They Couldn't Get Rod Parsley?
Pastor Rick Warren To Address American Muslims
NEW YORK (AP) - Times have changed for the Islamic Society of North America and for Sayd Syeed, who leads the group's interfaith outreach. In a sign of growing acceptance of U.S. Muslims, one of the most prominent religious leaders in the country, evangelical pastor Rick Warren, will speak at the Islamic Society's annual convention this weekend. Representatives from the two largest streams of American Judaism, the Reform and Conservative movements, will also be there to highlight their recently formed partnerships with the Muslim group.
"The landscape of religion in America is changing," Syeed said. "America itself has reached a certain level of fulfillment in terms of diversity of faith."
The Islamic Society, an umbrella association for tens of thousands of Muslims, has worked for years to persuade leaders of other faiths to attend its convention, a massive family reunion in its 46th year that draws about 30,000 people.
In recent years, the society has prominently denounced terrorism, including terror by Hamas, and has endorsed a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians. The organization also elected its first female president, Ingrid Mattson, who participated in the National Cathedral service for President Barack Obama the day after his inaugural.
Syeed said that he and Warren, a Southern Baptist and author of "The Purpose Driven Life," have worked together on projects fighting malaria and advocating for people with HIV and AIDS.
But ONLY IN AFRICA - not the U.S. Look back on some of my posts here and here. Warren has yet to produce his stamp of approval on any AIDS agency in this country - at least one that accepts gays and its prevention program doesn't preach "abstinence only." Remember: AP's Rachel Zoll labeled Warren correctly when she wrote (as if in parenthesis) "a Southern Baptist."
The convention will not be the first time Warren has addressed an American Muslim group... But the Islamic Society gathering is by far his most dramatic display of friendship with U.S. Muslims. Warren would not comment ahead of the event.
That's because he's not prepared. What he REALLY wants to say and what he WILL say are two vastly different things. When he waddles up to that podium, he won't see Muslims. Instead, he'll envision a sea of (eventual) converts... with lots of money. And for a moment, he'll be nonplussed as to which speech he'll use. If he gets ballsy and insinuates that Islam is not as valid as his religion, he'll be mocked and scourged by the media. If he uses nothing but sweet unification phrases, then someone will eventually drag the bottom of the river for his hypocritical soul: calling for the assassination of Ahmadinejad would be a start, then working backwards from there it should be easy to find some slanderous quips a la Rod Parsley.
But let's wait and see how much innocuous pablum he can muster without looking totally stupid.
Remember bloggers: this Saturday may be the day when Warren's persona may be riddled with hypocritically inane statements. Make the most of it! Find out everything he's ever said about Islam - good, bad, ugly or just plain nuts.
This just in: Now right-wing WorldNewsDaily.com is castigating Warren:
While millions of other Americans will be celebrating Independence Day weekend, Rick Warren, often called "America's Pastor," will be serving as the keynote speaker for a Saudi-backed Muslim group that promotes a radical strain of Wahhabi Islam in about 80 percent of U.S. mosques.
I don't know about you, but I'm getting tired of Rick Warren's bad judgments...
I don't know what Warren's agenda is. He would probably say he doesn't have one. But I can tell you the effect of his appearance it is designed to disinfect and rehabilitate a group that is dangerous and subversive to U.S. national security.
But it should surprise no one, at this point, that Rick Warren will be there. One of the first times I ever wrote about Rick Warren was in 2006 when he took an equally misguided trip to Syria to meet with dictator Bashar Assad and praise him for his pleasant treatment of Christians. Syria was then and remains today one of the world's leading state sponsors of Islamic terrorism. Almost every terrorist group in the world maintains offices there. Nevertheless, Rick Warren said, while in Syria, that the country "does not allow extremism of any kind."
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