Wednesday, April 26, 2006

In Birmingham, The Benevolent Face of Jihad

In Birmingham, the benevolent face of jihad

JEWISH WORLD REVIEW - By Julia Gorin - April 26, 2006

- What is the world coming to when rabbis in Birmingham are inviting muftis from Bosnia?

Earlier this month, Rabbi Jonathan Miller of Birmingham's Temple Emanu-El hosted Bosnia's Grand Mufti Mustafa Ceric to address an interfaith audience at his synagogue so that we Jews and Christians might "make room in our hearts and souls for others who believe differently from us," as his op-ed in The Birmingham News read. According to one attendee, the mufti packed a big house and the evening was replete with Martin Luther King tie-ins and civil rights-era imagery.

The rabbi should have done some research first. Ceric recently called on the world to stand by Syria, a state that sponsors terrorism against Israel and U.S. forces in Iraq, among other targets. During the March, 2004 pogroms in Kosovo against Orthodox Christian Serbs by Albanian Muslims — in which 19 people were killed, dozens of churches and cemeteries destroyed, and close to 4,000 of Kosovo's minority Serbs displaced — BBC.com reported that Ceric "expressed concern about the rise of anti-Islamic hysteria in the West." He added that there was "no such thing as Islamic terrorism," and assured reporters that there were no charities linked to al-Qaeda operating in Bosnia.

In fact, a CNSNews.com article titled "Jihadists Find Convenient Base in Bosnia" reported that "terrorists who previously targeted the U.S. are now in Bosnia, where they have access to a 'one-stop shop' of jihad training camps, weapons and illegal Islamic 'charities' — all at the doorstep of Europe."

One charity that was funding millions of dollars to al Qaeda — the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation — closed in 2002 and then reopened under the name Vazir — an "association for sport, culture and education."
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