Is radical Islam infiltrating American universities?

In 1988, an FBI source inside the Muslim Brotherhood revealed that the Islamist group’s proxies in America had a six-phase plan to “institute the Islamic Revolution in the United States.” [1] Among these front groups was The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), a think tank committed to the “Islamization of knowledge.”[2] This ideology, as Professor Vali Nasr writes, entails the subordination of scientific inquiry to “the mere implementation of the assorted teachings of the Shariʿa.”[3]

Over the last three decades, IIIT’s part in the Brotherhood’s plan has met remarkable success. The institute has made itself an indispensable resource for Islamic studies scholars: It has provided funding for over 70 active researchers based at institutions across America (see appendix); it has spent millions of dollars on endowing chairs in Islamic studies;[4] and it has publicized the research of hundreds of like-minded academics at its Summer Institute for Scholars.[5]

Female Muslim graduates at UNC Chapel Hill

IIIT’s activities are integral to the Brotherhood’s broader strategy of inciting an international Islamic revolution. As an official IIIT handbook notes:

At a time when we are forced to fight and defend ourselves on political, economic and military fronts … (these efforts) can be accomplished by developing (the Ummah’s, that is, the Muslim community’s) ideological power and the power of the “islamization of knowledge (sic)” to effectively harness its full potential.[6]

In other words, the long-term success of the Islamists’ revolution is dependent not only on success on the battlefield and at the ballot, but also on the cooptation of education in order to foment popular sympathy for the Brotherhood’s objectives.

While IIIT’s actions are ostensibly nonviolent, it has not hesitated to cultivate ties to international terrorists. In 2002, an anti-terrorism taskforce raided the IIIT’s office. Based on the evidence obtained in this investigation, U.S. Customs Service Special Agent David Kane said in a sworn affidavit that IIIT co-founder and former vice president for research, Jamal Barzinji, was “not only closely affiliated with PIJ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] . . . but also with Hamas.”[7]

Furthermore, IIIT provided donations to the front organization of convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami al-Arian, formerly a professor at the University of South Florida. Al-Arian subsequently wrote a thank you note to IIIT, in which he emphasized that his organization and IIIT are essentially a single institution rooted in “an ideological and cultural concordance with mutual objectives.”[8]

While IIIT is unapologetic about its links to violent Islamism, it is less forthright about the sources of its generous revenue. It is clear that the Brotherhood provided the start-up money for IIIT in 1988, when the aforementioned FBI memo notes that the organization had almost “unlimited funds” at its disposal.[9] That was 30 years ago. Nevertheless, today, IIIT’s assets appear undiminished. Yet IIIT’s website does not solicit donations; indeed, a search for “donate” on the site returns no relevant information.

This raises the question: Who is supporting IIIT today?

We cannot know for sure. However, we do know that IIIT has never shirked its loyalty to its parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood. IIIT’s website boasted—in a post that has now been removed—that two of its officials, Hisham Altalib and Abubaker Al-Shingieti, met with the leader of the Brotherhood and then-president of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi, in New York on September 24, 2012. Morsi “welcomed the participation of IIIT in the reform of higher education in Egypt.”[10]

Furthermore, IIIT has cultivated relations with the wealthy Qatar Foundation, an arm of the Qatari government.[11] Qatar is one of the world’s foremost state sponsors of international terrorism. Moreover, the state enforces its conception of the Shariʿa at home. Its laws prescribe death for apostates and Muslims who commit adultery with non-Muslims; uphold the incarceration of men found guilty of homosexual relations; and sanction one of the world’s most extensive and brutal human-trafficking systems.[12]

Qatar has sought to sanitize its illiberal reputation by constructing an “Education City” in the nation’s capital, Doha. Education City is a network of campuses including Islamic colleges and proxy estates for six major U.S. universities: Texas A&M, Virginia Commonwealth, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, Northwestern and Georgetown. The Qatar Foundation covers the expenses for these institutions to maintain their campuses in the country. It has invested over $400 million in Education City.[13]

Qatar has portrayed Education City as a repression-free zone that respects Western norms in a kingdom that otherwise upholds the rule of Islamic law.[14] Yet Islamists with terrorist affiliations, including IIIT’s former director, Dr. Louay Safi, teach there.[15] Furthermore Professor Jasser Auda—an active associate of IIIT with extensive ties to the Muslim Brotherhood—is also based there.[16]

Yet the six U.S. universities listed above have shown no inclination to repudiate their Qatari sponsors. These institutions legitimize the Qatari regime, sanctioning the presence of violent Islamists in Education City. Their actions are reminiscent of IIIT-funded scholars’ complicity with their own sponsors’ illiberal, “revolutionary” agenda.

For too long, American universities have allowed IIIT to shape the development of Islamic Studies in this country. They have ignored IIIT’s anti-intellectualism expressed in its commitment to the “Islamization of knowledge,” meaning the suppression of scholarship not sympathetic to Islamists. Left-wing activists who censor campus discussions about radical Islamism provide cover for IIIT’s regressive ideology. They further its agenda to suffocate any scrutiny of Islamism and the broader Islamic tradition.

It is time to bring IIIT’s action to light. It is time for parents, students and policy makers to demand that IIIT ends its role in the radicalization of Islamic Studies—a discipline that has long showed itself predisposed to anti-Western agendas. – The Clarion Project

Ryan Mauro is the national security analyst and Shillman Fellow for the Clarion Project. This article was written with the assistance of Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.

 Appendix I: Selective List of Professors with Ties to IIIT

(The following list, while not exhaustive, demonstrates the extent of IIIT’s infiltration into American universities.)

