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Joshua Sharf

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Local ADL No Better

Sometimes, when a national organization goes off the rails, there's hope that sanity will bubble up from the local chapters. If that's going to happen with the ADL, sadly, it's not going to start from Denver. The local ADL chapter has decided to adopt a local imam's absolutist line when it comes to Islam and terrorism, deciding that it's more important to try to isolate Tom Tancredo than to isolate terrorists:

What began as a search for common ground between Congressman Tom Tancredo and Colorado interfaith leaders has disintegrated, with the two sides unable to agree on a joint statement about religion, terrorism and retaliation.

For more than two months, the Colorado Republican and a group of Muslim, Christian and Jewish representatives tried to broker peace after Tancredo suggested it was acceptable to bomb Muslim holy sites in response to terrorist attacks.

Not only did the envisioned statement crumble over a few words but the religious leaders came away even more upset over Tancredo's comments linking Islam to the French riots and to a Sept. 11 memorial.

"To me, the problem is not where the statement broke down," said Joyce Rubin of the Denver office of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), part of the interfaith group.

"The problem is that Congressman Tancredo continues to characterize and blame a whole religion and a whole group of people based on the actions of a few extremists and hasn't apologized for it," Rubin said.

The interfaith group included Shiite Imam Ibrahim Kazerooni, Rima Sinclair of Muslims Intent on Learning and Activism, and Methodist minister Chuck Mowry of the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado.


Tancredo and the group agreed on several points, including:

a whole religion, race or group should not be condemned "for the actions of a few misguided individuals"; all religions deserve respect; violence against innocent people in the name of advancing religion is unacceptable; and the security of America is everyone's responsibility.

The rift opened over Tancredo's insistence on a section stating: "Places of worship which do not offer refuge or financial or political support to persons conducting or planning acts of violence deserve both respect and protection in any conflict that might erupt in combating terrorism."


"He was adamant bringing in concepts that are abstract and you could not define," Kazerooni said. "He is using these few words as a way of preventing an agreement."

First of all, look at who the ADL's in bed with here. Imam Kazerooni, who can barely speak the word "Israel" without descending in paroxysms of rage, has never publicly lent his name to any ADL effort to condemn Muslim or Christian anti-Semitism. A Google search for his name and the ADL, absent the Tancredo negotiations, turns up nothing relevant.

As for the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, a quick search of their policy statements reveals support for C&D, support for gay marriage, support for gay partners' names on birth certificates, support for gun control, and fans of Jim Wallis. None of this is surprising; it merely indicates that the Christian leg of this trio is typical of the deracinated, content-free religion-as-social-work that the mainstream churches have become. (Appropriately, the site's only section devoted to religion, something called the "Religious Foundations Project," currently has no postings.)

Undefinable and abstract concepts are the essence of diplomacy. They let both sides declare victory and save face, because each side knows that the other will be around for a while, and may come in useful some time in the future. The fact that Kazerooni is using these as a reason to walk away speaks volumes about what he's really after - Tancredo's admission to a thought crime.

In fact, though, it's not the abstraction and lack of definition that has Kazerooni worried. It's that banning political and financial support to terrorists actually adds definition to "responsibility" and "security," requiring something - anything - on his part. I don't for a minute think that Kazerooni is personally writing checks to Hamas. But it doesn't sound like he's very interested in catching those who are.

This is further bolstered by the shock and horror at connecting Islam to the riots in France. This, despite considerable | evidence of Islamist interference and opportunism surrounding them.

That the ADL is participating in this charade, designed to humiliate the Congressman rather than produce a productive statement, is shameful and a betrayal of its actual mission. Don't they have better things to do?


Josh -

Thanks for the link. Great post.

How do the people in Colorado "really" feel about the congressman?


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