sleight-of-hand exercise, having said that if the Saudis are not looking at this process as a means to restrain Islamic fundamentalism, "then I have no great expectations, and it will be another one-off event of very limited consequence," his presence will undoubtedly lend undeserved legitimacy to organizations and groups who are enemies of the West. Therefore we once again call upon the American Jewish Committee and its representative, David Rosen, to become more thoughtful about the Muslim interfaith charade and cease participation in these Saudi sponsored da'wa exercises . http://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=rosenid=7708%2Ehtm


MIM: Nihad Awad the chairman of The Council on American Islamic Relations and Ibrahim Hooper the CAIR national spokesman, will also be attending the conference, as well as Ingrid Mattson and Sayyed Syeed the present and past presidents of the Islamic Society of North America.

Other attendees "include Mustafa Ceric, mufti of Bosnia; Abdullah Omar Naseef, secretary-general of the International Islamic Council for Dawa and Relief; Muhammad Al-Sammak, secretary-general of the Islamic Spiritual Summit in Lebanon; Badr Al-Qassimi, deputy chairman of the Indian Fiqh Council; Fouzi Al-Zafaf, former deputy director of Al-Azhar; and Mahmoud Ghazi of the College of Islamic Studies in Qatar". http://www.arabnews.com/?page=1&section=0&article=110367&d=29&m=5&y=2008

Religious leaders welcome interfaith meet in Madrid
Badea Abu Al-Naja, Arab News

MADRID: The interfaith conference that begins here tomorrow received unprecedented welcomes from the leaders of different religions across the world.

"The conference will contribute to finding solutions that are in the interest of all, especially in the Middle East," David Rosen, chairman of the International Jewish Committee on Inter-Religious Consultations, a broad-based coalition of Jewish organizations, said.

Ali Al-Samman, head of the Interfaith Committee of the Supreme Islamic Affairs Council at Al-Azhar in Egypt, expressed his happiness at the fact that the call for dialogue comes from Muslims themselves.

Nihad Awad, chairman of the Islamic-American Relations Council in Washington, said Muslims in the West highly appreciated Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah's initiative on interfaith dialogue.

"King Abdullah's initiative for the conference receives strong support from the Muslim community because it is the true reflection of the desire of the Muslim scholars and thinkers who participated in the recent Makkah conference," Secretary-General of the Muslim World League Abdullah Al-Turki told a press conference in Madrid yesterday.

While King Abdullah will open the conference, King Juan Carlos of Spain and Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero will address the opening session.

Al-Turki said the MWL invited leading personalities without considering which group or country they belonged to. "Participants would not represent any political party or organization and special care was taken to select only people who view dialogue as a means to overcome the obstacles that stood in the way of the future of the humanity," he added.

He stressed the significance of choosing Madrid as the venue for an interfaith conference.

"Madrid, with its unique heritage of cultural and religious coexistence, served as a transit point between Islamic culture and the Western world," Al-Turki said. "At this conference, we will aim to focus on a shared world vision far removed from the religious discords and political differences, and lay the basis for the followers of various heavenly religions to initiate dialogue over matters of common concern."

Al-Turki said the conference would be an opportunity for Muslims to highlight the Islamic vision of solving the problems faced by the humanity as a whole. http://www.arabnews.com/?page=4&section=0&article=111824&d=15&m=7&y=2008


Interfaith forum begins today
Badea Abu Al-Naja | Arab News

MADRID: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah will open here today an international interfaith conference that aims to allow representatives of the world's great religions to get to know each other.

The Muslim World League (MWL) has organized the World Conference on Dialogue on the directives of King Abdullah. The king "has been calling for this type of dialogue between religions for the past three years," Saleh Al-Namlah, undersecretary at the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information, told reporters.

Around 200 people are expected to attend the event. They include representatives of the world's major religions: Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism. Secretary-General of the World Jewish Congress Michael Schneider and Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, who is in charge of dialogue between the Vatican and Muslims, are prominent among them.

The interfaith idea, which comes after the Saudi king held talks with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican in November last year, has sparked interest from Jewish and Christian groups around the world.

Abdullah Al-Turki, secretary-general of the MWL, said, "The aim of the conference is for us to get to know each other and look for ways to cooperate."

He added that Saudi Arabia "affirms to the whole world its openness and cooperation with the world community."

The MWL chief said the conference would avoid theological issues and instead focus on "humanitarian issues" and challenges facing the world. "Islam requires Muslims to inform people about Islam as the final divine message that came after the previous prophets, and that they must also challenge the link between Islam and extremist violence," he said.

He added that the conference would look at social and ethnic conflicts, environmental issues, the breakdown of the family and militant violence around the world.

Al-Turki said many international organizations concerned with dialogue, human rights and global cooperation have welcomed the interfaith conference.

He hoped the conference would change the minds of the protagonists of a clash of civilizations. "Some researchers in the West still deal with Islamic civilization thinking that it would definitely clash with the Western civilization," he pointed out.

The MWL secretary-general said the dialogue would help remove misunderstandings about Islam. "The conference will help save humanity from wars, injustice and corruption," he added.

He reiterated Islam's rejection of terrorism. "Terrorism is an international phenomenon and cannot be linked to a particular religion, country, people or culture."

Al-Turki spoke about MWL's long-standing tradition of holding dialogues with leaders of other faiths in the past 50 years. He urged the media to work for promoting a culture of dialogue among followers of different religions and cultures.

After the inaugural session attended by King Abdullah and King Juan Carlos of Spain, four sessions will be held before a final communiqué is read out on Friday.

Spain was chosen as the site for the conference as it is "a natural place for this type of dialogue" since for centuries it has been home to members of three of the world's great religions, said Saudi Ambassador Prince Saud ibn Naif.

Furthermore, the UN Alliance of Civilizations, aimed at promoting dialogue between different cultures, was the idea of Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. http://www.arabnews.com/?page=4&section=0&article=111881&d=16&m=7&y=2008;


MIM: For more on the terror connections of the conference organiser Abdullah Al-Turki see:

Organizer's Past Raises Questions About Madrid Interfaith Conference

by Steven Emerson
IPT News
July 15, 2008

In an ironic twist, an international interfaith conference set to start Wednesday in Madrid was organized by a man accused of working with a senior Al Qaeda financier and who unabashedly supports Palestinian suicide bombings.

Abdullah al-Turki is organizing the conference on behalf of the Muslim World League (MWL), where he is secretary general. The MWL was created by the Saudi royal family in 1962 to "promote Islamic unity" and spread Wahhabi doctrine...

Organizers of this week's gathering say it is expected to attract dozens of American-based Muslims, including Sayyed Syeed and Ingrid Mattson from the Islamic Society of North America, Ibrahim Hooper, Nihad Awad from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, as well as six U.S. rabbis, including Marc Schneier of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and Steven Jacobs of Los Angeles. In addition, John Esposito, director of Georgetown University's Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding is among a few American academics invited to attend.


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