George Mason University: Abdulaziz Sachedina: IIIT Chair in Islamic Studies. IIIT funded the position with a gift of $1.5 million.

Cemil Aydin: member of IIIT’s Council of Scholars (now at UNC-Chapel Hill).

Sumayya Al Shingieti: IIIT recognized Sumayya Al Shingieti for completing her Bachelors’ degree in film and video studies at George Mason University and receiving an award for the film she produced.

Shenandoah University: Calvin Allen Jr.: “Dr. Allen signed last year an agreement with IIIT to cooperate in ‘course development, educational programs, and research with a goal of promoting an understanding of Islam and Muslims in America, and Islamic civilization and culture,’ based on ‘the principles of equality and reciprocal benefit.”

Hartford Seminary: Heidi Hadsell: “Professor Hadsell praised the special relationship between the Harford Seminary and IIIT and the continued support that the seminary receives from IIIT, particularly in the area of Imam Training and education, and the study of Christian-Muslim relations in general.”

Mahmoud Ayoub: member of IIIT’s Council of Scholars whose teaching of courses about Shia Islam was sponsored by $35,000 from the Alavi Foundation in September 2012.

Huron University College: Ingrid Mattson: member of the IIIT’s Council of Scholars

United States Naval Academy (Formerly): Ermin Sinanovic: IIIT’s Director of Research and Academic Programs.

Binghamton University: Seifudein Adem is there, as was the late Ali Mazrui, a very radical preacher.

Howard University: Sulayman Nyang (retired from Howard): member of IIIT’s Council of Scholars.

Altaf Husain: IIIT recognized the academic achievements of Altaf Husain for receiving tenure at Howard University.

University of Notre Dame: Asma Afsaruddin: member of IIIT’s Council of Scholars

University of Delaware: Muqtedar Khan: member of IIIT’s Council of Scholars

American University: Mohammed Nimer: visited IIIT with American University students in 2013 to discuss the “Islamic revival and role of Islam in politics of the Muslim world.”

University of Southern California, College of Letters, Arts & Sciences: Mazen Hashem: member of IIIT’s Council of Scholars

University of Maryland: Ahmad Kazemi Moussavi: former Iranian diplomat, has spoken several times for IIIT about Iran. He is no longer listed in the faculty directory on the University of Maryland’s website (here).

Fatima Mirza: IIIT recognized the academic achievements of her for completing her Ph.D. in social work at the University of Maryland.

Charles Butterworth: participated in IIIT’s 2012 Summer Institute for Scholars and the 2011 Friends of IIIT/Iftar Dinner.

Manhattanville College: James Jones – has lectured at IIIT on the challenges of Islam to and in the U.S.

Georgetown University: Jonathan Brown – has lectured at IIIT multiple times and participated in many of its programs.

John Esposito – has lectured at IIIT multiple times and participated in many of its programs.

John Voll – has lectured at IIIT multiple times and participated in many of its programs.

University of Virginia: Rachel Mann – has lectured at IIIT about non-violent activism.

Firas Barzinji – IIIT has recognized his achievements for completing his Masters’ Degree in Business Administration, University of Virginia.

Middle Tennessee State University: Ron Messier – has lectured at IIIT about his book, Jesus, One man, Two Faiths; A Dialogue between Christians and Muslims.

Santa Clara University: Farid Senzai – IIIT recognized the academic achievements of Farid Senzai for receiving tenure at Santa Clara University

Union Theological Seminary: Serene Jones – has attended events with IIIT and has shared her thoughts about her relationship with IIIT (x)

George Washington University: Mohamad Faghfoory – has attended events with IIIT and has shared his thoughts about his relationship with IIIT (x)

Appendix II: IIIT Research Grant Recipients

Florian Pohl is an associate professor of religion at Emory University’s Oxford College and received a research grant from IIIT.

Madiha Tahseen recently completed the requirements for her doctorate in Applied Developmental Psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), and she received a research grant from IIIT.

Nazila Isgandarova is the spiritual and religious care coordinator at Ontario Multifaith Council and the spiritual care provider at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and received a research grant from IIIT.

Nermeen Mouftah is a lecturer in the Departments of Anthropology and Religious Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and received a research grant from IIIT.

Oliver Leaman is a professor of philosophy at the University of Kentucky, and received a research grant from IIIT.

Samy Ayoub is a postdoctoral faculty fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and received a research grant from IIIT.

Aasim Padela is the director of the Initiative on Islam and Medicine and an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, and received a research grant from IIIT.

Emad Hamdeh earned his Ph.D. in Islamic and Arabic studies from the University of Exeter and is adjunct professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Montclair State University in Montclair, NJ; he received a research grant from IIIT.

Sameera Ahmed is director of the Family & Youth Institute (www.thefyi.org), a clinical assistant professor at Wayne State University, a scholar at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), an associate editor for the Journal of Muslim Mental Health (JMMH), and a board-licensed psychologist in Ohio and Michigan. She received a research grant from IIIT.

IIIT Resident Scholars

Asaad Al-Saleh is an assistant professor of Arabic Literature, Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at Indiana University.

SherAli Tareen is an assistant professor of religious studies at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA.

Mustafa Gökçek is an associate professor of history at Niagara University in Niagara Falls, NY.

Abdulaziz Sachedina is a professor and IIIT chair in Islamic Studies at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Nathan J. Brown, is a professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, former president of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), and a scholar and author of six books on Arab politics.

Yahya M. Michot (Belgium, 1952) joined Hartford Seminary in 2008 as a professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations and is editor of the journal Muslim World.

