Thursday, January 27, 2005

Shiite, Sunni Muslim Sheikhs Talk to NCC Delegation About Violence, Jihad, Peace

By Dr. Antonios Kireopoulos

Violence, Jihad and peace were among topics of NCC delegation conversations with two Muslim leaders -- one with the head Shiite sheikh in Beirut, the other with a leading Sunni sheikh in Cairo.

The Grand Sheikh of the Shiite Community in Beirut expressed his conviction that all religious communities have not done enough to avoid violence by their respective members. He reiterated the statement that Islam is a religion of peace; he also stated that those who go beyond this are not true Muslims. He speculated that many might be manipulated by others in power.

With specific reference to the subject of teaching tolerance, the Grand Sheikh stated that religious leaders don't have to defend their respective faiths. Instead, they need to teach the faith and morals, and try to inculcate the faith in their adherents. He laments that people have gone astray. What is needed is to teach the faith so that people grow in faith.

In Cairo, we heard similar views from a leading Sunni Muslim sheikh, who is one of the most prominent and respected Islamic authorities in the world. The Jan. 27, 2005, Egyptian Gazette, covered the meeting. Here's the Gazette's story:

"'Peace is fundamental to Islam, which condemns all sorts of aggression and terrorism,' Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Mohamed Sayyed Tantawi, told a visiting American religious delegation yesterday.

"Sheikh Tantawi regretted that certain people attempt to associate Jihad (holy war) with terrorism.

"He told the 11-member delegation, representing the US National Council of Churches, that Islam allows Jihad in defence of one's life, honour, property and homeland, as well as for restoring one's usurped rights or for the sake of justice.

"However, Islam denounces terrorism because it is an aggression on human life and people's rights and homelands, Sheikh Tantawi told the delegation, led by NCC President Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt, Jr.

"Mr. Girgis Amin Saleh, Secretary General of the Council of Middle East Churches, also attended the meeting."

2 Comments:

Blogger UCCtruths said...

From UCCtruths.comNational Council of Churches Blames U.S. for Islamic Extremism

January 30, 2005 - Thank goodness for Bob Edgar and the National Council of Churches... things were getting slow around here.

The National Council of Churches is on yet another Middle-east tour meeting with their favorite terrorist sympathizers and anti-semites. On their blog about the trip, the NCC gloats about meeting with Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Mohamed Sayyed Tantawi. According to the blog, the meeting was covered in the Egyptian Gazette (ironically, the Anti-Defamation League claims the paper promotes anti-semitism):


"'Peace is fundamental to Islam, which condemns all sorts of aggression and terrorism,' Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Mohamed Sayyed Tantawi, told a visiting American religious delegation yesterday.

"Sheikh Tantawi regretted that certain people attempt to associate Jihad (holy war) with terrorism.

"He told the 11-member delegation, representing the US National Council of Churches, that Islam allows Jihad in defence of one's life, honour, property and homeland, as well as for restoring one's usurped rights or for the sake of justice.

"However, Islam denounces terrorism because it is an aggression on human life and people's rights and homelands, Sheikh Tantawi told the delegation, led by NCC President Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt, Jr.

Can't you feel the love? Unfortunately, the Sheikh has as much credibility as the National Council of Churches. According to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI):


"The great Imam of Al­Azhar Sheikh Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi, demanded that the Palestinian people, of all factions, intensify the martyrdom operations [i.e. suicide attacks] against the Zionist enemy, and
described the martyrdom operations as the highest form of Jihad operations. He says that the young people executing them have sold Allah the most precious thing of all."

"[Sheikh Tantawi] emphasized that every martyrdom operation against any Israeli, including children, women, and teenagers, is a legitimate act according to [Islamic] religious law, and an Islamic commandment, until the people of Palestine regain their land and
cause the cruel Israeli aggression to retreat…"

MEMRI also quotes the Sheikh in a different report:


Al-Azhar Sheikh Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, the highest-ranking cleric in the Sunni Muslim world, called the Jews "the enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs."

Of course, the National Council of Churches fails to mention that the Sheikh has encouraged terrorism. Instead, NCC General Minister Robert Edgar claims that Christians in the Middle East blame the U.S. "as
the main reason for Islamic extremism" in his latest blog posting.

January 30, 2005 at 5:39 PM  
Blogger RobertI said...

Maybe now that Mr. Haariri has been assassinated, almost certainly by Syrian forces or someone affiliated with Syria (such as Hezbollah), the NCC should turn its attention to the Syrian occupation of Lebanon. If the NCC is interested in peace between Israel and Palestinians, it should raise its voice about the fear expressed by Palestinian leaders that Hezbollah might try to assassinate Mr. Abbas or at least push for the continuation of violence against Israelis.

The legitimacy that the NCC accorded Hezbollah, an organization responsible for killing hundreds of Americans and hundres of Israeli civilians, is truly unbelievable for an organization that says it favors non-violence.

February 20, 2005 at 5:30 PM  

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