Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Religious leaders make mistake in meeting with Iranian President Ahmadinejad

From Jay Sekulow on Beliefnet [boldface mine]:

In an inexplicable move, some religious organizations will host a dinner reception on September 25 for one of the world's most renowned terrorist supporters, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He has been asked to speak on the topic, "Has Not One God Created Us? The Significance of Religious Contributions to Peace." I stand with the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom in strongly condemning this move by the American Friends Service Committee, the Mennonite Central Committee, the World Council of Churches, and the Episcopal Church.

But what about the "tolerance and sincere dialogue" that Bishop Chane called for this summer, Jay? Hum? Don't you want to be part of "dialogue" like this?
. . . On May 8, [2008,] in a speech to members of the Majlis (Iran's parliament), [Ahmadinejad] referred to Israel as "a stinking corpse" and little better than "dead rats." Ahmadinejad – who says the Jewish state plays the role of "the Little Satan" to the "The Great Satan" (the U.S.) and has pledged to "wipe Israel off the map" to bring about the revelation of the "Twelfth Imam" (a messianic Shiite figure) and the worldwide dominion of Islam - promised that those who "assist the Zionist regime…will burn in fire."

Continuing Jay's concerns about the current visit by the Iranian president and the dinner party:
Ahmadinejad is a man who has repeatedly called for the annihilation of the Jewish state of Israel, rejects religious freedom, and embraces terrorism. It is well known that Ahmadinejad has called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" and is notorious for denying that the Holocaust occurred, saying of the West, "[t]hey have invented a myth that Jews were massacred."

Ahmadinejad has also warned that "[a]nybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury."

Just recently, the Iranian Parliament voted in favor of a bill permitting the death penalty for "apostasy," i.e., voluntarily changing one's religious faith.

Under this law, "Christians, Baha'is, and even some Muslims would be vulnerable to arbitrary arrest and imprisonment. . . . [T]wo Christians from Muslim backgrounds who are currently in prison for apostasy--Mahmoud Mohammad Matin-Azad and Arash Ahmad-Ali Basirat--could be given the death sentence.". . .

Read it all, and remember the Episcopal Church is part of this.
H/t to the Anglican Curmudgeon.


Georgia said...

Title could also read: "Religious leaders show their true colors..."

Anne Coletta said...

True, Georgia - although maybe it should read "Some religious leaders show their true colors"