Evangelical Leaders See Secularism as a Far Greater Threat Than Islam

Despite many who have criticized Islam, Evangelical leaders around the world say they do not see Muslims as as much of a threat to their faith as secularism and popular culture.

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life conducted the survey during what it called a “geographically representative” meeting of global evangelical leaders last year in South Africa.

The survey indicated 47 percent of respondents say Islam is the main threat to evangelical Christianity, but 71 percent put secularism in that category.

Luis Lugo is director of the Pew Forum. “To put it in context, it is not as though it is not seen as a threat, it is just that secularism in its associated practices tend to be seen as much more of a threat,” he said.


A Coptic Evangelical’s Reason for Backing the Muslim Brotherhood

CAIRO // Rafik Habib likes to finish his days at a Costa Coffee shop near his home in Rehab City on the outskirts of Cairo. He drinks an espresso, reads the newspapers … and defends the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Islamist organisation needs little help from one man: surveys show it has support from at least 15 per cent of Egyptians. But Dr Habib is an exception. He is a Coptic Christian intellectual who crossed sectarian lines to join the Brotherhood’s newly established Freedom and Justice Party as third-in-command.

“A large segment of Muslims think it was a good step, except some Salafis,” he says in his sparse office dotted with 1970s furniture.

“But the Christian community in general has refused my choice, and especially my decision to join as a founder.”

Some of his detractors have said his position in the group is merely cosmetic, but Christians have been more vitriolic, calling it an act of treason.

For Dr Habib, 52, it was one of the most difficult political decisions of his life.


Cain’s Message – Muslims Need Not Apply

Editor’s note: Dean Obeidallah is an award-winning comedian who has appeared on various TV shows including Comedy Central’s “Axis of Evil” special, ABC’s “The View,” and CNN’s “What the Week” and “The Joy Behar Show.” He is executive producer of the annual New York Arab-American Comedy Festival and The Amman Stand Up Comedy Festival. Follow him on Twitter.

(CNN) — Herman Cain, Republican presidential candidate and winner of this year’s Arizona and Georgia Tea Party straw polls, has a campaign slogan: “Lets Get Real.”

So I guess he was just keeping it real when he recently declared that he was not “comfortable” appointing an American-Muslim to his Cabinet or to a federal judgeship


The Destruction of Shi’a Mosques in Bahrain

(Be sure to scroll down the page where you will find before and after pictures of mosques that the Bahraini government has destroyed in its ongoing effort to discredit and marginalize the majority Shi’a population of the country)

MANAMA, Bahrain: One can understand the dignity and honor of a Mosque by the fact that Allah (SWT) calls Mosques as His homes. There is a Hadith that states whoever comes to mosque; Allah (SWT) will make him His guest in Jannah (The Paradise). Allah (SWT) loves the people who take care of mosques.

Unfortunately, Saudi-backed Bahraini forces in their crackdown against civilians protesting for their rights in Bahrain have bulldozed several mosques.

According to McClatchy Newspapers report, in the ancient Bahraini village of Aali, where some graves date to 2000 B.C., the Amir Mohammed Braighi mosque had stood for more than 400 years — one of the handsomest Shiite Muslim mosques in this small island nation in the Persian Gulf.

Today, only bulldozer tracks remain.



Evangelical Christian Speaks of His Good Relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood

The well-known Christian intellectual, Dr Rafiq Habib, has long-standing ties with the Muslim Brotherhood which are more than the result of having been chosen as Vice-Chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party affiliated to the organisation. Moreover, the choice of Dr Habib for this party position comes as no surprise to observers, as he has long been a distinguished researcher on the trends of political Islam.

Contrary to popular belief, Dr Habib is not a member of the Orthodox Church; he belongs to the Protestant evangelical sect of Christianity.