Najib George Awad is a Syrian-Arab Christian theologian and poet. He is an associate Ppofessor of Christian theology and the director of the international PhD program in Hartford Seminary, CT.

Syed Muhd Khairudin Aljunied is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore.

Mohamed Mosaad Abdelaziz Mohamed is an assistant professor of religious studies at Northern Arizona University.

Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Ph.D., is an internationally known interdisciplinary scientist of Palestinian descent, born at sea and raised in the United States.

Abadir M. Ibrahim is a J.S.D. candidate at St. Thomas University School of Law LL.M./J.S.D. program in Intercultural Human Rights and has two LL.M. degrees — one in international law and one in human rights law.

Seifudein Adem is an associate professor of political science and the associate director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies, SUNY Binghamton.

Emin Poljarevic is a visiting scholar at the Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies Department at the University of Edinburgh.

Ahmad Najib Burhani is a PhD candidate in religious studies at University of California-Santa Barbara.

Ahmad Kazemi Moussavi is a professor of Islamic law and modern Islamic developments who currently teaches at George Washington University.

Mojtaba Mahdavi is an associate professor of political science and Middle East studies at the University of Alberta, Canada.

Peter Mandaville is the director of the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies and a professor of government at George Mason University.

John O. Voll is a professor of Islamic history and past associate director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

Abdullah Al-Arian is an assistant professor of history at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar.

Jonathan Brown is the Alwaleed bin Talal chair of Islamic Civilization and director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University.

Louay M. Safi is a professor at the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies.

Ali A. Mazrui, who died in 2015, was the Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities and director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Kamal Abu-Shamsieh was born in Ramallah and is currently a PhD student at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA in the area of the cultural and historical study of religion.

Jasser Auda is a professor teaching at the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies in Doha, a founding member and a member of the executive board of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, a member of the academic committee of the IIIT and a fellow of the International Institute of Advanced Systems in Canada.

Mahmoud M. Ayoub was born in South Lebanon. He received his education at the American University of Beirut (BA, Philosophy, 1964), the University of Pennsylvania (M.A., Religious Thought, 1966) and Harvard University (Ph.D., History of Religion, 1975).

Usaama al-Azami is a PhD candidate at Princeton University’s Department of Near Eastern Studies.

Jacquelene Brinton received her MA. and PhD. from the University of Virginia in August of 2009 in the Department of Religious Studies with a specialty in Islamic Studies.

Carl W. Ernst is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor and co-director of the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

Katrin Jomaa is an assistant professor at the University of Rhode Island with a joint appointment in the Departments of Political Science and Philosophy.

Mouez Khalfaoui is a junior professor of Islamic Jurisprudence at the University of Tuebingen, Germany (since 2012).

Shahirah Mahmood is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin Madison.

Hamid Mavani obtained his MA and PhD from McGill University at the Institute of Islamic Studies.

Ebrahim Moosa is a professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

Asaad Al-Saleh is an assistant professor of Arabic, comparative literature and cultural studies in the Department of Languages and Literature and the Middle East Center at the University of Utah.

Christopher B. Taylor is currently a visiting researcher at Georgetown University in the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs.

Sarra Tlili is an assistant professor at the University of Florida in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures.

David Vishanoff is an associate professor in the Religious Studies Program at the University of Oklahoma, where he teaches courses on the Qur’an, Islamic law, Islamic theology and comparative religion.

Jamal Barzinji is the president of IIIT, USA. He was a founder and has served as president of the Muslim Students Association and is a founder of Islamic Society of North America.

Yaqub Mirza is the president and CEO of Sterling Management Group. He is also an advisor to the board of trustees of the Amana Mutual Funds, a member of the board of directors of the University Islamic Financial Corporation and a member of the Board of Trustees of George Mason University Foundation, Inc. He holds a MSc from University of Karachi, a PhD in physics and an MA in teaching science from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Abubaker Al Shingieti is the executive director of the IIIT, USA.

Ermin Sinanovic is the director of research and academic programs at IIIT.

Iqbal Unus is a former director of The Fairfax Institute (TFI), the instructional division of IIIT, where he has also served as director of human development and director of administration since 1989.

Asifa Quraishi-Landes is an associate professor of law at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Mohammad Fadel is an associate professor in the faculty of law at the University of Toronto.

Asma Afsaruddin is a professor of Near-Eastern languages and culture at Indiana University.

Andrew March is an associate professor of political science at Yale University.

Muqtedar Khan is a professor of political science and the director of Islamic studies at the University of Delaware.

Kenneth Honerkamp is a professor of religion at the University of Georgia.

Imad-ad-Dean Ahmed is a professor of religion and science at American University and Wesley Theological Seminary.

David Warren is a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Edinburgh.

Abdallah El Sheikh Sidahmed is a professor of economics at El Neelain University in Khartoum, Sudan.

Charles Butterworth is a professor of government at the University of Maryland.

Abdallah Al Arian is an assistant professor of history at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar.

Muhammad Faghfoory is a professor of religion at George Washington University.

Douglas Johnston is the president and founder of the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy.

Ahmed Kazemi Mousavi is an adjunct professor in the School of Languages, Literature and Cultures at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Norton Mezvinsky is the Distinguished University Professor, Emeritus, at Central Connecticut State University and president of the International Council for Middle East Studies.

Ali Mazrui who died in 2015, was Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities and director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Seifudein Adem is the associate director of the Institute for Global Studies at SUNY Binghamton.

Muhammad Nimer is a professor of International Relations at American University.

Marybeth Acac is a PhD candidate in the Department of Religion at Temple University.

Sherman A. Jackson is the King Faisal Chair of Islamic Thought and Culture at the University of Southern California.

