Wednesday, February 3, 2016

To Nurture Non-Harming - President Obama's call for "push back" against violent Islamists - and suggestions how to make it happen

"President Obama on Wednesday will visit a U.S. mosque for the first time in his presidency. According to the White House, during this visit he will “celebrate the contributions Muslim Americans make to our nation and reaffirm the importance of religious freedom to our way of life.” Over the past two years, in the president’s efforts to counter violent extremism, he has emphasized the responsibility of Muslim “scholars and clerics” to help ensure that mosques are not used as a platform to preach Islamist extremism.

Such extremism isn’t limited to out-of-the-way mosques where radical clerics operate in the shadows. It is occurring in mainstream and leading mosques world-wide, including at one of the most important religious institutions in Islam, the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

Consider a Jan. 16 sermon at Al Aqsa by Sheikh Abu Taqi Al-Din Al-Dari, a Palestinian cleric who called for jihad against the West and Europe, and for the burgeoning Islamic State to “conquer Rome, Washington and Paris.”

Despite Al Aqsa’s importance to Islam—it is considered the religion’s holiest site outside Saudi Arabia—few Westerners are aware of the content of the sermons, lectures and lessons offered there. Many of these sermons are posted on the mosque’s two official YouTube channels and have been translated from the Arabic by my organization, the Middle East Media Research Institute.

What we have found at Al Aqsa is a steady stream of calls for jihad and martyrdom, venomous attacks on Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims, and praise for al Qaeda, Islamic State, or ISIS, and other jihadist groups...

...A year ago in Washington, D.C., at the opening of the Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, President Obama urged Muslims to “push back” against extremism in mosques. He will have an opportunity to restate that message on Wednesday in Baltimore. Acknowledging the Islamist threat, and those who support it, must be part of any realistic attempt at countering violent extremism. "

For the rest of this article see:

Another pertinent article recently sent to me: