(Original article: http://www.kansas.com/2013/11/13/3113467/americas-muslim-cleric-confronts.html; State Dept. Muslim cleric confronts questions of loyalty, identity, by Hannah Allam)
I admit, my jaw just dropped at this report. I keep thinking I’m not going to be surprised again, and then I am.—Dorrie
Posted on January 27, 2014 by creeping sharia. Italics are from creeping sharia. My comments are in red as usual.
Did you know the State Dept. uses your tax dollars to pay a Muslim cleric? To visit Muslim countries? And teach them how to influence Americans about Islam? How many others are there? via State Dept. Muslim cleric confronts questions of loyalty, identity. With his trim, gray-flecked beard, crisply ironed clothes and genteel demeanor, Mohamad Bashar Arafat hardly cuts a controversial figure.
Yet his public appearances draw visceral reactions – from hearty welcomes to sneering disdain – depending on how the audience views a Muslim cleric who for a decade has worked with the U.S. State Department as a quiet, informal envoy to the Islamic world.
Through public diplomacy programs, Arafat has traveled to at least 26 countries in a role he sees as his patriotic duty as an American [not to be picky picky picky, but according to Seyyid Qutb (father of the modern Muslim Brotherhood) and the Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America (who get their data from the Qur’an), he cannot be an American; he cannot owe loyalty to any but Allah, so he’s already playing taqiyya games with the witless – maybe not — state department] and his religious duty as a Muslim imam. His roots in Damascus, where he was born and studied before emigrating in 1989, make for a third facet to that role now as diplomats, congregants, and friends ask him, “What should the U.S. do about Syria?”
Detractors, on the other hand, would prefer he keep his answers to himself. They regard him as, at best, a token and, at worst, a sellout – an apologist for the invasions, occupations and drone strikes that define recent U.S. policy in the Muslim world. At nearly every public event, in the United States and abroad, there are whispers and sometimes even chants: “FBI imam!” “Spy!” At some mosques he’s been told, point-blank, “You’re not welcome here.”
The State Department sent him to Tanzania in 2007 – at the height of bloodshed in Iraq – but canceled a first appearance when an angry mob blocked his car from driving up to the mosque where he’d been invited to lead prayers. The next day, with a Tanzanian police cordon outside, Arafat appeared at another event and again was greeted with boos when he arrived. This time, he took the stage and launched into his signature response to Muslims who charge that he’s being used by the U.S. government to detract from bad policy.
His counterargument comprises verses from the Quran, parables from the life of the Prophet Muhammad and pop-culture references – all delivered in the friendly, even tones of a preacher who’s out to convince audiences the world over that the most effective way to work for improved U.S. relations with the Muslim world is through dialogue between policymakers and the public.
“You have to understand that being an American doesn’t mean I have to agree with every aspect of my country’s foreign policy,” Arafat told the crowd in Tanzania, he recalled one recent day. “But we can talk and we can express our views in a civil way, a democratic way. And that’s how we make a change.”
What type of change is Arafat suggesting? A change toward a more Islamic way of life?
“Fighting terrorism requires also discussion with hard-liners on the ground, to have these debates. You cannot fight terrorism only by drones and by killing. You have to have discussion and you have to have dialogue, and that’s something that requires funding,” Arafat said. “I said once in Washington – it was 2003 – if you can spare the money of one F-16 and spend it on these public diplomacy programs, you will have way more results than only fighting.”
How’s that working out in Syria now?
The second part of Arafat’s post-9/11 strategy – combating extremism from within the community – is proving trickier. The problem is that he’s a reformist, and the stodgy, rarefied world of Islamic scholarship is resistant to change. He calls for new curriculums in Islamic seminaries, where, he complains, the teaching of jurisprudence has barely changed “in hundreds of years.” He wants Muslims to travel widely, learn different languages and move beyond superficial contact with the West.
Does he want to change the Koran? The sharia?
“Come inside America and hold forums with churches, with synagogues, with mosques, on a grass-roots level, because those are the people who are going to call their congressman and those are the ones that are going to bring those issues to Washington,” Arafat said. “This has been our weak point throughout our recent history. Our politicians in the Arab world always come to Washington, but they don’t have programs on the grass-roots level to educate the average American.”
That sounds eerily similar to An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Brotherhood in North America: “The process of settlement is a “Civilization-Jihadist Proecess” with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions. Without this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and have not prepared ourselves for Jihad yet. It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes, and there is no escape from that destiny except for those who chose to slack. But, would the slackers and the Mujahedeen be equal.”
Back to your taxpayer funded imam:
…after Arafat had immigrated to the United States, where he was hired as an imam for the Islamic Society of Baltimore and became a U.S. citizen. In the 1990s and early 2000s, he founded or co-founded mosques and Islamic centers in Maryland.
Is he linked to ISNA or NAIT?YES! You don’t get in Arafat’s position w/o being a Muslim Brother. Period. And no non-Muslim Brotherhood mosque/masjid can get “Islamic Society of . . . .” in its name. Arafat’s mobbed-up. And he’s pushing the Interfaith Dialogue racket as his cover to the ones who know it’s a racket. Just meshugganah.
His close partner in this work is his American [not anymore, if she’s reverted to Islam] wife, Kimberly, with whom he has four children. He has another three children from a previous marriage that ended in divorce.