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Fathima Rifqa Bary Under the Influence of a Christian Cult

Lou Engle, a Joel's Army pastor

Lou Engle, a Joel's Army pastor

Fathima Rifqa Bary, has claimed that her parents are “radical Muslims,” yet the reality seems to be that it is actually she herself who has fallen into the ranks of radicals.  We’re already very familiar with the extremist church she is involved with, the Global Revolution Church, which preaches that there is today an Armageddon between good (the Christians) and evil (the Muslims).

Now, let’s look into a different group she has associated herself with, namely The Call, another End of Times Armageddon invoking group. Here she is on a conference call with Lou Engle, the fanatical leader of the cult:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRhCIxiY5OA&feature=player_embedded 300 250]

Up until about four minutes into the video she sounds fairly sane,  but at about 4:20, suddenly she becomes possessed by what we can only assume is the Holy Spirit.  She enters a trance-like state that to us normal human beings seems bizarre, to say the least.  I’ve seen some preachers, Imams, and Rabbis have some crazy highs and lows in their speeches, but usually they build up to it.  On the other hand, Fathima Rifqa just turned on the crazy from the very start; one second she’s talking like a normal human being and the next she starts yelling in a crazed delirium, reaffirming the view that she’s been brainwashed by fundamentalists.

By 5:44, she does her best Glenn Beck impression, i.e. fake crying. When the initial story broke, I saw some YouTube users claim that Fathima Rifqa was fake crying.  I was skeptical, and gave her the benefit of doubt but when I saw the video of her talking to Lou Engle, I was really forced to reconsider my benevolence.  It does seem that she can turn on the fake crying at will.  It is therefore not so difficult to believe that she could also be faking this entire thing.

One other thing: in the Lou Engle conference call, pay close attention to the end of the video: they make it clear that Fathima Rifqa doesn’t care about her own safety; she will–as she says herself–go wherever God takes her.  The reason for all of this–according to these people–is not to protect Fathima Rifqa Bary (since she is ready to be martyred) but to advertise Christianity to 50 million Muslims who need salvation.  But wasn’t the entire court case about Fathima’s safety?  I think the video really shows that it’s not about that at all; it’s about publicity.

A writer for RightWingWatch.org wrote:

For the last few days, I’ve been covering the right-wing effort to mobilize it own Christian forces to counter the “dark spiritual content” of the upcoming Muslim prayer rally.  Tonight, activists gathered for a conference call/prayer rally hosted by the National Day of Prayer Task Force, headed by Shirely Dobson, wife of Focus on the Family’s James Dobson, Lou Engle of The Call, and featuring other activists like Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Cindy Jacobs.

Tonight, this effort revealed itself to be part of the much larger Religious Right battle against Islam in America when the Religious Right’s latest cause célèbre, Rifqa Bary, joined the conference call.

At the beginning of the clip, Lou Engle is told by one of the other participants that “their little sister” is on the line, at which point Engle introduces Rifqa Bary to the conference call participants and asks her to share her story.  Bary, sounding like a somewhat nervous but otherwise perfectly average teenager, recounts her conversion to Christianity and her decision to flee from the home of her Muslim parents in Ohio.  Following that, Engle declared Bary to be “an Esther for such a time as this” and asks her to lead the call in prayer, which she agrees to do, at which point she becomes seemingly hysterical and rather incoherent while sobbing and praying, making it nearly impossible to understand what she is saying outside of her repeated cries to Jesus.

And then, just like that, she stops, seemingly catching the other participants off guard until Engle then chimes in with his own fervent prayers to God to “use Rifqa to be an Esther.” Soon Engle is joined by various others, all of whom pray for this modern day Esther who will lead Muslims out of Islam and into Christianity while asking God to spread Rifqa’s “so that the testimony of Jesus will go out to CNN, will go out to talk shows and use this little story so that all across America the Gospel will be preached” and to “expose the hidden darkness that is rolling into the nation through these ideologies.”

Eventually, Engle unmutes the conference call’s participants and asks them all to pray for Rifqa, at which point the call the descends into little more than chaos and static.

So this is all a publicity stunt to advertise Jesus.  Here’s what I think happened: Fathima Rifqa was attracted to some fringe Christian groups due to their rhetoric.  These Bible thumpers saw Fathima Rifqa as a tool they could use to boost their own publicity–a way to call the Muslim heathens to Jesus.  They convinced a young and impressionable Fathima Rifqa that she wasn’t just some ordinary high school student but a prophet sent to the heathen nations.

Let’s investigate Lou Engle and The Call to see what kind of company Fathima Rifqa keeps.  Engle is quite the loon.  At first, I thought he had what psychiatrists would call akathisia, or the inability to sit still–a common side-effect of anti-psychotic medications.  On closer examination though it seems that it’s malingering–part of his ploy to dupe impressionable young people that he speaks through the Holy Ghost.  One mainstream Christian critic of his wrote:

As he spoke, Lou Engle constantly rocked back and forth, as apparently he almost always does now when preaching, under what he would claim to be the anointing of the Holy Spirit. His spiritual manifestations are supposed to be a sign that he speaks under the unction of the Holy Spirit and when the jerks, grunts, twiches and miscellaneous experiences and feelings get stronger, they supposedly bear witness to him and the audience that what he says is true and prophetic and the ‘glory’ and ‘anointing’ of the Lord is there testifying to it.

To see this conman bobbing and rocking, watch this here (it’s long so just watch a bit of it to see what I mean):

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h88lNYKpDVQ&feature=player_embedded 300 250]

And here he is doing the same even when nobody is in the room except for the camera:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PN5SQgNS5sw 300 250]

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a non-profit civil rights organization that tracks hate groups, cites Lou Engle as a prominent Joel’s Army pastor.  Proponents of this theology (considered heretical by mainstream Christians) believe that the Christian youth will become a part of Joel’s Army that will physically “conquer the earth” and forcibly convert “the nations” to Christianity.  Democracy will be overthrown and a literalistic Biblical law will reign supreme.  Keep in mind that the Islamophobes like Robert Spencer and Pam Geller try to convince us that Muslims secretly want to conquer the entire world for Islam, overthrow democracy for a harsh understanding of Sharia, and convert the world to their religion.

Yet, here we have a girl (Fathima Rifqa Bary) associating with a man (Lou Engle) who is linked to a warlike theology that endorses the idea that Christian youth armies will conquer the entire world for Jesus, overthrow democracy, and forcibly convert non-believers to Christianity–and look at what side Spencer and Geller are on!  On pp.226 of his book The Pathetically Incorrect Guide to Islam, Spencer demands that Muslims must “renounce sharia’s expansionist imperative,” yet I don’t see him demanding that radical Christian dominionists must renounce their desire to conquer by force the entire world for Christ.   Well, it’s not surprising, since in his book, Spencer himself calls for a Crusade against Islam (Ibid., p.231), not unlike these Joel’s Army lunatics.  So we’re coming full circle here.  The nutters defending each other.

I urge you to read the article by SPLC, as well as this expose by another hate watch site known as the Box Turtle Bulletin.  Here is an excerpt:

Lou Engle also echoes Brown’s embrace of martyrdom. Engle, whose own ministry is known as “The Call,” is closely aligned with a militant Christian Dominionist movement known as Joel’s Army.

Going back to the earlier article, Casey Sanchez (of the Southern Poverty Law Center) describes Engles as follows:

Joel’s Army is prophesied to become an Armageddon-ready military force of young people with a divine mandate to physically impose Christian “dominion” on non-believers…

Joel’s Army followers, many of them teenagers and young adults who believe they’re members of the final generation to come of age before the end of the world, are breaking away in droves from mainline Pentecostal churches. Numbering in the tens of thousands, they base their beliefs on an esoteric reading of the second chapter of the Old Testament Book of Joel, in which an avenging swarm of locusts attacks Israel. In their view, the locusts are a metaphor for Joel’s Army…

“The pitch and intensity of the military rhetoric of this branch of the global Dominionist movement has substantially increased since the beginning of 2008,” writes The Discernment Research Group, a Christian watchdog group that tracks what they call heresies or cults within Christianity. “One can only wonder how long before this transforms into real warfare with actual warriors.”

‘Snorting Religion’

Joel’s Army believers are hard-core Christian dominionists, meaning they believe that America, along with the rest of the world, should be governed by conservative Christians and a conservative Christian interpretation of biblical law. There is no room in their doctrine for democracy or pluralism…Joel’s Army followers believe that once democratic institutions are overthrown, their hierarchy of apostles and prophets will rule over the earth, with one church per city…

The atmosphere is less charged with violence at “The Call,” a 12-hour revival of up to 20,000 youths led by Joel’s Army pastor Lou Engle and held every summer in a major American city (this year’s event was scheduled for Washington, D.C. in August)…

As even his critics note, Engle is a sweet, humble and gentle man whose persona is difficult to reconcile with his belief in an end-time armyof invincible young Christian warriors. Yet while Engle is careful to avoid deploying explicit Joel’s Army rhetoric at high-profile events like The Call, when he’s speaking in smaller hyper-charismatic circles to avowed Joel’s Army followers, he can venture into bloodlust.

This March, at a “Passion for Jesus” conference…Engle called on his audience for vengeance.

“I believe we’re headed to an Elijah/Jezebel showdown on the Earth, not just in America but all over the globe, and the main warriors will be the prophets of Baal versus the prophets of God, and there will be no middle ground,” said Engle. He was referring to the Baal of the Old Testament, a pagan idol whose followers were slaughtered under orders from the prophet Elijah.

“There’s an Elijah generation that’s going to be the forerunners for the coming of Jesus, a generation marked not by their niceness but by the intensity of their passion,” Engle continued. “The kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force. Such force demands an equal response, and Jesus is going to make war on everything that hinders love, with his eyes blazing fire.”

Although Joel’s Army theology is mainly directed at people in their teens and early 20s via events like The Call and ministries like IHOP, sometimes the target audience is even younger. In some of the most arresting images in “Jesus Camp,” a 2006 documentary about the Kids on Fire bible camp in North Dakota, grade school-aged kids dressed in army fatigues wield swords and conduct military field maneuvers. “A lot of people die for God and they’re not afraid,” one camper told ABC News reporters in a follow-up segment.

“We’re kinda being trained to be warriors,” added another, “only in a funner way.”

Engle has a bunch of other views considered heretical by mainstream Christianity, such as the belief in “God men” and blood atonement.  It is strange that so many Christians would want to place their trust in Fathima Rifqa Bary who has made her bed with such shady groups and people.

Her fascination with Lou Engle began long before.  As Davi Baker of the SF Examiner notes, it was discovered that Lou Engle’s book entitled Digging the Wells of Revival was part of Fathima Rifqa’s reading material. Additionally, the group she found refuge in, the Global Revolution Church, has similar metanarratives. Baker writes:

On the pen drive found in her room was a reading list, and on that reading list was a book titled “Digging the Wells of Revival” by Lou Engle.  The final chapter of that book is titled “The Hinge of History: Raising up the Nazirites.” …Some have teased that Rifqa’s writings indicate that she wants to be a prophet, but this is exactly what Lou Engle has in mind. Lou writes that God said to him, “America is receiving Her apostles, prophets, and evangelists, but She has not yet seen Her Nazirites!” Lou Engle has a long history of claiming direct communication with God, as well as prophetic dreams…

They seem to imagine some kind of army of super Christians who will appear in a moment of National crisis and win the day. What’s the crisis? Consider these statements from Lou’s homepage, TheCall.com. “There is a great spiritual conflict with a rising tide of Islamic boldness being manifested… we must have spiritual discernment as to the spiritual dark powers that are being invoked into our nation.” Compare that with similar statements from Blake Lorenz, the pastor of Global Revolution Church who housed Rifqa, “These are the last days, these are the end times, and this conflict between Islam and Christianity is going to grow greater. This conflict between good and evil is going to grow greater.”

The radical cult members and Fathima Rifqa are feeding off of each others’ delusions.  As one astute blogger wrote:

These Evangelical Fundamentalists see signs and wonders everywhere while they look for the new prophets among this last generation the Elijahs and the Esthers who will lead others into the battle against the Devil. So as we have noted Lou Engle,Bill Johnson & other Evangelicals who adhere to these beliefs read into certain situations what may be more than what’s actually there.

So enter Rifqa Bary a convert from a Muslim American family who refers to herself as an Esther chosen to play a special role in the last days by God.She says she has had visions of angels and demons of God and Satan and hears God speaking to her directly . So to some she is a prophet to others possibly just a rather enthusiastic convert to Christianity and to others they wonder if she is either just delusional or whether the Evangelicals with whom she was in contact encouraged and fed her delusions. For instance like any true prophet she too must suffer and be ridiculed and harassed and victimized by non-believers so she may exaggerate all out of proportion certain events and encounters and the speech of others. In her case with the help of these anti-Islamic Evangelical Christians she has come to believe her parents want to kill her or that other Muslims are looking for her so they can kill her.

These “True Believers” latch onto her narrative and so believe that Rifqa is being persecuted by her family by Islam and by those who are in authority in part because they recognize who Rifqa is though they may not know this on a conscious level. So all facts surrounding her case are seen through this prism of signs and wonders and the persecution of the “Real Church” or “body of Christ” so they are not going to be easily convinced that they are wrong about Rifqa that she may just be another confused impressionable anxiety ridden teenager with a touch of meglomania.

