FEATURED: Part 1 Jewish Rabbis To Join Global Muslim Brotherhood At Morocco Conference On Religious Minorities; What Are They Thinking?

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Israeli media is reporting on what is described as “a historic conference in Morocco on safeguarding the rights of religious minorities in Muslim countries.” According to the Jerusalem Post report, the conference will be attended by “top rabbis” as well as by individuals and organizations known to be part of the Global Muslim Brotherhood:

January 25, 2016 Top rabbis will attend a historic conference in Morocco on safeguarding the rights of religious minorities in Muslim countries, The Jerusalem Post learned Thursday.

Organizers of the January 25-27 conference in Marrakesh include the government of Morocco and the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, which hope to formulate a new declaration rooted in the Prophet Muhammad’s Medina Charter, which articulates how Islamic law calls for the protection of religious minorities.

Prominent Muslims scholars, jurists, religious leaders and government officials will also attend.

Only good governance can protect minority communities, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, co-founder of Zaytuna College in California and vice president of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, said in a conference call.

He said the Jewish community in Morocco and those that have emigrated have acknowledged the protection the government gave them.

He added that the United Arab Emirates is also involved in the conference.

Asked by the Post which Jewish leaders plan on attending, organizers on the call named Rabbi David Rosen, former chief rabbi of Ireland, who is the international director of interreligious affairs of the American Jewish Committee and director of AJC’s Heilbrunn Institute for International Interreligious Affairs.

Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, the leader of the conference, invited rabbis from around the world, as well as Christian and other religious leaders.

A Conservative rabbi from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America is also to attend.

Also on the call were Dr. Mohamed Elsanousi, Director of the Secretariat of The Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers in Washington, who previously served as director of community outreach for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and Imam Mohamed Magid, executive director of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, who is also involved in ISNA’s activities

Magid, a Sudan native, is one of the American Muslim leaders who has consulted with President Barack Obama.”

Read the rest here

It is curious indeed for “top rabbis” to be accepting an invitation from Abdallah Bin Bayyah, a Mauritanian religious scholar known to have been long resident in Saudi Arabia, In June 2013, the GMBDW posted a a Featured Story titled “The White House’s New Best Friends: The Fantastical Antisemitic World Of Abdallah Bin Bayyah” following Bin Bayyah’s historic meeting held in the White House with Obama Administration aides and national security officials. That post detailed Bin Bayyah’s membership in the Saudi Islamic Fiqh Council (IFC),  the theological body of the Saudi Muslim World League (MWL), which was established in 1962 as a means for the propagation of Saudi “Wahabbi” Islam. The IFC has issued longstanding resolutions in 1978, still posted on the IFC website, and later in 1999 that expound highly virulent anti-Semitic themes. These include accusations that accuse the Jews of using Freemasonry and secularism to plot the destruction of Islam and Muslims (for a detailed analysis of these resolutions, see the original post.) The MWL has its own long history of anti-Semitism.

As noted, Abdallah Bin Bayyah is also still a member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), the theological body of the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe represented by the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE). In 2004 the editor of the GMBDW was present during a meeting of the ECFR where as a Wall Street Journal reporter described:

… a Council member cited “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” a notorious anti-Semitic forgery written in czarist Russia, in a position paper on how Muslim families are under threat in Europe. “The Protocols, the speaker said, was evidence of a Jewish plot to undermine Muslim moral values through sexual permissiveness.”

The ECFR has long been headed by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, himself so anti-Semitic that he once famously called Hitler a divine punishment for the “misdeeds of the Jews.” Abdallah Bin Bayyah was a long time member of Qaradawi’s International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) until his 2013 resignation which some have suggested is a sign of his moderation, although be continues to serve on Qaradawi’s ECFR. An examination of  a 2012 interview with the Sheikh and reported on his website (though interestingly now deleted) is not encouraging. In the interview, Bin Bayyah says that dialog between Muslims and Jews in the USA and Europe is allowed, adding that it might cause “trouble” for Muslims if they avoid it:

A single ruling on the dialogue with Jews cannot be generalized. The dialogue conducted between the Muslim and Jewish communities across Europe and USA is natural, especially if they are citizens of the same state. For the sake of coexistence, citizenship and a common interest in stabilizing their country through peace, they resort to dialogue amongst themselves. Moreover, if the Muslim communities avoid such a dialogue, this may cause them trouble.