Nevertheless, his acceptance of the position as Vice-Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood’s party has, according to him, brought forth condemnation and disapproval from the majority of Christian communities in Egypt. In his conversation with “Egypt Today”, Dr Habib indicates that the philosophy behind his decision to accept the position is an attempt to reassure Christians about moderate political Islam as represented by the Muslim Brotherhood. He also pointed out that Christians fears about the organisation are unfounded; in the coming days, he said, the basis of the fears will be shown to be false.


Bahrain’s Crackdown Creates Sectarian Fallout

The Mo’men mosque in Nwaidrat stood in the same location 
for generations until it was bulldozed last month. 
The Sunni-run government in Bahrain has destroyed 
at least 47 Shiite mosques in recent weeks
  June 7, 2011

The mass protest movement that swept Bahrain in February and March has since turned into a bitter sectarian confrontation. The tiny island nation — a key U.S. ally in the Persian Gulf — is mostly populated by Shiites, but it’s ruled by a Sunni royal family.

Analysts say the family is now pushing a sectarian agenda that might eventually be its undoing.

From the very beginning, it was no secret that most of the protesters in Bahrain were Shiites. They are the underdogs in Bahrain: They’re generally poorer than the average Bahraini, and they’re kept out of top positions in the government. Meanwhile, the government imports Sunnis from Pakistan, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere to tip the scales in favor of Sunnis.


UK Women Declare Jihad on Violence

CAIRO – In an effort to clear misconceptions about the term of jihad, a group of British Muslim women have initiated a new campaign to fight against all types of violence, terrorism and domestic abuse.

“People think ‘jihad against violence’ is a contradictory statement but our jihad is for peace,” Sara Khan, the director of Inspire campaign, told The Guardian on Monday, June 6.

Themed “Jihad against Violence”, the campaign, launched on Sunday, aims to fight all forms of violence.

It focuses on combating crimes, including terrorism, domestic abuse and female genital mutilation that some perpetrators attempt to justify in the name of Islam.


Initiative launched to share Christian, Jewish, Muslim pulpits

WASHINGTON – It will happen for just one Sunday in June, but on that day, dozens of houses of worship across the United States will open their pulpits to clergy from the other two Abrahamic faiths to read from their scriptures.

The project, called Faith Shared, is set for June 26. A few synagogues and mosques are among those that have signed up for the initiative, as well as Christian communities across the denominational spectrum, including one Catholic church in North Carolina.

“Just having something public is not going to be a big, big deal here, but to have someone come in and read from the Quran and to recognize publicly the existence of Islam and to reverence and respect is a good thing for the church to do,” said Jesuit Father Pat Earl, pastor of St. Peter Parish in Charlotte, N.C.

The project is co-sponsored by the Interfaith Alliance and Human Rights First.


Getting it Right About Islam and Muslim Americans

By   John L. Esposito and Sheila B. Lalwani

WASHINGTON DC: Muslim Americans deserve a break. There are as many as six to eight million Muslims living in the United States and contributing to the country as doctors, engineers, artists, actors and professionals, but for a decade many have found themselves and their religion wrongly equated with the acts of terrorists like Osama bin Laden. Many have been the victims of fear, suspicion and prejudice, Muslim-bashing, unlawful surveillance, illegal search, arrest and imprisonment.

Efforts to build Islamic centers and mosques in New York, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Tennessee have been equated with building monuments to terrorism. Prominent American public figures and politicians — including Bill O’Reilly, Sarah Palin, Congressman Peter King and Newt Gingrich — openly spoke against Muslims and encouraged unfounded social suspicion of them. The net result is an increase in anti-Islam and anti-Muslim bashing, witnessed in the hysteria that has led to a movement across some 20 states in America to ban sharia (Islamic principles of jurisprudence).

Today’s historic changes, the death of Osama bin Laden and the Arab Spring, offer an opportunity to redress anti-Islam and anti-Muslim bias (Islamophobia) and to reaffirm that Muslim Americans, like other mainstream Americans, desire a secure and democratic America. Despite the fact that Muslim Americans for years have had to explain that neither they — nor their religion — sanction terrorism.