Michigan Faith Communities In the Cross-Hairs

By: James Simpson | Center For Security Policy


Islam’s goal in the West, as articulated in the Muslim Brotherhood’s Explanatory Memorandum, is to destroy the legal and political institutions of our society and replace them with the rule of shariah (Islamic Law). To accomplish this goal, U.S. Muslim political leaders have partnered with the Left, giving them otherwise unavailable access to the many institutions controlled by the Left.

As described further on, and as most of us know through our own experience, this control extends to many U.S. mainline churches and synagogues, which the Left has turned into little more than propaganda shops for the latest leftwing fad. In so doing, they have opened the door to Islam to first present itself to Christians and Jews in a non-threatening manner and then to begin the process of “dawah,” that is, the proselytizing or preaching of Islam. Today, even some evangelical churches have fallen for the trap. It is called “Interfaith Dialogue.”

According to Gallup Polls, about 75 percent of Americans consider themselves Christians.[1] In Michigan, a Pew Research poll on religion found that 70 percent of adults identify as Christians. Of these, 25 percent are evangelicals, 18 percent are what Pew terms “mainline” Protestants, with another 8 percent categorized as “Historically Black Protestant.”  Eighteen percent are Catholic, and about 1 percent are Orthodox, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witnesses or others. Non-Christian believers make up only 5 percent of Michigan’s population.

Only one percent identify as Muslims according to the poll.[2] As discussed in the Red-Green Axis chapter (published as an Occasional Paper at the CSP website on October 19 2018)[3], Michigan Arabs believe the number is much larger, closer to 3 percent. Also discussed in that chapter, there is a “tipping point,” when the Muslim population grows to about 5 percent. They begin blocking streets to pray, demand halal food in supermarkets and self-rule within predominantly Muslim communities.[4] This is already happening in Michigan. Whatever their actual numbers, Muslims are having a profound impact on Michigan’s faith communities. Interfaith Dialogue can take credit for much of this.

Interfaith Dialogue is a term that has been developed to describe efforts to bridge theological distinctions between religions, especially Christianity and Islam. The U.S. Institute of Peace describes it as follows:

The term interfaith dialogue refers to cooperative, constructive and positive interaction between people of different religious traditions and/or spiritual or humanistic beliefs, at both the individual and institutional levels. It is distinct from syncretism or alternative religion, in that dialogue often involves promoting understanding between different religions to increase acceptance of others, rather than to synthesize new beliefs. Throughout the world there are local, regional, national and international interfaith initiatives; many are formally or informally linked and constitute larger networks or federations. The often quoted “There will be no peace among the nations without peace among the religions. There will be no peace among the religions without dialogue among the religions” was formulated by Dr. Hans Küng, a Professor of Ecumenical Theology and President of the Foundation for a Global Ethic.[5]

The Institute goes on to say that, “Interfaith dialogue forms a major role in the study of religion and peacebuilding.”[6]

This emphasis on obtaining “peace through dialogue” of course implies a meeting of minds on the very differing beliefs about God and salvation. The fact that this effort was born of those with globalist “peace” perspectives should put up red flags. The objective of most religions is conversion, not“peace,” whatever peace means in this context.

Furthermore, in practice, Interfaith Dialogue has become a vehicle for Muslims who preach and practice an ideology of uncompromising domination and subjugation to draw Christians, sometimes well-meaning, sometimes with ulterior motives, into acceptance of Islam, without any corresponding acceptance of Christianity. Interfaith Dialogue is often referred to as “Building Bridges,” and some programs are specifically so-named.[7] But as Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney has noted:

While the interfaith dialogue movement presents itself as a laudable effort to ‘bridge’ the distance between faiths, those more familiar with the doctrine of the Muslim Brotherhood know that the actual agenda of too many such efforts is, in fact, modeled after the well-known dictum of Sayyid Qutb, who candidly reminded Muslims that such a ‘bridge’ is ‘only so that the people of Jahiliyyah [society of unbelievers] may come over to Islam.[8]

Interfaith Dialogue does invite participation from other faiths, especially Judaism, but Christianity is the main target because our country remains a primarily Christian one. So, for Muslim activists and the Left to succeed in their subjugation of the West, its largest population has to be taught to accommodate them first. Once that is accomplished, those weaker Christians souls and/or pretenders to the faith can be drawn into the service of the civilization jihad objective. And this is exactly what is happening through Interfaith Dialogue.

History of Interfaith Dialogue

Various interfaith dialogue efforts, especially between Christians and Muslims, have been attempted off and on for centuries, with the recognition that the history of Christian/Muslim interaction has been largely one of either conflict or separation. Like many modern iterations of controversies with deep historic roots, the most recent version has been captured by communists.[9]

Modern discussions of Interfaith Dialogue began in the early 1900s, with the birth of the ecumenical movement — an effort to unify Christian churches under one banner. At that time, as now, the objection to interfaith dialogue as well as ecumenism from the most clear-headed Christian leaders was syncretism, i.e., the notion that different faiths could be combined. For example, there had even been discussion among some liberal Protestant churches to create a universal religion.[10]

This was also a time when the “social gospel” began creeping into mainline Protestant denominations. Sound Christian teaching was replaced by focus on the day’s social problems.

The World Council of Churches (WCC) grew out of the ecumenical movement. Born in 1948, it took under its wing many of the mainline denominations around the world. Today it claims 350 member churches in almost 150 countries comprising some 590 million members worldwide.[11] Major American denominations include:

  • African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
  • American Baptist Churches in the USA
  • Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
  • Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Church of the Brethren
  • Episcopal Church
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • Moravian Church in North America
  • National Baptist Convention of America
  • Orthodox Church in America
  • Presbyterian Church U.S.A.
  • Progressive National Baptist Convention
  • Reformed Church in America
  • United Church of Christ
  • United Methodist Church

East Bloc intelligence agencies and the Soviet KGB targeted the WCC for infiltration as early as 1961 or before.[12] With their influence came Liberation Theology, a KGB-spawned invention which turned Christian doctrine into Marxist theology.[13]It was introduced first in Latin America, not coincidentally by a Peruvian Catholic priest, Gustavo Gutiérrez, and a few others, where conservative Catholicism stood in the way of communist efforts to overthrow rightwing authoritarian governments. At the same time, the WCC began discussing Interfaith Dialogue at its international conferences in 1961, 1963, 1964, 1967, 1968 and 1970, and adopted it as a program in 1971.[14]

The WCC has national affiliates in many countries. The U.S. branch is the National Council of Churches, formed in 1950 as a follow-on to the Federal Council of Churches, a communist front.[15] NCC’s subsidiary, Church World Service, is one of nine federal government contractors paid millions annually to resettle refugees in the U.S.

NCC brags “38 member communions and over 40 million individuals – 100,000 congregations from Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African-American, and Living Peace traditions.”[16] Those denominations listed under WCC membership are all members of the NCC as well. NCC is a leader in the interfaith movement. Its Interreligious Relations and Collaboration Convening Table meets regularly to:[17]

  • study interfaith issues,
  • build relationships between the churches and people of other religious traditions,
  • develop opportunities for the fullest possible sharing of ideas and counsel among the churches on the topic of interfaith relations,
  • nurture relationships with local and national ecumenical and interfaith bodies,
  • promote interreligious dialogue and understanding,
  • assist the NCC-member churches in developing their relationships with other faith communities,
  • provide resources for the churches for education in interreligious relations, and to promote interfaith study, dialogue, and common action.

In a 2016 article for Eastern Mennonite University, NCC communications director, Rev. Steven D. Martin, described his “interfaith journey” following 9-11, and his involvement in Know Your Neighbor, an Obama White House interfaith initiative.He described how, “Concerned about the recent rise in anti-Muslim rhetoric, member organizations have created religious resources and toolkits to help facilitate learning about other faiths, including how to organize a town hall meeting and host a “speed faithing” event.”[18]

Martin also described getting involved in such lefty antics as joining the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota to protest the Dakota Pipeline. This should be no surprise. NCC’s “21st Century Social Creed” reads like a platform document for Democratic Socialists of America, including such items as a living wage, income redistribution, “just” immigration policies, nuclear disarmament, and other far left nonsense.[19]

NCC’s A.C.T. to End Racism project looks like a page taken from an Antifa website. It dedicates itself to “awaken to the trauma of racism and the legacy of white privilege in the United States.”[20] Agendas include prison deinstitutionalization, income redistribution (as retribution for past exploitation) and an effort to shape media messaging. As usual there is an army of useful idiots willing to virtue signal their support by underwriting the cost. In this case, sponsors include Ben & Jerry’s, Nestle, Aetna, National Geographic and others.[21]

The WCC had its own Program to Combat Racismfrom the 1970s through the 1990s. This took the form of providing $9,749,500 to Soviet-supported communist guerrilla groups around the world, including those in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Mozambique, Angola, Southwest Africa, South Africa and elsewhere.[22] These Guerrilla groups conduct white genocide campaigns, but slaughter just as many, if not more, blacks. Time Magazine summed up concerns in a 1978 article titled, “Going Beyond Charity: Should Christian cash be given to terrorists?”[23]

Most of the churches involved in the interfaith dialogue are liberal denominations under the NCC umbrella and the Catholic Church, although, in the past few years, evangelical churches have been sucked into the Interfaith orbit as well.

While the NCC and WCC are ground zero for the Interfaith movement, they have had a lot of help. Here are a few other national and regional organizations, many of them religious groups, but all politically aligned with the hard left, that promote the Interfaith Dialogue mantra:

Interfaith Alliance– a 13 state network whose issues are LGBT equality, hate crimes legislation, opposition to school vouchers, bigotry toward religious minorities and bullying of same.[24] Its State of Belief weekly radio program parallels leftwing talking points on political issues.

Dialogue Institute– Since 1978 publishes the Journal of Ecumenical Studies (JES). Created the “Dialogue Decalog,” (available in 21 languages), which put forth 10 principles to guide interfaith and interreligious dialogue.[25] In 2015, the Institute hosted a three-day conference on “Islamophobia and anti-Muslim bigotry.” Notably, evangelical Christians were not invited.[26] It devoted its entire Spring 2016 issue of JES to the subject of Islamophobia.

American Islamic Conference– “To change the discourse both within the American Muslim community and in American society in general.”

Religions for Peace– “Transform violent conflict, promote just and harmonious societies, advance human development, protect the Earth.”

Council for a Parliament of the Worlds Religions– “exists to cultivate harmony among the world’s religious and spiritual communities and foster their engagement with the world and its guiding institutions in order to achieve a just, peaceful and sustainable world.”

Industrial Areas Foundation(IAF)[27]– Marxist-oriented, founded by radical leftist organizer Saul Alinsky in 1940, deeply involved nationwide in the Interfaith Dialogue movement – affiliated with both the Catholic Church (liberation theology, social justice themes)[28] and the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) by way of the USCMO Secretary General Oussama Jamaal, who was listed among the top leadership of the Dupage United Metro Industrial Areas Foundation in a 20 November 2016 Action Memo[29]

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)[30]– deeply involved in Interfaith Dialogue movement nationwide in collaboration with both the IAF[31]and Muslim Brotherhood front groups such as CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations), ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America), ISNA (Islamic Society of North America), MPAC (Muslim Public Affairs Council) and others.[32]

Catholic Campaign for Human Development(CCHD) – CCHD is the grant-making vehicle of the USCCB. It was founded in Chicago in 1969 with the help of radical organizer Saul Alinsky, specifically to fund Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF). CCHD has been a radical leftist funding vehicle ever since, giving millions to ACORN, the radical training school, Midwest Academy and others. IAF receives the largest percentage of CCHD grants of any CCHD grantee.[33]

Call to Action[34]– a nationwide U.S. organization that calls for fundamental changes to Catholic Church doctrine and practice, in part in response to the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) – in October 1976, then-National Council of Catholic Bishops (NCCB, now the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops) called a 3-day conference in Detroit, MI – Monsignor Jack Egan of Chicago, “a long-time Alinsky supporter, IAF board member, and activist on Chicago urban issues”[35] served as co-chair of the 1976 Call to Action plenary sessions.[36]

International Religious Freedom[37]– Ambassador Samuel D. Brownback was sworn in as Department of State’s Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom in February 2018, but in the context of Interfaith Dialogue has been targeted and enmeshed by myriad Muslim Brotherhood front organizations that likely pre-date his appointment

In total, there are about 91 prominent organizations spread around the globe, with at least 35 of these in the U.S. A complete listing, including a world map, can be found at the online Directory of InterFaith and InterReligious Organizations.[38]

Interfaith Dialogue: An Influence Operation

Interfaith Dialogue presents itself as an effort to find common ground between different religions in the interest of harmony and peace. Unfortunately, anyone with an even nodding acquaintance with Islam, Christianity, and Judaism knows that there are irreconcilable differences between them. Christians see the Great Commission as bringing people to Christ, however, Christianity leaves that choice to the individual. Similarly, Judaism and most other religions practice a live-and-let-live philosophy toward other religions. Not so with Islam, which seeks converts or subjects. Individual choice does not exist. So, what is Interfaith Dialogue really, if it is a foregone conclusion that Islam is intractably at odds with other religions?

Another question that arises frequently in this context is the seeming incompatibility between Islamic beliefs and those of secular leftists, for example on the issue of gay marriage and women’s rights. But one must understand that those at the core of the Left do not care about those issues for their own sake. They are used to define and capture voting blocs, and as a wedge to balkanize society into segments of competing groups. Their overall goal is to subvert and destroy Western society.

Early Soviet COMINTERN agent Willi Münzenberg can be described as the father of Cultural Marxism. We know it as “political correctness.” In 1923, he helped found the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt, Germany — commonly called the “Frankfurt School.” This organization invented “Critical Theory,” following Marx’s command for “a ruthless criticism of everything existing.”[39]

The Frankfurt school relocated to Columbia University’s Teacher’s College in 1933, and its poison has since metastasized and spread to colleges and universities throughout the U.S. The Frankfurt School’s critical theorists advocated:[40]

  1. Creation of racism offenses
  2. Continual change to create confusion
  3. Teaching sex and homosexuality to children
  4. Undermining of schools’ and teachers’ authority
  5. Huge immigration to destroy identity
  6. Promotion of excessive drinking
  7. Emptying of churches
  8. Unreliable legal system & bias against crime victims
  9. Dependency on the state or state benefits
  10. Control and dumbing down of media
  11. Encouraging the breakdown of the family

Münzenberg articulated this effort succinctly: “We must organize the intellectuals, and use them to make Western civilization stink… Only then, after they have corrupted all its values and made life base, can we impose the dictatorship of the proletariat.”[41]

Most of the Left’s issues are ultimately devoted to this cause. They could care less about “gay rights,” “women’s rights,” or any other “rights.” As formulated by the Left, they are all wedge issues designed specifically to undermine Western culture as articulated by Münzenberg and the Frankfurt School. To the Left, Islam is a perfect wrecking bar against the West because it introduces a competing legal system, Islamic Law (shariah), while hiding under the First Amendment’s religious liberty protections. Muslim terrorism has become an existential threat to our citizens, while Islamic leaders seek to supplant Western Judeo-Christian beliefs with Islam.

Our objections to this assault were predictable and anticipated. The equally predictable response from the Left is that we are “haters,” “bigots,” “Islamophobes,” etc. So, they introduce the concept of “dialogue” that allows us to redeem ourselves by partnering with them “building bridges” of communication that they themselves first destroyed and will now control. Those who participate then become “good” Christians, while the rest of us are marginalized, whether Christian or not.

Interfaith Dialogue is nothing more than a communist-contrived influence operation that continues the Cultural Marxist attack on Western Civilization. The American hard Left has partnered with Islam in an unholy alliance we call the Red-Green Axis. Their mutual goal is the subversion of Western laws, culture, and traditions, and our nation’s ultimate destruction, in preparation for the imposition of totalitarian rule.

Interfaith Dialogue is one element of the multifaceted strategy to subvert, discredit, and shut down all opposition to that goal. It takes the form of a disinformation campaign designed to enlist gullible and largely ignorant Christians, Jews, and others to work against their own interests while interjecting Islam as a religion worthy not merely of respect, but submission to. Lefty “Christians” have fed right into it as the latest cool fad. You know, . But now, evangelical Christians have gotten into the act. They are in fact, Interfaith Dialogue’s prime target. [42]

Does this mean that everyone involved is knowingly working on behalf of our enemies? Of course not. Those involved in the Interfaith movement run the gamut from extreme leftists and committed Muslim activists to well-meaning citizens of every persuasion. The entire purpose of recruiting mainline Christians, Jews, and now even evangelicals, is to give the movement a patina of legitimacy it could not have otherwise. It has the added benefit of putting its biggest target, Christianity, at war with itself.

It is a dangerous, malevolent agenda. Unfortunately, we tend to give the Left the benefit of the doubt. Because they have recruited well-meaning people, we impute good motives to all of them, assuming they are just naïve or ignorant. This is an understandable but dangerous assumption and is exactly the reaction the enemy is looking for. It allows us to congratulate ourselves on being fair-minded towards our opponents while flattering ourselves to think we know better than them.

This self-serving rationalization allows us to deny their truly malevolent intentions. We thus ignore or minimize the danger, and rationalize doing nothing, because confronting them carries real risk. We may publicly embarrass ourselves if not articulate or clever enough. We also open ourselves up to being called, “Islamophobes,” “haters,” “bigots,” etc. The Left deeply understands this aspect of human nature and has used it to manipulate entire societies into death traps. We ignore it at our peril.

Michigan’s Interfaith Community

The Interfaith Dialogue Movement is widespread in Michigan, with dedicated organizations across the state. The following is a rundown on some of them. Note, however, that examined closely, many are actually small groups, with a Facebook page and/or only a rudimentary web presence. As with most leftist organizations, they seek to magnify their presence to gain public acceptance and discourage opponents. Virtually all spout the meaningless dog whistles of the Left, like “peace,” “justice,” “oppression,” “sustainability,” etc. This is true especially of the Muslim groups, which deliberately co-opt the language of the Left — more evidence of their willingness to at least pay lip-service to leftwing dogma.

Council of Interfaith Communities of the United States (CIC-USA)

Ann Arbor-based CIC-USA describes itself as “the ecclesiastic home for all interfaith, interspiritual and integral communities and organizations creating ‘interfaith as a spiritual expression’ through co-worship, education, service or community building activities. Engaging in the practice of ‘Inclusive Theology, Spirituality and Consciousness.’”[43] CIC-USA has a Facebook page with 393 followers and a defunct website (www.interfaithcongregations.org).

Dearborn Area Interfaith Network (DIAN)

Formed in 2013 as Dearborn Area Faith Network, DIAN describes Its mission as “Building Bridges for the sake of loving neighbors.” Its internet presence is a Facebook site only, but its Facebook connections are revealing. They include Michigan Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell, the League of Women VotersTake on Hate (described in the Red-Green chapter), Chicago-based Interfaith Youth Core, and Michigan’s Remember Me Quiltproject (an anti-gun group).[44] The exclusively leftwing associations is more evidence that Interfaith movement is just another facet of the Red-Green agenda.

Fetzer Institute (FI)

Named after its founder, John Fetzer, Kalamazoo-based FI describes its mission as “inspiring and serving a movement for:

  • Personal transformation: Encouraging spiritual development for all people.
  • Societal transformation: Supporting inclusive communities and institutions around the world that are grounded in spirit.
  • Scientific and spiritual inquiry: Exploring the relationship between science and spirituality to support a fuller understanding of our existence.[45]

Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice (ICPJ)

On its Aboutpage, Ann Arbor-based ICPJ claims it: “envisions a world free from violence, including the violence of war, poverty, oppression, and environmental devastation. To enact this vision, we commit to nurture a community in which compassion and respect foster actions that dismantle systems of violence while simultaneously creating systems of peace, justice, and ecological sustainability.”[46]

ICPJ’s 2017 IRS Tax-Exempt filing lists one paid officer, Chuck Warpehoski, who worked 26 hours/week on average and received $28,549 in compensation. ICPJ 2017 revenues were $171,701, the highest in three years.[47]

Muslim Unity Center (MUC)

Based in Bloomfield Hills, MUC is “where faith, family, and fun come together.” Its mission statement announces, “The objective of MUC is to develop, support and promote an Islamic way of life and to ensure the emergence of an American Muslim identity.”[48]

Under its, Building Bridges with our Neighbors Program, the MUC announces, “…the launch of Dual Interfaith Visitation Program that will allow your community or congregation members to visit the MUC and host MUC members. We humbly invite you for an opportunity to share resources and improve our community.”[49]

MUC’s Building Bridges program includes such topics as:

  • Interfaith Presentations
  • Muslim Contributions to Civilization
  • Islamophobia and Its Impact
  • The Story of Mary In the Holy Quran
  • Muslim Americans after 9/11

Note that while all Interfaith organizations understand that a major part of their mission is to combat “Islamophobia,” this is one of the few willing to openly admit it.

In its statement of principles, MUC declares in #8, “There is no compulsion in religion as stated in the holy book Al-Qur’an. The role of MUC is to remind people to the message of Almighty God, not to compel.” Also, principle #10 states, “MUC honors the constitution of the United States as the guiding legal principle of the nation and shall abide by all the applicable laws of the land.”

These and other statements reinforce the idea that MUC has no agenda other than “projecting and promoting Islam in an egalitarian and enlightened manner.” Principle #1, however, states “The Source of MUC’s goals and way of life are derived from the holy book Al-Qur’an and the authentic traditions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).” This and other statements conflict with the assertion that they regard other religions in an “egalitarian and enlightened manner.”

Islamic Organization of North America

The Islamic Organization of North America (IONA) is a Warren, Michigan-based group. Its mission states that its “Divinely ordained obligations are as follows: (1) the cultivation of a strong and authentic faith; (2) the loving and sincere obedience to the will of Allah (SWT); (3) calling all of humankind towards Islam in the most beautiful and convincing way; and, (4) engaging in the struggle to establish social, political, and economic justice.”[50]

There is no mistaking the agenda here. The first three points make clear the Islamic belief in the supremacy of Islam and the intention to convert the world. Other religions don’t even warrant mention. The fourth point reflects the Islamic collaboration with the Left in its strategy to parrot the Left’s social justice dog whistles.

Despite, or perhaps because of its open embrace of Islam as the only solution, IONA is deeply involved in Michigan’s Interfaith movement. IONA’s president is Imam Mustafa (Steve) Elturk. His affiliations include the following:[51]

  • Treasurer, Detroit Interfaith Leadership Council
  • Executive Board, Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Member, Religious Leaders Forum of the Abrahamic Faiths
  • Executive Board, Interfaith Center for Racial Justice (ICRJ)
  • Executive Board, American Society for Religious and Cultural Understanding (ASRCU).

Interestingly, Elturk describes ASRCU as a “dawah (propagation) organization focuses on prisons and correctional facilities in Michigan.” In other words, despite its harmless sounding title, ASRCU’s mission is to cultivate Muslim converts in prisons.

ASRCU has either disappeared or exists in name only. Guidestar records consist of a 2007 IRS Tax-Exempt Form 990 filing that lists income for that year of $8,650.[52]The form is signed by Steve Elturk, President. Guidestar lists the principal officer as Mustafa Elturk. The address provided is a suburban private residence, presumably Elturk’s, in Troy, Michigan. The founding year is given as 1988, but according to Guidestar only two years, 2007 and 2008, list any financial assets.[53]

IONA is also affiliated with Michigan Interfaith Power and Light.

Michigan Interfaith Power and Light

Michigan’s Interfaith Power and Light, (MI IP&L) is a well-funded national organization with 39 state chapters that beckons the “faith community” into the whole global warming issue. MI IP&L’s stated goal is to “inspire and equip people of faith to exercise stewardship of and love for all Creation.”[54] In this context that means saving the earth from global warming, which, they claim, is the verdict of “the vast consensus of the scientific community.” Except there is no consensus among the experts at all. Those studies that claim there is have been thoroughly debunked.[55] MI IP&L’s board includes William Antoun of IONA.[56]

This is yet another example of the Interfaith movement being assimilated into every single agenda of the Red-Green Axis.

Interfaith Center for Racial Justice (ICRJ)

ICRJ is a Macomb County organization that claims its mission is to “Initiate relationships and build bridges of understanding among people of different races, cultures and faith traditions to create a strong community while promoting social and racial justice.”[57]

As noted earlier, IONA’s Imam Elturk claims a seat on the ICRJ executive board. Also affiliated with ICRJ are the League of Women Voters and Welcoming Michigan – a subsidiary of the open-borders advocates, Welcoming America. Like many such organizations, ICRJ is likely a paper tiger. The website is defunct. The Facebook page has 141 followers. Its most recent post is from January 2017, and it still advertises an event from 2015 at the top of its “Community” page.[58]

The 2015 advertisement, however, is a good example of how Red-Green agendas intersect — in this case, Interfaith Dialogue and refugee resettlement — and how they have sucked state and local officials and groups into promoting them. It features a prominent photo of Elturk along with an invitation to the “Breakfast of Nations: Diverse Past… Shared Future.”