I think Fathima Rifqa Bary, the Global Revolution Church, and The Call have used the psychological defense mechanism known as projection: they themselves are the radicals and extremists, but they project that onto Fathima Rifqa’s parents and the Mooslims in general.  From what we can tell, Fathima Rifqa’s parents don’t seem too passionate, zealous, or dogmatic about their religion, not nearly as much as Fathima Rifqa and those she has joined.  So the real question is: who is the real extremist here?  Who is espousing the whole ‘holy war between Christianity and Islam’ ideology?  Ironically, the group that Fathima Rifqa has associated herself with is linked to a theology that dictates that non-believers should be forced into the faith of Christianity.

We can draw some broader conclusions from this: those Islamophobes who have taken up the Fathima Rifqa case as their casus belli–including Robert Spencer and Pam Geller–are the real extremists, not the vast majority of Muslims whom they always point the finger at.  It is after all Spencer, Geller, et al. who believe in a modern day Crusade, one they justify by fear mongering about the other.  What peace loving people should ask–when confronted by their rantings–is: who are the real extremists here?

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  • James

    Thanks for your input here Lex. Love your blog!

  • From AdamToMohammed

    Lex, thank you for being a good sport. I said what i did from experience and it could just as well apply to you, in that you’re a blogger, and should think twice about whom you trust.

    So you’re a lady…? OOps, I went by your picture, which looks like guy, apologies. so you’re part of the sisterhood…
    I’ll look at your blog sometime.

    Spencer and Geller, ulimately harm their own causes, proof of that is that whilst they’ve done their best to malign Islam (as opposd to extremist muslims who distort the faith) converts to Islam in America are rising. This would not be the case if these liars didn’t waste their time propogating lies. It leads to people seeking out the truth, and if Islam were like that nobody would convert and i’d be the first to leave along with millions of Muslims.

    Neither Geller nor Spencer mention the Jewish or Christian extremists, and Geller is a crass hypocrite, in that Islam does recognise all monotheists as righteous, as well as those who have never heard the faith, but Spencers’ relgion (catholicm) see’s her as condemned to hell. The reason extremist Jewish likudniks don’t attack neo con Christians, is because they think they should join arms to “destroy” Islam.

    Meanwhile Islam grows stronger, and neo con and likud agenda grows weaker. Kind of shows whose side God is on.

    As I said they’re their own worst enemies. The only reason i support rebutting their lies, is so that those who do not know the truth should be encouraged to find out for themselves, and not swallow what they say.

    People may listen to them and that coupled with the extremists in our midst who keep threatening America, may lead the less well read to believe them. That is how the neo cons conned Americans into the Iraq war, even though Saddam was the enemy of Islam. His regime was atheist and used to put practicing Muslims to death just practicing Islam. That perhaps is the biggest proof of their lie, that Islam is the root cause of terrorism.

    Even Daniel Pipes, (one of the neo con cheerleaders) says that terrorism is a modern thing in Islam and not from Quran and Hadeeth.

    Thank you.

  • Danios

    Dear Lex,

    Thanks for your input and presence here. Just to be clear: I wouldn’t be comfortable with using any underhanded tactics against our opponents, including betraying personal information taken in confidence. You have made it a point not to do that and I commend you for that.

    Furthermore, it could be that tomorrow Pamela wakes up and realizes the error in her ways, like so many before her, including this writer himself and you.

    Sincerely,
    Danios.

  • From Adam–Very good point. Everyone seems already to know who I am though, although you think I’m male so perhaps not. I’m just terribly ashamed of what I did under my former nom de plume that I am constantly atoning, and choose to do that with at least my real first name.

    An expose on Pammycakes? Much is known about her, actually. A neo-nazi site used to have her old address posted along with a Google map and Google Earth image of it, right on the water in Long Island. That site also listed the specs of the Hewlett, NY home. Something like $3.1 million, also listed was her family’s donations annually to the GOP.

    Plenty of sites had a field day with the scandal involving her “Auto Czar” ex-husband, Michael Oshry, lots on Google (even a news report on YouTube) and this article.

    We got on because we are both old punks (she’s rather a bit older though) with similar music tastes who ended up blogging stay-at-home Moms. I gave the # of children she has only because she has already revealed that online, ditto on her “brain tumor theory”. I would never post pics she sent me of her daughters or emails or anything given to me in confidence.

    Oddly enough though, if you start writing about Robert Spencer (or enough about Pamela), he’ll email you. And a warning, he doesn’t freakin’ stop. 40 emails later he ends up calling you an idiot and claims that he’s the real expert on Islam and doesn’t want to bother with you anymore. It’s kind of funny.

    Still, I thought her info was public knowledge. Spencer’s was until I pointed out to him that his address was online and reminded him of his supposed “fatwas” and that someone al Qaeda is supposedly gunning for should at least have the sense to keep their address unlisted. Honestly. I didn’t bother writing Pammycakes though. After telling her for the millionth time that certain of her allies are neo-Nazis and would get rid of her next if they could do away with the Mooooooslims she blocked me.

