Efforts at interfaith dialog are usually not a bad thing– and sometimes they are genuinely useful. But in at least a few instances, they can be downright sinister.
The Anti-Defamation League reports on an “International Islamic Conference” earlier this month in Baltimore organized by Jamaat al-Muslimeen (JAM), “a small Muslim organization that promotes Holocaust denial and anti-Jewish conspiracy theories.”
JAM leader Dr. Kaukab Siddique introduced the speakers throughout the conference, which was held in a hotel and attracted about 30 attendees. Siddique, an associate professor in the English department at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, told the audience, “We’re under the grip of a Jewish Zionist power structure in this country” and referred to the “Zionist-controlled media.”
What’s notable about this conference (aside from the fact that with only a handful of attendees, it didn’t live up to its name) was the appearance of several non-Muslim participants from the antisemitic far right and at least one from the far left.
Among the speakers from the far-right were Mark Glenn, a contributor to the anti-Semitic conspiracy-oriented newspaper American Free Press; Charles Carlson, director of We Hold These Truths, an Arizona-based anti-Semitic group; and Mark Weber, director of the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), a Holocaust denial organization.
Weber told the audience that not only was the Iraq war the result of “Jewish cabal,” but that the same “Jewish cabal” is currently pushing for war with Iran. While he complimented John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt’s book, “The Israel Lobby,” he was critical of their failure to adequately address the “insidious” effect of Jewish influence on the U.S. Weber also said that Jews and Zionists have a grip on American media, as well as political and cultural life.
Mark Glenn’s speech was titled “Islamic Extremism may save America.” He suggested that the West and Islam would have been “just fine if it wasn’t for this small number of people in the Middle East, in a tiny country, who can’t seem to be happy unless they make the rest of the world miserable.”
Hesham Tillawi, a Palestinian-American who hosts a weekly cable access and Internet television show out of Lafayette, Louisiana, which regularly features white supremacists, echoed some of the statements made by other speakers. In addition to saying that Zionists control all of the media, Tillawi said he doesn’t believe Osama Bin Laden was responsible for the September 11 terrorist attacks. He also blamed “Jewish cable operators” for taking his original show off the air.
Notably, Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General and leader of the far-left International Action Center, also spoke at the conference. Clark described the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as being similar to Nazi crimes against her neighbors during WWII.
Mark Glenn and Hesham Tillawi are co-founders of the Crescent and Cross Solidarity Movement, which the ADL calls “an anti-Semitic Muslim-Christian interfaith group.” If you can stand it, here’s their website.