Hosted by the Italian American Culture Center in Clinton Township, it features a list of Macomb County Democrat officials, a video speech by then Republican State Rep. Anthony Forlini, and a panel of Macomb County immigrants and refugees. The event was sponsored by One Macomb, (a county government organization), Catholic Charities, Welcoming Michigan, the local Chamber of Commerce and others — all with a vested interest in promoting refugee resettlement. A similar event was advertised for 2014 as well, hosted by the same usual suspects. No other events are listed.

Interfaith Leadership Council & Michigan Roundtable

Detroit’s Interfaith Leadership Council (ILC) was founded the day after 9-11. According to its History page, Rev. Daniel Krichbaum moderated monthly meetings.[59] Krichbaum was then executive director of the National Conference for Community Justice’s Detroit office. In 2006, that office became the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion. The Roundtable was actually an evolution of a separate organization, starting in 1941 as the Detroit Council of Catholics, Jews, and Protestants.[60] As shown in the chart, the Roundtable is one of 16 state affiliates of the National Conference.

What all these organizations have in common is a complete lack of religious references. They are all dedicated to combating “racism,” “fear, and “intolerance,” and promoting “justice,” “inclusion,” and “diversity” — all the dog whistles of the Left. Instead of recognizing America as the country that has done more than any other to overcome racial and ethnic conflict, this group claims to battle against America’s “persistent racism,” and now the new word, “Nativism.”

In a letter published on the ILC website titled Countering Nativism, Chairman Robert Bruttell states:

Nativism is essentially a fear of immigrants… 21st-century Nativists are scapegoating immigrants and their religions – especially Muslims and Hispanic peoples – for the anxieties they feel about the future of America.

The truth is the opposite. Nativism, alongside America’s persistent racism, tear at the soul of America… Studies consistently show that the net contribution of immigrants is vast and positive. Sadly this information is willfully ignored in favor of demagoguery and short-term political gains. (Emphasis added.)[61]

Americans of all races and religions have been enormously tolerant and welcoming to immigrant communities — an example to the world. Were this not so, there would not be millions of people from the world over clamoring to get here. For this tolerance, Americans have been rewarded with the loss of tens of thousands of jobs, businesses, and lives.

America has always been a welcoming nation. But the reaction to vast numbers of immigrants, legal and illegal, mostly from alien cultures that use welfare at astronomical rates while undercutting American workers, depressing wages and undermining the rule of law, is taking a heavy toll. It is not nativism, for example, that drove a record number of Blacks to the Republican Party in the last election. It is the decades of destruction visited on Black communities by calamitous Democrat economic and immigration policies.

And then they are talked down to by “religious” leaders, who, rather than address the real issues, jump aboard the Hate America train to fix our “persistent racism.” In so doing, the ILC and similar organizations reveal their true agenda. They are merely another lobbying arm of the open borders, hard Left. Just like “Welcoming America,” they don’t actually cultivate a welcoming attitude among Americans; they instead vilify anyone who expresses the concerns that rest on all of our tongues and try to arm twist us into their politically correct view of the world. There is nothing remotely “Biblical,” “religious,” or even spiritual about this.

Shalom Center for Justice and Peace

The Lansing-based Shalom Center claims to provide “education, activism and spiritual community concerning areas of social justice, world peace, and peace within local towns and cities in the Lansing District.” It seeks to “facilitate activism with the Social Principles of the United Methodist Church and our Book of Discipline.”[62]The Shalom Center partners with Michigan State’s Campus Interfaith Council.

Kaufman Interfaith Institute (KII)

Housed at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in Grand Rapids, KII was founded in 2006 following a triennial Jewish-Christian Dialogue that had begun decades earlier in Muskegon by Sylvia Kaufman, a Jewish community leader. KII declares its mission to be “To promote interfaith understanding & mutual respect in West Michigan.”[63]

It hosts numerous events, the largest being its Jewish/Christian/Muslim Triennial Interfaith Dialogue, held once every three years. The 2018 event will feature Eboo Patel, an Islamic apologist who served on President Barack Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships, and founder of Interfaith Youth Core(IFYC), a wealthy Chicago-based organization described further on. The kicker is that Patel’s IFYC provides funding for these events.[64]

The Triennial Dialogue will also feature Jennifer Howe Peace,Professor of Interfaith Studies (yes there is such a thing), at Andover Newton, a school affiliated with Yale Divinity, and Elliot Cosgrove, senior rabbi at Park Avenue Synagogue in New York City.[65]

A major project of KII is Campus Interfaith Resources(CIR). CIR seeks “to support and celebrate the religious, secular, and spiritual diversity of our campus. Campus Interfaith Resources exists to both accommodate the unique needs of various faith-based groups on campus while also proactively appreciating the richness of our diversity through educational and engaging programs.”[66]

CIR hosts annual training seminars for students who want to be involved in organizing the interfaith crusade. These seminars are funded through IFYC.

For example, GVSU’s Made in Michigan Interfaith Labis open to religious and secular leaders of student organizations, faculty and staff, and any students “who want to explore connections between interfaith and social justice.”[67] The Orwellian “learning outcomes” include:

  • Establish a basic knowledge of correct interfaith terms and usages…
  • Explore effective dialogue facilitation skills, diverse religious and philosophical traditions, and shared values…
  • Create a plan to bring interfaith leadership learned at the conference to campuses…

Interfaith Dialogue Association (IDA)

An affiliate of the Kaufman Institute at GVSU, IDA has “for almost 3 decades worked toward advancing knowledge, understanding, tolerance and acceptance among the various world religions that have expression in Michigan and beyond.”[68]

Michigan State University Campus Interfaith Council (CIC)

CIC appears to be a prominent organization on the campus of Michigan State. It has a very slick website which states its mission “to promote relationships between peoples of differing faiths, work to integrate a religious aspect into student life, and encourage interfaith cooperation and understanding.”[69]

CIC claims to be “the official voice to ASMSU about religious life on campus.” CIC partners with the Shalom Center for Justice and Peace and Michigan State’s Wesley Foundation, and also works with Interfaith Youth Core, described below.

Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC)

IFYC is a Chicago-based organization founded in 2004 by Dr. Eboo (Ebraham) Patel. According to its website, IFYC’s mission is “…creating an ecosystem of people and campuses designed to make interfaith cooperation the norm, while creating the next generation of interfaith leaders.”[70]

IFYC has created administrator, faculty, alumni and student networks, and underwrites undergraduate courses that incorporate interfaith concepts, as well as annual conferences, training seminars for students and other activities at colleges and universities across the U.S.[71]

IFYC can afford it. It listed $16.9 million in assets and revenues of $6.6 million as of 2016.[72] According to Foundation Search, a subscription service which compiles donation data from grantor foundations, IFYC received at least $26.3 million since 2003 from a broad variety of Chicago-based and national foundations. This includes Rockefeller, the Woods Fund (Obama’s old employer), the Pritzker Foundation (Chicago billionaire Penny Pritzker was Obama’s national campaign chairman and Commerce secretary), The Clinton Family Foundation ($35,000), and many others.

The Henry Luce Foundation donated $358,500 over five years. Henry must be spinning in his grave. The strong conservative, anti-communist Republican once owned Time, Life, Fortune, Sports Illustrated, and other magazines and declared the 20th Century to be “the American Century.” Soviet spy-turned anti-communist informant Whittaker Chambers became a Time Magazine senior editor under Luce’s reign. Like so many other foundations created by wealthy philanthropists for truly charitable causes, the Luce Foundation appears to have been captured by the extreme Left.