Khaleel Mohammed is a professor of religious studies at San Diego State University.

Aisha Musa is an assistant professor of religion and Middle Eastern and Islamic civilization studies at Colgate University.

Imtiyaz Yusuf is the director of the Center for Buddhist-Muslim Understanding in the College of Religious Studies at Mahidol University in Thailand and a senior fellow at the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University.

 

[1] The website http://www.iiit.org/ provides The International Institute for Islamic Thought’s description of its own activities. For IIIT’s association with the Muslim Brotherhood, see FBI Memo, “An Analysis of Religious Divisions in the Muslim Community of Toronto,” 1988. The document was obtained through FIOA by The Investigative Project on Terrorism (www.investigativeproject.org).

[2] The International Institute of Islamic Thought, “Islamization of Knowledge: General Principles and Work Plan,” No.1 (1988).

[3] Seyyed Vali Reza Nasr, “Islamization of Knowledge: A Critical Review,” Islamic Studies, 30.3 (1991), 387-400.

[4] IIIT has established at least three chairs over the last six years at the cost of over 3.5 million dollars. These include The IIIT Chair in Islamic Studies at the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies at George Mason University (GMU), which was endowed in 2012; The Faculty Chair in Islamic Chaplaincy at Hartford Seminary currently—endowed in 2013; and The IIIT Chair in Interfaith Studies at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY—endowed in 2012.

[5] See the list of scholars who have presented at IIIT conferences since 2009 at The Summer Institute of Scholars webpage on IIIT’s website.

[6] AbuSulayman ed., “Islamization of Knowledge,” International Institute of Islamic Thought, 1989, 3rd edition, 84-85; see Kyle Shideler and David Daoud, “International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT): The Muslim Brotherhood’s Think Tank,” Center for Security Policy Occasional Paper Series (July 28, 2014).

[7] “Proposed Redacted Affidavit in Support of Application for Search Warrant (October 2003),” United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, published at The Investigative Project on Terrorism (www.investigativeproject.org). For more on Barzinji, who passed away in 2015, see The Investigative Project on Terrorism’s biography.

[8] For the letter, see “Exhibit 325,” at the Investigative Project on Terrorism; on the indictment, see The US Department of Justice, “Sami Al-Arian Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To Provide Services To Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” Press Release (April 17, 2006).

[9] See above, n. 1.

[10] Meira Svirsky, “Brotherhood Influence OP Inside US Academia Success,” Clarion Project (May 5, 2014).

[11] The direct relationship between the government of Qatar and the Qatar Foundation is noted at the Foundation’s official website.

[12] See the official report of Human Rights Watch, an organization that usually reserves such criticism for Israel and the West.

[13] Washington Post, “Texas university gets $76 million each year to operate in Qatar, contract says” (March 8, 2016). The money is paid to the Qatar Foundation, which then gives it to the school of the student.

[14] The Washington Post, “In Qatar’s Education City, U.S. colleges are building an academic oasis” (December 6, 2015)

[15] On Qatar’s Education City, see The Washington Post, “In Qatar’s Education City, U.S. colleges are building an academic oasis” (December 6, 2015); on Louay Safi’s position, see his faculty biography at the website of Qatar’s Hamad bin Khalifah University.

[16] On Auda’s role in institutions in Education City, specifically the new research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CILE), see the Qatar Foundation announcement concerning “Creating CILE”; on Auda’s ties to the brotherhood, see Ryan Mauro, “US Professors Participate in Brotherhood-Linked Program,” Clarion Project (October 10, 2013); for IIIT’s role in publishing Auda, see here.

One Reason Americans Often are Wrong About Jews and Israel

In 2014, the media watchdog organization CAMERA put up a billboard on Times Square accusing the NY Times of “slanting the news.”

Nothing has changed; in fact, today the Times is listing so severely to port that I’m surprised to see it still afloat. I have picked a couple of articles, both by Times staffers, to prove my point.

One is a “News Analysis” article by Jonathan Weisman*, an editor in the Times’ Washington bureau, called “Anti-Semitism Is Rising. Why Aren’t American Jews Speaking Up?”

Weisman is rightly concerned. Jew-hatred is becoming increasingly popular and moving closer to the mainstream in the US. Extremists on both the Right and the Left are finding it easier to speak in ways that would have been taboo only a few years ago. Anti-Jewish hate crimes have increased sharply in recent years as well. So you would think Weisman would have plenty of material.

But in 1052 words, all he is able to talk about is the so-called “alt-right,” as exemplified by a couple of right-wing conspiracy theorists, Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec.

I am sure Weisman isn’t making up stories about the hate mail he is getting, and that much of it has anti-Jewish themes. But can you write about anti-Semitism without mentioning the Imams who have called for the murder of Jews from their pulpits? Can you write responsibly about it without mentioning the harassment of Jewish students on college campuses by members of organizations like Students for Justice in Palestine, some of whom openly express admiration for Hitler? Can you write about it without discussing the prevalence of Jew-hatred in the black community, and the “intersectional” embrace of Jew-hater Louis Farrakhan by the progressive movement?

Weisman and the Times couldn’t, or didn’t want to. Instead, he praises the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center (which, like him, is blind to left-wing and Muslim Jew-hatred) and attacks Jewish organizations for being – get ready – “focused on Israel!”

If the vinyl banners proclaiming “Remember Darfur” that once graced the front of many American synagogues could give way in a wave to “We Stand With Israel,” why can’t they now give way en masse to “We Stand Against Hate”?