    I’m OK though, I just photoshop her now and it’s a far better relationship than our old one. Her head did belong on Godzilla and the Cheetah Girls. I just wish I could get video of her old band….

  • From AdamToMohammed

    Danios, i just read Lex’s post, asking you who you are, and i quickly wrote something for you then saw your reply which i hadn’t seen earler

    With the greatest respect to Lex (please don’t be offended Lex this is not personal) please be careful, of not revealing your identity online, as even if someone appears friendly, they could be “sent” to befriend you.

    Always be suspicious and just do your job. Again no offence meant to Lex nor am i saying he is a plant, but you don’t know who reads these blogs, and who they know, or even who the posters are.

    Let the written word speak for itself.

    Thank you

  • Sweet Dreams

    LexAgentofChaos,

    Geller is a fifth columnist.

    Geller is the sort of person that gives conservatives a bad name. First of all she is just an opportunist, and her loyalty is not the US but to Likud Israel.

    She thinks the US military exists for the Likud agenda, that is why she cheers on and supports the neo cons. The Iraq war evidence was fabricated in Israel by Likudniks, so they’re responsible for thousands of more deaths of Americans than the Bin Laden group.

    You said

    “Pamela Geller is so secular that to get her 4 daughters into the Jewish school in Manhattan they now attend (yep, they asked for a reference), she had to get Dore Gold to write the school a letter (she had interviewed him for AS.). ”

    Precious little is known about her, except that she was married to a guy called Osher who was arrested for murder.

    Maybe the Loonwatch founders can do an expose , telling all about her.

    I dont’ undersand one thing, why are these hatemongers allowed to propogate their lies and given a platform, yet Zionist critics and anti Jewish bigots lke David Duke, are censored? Why the double standard?

    Maybe Obama should concentrate on diluting the neo con control of media.

    Did you know Walt and meaersheirmer had to go to London to have their book published?

    American media needs to be set free from neo con control.

  • FromAdamToMohammed

    Danios,

    No i didn’t mean all of Evangelical Christianity, if i did, then why did i say “extremist Christian cults”

    Do you agree that those who use lies and deception to convert are cults or not? The proselytisation of a religion should not depend on using deceptive techniques to “buy” converts.

    The message itself should be reason for conversion, and not a financial or other inducement.

    Muslims do not do this. We set up Dawa centres and people come to us, or to a mosque or to an Imam. We do not send Muslims out to dress as Christians and Jews and put Quran’s on their doorsteps.

    Danios, I love Loonwatch., and I respect what you do greatly. However, in your effort to distance yourself from extremists, please do not go overboard on the “political correctness”. Call a spade a spade, a cult a cult, and deceptive lie a deceptive lie.

    A religious group that relies on lies, deception and preying on the vulnerable to convert is a cult. Expecially when it’s sole purpose to convert is for their own good. Does humanity exist to “save” these people? I think not. That is not why God created humanity. We all save ourselves and don’t need others do it. That is something that Evangelical extremists, overlook.

    Conversion to thier religion should be made on an INFORMED CHOICE, WITH NO INDUCEMENTS.

    Thank you.

  • Danios–yeah, I understand. People already knew my real name I guess, plus I started writing my “mockery” stuff on my old blog and questioning the “counter-jihadis” on their own sites. Then, in a comment thread at Atlas Shrieks (it was on Bostom’s contention that this one verse in the Qur’an proved that the Qur’an was entirely anti-Semitic; I merely pointed out that there were better quotes he could’ve chosen and that in context Bostom’s chosen verse wasn’t anti-Jewish at all) I had mentioned either there or in a mail to Pamela that I was having to have an MRI to see if I had a brain tumor and she just concluded that I DID have a brain tumor (I turned out not to) and that this imagined tumor had caused my change back to “being a leftard”. Yes, she actually claimed that I did have a tumor and that that had caused me to stop being (in MY mind) a hate blogger.

    I don’t pick on other bloggers so very much that I used to know, mainly Pammycakes. People at Sadly,No! kept pulling quotes off of her blog (which I didn’t really read when we had been friends) and asking me if I could defend some of her statements. I just couldn’t. They ranged from just far-right, which I’m not, to downright batshit crazy to genocidal. So I’d ask HER in emails to defend the statements and she just went utterly ballistic.

    I understand the need for you to want to be private about it though Danios. I had to apologize for what I had written though. I was pretty good, my articles were posted at many different bigger sites, and I hated the idea that something I had written to try and convince people that “Islam is EVIL!!!” were out there inspiring more hate bloggers and used to bolster their arguments.