The largest donor was the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust, created by liberal Greenlight Capital hedge fund billionaire, David Einhorn. It contributed $11.9 million over eight years. The Trust’s five-word mission statement is “Helping people get along better.”[73]

IFYC has taken a prominent role in bringing the Interfaith Dialogue to Michigan. IFYC founder Eboo Patel is a Muslim and former Rhodes Scholar, with a PhD in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, who also served on President Obama’s Inaugural Faith Council.[74]The well-heeled leftist foundation infrastructure makes sure that its agendas are richly rewarding for those willing to facilitate them. For his part, Dr. Patel received $269,441 in 2016 as IFYC president — doing well by doing good.[75]

Order of Universal Interfaith (OUnI) & World Council of Interfaith Congregations (WCIC)

Founded in 2009, the World Council of Interfaith Congregations is co-located with the Order of Universal Interfaith at the same Ann Arbor address. Together they are dedicated to “organizing the world interfaith community…”[76]

OUnI describes itself as “a religious society that was incorporated in Michigan to gather together the leaders of the Interfaith movement into one ecclesiastic body. It is meant to be a living example of how people from different backgrounds, cultures and religious traditions can live, work and create a spiritual community together.”[77]

OUni’s leadership reflects the drift from traditional Christian principles, or indeed principles identified with any religion at all. For example, Rev. David Mitchell, one of three OUnI leaders, is an ordained “Eco-Minister,” and “a frequent speaker on the relationship of spiritual knowledge and issues like global sustainability, climate change, climate engineering, and cultural attitudes.”[78] He is also President of Divine Mission, described as “an organization that provides instruction on the Yoga of the Bhagavad Gita and on yogic techniques with ashrams in Silver City, Nevada and Tiruvannamalai, India.”[79]

OUnI has received chaplaincy endorsements from the Department of Defense, International Conference of Police Chaplains, Association of Professional Chaplains and many others. In addition to traditional ministries, OUnI works with the United Nations Committee for Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns, the U.N. Eco-Spirituality Working Group and the U.N. Interfaith Harmony Week Breakfasts.[80]

Interfaith Dialogue’s Corroding Influence in Western Michigan

Western Michigan is unique in its heritage of faithful, seasoned Christianity, imported directly from Europe in the 19th century. In the 1840s, family-oriented, faith-based, Reformed Dutch immigrants arrived in West Michigan from their homeland. The areas surrounding Grand Rapids and Holland still bear the mark of their settlement, permeated by churches, Christian colleges and seminaries, publishing houses, and so forth. This area thus presents an apt example of how recent cultural changes have both allowed and reflect the Interfaith Dialogue’s influence.

In 2013, the Fremont, Michigan local newspaper published an article titled “Fremont library to host ‘Muslim Journeys’ series.”[81] The library had received a $4,500 federal grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), a federal agency, and the American Library Association (ALA) to host a five-part reading and discussion series titled “Let’s Talk About it.  Muslim Journeys.”   According to the ALA:

Between 2011 and 2015, NEH and ALA collaborated on the Muslim Journeys initiative, hosting two planning meetings, six pilot programs, a collection development grant for 1,000 libraries and state humanities councils, a scholar-led reading and discussion grant for 125 libraries and state humanities councils, two national orientation workshops for grant project directors and local scholars, and a third-party evaluation of the project.[82]

Nationwide 953 libraries and state humanities councils have received Muslim Journeys Bookshelfgrants,[83]and 125 libraries and councils have received grants for Let’s Talk About It(LTAI).[84] The Bookshelf program provided books, films essays and other teaching materials. Participating libraries were required to hold at least one public forum over the program year.

Bookshelf grantees could apply for the LTAI, which offered up to $4,500 for speakers, programming and other resources with a mandate to “educate” communities about Islam.[85] The Muslim Journeys program was created by the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studiesat George Mason University, with support provided by ALA, the NEH and private foundations.[86]

In Michigan alone, 49 Bookshelfgrants and 10 LTAIgrants were given to the following libraries and councils. Note: the starred organizations** received both:

Allen Park Public Library Allen Park Michigan Humanities Council** Lansing
Ferris State University Big Rapids Lincoln Park Public Library Lincoln Park
Canton Public Library Canton Peter White Public Library** Marquette
Branch District Library Coldwater Melvindale Public Library Melvindale
Dearborn Public Library** Dearborn Monroe County Community College** Monroe
Bryant Branch Dearborn Stair Public Library** Morenci
Esper Branch Dearborn Capital Area District Library-Okemos Okemos
Caroline Kennedy Library Dearborn Hts North Central Michigan College** Petoskey
John F. Kennedy, Jr. Public Library Dearborn Hts Pickford Community Library Pickford
Wayne State U. Library System Detroit River Rouge Public Library River Rouge
East Lansing Public library East Lansing Rochester Hills Public Library Rochester
Michigan State U. Libraries** East Lansing Rochester College Rochester Hills
Ecorse Public Library Ecorse Hoyt Library Saginaw
Mott Community College Flint Taylor Community Library Taylor
Fremont Area District Library** Fremont Trenton Veterans Memorial Library Trenton
Loutit District Library Grand Haven Delta College University Center
Davenport University Grand Rapids Saginaw Valley State University** University Center
Grand Rapids Community College Grand Rapids Macomb Community College** Warren
Cromaine District Library Hartland Waterford Township Public Library Waterford
Cromaine District Library Hartland Westland Public Library Westland
Hastings Public Library Hastings Wayne County Library Westland
Cromaine Crossroads Branch Howell White Lake Township Library White Lake
Howell Carnegie District Library Howell Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti
Orion Township Public Library Lake Orion Ypsilanti District Library Ypsilanti
Capital Area District Library Lansing

The Muslim Journeys website credits Interfaith Youth Core’s Eboo Patel with “leading a global interfaith movement.” Patel’s IFYC website is promoted and his book, Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation, is one of the volumes featured in the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf.[87]

Muslim Journeys is a form of “dawah,” that is, the proselytizing or preaching of Islam. By promoting Islam in a highly controlled fashion, this program appears to have advanced that agenda. The NEH slides past Establishment Clause objections by casting this as part of a “Bridging Cultures” initiative that “encourages study and informed conversation about commonalities across cultures and subcultures, both within the United States and abroad…”[88]

The program listed initial goals to be:

  • an exploration of the role of civility in bridging differences and sustaining democracy in America, and
  • a parallel effort to enrich in Americans’ understanding of international perspectives, beginning with the Muslim world.

NEH claims, “As the initiative develops, NEH expects to take up related themes and encourage the study of other parts of the world, with a focus on the potential of the humanities to deepen understanding of intellectual and cultural traditions.”[89]

It is not clear, however, how far NEH got past its Muslim Journeys program. Under the “Bridging Cultures Through Film” program, NEH did report one film production, “1913: Seeds of Conflict… a film that incorporates new scholarship about the earliest origins of the modern Mideast conflict.”[90] Its “Bridging Cultures at Community Colleges Project,” created a grant program for 36 community college faculty and administrators in five states to study “Native Americans in the Midwest.”[91] Current and past projects include 7 focused on Islam, 6 on Christianity, 4 on Judaism, 6 on other faiths, and numerous studies on interactions between Christianity, Judaism and Islam.[92] But the most ambitious program appears to have been Muslim Journeys.

Two important Muslim Journeys contributors were Arsalan Iftikar and Susan L. Douglass. Iftikar was Senior Fellow and Douglass was Senior Research Assistant at George Mason University’s Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies, which developed the program, as noted earlier.[93]

Iftikar was National Legal Director of the Muslim Brotherhood front group, CAIR, until mid-2007 when he abruptly left, and disassociated himself with CAIR altogether. That summer, CAIR was identified as a co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorist financing trial.[94] Like many CAIR operatives, Iftikar refuses to condemn Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist groups.[95]

Iftikar is very well known. He created The Muslim Guywebsite and publishes columns in major outlets like CNN, USA Today and others. In 2016 he published a book titled, Scapegoats: How Islamophobia Helps Our Enemies and Threatens Our Freedoms.[96] He is currently Senior Research Fellow at Georgetown University’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU), where he participates in its Bridge Initiative, which focuses entirely on “Islamophobia.”[97]

Susan Douglass is an American Muslim convert. She taught social studies at the Islamic Saudi Academy in Alexandria, Virginia, along with her husband, Usama Amer, earlier in her career.[98]The school, a strict, anti-Western adherent to Wahhabism, has faced intense scrutiny for its textbooks that condemn Jews and Christians as infidels and enemies of Islam.

For ten years Douglass was an Affiliated Scholar with the Council on Islamic Education. In that capacity she reviewed textbooks, state curricula and standards, and developed instructional resources.[99]This work is credited with soft-peddling Islam into public school curricula across the country, especially through her Teacher’s Guide to Religion in the Public Schools, which has been characterized as “an interfaith ‘First Amendment’ plan.”[100]

At GMU’s Ali Vural Ak Center, Douglass wasMuslim Journeysgrant manager.[101]She gained a PhD from George Mason in 2016. Presently she again works along side Iftikar as an education consultant at Georgetown University’s ACMCU.