I don’t see a lot of liberal synagogues standing with Israel these days, but that is another topic. Weisman closes with a suggestion for American Jews: they should “[embrace] Judaism as a vital part of America pluralism — and [find] the spiritual meaning in the religion,”  which seems to mean that they should replace Judaism with political progressivism, a trend that has been underway for some time among liberal American Jews.

* David Gerstman informs me that Weisman is also the genius responsible for the Times chart that highlighted in yellow those lawmakers who opposed the Iran deal who were Jewish.

***

Now let’s turn to another Times staffer, the venerable Isabel Kershner, the Times’ Jerusalem correspondent. In a “news” article in the Middle East section of the paper, she tries to explain why “In Israel’s Poorer Periphery, Legal Woes Don’t Dent Netanyahu’s Appeal.” Recent polls are showing PM Netanyahu’s Likud surging ahead, despite his unpopularity in the trendy parts of Tel Aviv. So Kershner goes to the not-so-trendy Kiryat Malachi (city of angels) where the mostly mizrachi [Jews who immigrated to Israel from the Middle East and North Africa] population supports him. How can it be that they simply don’t care about the corruption investigations underway against “Bibi, as he is lovingly nicknamed?”

One explanation would be that people who remember, or whose parents remember, the treatment Jews received at the hands of the Muslims among whom they lived don’t trust the Israeli Left, which keeps trying to give away parts of the country to the Arabs in the name of “peace,” which the Arabs will never provide. In other words, it is a disagreement over policy, and Bibi (even those who do not love him call him “Bibi”) has managed to stand firm against pressure from the US and Europe to commit suicide. It also doesn’t hurt that he is taking a tough line against Iran, that on his watch the economy has boomed, that he has made some major diplomatic gains for the “isolated” Jewish state, and that he has kept us out of major wars.

The corruption investigations, the details of which have been leaked on a daily basis to the media, have a smell of contrivance about them. It may turn out that some of the accusations are at least in part true, but most supporters feel that these are small matters, no politician is perfect, and his overall performance on the most important issues has been excellent.

That would be the simple answer. It explains why Bibi is popular everywhere in Israel, except among the bitter left-wing politicians that used to run the state and their academic, cultural and media partners. The real mystery Kershner should explore is not why he has so much support in the periphery, but rather, why they hate him so much in North Tel Aviv.

But Kershner misses the obvious, and implies that the answer is to be found in identity politics, the historical grievance of the mizrachim against the Ashkenazi establishment, and perhaps in quaint North African religious beliefs. After describing her visit to the tomb of the Baba Sali (a mystical rabbi revered by the Moroccan Jewish community) and talking about amulets, she might as well have echoed Barack Obama’s 2008 remark that working-class voters “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them…”

But the words of her (very articulate, by the way) interviewees refute this implication:

Like Mr. Begin, Mr. Netanyahu is Ashkenazi, while the current leader of the center-left Labor Party, Avi Gabbay, is the child of Moroccan immigrants. But Netanyahu supporters deride Mr. Gabbay as a political novice and disregard his ethnic origins.

“We are not racists,” Mr. Ayyash [Yehuda Ayyash, 58, a greengrocer in the blue-collar town of Kiryat Malachi in southern Israel] said. “We are rightists.”

And the police investigations of Netanyahu?

“We are all Bibi,” said Erez Madar, 33, a hairdresser in Kiryat Malachi. “Let him have a cigar. He deserves an airplane.”

Indeed, most of us agree, which is why we keep voting for him.

***

Sometimes people ask me why liberal Americans are often so wrong about anything connected to Jews or Israel, despite the fact that they are seemingly obsessed with these subjects.

Maybe the answer is that so many of them read the NY Times.


Atheist Activist Group Wants to Stop Pastor From Offering Lunchtime Bible Study at School

WINTERSVILLE, Ohio — One of the nation’s most conspicuous atheist activist groups is seeking to stop an Ohio pastor from holding a voluntary lunchtime Bible study for students at a local middle school.

The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) recently sent a letter to the superintendent of the Indian Creek School District to assert that it is unconstitutional for the district to allow Bobbyjon Bauman of the Valley Youth Network to offer the study during school hours at Indian Creek Middle School.

The group further called the pastor’s gospel presentations “predatory conduct.”

“It is unconstitutional for the district to offer religious leaders access to befriend and proselytize students during the school day on school property,” FFRF wrote. “This predatory conduct is inappropriate and should raise many red flags. The district cannot allow its schools to be used as recruiting grounds for churches during the school day.”

“When a school allows Church representatives to recruit students for the Church, it has unconstitutionally entangled itself with a religious message—in this case, a Christian message. This practice alienates those non-Christian students, teachers and members of the public whose religious beliefs are inconsistent with the message being endorsed by the school,” it asserted.

According to FFRF, the organization had been alerted by a local resident about Bauman’s Bible study, and also reviewed his social media posts, which included a notation on Feb. 23 that 165 students decided to attend that day.

“I shared the gospel with them using Romans 6:23 as the touchstone verse. None of the kids in any of the four Bible study groups even knew what the word ‘gospel’ meant, so I was able to share with them the significance of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ,” Bauman wrote.

“The kids were very responsive to the message and we had 30 of them request Bibles because they didn’t own one, so next week, we will be bringing them Bibles,” he outlined, explaining student interest.

It is not known if the Indian Creek School District plans to respond.

As previously reported, in 1791—just four years after the signing of the U.S. Constitution—Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and vice-president of the Bible Society of Philadelphia, said in expressing his disagreement with deists who were opposed to using the Bible in schools:

“In contemplating the political institutions of the United States, I lament, that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes, and take so little pains to prevent them. We profess to be republicans, and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government, that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible, for this divine book, above all others, favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws, and all those sober and frugal virtues, which constitute the soul of republicanism.”