However, Bin Bayyah goes on to suggest that Muslims have to “distinguish between dialogue with the Jews transgressing on our land and holy places, and the Jews opposing this occupation”:

The Muslims have to distinguish between dialogue with the Jews transgressing on our land and holy places, and the Jews opposing this occupation. That is, there is a small group of Jews in the world who have a humanistic approach. This group stands strongly against the Israeli occupation and the Zionist project in the region. Hence, there is no harm in opening a channel of constructive dialogue with them to the interest of the Muslims.

The group of “humanistic” Jews referred to by Bin Bayyah is most assuredly the Neturei Karta, a small group of “anti-Zionist” rabbis close to Qaradawi and who seek the destruction of Israel. According to a Qatari newspaper report:

Speaking at a meeting with the Doha-based Muslim scholar Sheikh Yousuf al-Qaradawi, rabbis Ahron Cohen and Yisroel Dovid Weiss, who are activists at the Neturei Karta, a group known for its opposition to the establishment of Israel, said that the creation of Israel “was a heresy made up by the Zionists to undermine the true Jewish life”. “Theodor Herzel and his friends were just heretics. They are the worst enemy for the true Jews. According to the Torah, Jews are forbidden to have a state. All Jews should refuse the existence of the so-called state of Israel which tarnished our image. We will not lose hope and dream of dismantling the state of Israel,” said Weiss who called on Qaradawi at his house in Doha.

Cohen and Weiss went on to blame Zionism for bloodshed in the region calling it “the root of all the evil in the region since the establishment of Israel.” Introducing themselves as Jews but not Zionists” , they said that Zionists should not be “mistaken for Jews.” Qaradawi has appeared with the Naturei Karta rabbis in public before and calls them “a big segment of Jews opposing the Zionist entity.” However, there appears to be no evidence that the group, descended from Hungarian Jews that settled in Jerusalem’s Old City in the early nineteenth century, has any substantial membership.

As we wrote at the time of Abdallah Bin Bayyah’s White house meeting:

Given Sheikh Bin Bayyah’s membership in the Islamic Fiqh Council which views Jews as part of a hallucinatory conspiracy to destroy Islam and Muslims, his role at the European Council for Fatwa and Research which believes the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to be an authentic reference document, and his enthusiasm for a cult of rabbis that seek the destruction of Israel, the GMBDW wonders what President Obama’s aid could have possibly meant by his “efforts to bring more understanding amongst humanity” unless Jews are to be somehow excluded from the humanity’s ranks.

In the same vein, the GMBDW wonders what Rabbi David Rosen, an Israeli with dual Irish citizenship who is associated with the American Jewish Committee, could possibly be thinking in attending this conference although he has a history of poor decision making in the regard including:

  • Attendance at a 2008 conference sponsored by the Muslim World League (MWL) that ended “with a dispute about Zionism.”
  • Serving on the advisory council of former UK Prime Minister’s Tony Blair Faith Foundation along with prominent individuals tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood.
  • Association with the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue that launched a Jewish-Muslim Leadership Council in conjunction with elements of the Global Muslim Brotherhood including German Muslim Brotherhood leader Ibrahim El-Zayat,

In Part 2 of this series, the GMBDW will examine the wisdom of Jewish leaders associating with the US-based Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and with Hamza Yusuf. That post will also include discussion of Abdallah Bin Bayyah’s relationship with a Saudi Islamist who heads a an umbrella group that includes members many of which are associated with the Global Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas fundraising, or support for Al Qaeda.

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