Bill Johnson is a former public school teacher and founder of the Michigan-based American Decency Association. Desiring to get a sense of what kinds of material the local libraries would be getting, he perused a movie entitled Koran by Heart.[102] He described that in the movie, a young boy asked his father why he had to memorize the Koran. The father answered that Islam is a religion of peace; that the Koran is a vehicle of peace. The country where the boy and his father live is a breeding ground for terrorism, not a land of peace. The movie is a propaganda piece crafted to give an impression of beauty and grace when instead it is an opening salvo of dawah.[103]

The Muslim Journeys program was brought into the community by Ray Arnett, a conservative Christian and head deacon at a local Baptist Church, who was also, until recently, the head librarian of the Fremont District Library. According to Johnson, the library featured Muslim Journeysthroughout most of the year until the program was completed.

Johnson sent Arnett a letter, met with him at the library for 40 minutes and gave him a copy of the Center for Security Policy’s book, Shariah: The Threat to America.[104] Johnson went through key pages of the book, highlighting doctrines of the Koran and how it conflicts with the U.S. Constitution and the Bible.  Despite his conservative Christian credentials, Arnett was hostile throughout the conversation. Johnson stated, “I have met with state legislators and pornography dealers who were more diplomatic than this individual.”[105]

The news was not all bad. A local township, the Dayton Town Board, wrote a letter protesting the library’s decision to host Muslim Journeys. It stated in part:[106]

Dayton Township has been proud of the performance of the Fremont Area District Library and the positive impact it has had on the community. Extremely troubling, however, is the upcoming presentation of the Muslim Journeys Programs…

The 9/11 Commission Report clearly stated that Islam had declared war on the United States, which they consider the Great Satan. The method of achieving “submission” can be overt, as was demonstrated recently at the Boston Marathon, or covert, as demonstrated by programs as Muslim Journeys.

The Council for American-Islamic Relations had a hand in the development of the enlightenment program you are presenting. This organization (CAIR) was referred to as a terrorist group by the U.S. Justice Department in the landmark Holy Land Foundation Trial in the U.S. District Court in Dallas and was named an unindicted co-conspirator in that trial.[107]

Our hope as an elected board is that the Fremont Library will pursue and present programs that offer a more holistic and truthful description of the legal, economic, and theological system encompassed by Islam…

Taqiyya and Interfaith Dialogue

At the core of Interfaith dialogue is the concept of Taqiyya, a term for lying or deception for the sake of Islam. Quoting from Shariah the Threat to America:

Taqiyya is a concept in Islamic law that translates as “deceit or dissimulation,” particularly towards infidels. It is based on Quran 3:28 and 16:106 as well as hadiths, tafsirliterature, and judicial commentaries that permit and encourage precautionary dissimulation as a means for hiding true faith in times of persecution or deception when penetrating the enemy camp…

[I]t is imperative that those whose duty is to protect the United States from shariah grasp the centrality of taqiyya in the arsenal of its adherents. This is critical because the consequences of taqiyya extend to real-world issues related, for example, to Muslim overtures for interfaith dialogue, peace, and mutual tolerance – all of which must be viewed in the light of Islamic doctrine on lying…

American officials charged with national and homeland security have a duty to understand that which is within the sphere of their professional competence.  For anyone with such responsibilities, knowledge of these attributes of shariah is a requirement.[108]

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has been another instrument to open the door to shariah in Michigan. Snyder and his staff have been deceived by Taqiyya. In 2014, the American Decency Association encouraged citizens to call and express concern that Governor Snyder had plans to address the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). According to Bill Johnson, Snyder staff told them that they had investigated the organization, that it had no ties to terrorists and that ISNA is the largest peaceful Islamic organization in the country.[109]

Readers familiar with the Holy Land Foundation trial will recognize ISNA as a Muslim Brotherhood organization and an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorist finance case in American history.[110]

As Muslims speak of using Interfaith Dialogue to promote “peace,” it’s imperative that Christians understand the Islamic meaning of “peace.” Sayyid Qutb, one of the Muslim Brotherhood’s most important leaders, said:

When Islam strives for peace, its objective is not that superficial peace which requires that only that part of the earth where the followers of Islam are residing remain secure. The peace which Islam desires is that the religion (i.e., the Law of the society) be purified for God, that the obedience of all people be for God alone, and that some people should not be lords over others. After the period of the Prophet — peace be on him — only the final stages of the movement of Jihad are to be followed; the initial or middle stages are not applicable.[111]

Muslims are torturing, raping, and killing Christians around the world, while Christians in America are trying to tell the world how peaceful they are. How can brothers and sisters in Christ—pulpit and pew alike—have so little regard for the plight of the 2.5 million persecuted Christians around the world? Indeed, the apostle Paul exhorts Christians to remember the persecuted as though they were bound with them. Instead, too many pulpits are more concerned with telling Christians that Muslims don’t really believe what they say they believe.

Calvin College was once a trusted conservative Christian institution of higher learning. However, as with many Christian colleges, Calvin has lost its anchors and drifted leftward. With that change has come all the various ill-informed, leftwing-biased programs that are a common feature of academia today. One good example was a December 2015 Calvin-sponsored program on Islam titled ISIS, Terrorism & Refugees: A Teach In. The program featured five Calvin faculty members speaking on the subjects below:[112]

Doug Howard (History) — ISIS and Politics in the Middle East
Bert De Vries (History/Archaeology) — The Refugee Crisis in the Middle East
Jason VanHorn (Geography) — The Geographical Dimensions of Terrorism
Joel Westra (Political Science) — The Strategy of Terrorism
Frans van Liere (History/Medieval Studies) — Is Islam a Violent Religion?

Each gave a short presentation followed by a Q&A session and the program concluded with a panel discussion. It was a timely event that had the potential of dealing with topics of great import and societal impact — especially considering that the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, which took 14 lives and seriously injured 22, occurred just one day earlier.[113]

Bill Johnson attended the event. He said that the San Bernardino terrorist attack was never brought up by any of the professors except when he raised it during the Q&A. According to Johnson, “In a 150-minute time frame, there was no mention of border control, vetting of refugees, illegal immigration, civilization jihad, taqiyya, shariah law, the caliphate, honor killing, etc.”[114]

Johnson recounted the experience in ADA’s monthly newsletter, picking out a couple of memorable exchanges:

The philosophy/worldview communicated by Professor de Vries could be best encapsulated by an emotional slide show that he had created for his students from a visit to Syria. That slideshow was his strongest pro-refugee argument — no discussion regarding vetting, cautions, or issues surrounding potential dangers at all.

The final presenter, Frans Van Liere, was also the moderator. The title of his presentation was, “Is Islam a Violent Religion?” Professor Van Liere stated right from the top that he wasn’t a Koranic scholar, knew no Arabic and was not a specialist on the subject of Islam. What he had to share, he said, were personal observations and also his interactions with students on the subject.

Quoting Professor Van Liere: “You cannot just compare violent episodes in the history of Islam with peaceful periods in the history of Christianity. That makes about as much sense as taking Jihadi John as a representative of Islam and Mother Teresa as the representative of Christianity. It’s no comparison. Yet, this rhetorical technique, he opined, is often applied by Christians in the discussion about Islam and violence. As he stated:  All the places where the Bible preaches peace then are juxtaposed to all the places where the Koran seems to condone violence. That will simply not do. “Because you can just find lots of places where the Bible condones violence and where the Koran preaches peace. This kind of proof-texting only proves that both religions have their origins in ancient culture where warfare and feuding were endemic.”

One female questioner from the audience was given the opportunity to ask the last question of the evening, which left the panel stumbling for an answer and debunked the academic tone of the evening.

So, my heart is with the Christian communities in the Middle East and North Africa who have been decimated with a concerted, intentional systematic effort to religiously cleanse Christians in the Middle East whether it’s from Boko Haram in Nigeria and Jajui in Sudan [sic]. But I hear unless I’m not listening fully – an apologist for this Islamic wave of mass murder which has touched every continent and nearly every common country. My question is, Christians who live as neighbors with their Muslim friends and neighbors in these countries in the Middle East with identical living circumstances, under the same weather/agricultural circumstances, and political and economic situations — do not engage in systematic campaigns of terror. What’s the difference?

