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Obama “inspired” Muslim Prayer Rally

By Henk Kamsteeg

A massive first-of-its-kind national Muslim prayer gathering is planned for September 25, 2009, on the west front of the Capitol building in Washington D.C. More than 50,000 people are expected to attend the “Our Day Has Come” event from mosques all across America. Organizers said Obama’s inauguration speech in January and his June message from Cairo gave them the idea for this prayer rally on Capitol Hill.

One of the two Egyptian men who will lead the thousands of Muslims in prayer is Sheik Ahmed Dewidar, the Imam of the Islamic Center in New York, and took a masters degree in Shariah. He is apparently known for his moderation and accessible approach to Islam, and has been called “The face of the next generation of Muslims in America.” Let’s take note of just a few statements from Sheik Dewidar:

“We must accept that there is one God. Just telling someone that the God they pray to is what we call Allah in Arabic is enough to start with because, surprisingly, some people think that Allah refers to a Middle Eastern god. There are a lot of similarities between religions, and this is the most important one.”

Regarding American skepticism toward Islam following the September 11, 2001, tragedy, Dewidar said, "The media - most of which is under Zionist control - has helped to spread this perception." Later in the interview he said that "the Jews" control the press. When asked, "What is the extent of the Muslim community's influence on American society?" He answered, "The Zionist community numbers only 3 million, but they control the government, the politics, the economy, and the media in the U.S."

Dewidar attended the annual Conference of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in Egypt, where he gave a series of interviews. In an interview aired on MBC TV on June 9, he discussed the spread of Islam in America. He referred to sermons he had heard in 1995 that stated, "We are going to the White House so that Islam will be victorious, Allah willing, and the White House will become Muslim House." (www.memritv.org)

While speaking to the Web site of the Muslim Brotherhood, Dewidar denounced President Bush's policy in the Middle East, claiming it was dictated by Natan Sharansky: "This Jew has despicable goals, and we see their effects today in America's actions in the region, imposing its opinion and its outlook on democracy, education, and political involvement on our countries.”

Incidentally, a new organization dedicated to fighting what it sees as an encroaching Islamic takeover of the U.S. is also set to launch in September with a gathering in Washington, D.C., and on the same day as the massive Muslim prayer gathering.

The Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) group has declared its mission to be educating Americans "about the threat that Islamic doctrine and those who support it present to our freedoms, and the future of our democracy and country." The organizers call themselves "scholar warriors/ideological warriors in the cause of American freedom and Constitutional government," as well as in "the defense of... our society of liberty, knowledge, and human decency."

SIOA believes that political Islam is opposed to American values of "freedom, tolerance, or human rights." They seek to raise the issue of what they call "brutal, misogynist" Islamic law and jihad in America, because "tolerance for ideologies that are opposed to our principles of individual freedoms and our Constitution is indefensible," the group declares in its online manifesto. A recently released film, The Third Jihad, warns that radical Islam is working on a non-violent, cultural takeover of the United States.

SIOA sees the D.C. Muslim prayer gathering event as a "big-budget... soft jihad," fought through "marketing and cultural/ideological warfare." D.L. Adams of SIOA wrote of the planned Muslim prayer gathering, "It is impossible to see this event as anything but what it is, taqiyya (sacred deception), jihad (endless universal war against the unbelievers), and dawa (conversion)."

"If ever we needed to be crying out for mercy for America, it is now. We must stand strong and speak Truth wherever we are and at every given opportunity. ... May there be multitudes come in to the kingdom of God while there is yet time."

Speakers at the SIOA launch are slated to include expatriate Egyptian activist Nonie Darwish, Islam scholar and author Robert Spencer, journalist Pamela Geller, and Christine Brim, Senior Vice President for Policy and Program Management at the Center for Security Policy.

Intercessors for America (IFA), which is based in the Washington, D.C. area included a notice about the Muslim prayer gathering in a recent newsletter. IFA President Emeritus Gary Bergel said Muslim have been holding Jummah prayers on Fridays in the Capitol building for several years now, and he understands why Christians would be concerned that those prayers are being made more public.
But he urged supporters to respond to event such as this not "in a spirit of agitated civil religion" but with a heart of compassion for their Muslim neighbors.
"An appropriate response would be to go in our prayer closet and fall on our face realizing our own need for mercy, grace, forgiveness and our own redemption and see how the Lord would direct each one of us to take up this matter in prayer to pray compassionately for our Muslim neighbors."
"If we live the gospel and demonstrate the love of Jesus, then we can defend the truth," he added. "Then we'll get a better hearing, and we'll get a better response. We won't just trigger more angry reactions."