Read his remarks in full here.

The first textbook used in the American colonies even before the nation’s founding, “The New England Primer,” was largely focused on the Scriptures, and was stated to be popular in public and private schools alike until approximately the early 1900’s. It used mostly the King James Bible as reference, and spoke much about sin, salvation and proper behavior.

“Save me, O God, from evil all this day long, and let me love and serve Thee forever, for the sake of Jesus Christ, Thy Son,” it read.

Noah Webster’s famous “Blue Back Speller” also referenced Christianity, including God-centered statements in reading lessons such as “The preacher is to preach the gospel,” “Blasphemy is contemptuous treatment of God,” and “We do not like to see our own sins.” Webster, a schoolmaster, is known as the “father of American education” and strongly advocated teaching children the Scriptures. Many of the Founders’ children are stated to have learned to read from the primer.

The Church-State separation group also contended that the fact that the Bible study is voluntary—that it is only attended by students who are interested—does not alleviate concerns.

“Please note that it makes no difference that students are not required to attend these preaching sessions. Voluntariness does not excuse a constitutional violation,” FFRF wrote. “The district must immediately discontinue allowing Mr. Bauman, or any other preachers, access to students during the school day.”


Harvard Suspends Christian Group After Lesbian Relationship Controversy

An entrance to Harvard

Prestigious American university Harvard has suspended a Christian student group that asked one of its leaders to step down after she started a lesbian relationship.

The group, Harvard College Faith and Action (HCFA), informed the unnamed woman—an assistant Bible course leader—that her relationship went against the group’s character standards.

HCFA has now been placed on probation for a year—the first time this has been done to any student group.

No Discrimination

Harvard claimed the group’s decision violated its guidelines stipulating that campus student groups cannot discriminate on the basis of “sexual orientation.”

Co-presidents of HCFA, Scott Ely and Molly L Richmond, released a statement about the controversy to explain that the group includes “sexual purity” in its character standards.

“Our theological view is that—for professing Christians who are in leadership—celibacy is the only option outside the bounds of marriage. We have applied and do apply this policy regardless of sexual orientation.”

Barred

In an email released by The Harvard Crimson student newspaper, the woman said that she and her partner felt “extremely at peace” about their relationship.

Whilst the group is under probation, it will be barred from student fairs, lose free access to meeting rooms, no longer be allowed to advertise on campus and lose some university funding.


American Bible Society draws criticism for applying restrictive policies on use of .bible domain

The American Bible Society (ABS) is being criticized for applying restrictive policies on the use of its recently acquired .bible top-level domain name.

The .bible domain has been managed by ABS since 2016 and at least 1,190 groups have acquired the domain name.

Some scholars, however, have raised concerns about how the ABS is running the domain name, with some complaining that the organization had applied restrictive policies that limit a wide range of faiths and essentially exclude any group with a scholarly or secular orientation.

Religion News Service reported that ABS had recently enacted a policy prohibiting registrants from posting any material that “espouses or promotes a religious, secular, or other worldview that is antithetical to New Testament principles, including but not limited to the promotion of a non-Christian religion or set of religious beliefs.”

After scholars with the Society of Biblical Literature, as well as some Jewish organizations, raised their objections, the ABS backtracked and modified the policy to include the participation of Jews.

However, some scholars have complained that the policy reversal did not go far enough. The revised policies reportedly forbid content that “advocates belief in any religious or faith tradition other than orthodox Christianity or Judaism.” It also does not allow “any content that communicates disrespect for God as He is revealed in the Bible” as well as “[a]ny content that communicates disrespect for the Bible.”

“The policy remains at its core insufficient,” said John Kutsko, executive director of the Society of Biblical Literature. “The ABS excludes those critical of religious traditions or views considered unorthodox by ABS, which is basically a good deal of scholarship,” he continued.

ABS said in a short statement that it had met with “complaining parties,” but insisted that it is “complete compliance” with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which manages internet resources and coordinates its domain name system.

In 2013, ABS had stated that it intends “to make .BIBLE domain names available to individuals and groups who have a healthy respect for the Bible.” The group also noted in its ICANN application that it intends to protect the .bible domain from “inappropriate use.”

The Saudi Arabia’s Communication and Information Technology Commission had objected to the application at that time saying, it believes that there is no clear consensus on who or what defines the “bible.”

The commission argued that allowing the domain to be registered would be “offensive to many people and societies on religious grounds.”

ABS said in a statement that its advisory council will review the criteria for membership on the dispute panel at its next meeting, but declined to provide further details.


 

Tim Tebow on Being Homeschooled: It Taught Me ‘Love for God, Love for One Another’

Tim Tebow on Being Homeschooled: It Taught Me 'Love for God, Love for One Another'

Football star Tim Tebow said his homeschool years taught him “love for God, love for one another.”

“They wanted us to learn reading, writing and arithmetic, but it wasn’t No. 1. It wasn’t the most important thing,” Tebow said of his parents. “They wanted to instill love in our hearts, love for God, love for one another. They wanted us to be able to learn a work ethic, a dedication.”

Tebow, 30, did not attend public school until he attended the University of Florida, a college with about 50,000 students.

“I still have such a heart to encourage the homeschool kid,” Tebow told an ESPN analyst. “To let them know that they are loved, and they are special, and they might feel different, and sometimes might feel alone, sometimes might feel afraid. There might be those times where you go through that.”

Tebow’s 2017 book, Know Who You Are. Live Like It Matters: A Homeschooler’s Interactive Guide to Discovering Your True Identity, discusses how homeschool impacted him as he grew up.

