Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A confab and a creepo

In a post at JihadWatch this morning, Robert Spencer describes an International Islamophobia Conference to be held Dec. 8-9 at the Grand Cevahir Hotel in Instanbul, Turkey. The intent of this confab is most likely to gear up for the second UN “Conference on Racism and Xenophobia,” to be held in 2009. At the first “Racism and Xenophobia” conference, held in Durban, South Africa the week before the 9/11 atrocity, Palestinian zealots ran amuck, raging and seething and doing their utmost to turn the event into a condemnation of Israel. Muslim countries and organizations have made clear their intention to force the next such conference to focus on “Islamophobia,” with an eye toward eventually criminalizing criticism, analysis, or mockery of the menacing aspects of Islam as “hate speech.”

Among the attendees to the Istanbul meeting will be such apologists for Islam as Karen Armstrong and John Esposito – and a fellow named William Baker, whom the Turkish text lists as “Chairman of Christians and Muslims for Peace.”

According to an article in the Feb. 14, 2002 issue of Orange County Weekly, Baker has achieved a certain notoriety for anti-Jewish statements and writings, including his 1982 book “Theft of a Nation,” which opines that in the interest of “true justice and real conciliation,” all Jews “who entered Palestine during the British Mandate from 1917 to 1948 and after the establishment of the state of Israel should return to the various countries of their origin” and that the “Zionist state of Israel ... should be dismantled and eventually eliminated.”

(It is noteworthy that the pastor on whose ties to Baker this article reports, Rev. Robert Schuller, founder of the Garden Grove, Calif. megachurch Crystal Cathedral and the Hour of Power religious television program, is a signatory to the “Christian Response to ‘A Common Word Between Us and You,’” an obsequious answer to a recent open letter from Muslim clerics that, citing Qur’an 3:64, essentially calls Christians to Islam. According to the aforementioned Orange County Weekly story, Baker had “introduced Schuller and his family to important Islamic leaders, such as the Grand Mufti of Damascus.” Schuller did, to his credit, cut his church's ties with Baker soon after the story appeared.)

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