Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Joan Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice

Hat tip JJ

Image result for mcdonalds
"Do you want some ketchup with that peace and justice?"

JJ Surbeck has sent me a description of the Joan Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice (San Diego) named after the widow of hamburger magnate, Ray Kroc. They are holding one of those interfaith events tomorrow night in San Diego (minus any Jewish representation) in order to decry "rising Islamophobia". 

The Joan Kroc “Institute for Peace and Justice”, famous in Jewish circles for hosting a string of academically unqualified speakers like Miko Peled and Nasser El Banna a number of years ago, had given the impression in the last few years that they had understood the error of their ways, especially since at the same time they were intent on soliciting local Jewish philanthropists (talk of hypocritical chutzpah).

Alas, bad habits die hard and eventually always make a comeback, it seems. Case in point: this coming Wednesday, February 17, from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm, the IPJ will host a panel to discuss "Deepening Inter-Religious Dialogue and Community Alliances”. Nothing like a vague and meaningless description to prevent red flags from jumping up. But red flags there are. Several, as a matter of fact. 

First of all, consider the sub-title: "Security-based approaches to countering violence and extremism have in turn created new threats, particularly against the Muslim community in America.” Right there, the good people at the IPJ should have realized that they were misled (and if they did realize it and persisted anyway, they are clearly accomplices). Anyone with even the slightest inkling of the real situation regarding threats against any particular community should be aware of what the real numbers are in this respect. And to find these numbers, one needs only go to the FBI web site and consider who is the most often attacked and threatened community in America. Surprise: it’s not the Muslims, it’s (still, and increasingly), the Jews. 

Specifically, see here: . 

Look under “Religious Bias”, and you find that 
  • 56.8 percent were victims of crimes motivated by their offenders’ anti-Jewish bias.
  • 16.1 percent were victims of anti-Islamic (Muslim) bias.
Four times as many attacks against Jews than against Muslims, and the IPJ feels it’s necessary to discuss threats to the Muslim community and not utter a word about threats to the Jewish community? In which universe do these people exactly live? 

Here is a good article about this issue: .

The question that begs indeed to be asked to the organizers of this “debate” is, in view of these official numbers, is why have they not invited Jewish participants to the discussion?

And this is where this whole exercise becomes interesting, pointing to its real intent, which is to feed the already tired claim of Islamophobia. Is this what the IPJ really intended to do under the banner of "Inter-Religious Dialogue”? Can they be that naive, not to mention far less flattering adjectives?

But as if that wasn’t bad enough, let’s now look at the participants. Note that no information was provided on any of them, and the panel itself does not appear on the IPJ web site, as if they were trying to hold it without too many people noticing how shameful an exercise it is. 

The first is the “Most Reverend Robert McElroy”, named by the Pope last year as the sixth bishop of the San Diego Diocese and its 1 million Catholics. He is known as "one of the most outspoken progressives”, reflecting the populist tendencies of the current pope. What does he have to say about alleged threats against the Muslim community? That will be interesting to find out.

The next one is far more troubling, and just by his presence throws the entire exercise into the category of a clear manipulative attempt to paint the Muslim community and Islam as victims when in fact we know all too well that they are the aggressors. Sayyid Syeed comes across actually as a rather sinister character that the IPJ should have shunned as soon as his name appeared. Why? Because he is the current head of ISNA’s interfaith relations. What is ISNA, you ask? That’s where it gets worrisome: together with CAIR, the pseudo civil rights organization that spends more time attacking anyone who utters any form of criticism of anything Islamic or Muslim, ISNA was one of the many groups named “unindicted co-conspirators” in the Holy Land Foundation case filed in Texas by the government in 2008, at the end of which seven individuals were indicted and sent to prison for having objectively supported the terrorist organization Hamas. All documents pertaining to the case can be found here on the IPT (Investigative Project on Terrorism) web site: . Look to the right in the “Case documents” box. 

More importantly, following that famous case, reporter and investigative journalist Rod Dreher wrote an in-depth article that established beyond a doubt that CAIR, ISNA and many others were arms of the Muslim Brotherhood. A well-respected author and editor of the Dallas Morning News, Dreher is no lightweight, and he did his research. Although dating back to 2008, this article remains entirely relevant today, especially when one learns that when Dreher asked the very same Sayyid Syeed invited on Wednesday by the IPJ why so many members of ISNA’s board had tied to Islamic fundamentalism, Syeed had nothing better to say than to attack Dreher as a bigot. .

Since I don’t know anything about the next speaker listed, Ami Carpenter, I won’t say anything about her.

The last panelist listed, on the other hand, is someone I had come to respect and appreciate when he was still the IPJ director a few years back. After spending a good hour discussing with him why the list of anti-Israel speakers that the IPJ had invited since its creation in 2002 probably was not the best way to endear itself to the Jewish community and its donors, he had in fact taken measures that stopped the flow, and for a number of years, the topic of the Middle East conflict altogether was carefully avoided. It is therefore very disappointing to find his name associated to this sinister caricature of pseudo interfaith dialogue.

The IPJ should immediately cancel this farce and start again, with two important changes: 1. disinvite immediately the ISNA representative, whose presence gives the IPJ’s stamp of approval to the participation in an academic setting of a Muslim Brotherhood well-known operative, and invite instead a true and tried Muslim moderate like Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, and 2. invite a respected and representative Jewish voice to discuss the merits of the imagined threats to the Muslim community when the FBI data prove instead that it is the Jewish community that is more at risk of harm (primarily at the hands of Muslims), assuming of course the IPJ will not make matters worse by inviting a representative of J Street or Jewish Voice for Peace, the eminently Jewish-in-name-only groups who are in fact anti Israel to the core.

Short of these changes, the IPJ will have done nothing more productive with this event than add another deep wound to its already tarred reputation.

Most Reverend Robert McElroy, President James T. Harris III, DEd and Dean Patricia Márquez, PhD, cordially invite you to attend a panel discussion on:

Deepening Inter-Religious Dialogue and Community Alliances

Violent extremism, terrorism, and transnational violent movements under a religious banner have led to growing public concern. Security-based approaches to countering violence and extremism have in turn created new threats, particularly against the Muslim community in America. Most Reverend Robert McElroy, Diocese of San Diego, Sayyid Syeed, PhD, Islamic Society of North America, will join Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies faculty members Ami Carpenter, PhD, and Fr. William Headley, CSSp, to share their respective efforts, knowledge and experience on inter-religious dialogue, community resilience and public engagement as effective approaches to community and peace building.
When: Wednesday, February 17, 2016 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM (PST) Add to Calendar
Where: University of San Diego - Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Theatre. 5998 Alcala Park. San Diego , CA 92110 - View Map

1 comment:

Siarlys Jenkins said...

I'll take Joan Kroc seriously on peace and justice when McDonald's is paying $15 an hour to its lowest paid employees.