He said he first had chores on his family’s farm, Bible study, and then academic work.

“I did a lot of different projects on Jackie Robinson, Jesse Owens … because I was so interested in it,” he said. “I also remember doing science projects on why my parents needed to let me take protein because they didn’t understand that protein was a good thing and I needed to take shakes.”

While he was homeschooled, Tebow did play sports with other public school students.

“I went to work on it, and eventually we became friends,” he said. “But people are going to view you as different, and that’s OK. And sometimes I think it’s pretty good to view yourself as different, and that’s OK.”

Tebow’s parents, Bob and Pam Tebow, were his homeschool teachers.

“The amazing thing about homeschooling is that you get to love on your kids, you get to embrace them, you get to believe in them, you get to share that with them over, and over, and over and over again,” Tebow said. “And the chances of them believing it are so much higher, and that’s what we want our kids to be … not be afraid of the world.”


Amazing Video Testimony, An Ex Transgender and Bisexual accepts Jesus Christ

Salvation Plan by George Duke
Salvation could be divided into two categories? The first would be with you accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour without following the plan that Jesus spoke to Nicodemus about. This first category takes the chance that even though Jesus Christ did not give me the new birth he has still saved you? This plan takes you to the Judgement of God to find out if your plan was enough. The second category assures you of your salvation as long as you continue with him. This is the one spoken by Jesus Christ in St. John chapter 3 and fulfilled in Acts chapter 2. You need to read both of these chapters and understand that all of the early disciples were recipients of this salvation. So my question to you is: Do you want to be saved in the way Jesus spoke of or in the way the modern church tells you.


Students No Longer Reading Lord’s Prayer Over Loudspeaker at Louisiana School Following Lawsuit

As a result of a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, students are no longer permitted to read the Lord’s Prayer during morning announcements at a Louisiana high school. The prayer was presented voluntarily by students and came under scrutiny when an agnostic student raised the issue with her mother. Reactions to the decision have been mixed, but many local Christians have expressed their support for the student-led practice.

Students at a public high school in Louisiana are no longer reading The Lord’s Prayer over the loudspeaker each morning following a lawsuit filed by a woman who professes to be a Christian and her agnostic daughter.

Christy Cole and her 17-year-old daughter Kaylee recently told CNN that no one has presented the prayer at Lakeside Junior/High School in Minde since students returned from the holiday break. The Lord’s Prayer had customarily been read over the loudspeaker each morning during the daily announcements, along with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Students had asked their classmates to stand to their feet, but Cole declined to as she identifies as agnostic and doesn’t like messages about God appearing in various forms throughout the school day.

As previously reported, Cole’s mother professes to be a Christian, but still objects to Christianity being promoted in public schools and believes that “praying in public is a sin.” With the aid of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), she filed suit against the Webster Parish School District in December in an effort to put an end to what the legal challenge called “pervasive religious indoctrination.”

“Christy Cole believes her daughter and all students should be able to attend public school without exposure to government-sponsored religious practices and messages, and without harassment for their religious beliefs,” the complaint outlined.

“K.C. has felt and feels coerced, both directly and indirectly, to participate in religious activities and expression that did not and do not comport with her personal beliefs,” it stated. “She feels that she has been subjected to unwelcome indoctrination.”


In London’s Hyde Park, a ‘chance encounter’ on park bench leads to new life for Muslim woman

During a recent London Bridges Jesus Film Mission Trip™, one mission team had a welcome encounter while praying about whom to approach with the good news.

The team leader shares:

Our team was enjoying the beauty of Hyde Park. While we walked, prayed and chatted about past mission trips, a team member asked me about my favorite people group. I mentioned a people living in a certain [closed] country on the Arab Peninsula. “Oh, maybe we’ll meet somebody from there,” the team member said. To which I insisted, “No, not here. I’ve never met anybody from [country] here.”

We turned a corner and saw a group of young Middle Eastern women, traditionally dressed, sitting on a park bench. Scooting over, they patted the seat, signaling us to sit. So our group joined theirs—squeezed onto the same park bench together.

We asked them where they were from, and I was surprised and delighted to be able to tell them I had visited their country. It was the very one I had just shared with the team! One of the women exclaimed, “You know my country! You come with us; you stay with us for the day!

We quickly bonded and enjoyed great conversation with them until they eventually looked at their watches and indicated it was time to go. They were hungry and it was time to eat.

I knew, of course, that it was Ramadan—a special time of fasting. So I asked them if they were Muslim and they said they were. I told them I was a Christian but that I hadn’t been raised a Christian. They expressed surprise and indicated that they thought everyone in America was raised a Christian.

Then one of them asked, “How does a person become a Christian?

Well, our team stood flabbergasted at this perfect opportunity to share the gospel. So I told them my story:

I didn’t know either but I tried to be a good person. I always thought religions were like ice cream—different flavors but all involving praying, fasting, reading a holy book, and treating others as we want to be treated.

     “But at the end of the day, my heart was still ‘black.’ Why would a God who created so much beauty [I gestured to the rose garden around us] accept me with my black heart?

     “Well, I didn’t know what to do so I turned to a friend of mine who always talks about God as if He were a friend… not stern and scary. I asked him how his life was different after he accepted the Lord and became a Christian. That’s when he told me that God wanted to be my friend, too, and that I could know Him personally.”

At this point, I explained the gospel to the women. They were sincerely tracking with me through my personal story and about the good news. The entire conversation was the textbook setup. And then the time came to ask them if they would like to accept Jesus.

     “We can’t,” they all said, expressing their religious affiliation without hesitation. I was shocked by how abruptly our “perfect opportunity” had become a dead end.