At several junctures, I raised concerns that the teach-in was so heavily one-sided in perspective making it dangerous for the young college students who were being slowly but surely indoctrinated to see the Koran as nonviolent, on the same level as the Bible.[115]

One month later, Calvin College hosted another event, this time featuring the ubiquitous Eboo Patel of the Interfaith Youth Core. His topic was Interfaith Leadership: Engaging Religious and Philosophical Diversity in the 21stCentury. The event was underwritten by the Christian Reformed Church in North America.[116]

In West Michigan, Grand Valley State University’s Kaufman Interfaith Institute is spreading the same message as Eboo Patel. Kaufman has a nice publicity arm, which includes the Grand Rapids Press. Almost weekly the newspaper has an article in its Religion section featuring Interfaith Dialogue propaganda. That section also appears in many of their affiliated newspapers in the MLive group, the parent company of many Michigan newspapers,[117] and the Institute holds regular interfaith events.

One example of these took place in 2013 at Saginaw Valley State University where senior Islamic scholar Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf was to speak. Rauf gained infamy as the Imam for the proposed “Ground Zero” Mosque, that was to be built near the site of the Sept. 11, 2001 attack in New York City. Here, again, Rauf demonstrates how cannily so-called ‘moderate Muslims’ like himself can insert Islamic propaganda points into dialogue that the uninformed often find persuasive. This is how Johnson described the event:

Rauf stated that Islamic shariah law is consistent with the U.S. Constitution.   This high-powered figure greases the skids for the incremental but sure acceptance of shariah. All of this is part of what is referred to as Civilization Jihad.  In other words, efforts by radical Islamists [sic] to attack America, our freedoms, and ideals, from within – seeking to indoctrinate and disarm via smooth talk and deception.

At the meeting in Saginaw, I raised the question: “You say that shariah is consistent with the U.S. Constitution and yet under shariah if a Jew, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, secularist does not convert to Islam, they can be beheaded. How does that make shariah consistent with the Constitution?”

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf spent 25 minutes negating the question stating things such as “there will always be those few militants. However, that doesn’t represent the millions of moderate Muslims who love America and her freedoms.” He spoke of the uniqueness of America and how there is no other nation like it.[118]

It will be noted how Rauf cleverly inserts expressions of ostensible American patriotism into what is, in fact, intended to be a whitewash of Islam and Muslims generally. Rauf, of course, is the 2004 founder of The Cordoba Initiative, “a multi-national, multi-faith organization dedicated to improving Muslim-West relations.”[119] Unfortunately for the uninformed, “Cordoba” was the seat of the Cordoba Caliphate for more than 100 years (929-1031) during a time when Muslim invaders ruled the Christian Iberian Peninsula. The naming of Rauf’s Initiative is no coincidence. Furthermore, Rauf is the author of “Defining Islamic Statehood,” a 2015 book that defines the ideal Islamic State.[120]

As we can see, countering shariah, unfortunately, is not on the agenda for those Islamic organizations fronting the Red-Green Axis. This is a subversive agenda, facilitated by the Left, at colleges, universities, and in churches. Many in Christian circles are walking down that road with eyes wide shut and their brains or discernment shut off. They see taqiyya as truth and civilization jihad as their civilized duty. It is perhaps worthwhile here to expound on what Civilization Jihad (also called stealth Jihad) means:

According to shariah, this “pre-violent” form of jihad is considered an integral, even dominant element of jihad that is at least as obligatory for shariah’s adherents as the violent kind. Dawa, the call to Islam that by Islamic law must precede jihad, is all-too-often dismissed – as are its manifestations under the rubric of non-violent jihad – simply because this kind of assault does not kill but intends “merely” to subjugate.  Absent an appreciation of the threat posed by stealth jihad, the pre-violent jihadist is free to proceed unimpeded under the radar in Western societies, infiltrating and subverting along lines specifically tailored to today’s liberal, multicultural-minded non-Muslim populations in ways that are genuinely difficult to recognize, oppose or counter.[121]

Following is a more recent glimpse into the nefarious and ongoing efforts of Interfaith Dialogue influencers via the Kauffman Interfaith Institute. Snaring the minds of our college-age students and adults is not enough; now they want to actively pursue our children too. In an April 2018 column that appeared in the Grand Rapids Press, Kauffman Institute’s Kyle Kooyers writes:

Kaufman Institute, in partnership with Kent Career Tech Center, is launching a Youth Interfaith Service Day Camp in Grand Rapids for students (8th to 11th grade), led by interfaith counselors/facilitators. The group will spend four days engaging with local centers of worship and service organizations building new friendships, learning about other worldviews and cultures, and serving alongside people who are doing incredible work in our community. The hope is that, out of this week, we will form a Youth Interfaith Council so that middle and high School voices also have a place at the interfaith table as Kaufman looks to the future!

We believe that middle and high school students are the next generation of interfaith leaders who offer the world a rich perspective and energy. They have a longing to lead in the work of dismantling bias, fear, and hate in order that our schools and communities may become places where everyone is valued, respected, and loved.[122]


The Interfaith Dialogue movement is an influence operation being carried out by agents of the Red-Green Axis with knowing and/or innocent complicity of media, faith leaders, academics, NGOs, and government agencies. Michigan’s secondary schools and institutes of higher learning, as well as its churches and synagogues, are being assaulted with a well-funded, omnipresent effort to indoctrinate traditional America into accepting the alien, counter-Constitutional doctrines of shariah.

Political correctness mutes anyone who would speak out against any aspect of this assault because to do so invites slanderous accusations of bigotry. Instead of responding to legitimate questions and concerns, influencers invite Christians and Jews to “build bridges” with Islam through the means of interfaith dialogue. The clear implication is that “building bridges” is a positive, compassionate move, that distinguishes one from those reactionary “Islamophobes”. As we have seen, however, and as the Brotherhood’s Sayyid Qutb has made clear, those “bridges” are never meant to allow the free exchange of belief, opinion, and thought, but only to disarm the unwary non-Muslim sufficiently to allow the advance of Islamic doctrine, law, and scripture.

That is the context of the threat to Michigan, and by extension, much of the United States: a society founded on Judeo-Christian principles, whose core values have been reduced to “be nice,” finds its traditions and culture under constant attack. This has opened the door for “Interfaith Dialogue” to create a vacuum of purpose and meaning in Christian and Jewish beliefs. And as the saying goes, “If you don’t believe in something, you’ll fall for anything.”

[1]Frank Newport, “Percentage of Christians in U.S. Drifting Down, but Still High,” Gallup, December 24, 2015, accessed May 30, 2018, http://news.gallup.com/poll/187955/percentage-christians-drifting-down-high.aspx.

[2]“Religious Landscape Study: Adults in Michigan,” Pew Research Center, May 30, 2014, accessed August 21, 2018, http://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/state/michigan/#beliefs-and-practices.

[3]Simpson, Jim, “Michigan’s Red-Green Axis,” 19 October 2018. https://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2018/10/19/michigans-red-green-axis/


[5]“Interfaith Dialogue,” Definitions.net, ?, accessed May 31, 2018, https://www.definitions.net/definition/INTERFAITH%20DIALOGUE.

[7]“Muslims Building Bridges of Interfaith Among the Community,” Muslim American Magazine and Media, December 31, 2014, accessed October 10, 2018, http://www.muslimamerican.com/building-bridges-of-interfaith/.

[8]“‘Bridge-Building’ to Nowhere,” Center for Security Policy,November 23, 2015, accessed October 15, 2018, https://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2015/11/23/e-book-release-bridge-building-to-nowhere/.

[9]For example, the Irish Republican Army, initially a homegrown reaction to British rule, morphed into just one of dozens of “liberation armies” around the globe, led by Irish communists with Soviet advisors and arms, and trained at Soviet-sponsored camps in the Middle East, though the organization hid this orientation under the “Republican” mask. See: “Sinn Fein: A Communist Revolution,” Keywiki.org, April 9, 2018, accessed October 8, 2018, http://keywiki.org/Sinn_Fein#A_Communist_revolution.E2.80.A6.

[10]“Dictionary of the Ecumenical Movement article on Interfaith Dialogue,” World Council of Churches, September 1, 2002, accessed October 7, 2018, https://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/wcc-programmes/interreligious-dialogue-and-cooperation/interreligious-trust-and-respect/ecumenical-dictionary-interfaith-dialogue.

[11]“What is the World Council of Churches?” World Council of Churches, ?, accessed October 7, 2018, https://www.oikoumene.org/en/about-us.

[12]Mark D. Tooley, “World Council of Churches: The KGB Connection,” Front Page Magazine, March 30, 2010, accessed October 6, 2018, https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/56261/world-council-churches-kgb-connection-mark-d-tooley.

