Maher Hathout, according to Steve Emerson, “has called Israel a nation of butchers and accused the United States of state terrorism; he has justified the actions of Hizbollah and defended terrorist financiers.” See also here. According to Discover the Networks, Hathout “has close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and espouses the radical brand of Islam known as Wahhabism.”
But the bemused Leftist Episcopalians at this Sand-In-The-Eyes Fest neither knew nor cared about any of that.
“‘Islam in a nutshell’ explained at Episcopal church: A leading voice for Muslims in Southern California addresses friendly audience in Pasadena concerned about Muslim extremism and American hostility toward Islam,” by Mitchell Landsberg in the Los Angeles Times, October 31 (thanks to all who sent this in):
The Rev. J. Edwin Bacon, rector of All Saints Church in Pasadena, had just returned from vacation when he heard about a Florida pastor who was threatening to burn copies of the Koran, Islam’s holy book.
“I was disgusted,” said Bacon, whose Episcopal church is known for its progressive stance on many issues, interfaith relations among them. He said he thought: “Rather than burning Korans, we should be studying them.”
The Koran burning never took place. But from Bacon’s reaction was born “Islam 101,” a speaker series that ended Saturday with a lecture by Dr. Maher Hathout, senior advisor to the Muslim Public Affairs Council and a leading voice of Muslims in Southern California.
About 75 people went to the church to hear Hathout give a brief overview of “Islam in a nutshell,” then answer questions from a friendly audience that seemed concerned about both Muslim extremism and American hostility toward Islam.
Hathout told the audience that as the “new kid on the block” among the three Abrahamic faiths, which include Judaism and Christianity, Islam has had two options: “to be accepted by other religions or to fight with them.”
He continued: “We are now discovering … that we can be different without fighting, or it will be a miserable life. And it is a miserable life right now, if you ask me.”
Hathout expressed horror at the discovery of explosives bound from Yemen to the United States, part of a suspected Al Qaeda terrorist plot. He said terrorism violates Islamic theology and could ultimately destroy Islam. By using it “to defend Islam, you sacrifice Islam,” he said.
At the same time, Hathout complained about the use of the term “Muslim terrorist.” No one ever says a “Christian terrorist” bombed an abortion clinic, he said, adding, “They will not give the religious adjective to that person.”
That is, of course, because there is no group of armed terrorists committing acts of violence and justifying them by reference to Christian texts and teachings, while there are dozens of armed terrorist groups worldwide committing acts of violence and justifying them by reference to Islamic texts and teachings.
And he said he is angered by people who say that moderate Muslims have been too reluctant to denounce extremism.
“If I shout and you don’t hear me, it means you are deaf,” he said. “It doesn’t mean I didn’t shout.”…
Oh, I hear you loud and clear, Hathout.