    Then I was invited to write for LGFWatch (which I did for a while) and that just pretty much killed the entire thing….ROFLMAO!!

  • Danios

    FromAdamtoMuhammad: Your comment seems to portray the “extremist Christian cults” as indicative of Evangelical Christianity overall. I think that’s an unfair characterization and would in fact be against LoonWatch’s mission statement.

    -Danios.

  • FromAdamToMohammed

    These extremist Christian cults have particularly targeted (and failed) to convert Muslims during the Bush era. Their lies and dirty tricks that they use to convert others are documented below. They use bribery and lies. As always with Muslims they had no luck. Christianity has always failed to win converts from Muslims. Muslims are most difficult group of people to convert to any other religion, and that is proof of the superioritiy of it’s message.

    These Christian cults only get converts from the pagan religions in africa and china, by paying under the guise of charity, for example in China and Africa. The attempts in Iraq and Afghanistan were rejected, (see press reports below) even by starving Afghans. If you research, you discover that as these pagan converts move up the social scale they dump Evangelism for Islam. That is the case in America too, where over 4 million Evangelicals have converted to Islam. CAIRS founder, Jerry Hooper is a Protestant convert to Islam.

    —————–

    http://www.christiansofiraq.com/evangelical.html

    Patriarch denounces U.S. evangelicals in Iraq
    19 May 2005
    Source: Reuters
    By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor
    PARIS, May 19 (Reuters) – The head of Iraq’s largest Christian community
    denounced American evangelical missionaries in his country on Thursday for
    what he said were attempts to convert poor Muslims by flashing money and
    smart cars.
    Saying the evangelicals were not real missionaries, Delly said they
    attracted poor youths with displays of money and taking them “out riding in
    cars to have fun”.
    “Then they take photos and send them here, to Germany, to the United States
    and say ‘look how many Muslims have become Christian’,” he said.

    —————-

    Evangelicals in Muslims Lands: Targeting Christians?
    http://atheism.about.com/b/a/004539.htm
    Part of the targeting of Eastern Christians may be the result of
    evangelicals’ inability to win converts among Muslims.
    ————————————

    Baptist pastor says his difficult mission is to convert Muslims.
    http://www.sptimes.com/2002/01/02/Floridian/Sharing_the_Gospel_in.shtml
    It won’t be easy, Shadid laments. Christian evangelical missions have had
    less success with Muslims than with other religious groups or with
    nonbelievers. Islam is one of the fastest growing faiths on earth.
    “The Muslims are most difficult to reach,” Shadid says.

    On one thing, Musri and Christian evangelicals agree. It is easier to
    convert nonbelievers or people of other denominations than it is to separate a Muslim from his faith.

    Musri believes that many Arabs who say they were converted are lying and
    that they were actually Christians all along. He thinks they are using tales of conversion to get financial backing from evangelical ministries.
    ————————-

    The Mission
    Protestant missionaries have been criticized for their plans to evangelize
    in Iraq. If history is any guide, they’re not likely to have much luck
    anyway.
    By Laura Secor, 4/20/2003
    http://www.boston.com/news/packages/iraq/globe_stories/042003_mission.htm
    “Christian missions have not impacted the Muslim world since Islam began,”
    says Braswell bluntly. Adds M. Thomas Thangaraj, a professor of World
    Christianity at Emory University, “I’ve only known a couple of people in my life who have given up Islam and become Christian.”

    The hardest nut to crack is theological. Islam explicitly repudiates Christian belief.

    What’s more, Islam is itself a proselytizing religion. Says Jonathan Bonk,
    the executive director of the Overseas Missions Studies Center, “My
    impression is that Muslims love to talk about religion. They have no problem engaging with someone who is trying to proselytize to them. They proselytize right back.”

  • DrM

    @Dainos,
    Geller views stem from [snipped]. If the Democrats became super hawks tomorrow she would drop her “conservative” label in a heartbeat.

    Lex’s input is as usual top notch.

  • Danios

    Hey Lex, thanks for the reply.

    Yeah, I find it horribly ironic how we have some hardcore “conservatives” like Miss California Carrie Prejean, who on one side is talking about “traditional Christian values” and talking at conservative Republican events, but on the other hand has nude modeling pictures and a pageant funded boob job.

    Maybe Prejean is a poor example since she doesn’t seem vitriolic, but you get what I mean. It’s sort of like Bill O’reilly who constantly demeans others for not having traditional values yet he himself always plays vulgar videos on his program to boost his viewership. It’s just hypocrisy.

    There are certainly many good traditional values in the Judeo-Christian tradition. I just don’t think these people have them. They are simply self-righteous hypocrites.

    “Who were you? Who’d you write for?”