     “We have to go,” they continued, and then they mentioned a church they enjoyed visiting, called Mary Magdalene.

Boom! I suddenly remembered I had a “Magdalena” DVD in my purse!

     “Oh gosh,” I said, “It’s the weirdest thing… I have this DVD that’s about the person the church is named for and it’s in your language!”

The young women, pleasantly surprised, accepted the DVD; we exchanged email addresses, took pictures and promised each other we’d keep in touch. I knew I would be visiting their country in four months so I wanted to stay connected.

Four months later, I visited the Arab Peninsula and was able to visit with one of the women. I thought surely by now she’d want to become a Christian. This’ll be easy! But every attempt I made to start a spiritual conversation with her was stonewalled.

The night before my flight home, the young woman (along with her father and sister as chaperones) took me to one of the finest restaurants and still I could not get into one conversation about Jesus. I prayed, “Lord, You know I’m leaving tomorrow. Please give me a divine appointment to invite this woman to become a follower of Christ.

We finished dinner and all of us went for a walk toward the beach. As we approached the sand, she and I kept walking but the others stopped as if God had put up a wall. When we reached the water, she confessed, “I love the water; I wish I could swim.”

I said, “Well, why can’t you?” “Because of this,” and she picked up a wad of her traditional dress.

     “You’re not allowed to?” I asked. “No, I’m trapped—literally. My whole generation is trapped. We don’t believe any of this. It’s my parents’ generation. The religion…? All that, it’s theirs.

I said, “Have you thought about our conversation from this summer?” (I was trembling.)

I think about it every day,” she replied.

I brought you a gift,” I said. “It’s a Bible in Arabic and English. Will you read it?

I have searched for one ever since we spoke!” And she grabbed the Bible and kissed it and then kissed me.

Looking outward toward the Gulf, we cried and she said, “I knew God brought you here for a reason.

Since that evening, we have kept in touch. I plan to go back to that region and spend a few days with my new sister in Christ.

This experience was a great reminder that God is always at work… With the help of the Holy Spirit, we plant seeds and He brings them to fruition.


Just a Missionary by Editor George C Duke

Image result for Just a Missionary by George C Duke images

Here are some pages from the book which can be purchased on www.Amazom.com/ or Kendle.comImage result for Every Member a Missionary imagesThere have been so many Missionaries that have done so much for the work of God in reaching the souls of mankind throughout the world. I want to share with you some of the Missionaries that I met while I was a Missionary in the UK. Many Missionaries pay a high price in order to obey God and their calling. Remember that a Pastor, Preacher, or even a Missionary is human just like you and I. Also many times their children suffer because of the parents calling.  We should recognize that when one becomes a missionary it is a decision that they make but their children do not always have a choice. They must go where their parents take them and many times they become the often unrecognized missionary in the family. They suffer much for that calling of God placed upon their lives because of their parents. Many times I have had to listen to my children speak about persecution in the school by teachers or other children just because they were American or a Christian. I would like to dedicate this book to my children and thank them for all the work that they did to help Carol and I to be successful Missionaries. My heart reaches out to them for their suffering and pain because God called me to be just a Missionary.  God bless each of you Mark Clifford Duke, Debra Ann Duke Dominguez, Susan Lorraine Duke Goodhall, and Rebecca Elizabeth Duke Schadt.

Baptism of Billy Graham

One Sunday night we arrived at the Conservative club Hall and found a family waiting for us to have service. It always is a thrill to have new people to attend a service. When I introduced myself to them, they told me that they were the Graham family. The man was Billy Graham and his wife and family. Later when I gave the altar call the whole family came forward and sought the Lord and after the end of the prayer at the altar, Billy asked me if he could come over and meet with me at my home. We agreed on a time and when they arrived, Billy had a note book full of questions that he wanted to speak to me about. Most of these involved Baptism in Jesus name and the gift of the Holy Ghost. He then spoke and asked me about our teaching on who Jesus Christ really was? I must have answered all his questions proper because before he left he asked me to baptize him and his family in Jesus name for the remission of their sins. On Saturday afternoon they came to our home and I was thrilled as I baptized each one of them in the name above all names.

INDEX

Song Who do you say I am

Foreword

Every Member is a Missionary

My Appointment as a Missionary

Arrival on the Field

Resurrection of Sister Barker

Missionary Roy Lindo

Missionary Hilda Allen

Irish Club

Move to the Townfield House

The Guild Hall

The Missionary Taco?

Wycliffe Bible Center

Hari Krishna Missionaries ?

The Missionary Tithe

Tithing the past the present the future

Song It’s For Me

The Baptism of Billy Graham

The U.S. Air Force

The Specialist

Overseas

I Married an Alien

The End of my Air Force Career

The British Board

Missionary Mervyn Muller

Missionary S.G. Sappleton

Missionary David Campbell

Missionary Fred Turley

4 Views of Revelation

Power point Lesson pictures

Missionary James Dallas

Missionary Leroy Francis

Trinity Reformed Church

Tent Crusade in the Park

Missionary Dennis Beedle

Missionary Michael Joules

Missionary Arlo Mohlenpah

Missionary On Deputation

The Texas Mission

Fake Tongues

The Return of the Missionary

The Attempt in Newport Wales

The Lydney Church

Missionary Helen Diamond

Missionary Fred Plumb

Missionary Paul’s Excerpt

Missionary Robert Phillips

Missionary Don Johnson

Song I can’t Complain

The Falkirk Report

Apostolic Creed

Accepted trinity Vs Apostolic Trinity

Missionary Harold and Vivian Caffee

About