Middle East studies in the News
A Multi-Culti Thomas Jefferson [incl. Denise Spellberg]
When reflecting on the rich history of the city of Philadelphia, one might think of William Penn, Benjamin Franklin, the Liberty Bell, the Declaration of Independence, and the U.S. Constitution. The timeless principles of freedom and liberty speak not only to the Philadelphian but also more broadly to the American. Because of Philadelphia's significance and contribution to America, its history has become a major target of revisionism. Despite having different motivations, Liberal-progressives and Islamists both share the common goal of turning our founding fathers into advocates of multiculturalism.
For Islamists it's all about making the founding fathers supportive of Islam, and of course they mean political Islam. Philadelphia City Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. is helping create that narrative by hosting an event in Philadelphia's City Hall July 26, with Denise Spellberg, author of the controversial book titled Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an: Islam and the Founders. David F. Forte, Cleveland State University professor of law, lays out two important themes asserted in the book that reveal Spellberg's prejudices:
1) that the founders' references to "imaginary Muslims" led them to include other minorities, such as Jews, Catholic Christians, and Deists, as full citizens, and 2) that America is now in the grip of "Islamophobia," and many Americans are attempting to "disenfranchise" Muslims from their rights as full citizens.
The 'Islamophobia' campaign has propagated a lot of nonsense, from 'Islamophobia' accelerating global warming to the rewriting of a more 'inclusive' American history as Spellberg's book seems to indicate. To think that Jefferson and the founding fathers included political Islam when they championed religious liberty is ridiculous. Religious liberty and Islamic law are incompatible because Islamic law prohibits and punishes beliefs that are in opposition to Islam. This multiculturalist narrative Spellberg is trying to sell is similar to that advocated by the Muslim Brotherhood linked Congressman Keith Ellison (first Muslim Congressman). Ellison was the one who took his oath of office by swearing in on the Quran owned by Thomas Jefferson, and tries to insinuate that because Jefferson owned a Quran it helped mold his views on religious liberty and toleration. A 2007 Seattle Times article reports Ellison's take on swearing in on the Quran:
"It demonstrates that from the very beginning of our country, we had people who were visionary, who were religiously tolerant, who believed that knowledge and wisdom could be gleaned from any number of sources, including the Quran," Ellison said in a telephone interview Wednesday.
"A visionary like Thomas Jefferson was not afraid of a different belief system," Ellison said. "This just shows that religious tolerance is the bedrock of our country, and religious differences are nothing to be afraid of."
In reality, Jefferson not only had some unflattering things to say about Islam but also got a taste of radical Islam from a conversationwith the Ambassador of Tripoli at the time:
The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the Laws of their prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every musselman [Muslim] who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.
Besides Philadelphia City Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. who are some of the other supporters of the event with Spellberg in Philadelphia? Of course, the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is one of the backers of the event. The Muslim Brotherhood in North America is dedicated to "destroying Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated." CAIR has even given Spellberg an award that epitomizes her work that's being used for the Islamist cause:
I-CAIR Faith in Freedom Award from the Council American-Islamic Relations, Cleveland, Ohio Chapter, "For promoting a better understanding of the history of religious freedom in America and for writing Muslims back into our nation's founding narrative through the extraordinary and illuminating scholarly work, Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an: Islam and the Founders," May 11, 2014.
Militant Islam Monitor.org provides information about some of the other event sponsors such as:
...They include Emerge Pac, the Universal Muslim Business Association, Masjid Masjidullah and ICPIC. The Islamic Cultural Preservation And Information Council which receives funding from the PA Council on the Arts among others. http://icpic.co/. EmergePac is a subsidiary of EmergeUSA which is headed by stealth Islamist lawyer Khurrum Wahid.
"Emerge USA, despite its patriotic sounding name, has an extremely radical agenda based on terrorism and bigotry shrouded in the guise of political advocacy. The main individual behind Emerge USA is Khurrum Wahid, a South Florida attorney who has built his name on representing high profile terrorists. They include members of al-Qaeda and financiers of the Taliban. According to the Miami New Times, Wahid himself was placed on a federal terrorist watch list in 2011."
The contact for the event is Imam Salaam Muhsin, who recently spoke at CAIR-Philadelphia's Interfaith Press Conference after the Orlando massacre. The sponsors have a long list of Islamist ties to say the least. On the event/luncheon flyer it is also noted that it occurs during the week of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, advertising for their liberal fan base. This progressive/Islamist alliance is working together to reinterpret our nation's founding fathers (and founding documents) in order to change the American narrative to fit their multiculturalist vision for the U.S. For the Islamists it's all about using multiculturalism to insert political Islam/Sharia into society under the guise of religious liberty.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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