    I really don’t want to say and I think you can understand the need to protect my privacy. 🙂

    Thanks again.

    -Danios.

  • Danios, that’s a hard one. I’m not sure now if I can believe anything she ever told me. I know that she’s not as conservative as real conservatives are, especially “heartland” conservatives. She’s a Trend Conservative, a bandwagon jumper riding high on the wave of wingnut nonsense spawned by 9/11.

    For instance, she’s pro-choice. She just doesn’t bring up abortion on her blog. She admitted it online (I forgot where), so I’m not betraying anything there. Her fans would be shocked though. And she NEEDS those fans. During her messy divorce I told her to get a lover and she replied, “The blog is my lover”. She is, however, a paranoid person to begin with. Very paranoid. Won’t even get generic meds, insists on brand names and tried to warn me to do the same.

    I don’t know, we were just two chick bloggers who were sucked in by pathetic propaganda, I just realized it, apologized and continue to apologize, and had no desire to use blogging as a springboard for something bigger.

    One day I got a check from CafePress that I opened while on Skype with Pamela, she watched me, I told her I’d help her set up a store, and before I knew it she had a calender on there with bikini pics! I was actually ******* embarrassed for her. Any opportunity and she’ll jump on it. Once she met bigger names in the hate-mongering profession she dropped several people, but we all got the satisfaction of her posing with Robert Spencer with her Juggs balanced somehow on his cheap suits.

    Dunno. Who were you? Who’d you write for?

  • Danios

    Lex, I actually have a question. Since you knew Pam, can you tell me: do you think she really believes in what she says? Or is this all a ploy to gain fame, sell some books, etc.?

    When I was in my hate mongering loon days, I did actually believe what I spouted, although the ‘fame’ you get from it was always an element to it, if just subconsciously. But even though I believed in the general theme of what I was saying, I eventually started realizing how much “stretching” was involved in such hate-mongering, which was one of the factors that led me to renounce it all.

    What do you think is Pam’s driving desire here? Or was she just born to hate?

  • Danios

    Lex, very interesting comment. Thanks.

    I too was a hate-mongering loon, until I saw the light and realized I don’t want to live my life with hatred in my heart. I realized I wanted to positively contribute to this world, not negatively. I thought: how do I want my life’s “legacy” to be? Do I want to be remembered as the sensationalist bigot who spread hatred on this earth?

    It was when I wrote one particular nasty hate mongering article that the light switched on inside of me, and I realized how ugly of a path I had chosen. Quite frankly, I had shocked myself at how ugly I had become. After that, I began reforming myself; although the light had turned on in that instant of realization, the actual transformation was a gradual progression. I eventually went from hardcore conservative to progressive liberal. And now I have dedicated my life to eradicating hate.

    Once again, thanks for your input! And thank you everyone else who replied as well.

    Sincerely,
    Danios.

  • Ali Azizi

    Fantastic article, I hope it gets mass distribution.

  • OK, another dispatch from my days as a loon. When I stopped writing wingnut stuff and just started researching instead (I live in the MidWest), I was still friends (UGH) with Pamela. She has utterly NO comprehension of the “bitter” types, those who are GOP and who would hate her guts for being a Jew, a New Yorker, rather wealthy, a typical Upper West Sider GOPer. She cannot comprehend people who wear camo. Period.

    Anyhow, I finally ran into bigots who tried to move into my area, and hated my guts for being “not a real Christian” (Roman Catholic), Pottery Barn Ruby Ridge. Dress it up, it’s still Bob Jones Alum. that had the U-Hauls here after 1 strategic comment by myself.

    After reading the hate lit. against Catholics it was such a complete copy of Spencer, Bostom, all of those loons, that my old perspective was obliterated. Just like the Japanese that Pammy’s bomb comments recalled in that video.

    So, I decided to drag my pal Pamela and the fellow loons with me, especially trying to explain that these eternally outraged God’n’Guns folks out here, the voters they depend on, are people they’d run screaming from. I should just publish the hundred or so emails between me and Pammycakes in which I tried desperately to drag her away from the dark side (I figured I’d help her get rid of the Cougar Clothes later). She just doesn’t get it.

    Ditto the wingnuts from the L.A. area. They see themselves as downtrodden self-identified Right Wingers constantly at odds with these “America/Western hating lefties”. ALL of the coastal big blue city hate bloggers are this way, and the ones who still considered themselves merely outraged Democrats in, oh, 05 or so, by ’07? By 07 they considered themselves proudly “Evangelicals” and not necessarily Democrats, but “human rights activists”. That is the role they see themselves in, and they truly believe it. And they can **** with me all they want because I have real names and pics. And Pammycake’s cell #.