[13]“Former Soviet spy: We created Liberation Theology,” Catholic News Agency, May 1, 2015, accessed October 6, 2018, https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/former-soviet-spy-we-created-liberation-theology-83634.

[14]“Dictionary of the Ecumenical Movement article on Interfaith Dialogue,” Op. cit..

[15]“National Council of Churches (NCC),” Discover The Networks, October 9, 2016, accessed October 9, 2018, https://www.discoverthenetworks.org/organizations/national-council-of-churches-ncc.

[16]“About Us,” National Council of Churches, ?, accessed October 6, 2018, http://nationalcouncilofchurches.us/about-us/.

[17]“About Interreligious Relations and Collaboration,” National Council of Churches, ?, accessed October 7, 2018, http://nationalcouncilofchurches.us/shared-ministry/interfaith/about.php.

[18]“Communications director for National Council of Churches shares his interfaith journey,” Eastern Mennonite University, November 9, 2016, accessed October 6, 2018, https://emu.edu/now/news/2016/11/communications-director-national-council-churches-shares-interfaith-journey/.

[19]“A 21st Century Social Creed,” National Council of Churches, accessed October 7, 2018, http://nationalcouncilofchurches.us/christian-unity/a-21st-century-social-creed/.

[20]“Act Now! Unite to End Racism,” Unite to End Racism, accessed October 6, 2018,


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[26]“DI-JES Annual Report 2015-2016,” Issuu, November 25, 2016, accessed October 7, 2018, p.6,


[27]Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) website: http://www.industrialareasfoundation.org/

[28]Citation at IAF website, “Odd Couple? US Catholic Bishops & the IAF,” Huffington Post, November 24, 2014. http://industrialareasfoundation.org/topics/usccb

[29]“U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and Saul Alinsky: A Match Made in America,” Center for Security Policy, March 28, 2017. https://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2017/03/28/u-s-muslim-brotherhood-and-saul-alinsky-a-match-made-in-america/

[30]U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) website: http://www.usccb.org/about/


[32]See multiple references at the USCCB website for USCCB links to such Brotherhood groups

[33]Simpson, James, “The Red-Green Axis: Refugees, Immigration, and the Agenda to Erase America,” Center for Security Policy, July 22, 2015. https://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2015/07/22/new-report-heralds-existential-threat-to-america/

[34]Call to Action website: https://cta-usa.org/#

[35]Abowd, Mary, Neighborhood Works, 1996, http://www.cnt.org/tnw/19b/195sb3.htm

[36]Schlumpf, Heidi, “Remembering the First Call to Action Conference,” The New World News, September 20, 1996; see also “A Commentary on the Industrial Areas Foundation,” CatholicCulture.orgat https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=2885

[37]U.S. Department of State, Ambassador Sam Brownback: https://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/biog/279094.htm


[39]Ralph De Toledano, Cry Havoc: the Great American Bring-down and How it Happened, Washington, DC: Anthem Books, 2006, p. 10.

[40]Timothy Matthews, “The Frankfurt School: Conspiracy to Corrupt,” Catholic Insight, March 2009, accessed October 12, 2018, https://addisabram.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/the-frankfurt-school-conspiracy-to-corrupt/.

[41]De Toledano, Op. cit, p. 13.

[42]“George Soros and the Assault on America’s Faith Community: With Kelly Kullberg and David Goldman,” Secure Freedom Radio, October 18, 2018, accessed October 19, 2018, https://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2018/10/18/george-soros-and-the-assault-on-americas-faith-community/.

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[44]Dearborn Area Interfaith Network, accessed October 7, 2018, https://www.facebook.com/Dearborn-Area-Interfaith-Network-157805914410918/.

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[75]“Interfaith Youth Core,”IRS Form 990,Op. cit.

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[87]“Muslim Journeys | Item #110: Interfaith Youth Core Website”, National Endowment for the Humanities, October 17, 2018, http://bridgingcultures.neh.gov/muslimjourneys/items/show/110#about.

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[93]“Staff,” Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies, April 3, 2013, accessed October 17, 2018,


[94]Joe Kaufman, “CAIR’s Disappearing Leadership Act,” FrontPageMagazine.com, November 12, 2008, accessed May 18, 2018, http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/3704.


[96]“About Arsalan Iftikhar,” The Muslim Guy, accessed October 10, 2018, http://www.themuslimguy.com/.

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[98]Paul Sperry, “Look who’s teaching Johnny about Islam: Saudi-funded Islamic activists have final say in shaping public-school lessons on religions,” WND, May 3, 2004, accessed October 12, 2018, https://www.wnd.com/2004/05/24442/.

[99]“ACMCU Education Consultants: Susan Douglass,” Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, accessed October 10, 2018, https://acmcu.georgetown.edu/about/community/consultants.

[100]Alyssa Lappen, “ADOPTING PRO-SHARIAH TEXTBOOKS: WHEN STATES SHOULD STEP IN,” Think Israel,  accessed October 5, 2018, http://think-israel.org/lappen.islaminschools.html.

[101]“Bridging Cultures: Muslim Journeys, Final Report,” Op. cit.

[102]Greg Barker, Koran by Heart, DVD, Greg Barker, New York: HBO, 2011.

[103]Phone Interview: Bill Johnson with James Simpson, July 5, 2018.

[104]William J Boykin, Harry Edward Soyster, Henry Cooper, & Others, Shariah: The Threat To America: An Exercise In Competitive Analysis (Report of Team B II), Washington, DC: Center For Security Policy Press, 2010, http://www.voltairenet.org/IMG/pdf/Shariah_-_The_Threat_to_America_Team_B_Report_.pdf.

[105]Interview: Bill Johnson, Op. cit.

[106]Letter to the Fremont Area District Library Board from Dayton Township Board, Dayton Township, Michigan, September 12, 2013.

[107]Note: CAIR was not actually referred to as a “terrorist group” in the Holy Land Foundation trial, but rather an unindicted co-conspirator in providing financing to a terrorist group. See: “List of Unindicted Co-conspirators and/or Joint Venturers,” United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, CR NO. 3:04-CR-240-G, accessed October 10, 2018,


[108]Shariah the Threat to America, Op. cit.pp. 58-61.

[109]Interview: Bill Johnson, Op. cit.

[110]List of Unindicted Co-conspirators, Op. cit.

[111]Robert Spencer, “Sayyid Qutb and the Virginia Five,” FrontPage Magazine, December 17, 2009, accessed October 18, 2018, https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/42293/sayyid-qutb-and-virginia-five-robert-spencer-robert-spencer.

[112]“ISIS, Terrorism & Refugees: A Teach In,” YouTube, December 3, 2015, accessed October 15, 2018, https://youtu.be/AjsMEZ9tgAw.

[113]“SAN BERNARDINO SHOOTING: 22nd injured victim steps forward, FBI says,” The Press Enterprise, December 9, 2015, accessed October 12, 2108, https://www.pe.com/2015/12/09/san-bernardino-shooting-22nd-injured-victim-steps-forward-fbi-says/.

[114]1. Bill Johnson, “Do I have to eat my words?” Frontline, January 2016, accessed October 16, 2018, http://www.americandecency.org/images/newsletters/2016/January_2016_Newsletter.pdf.


[116]Bill Johnson, “Interfaith Dialogue: The great sham,” American Decency, January 12, 2016, accessed October 18, 2018, http://americandecency.org/full_article.php?article_no=3649.

[117]VIII, “Chrislam, the Unholy Union of Christianity and Islam,” Frontline, August 2017, accessed October 19, 2018, http://www.americandecency.org/images/newsletters/2017/August_2017_Newsletter.pdf.

[118]Bill Johnson, ” Muslim-Christian Dialogue on peacemaking at Calvin Sem. – Friday night,” American Decency, February 10, 2015, http://www.americandecency.org/full_article.php?article_no=3078.

[119]Cordoba Initiative website: http://www.cordobainitiative.org/about/

[120]Rauf, Imam Faisal, “Defining Islamic Statehood,” available online at https://www.amazon.com/Defining-Islamic-Statehood-Measuring-Contemporary/dp/1137446811

[121]Shariah the Threat to America, Op. cit.p. 51.

[122]Kyle Kooyers, “Interfaith Insight: ‘Their young voices will be heard,’” Grand Rapids Press, April 26, 2018, accessed October 12, 2018, https://www.gvsu.edu/cms4/asset/843249C9-B1E5-BD47-A25EDBC68363B726/grandrapidspress_2018-apr_26_their_young_voices_will_be_heard_-_kooyers.pdf.


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