    They will NEVER comprehend that this relatively modern far-right “Young Life”/”Jesus Camp” movement of Christianity is a totally different animal and is totally self-segregating though recruiting to the point that they even snagged this poor girl, Rifqa Bary, nor would they ever accept that this same girl would have been just fine growing into adulthood as a Western Muslim. You know, if she’d kept to that “taqiyya spouting, merely political ideology–NOT a religion!” that is Islam.

    And so have I written since my reformation and return to the “blue side of things”. And so has Pamela absolutely refused to believe even remotely even in private conversation.

    So, true comment of the day: Pamela Geller is so secular that to get her 4 daughters into the Jewish school in Manhattan they now attend (yep, they asked for a reference), she had to get Dore Gold to write the school a letter (she had interviewed him for AS.).

    Sorry for the length, won’t do it again. I had to, it’s too funny, these morons would HATE Rifqa Bary if she had stayed a Muslim. They’d have ripped her headscarf off in the grocery store or something. Honestly!

  • Ustadh

    Abu Yusef,

    Great comment.

  • I especially love Geller’s misuse of “Taqiya” as a universal Muslim principle in her recent article. Also, I agree it is extremists that are the issue. It is my theory that if there is an armageddon, so to speak, so to speak the side of evil will be two seemingly opposing sides of fanatics trying to kill off the world vs moderate peace loving peoples trying to stop them… the one of the Dijal could easily be a one directional uncompromising stance.

  • Ustadh

    Great article. The group she seems to be under the influence of is scary. I don’t think she knows what she has got her self into. I predict this phase of her life will burn out, that is what happens with people who have a fire burning in them, it cools down with age.

  • iSherif

    Brilliant article…am sooo happy about this site…gonna spread the word around… 🙂

  • Mn

    Of course there are extremists. It’s not fair to put all the blame on muslim’s. Innocent lives were taken on 9/11 due to the misinformed muslim’s. Let us not forget people like robert spencer, wafa sultan, nonie darwish etc. are people who support the crusades against muslim’s. Pamela geller in a video by “TheYoungTurks” ,who can be found on youtube, clearly stated her support on dropping the atomic bomb on the Japanese. I’m not sure if it was that, but she did voice her support for dropping a bomb on either vietnamese people or japanese people.

  • James

    “It’s not Christians vs Muslims, but rather extremists vs moderates.”

    Absolutely.

  • Danios

    Thanks, James. I agree with your assessment of Spencer.

    And just to give the flip side of it, there are plenty of crazies and hate mongers on the Muslim “side” as well.

    It’s not Christians vs Muslims, but rather extremists vs moderates.

    -Danios.

  • James

    Great post!

    Just read Robert Spencer’s writings on the Crusades and it is transparently obvious that he is a radical Christian supremacist. You are absolutely right. They are the real extremists.. Allow me to post a Glenn Greenwald article from today that echoes your point:

    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2009/10/26/douthat/index.html

    “The New York Times today, in the form of Ross Douthat’s column, has published what could fairly be described as a call for a Christian religious war — certainly metaphorical and perhaps literal — against Islam. Douthat praises recent efforts by Pope Benedict to recruit disaffected Anglicans back into the Catholic Church by dispensing with the last half-century’s practice of religions “being exquisitely polite to one another.” Douthat claims — approvingly — that Benedict’s current recruitment efforts are grounded in “Christianity’s global encounter with a resurgent Islam.” Declaring Islam to be “Christianity’s most enduring and impressive foe,” Douthat says that many Christians want confrontation — not accommodation, “conciliation,” or “appeasement” — with Islam, and thus may flock to the Catholic Church to get behind Benedict’s forceful denunciations of the faith of 25% of the world’s population

    []

    Just today, the French Foreign Minister predicted/threatened an Israeli attack on Iran. Leading American political and media elites routinely advocate and threaten an American attack on that same country. Over the weekend, Afghan officials angrily objected to a “hit list” compiled by the U.S. military of alleged drug kingpins in their country whom we intend to murder on sight without a trial. The U.S. is actively waging war in three Muslim countries simultaneously while it has supported Israel in bombing three others (including Gaza) in the last three years alone. One leading U.S. general explicitly said the invasion of Iraq was about vindicating the Christian God against the Islamic one. Two weeks ago, several members of Congress depicted the presence of Muslim interns as some sort of grave internal threat. And now a columnist in America’s leading newspaper approvingly and breathlessly predicts that Christians will set aside their dogmatic differences in order to unite against Islam on the ground that it is an enemy of reason and cannot be accommodated by the West.

    Who exactly are the threatening, hostile and belligerent parties here? Who is actually at war with “the Western way of reason”?

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