Archive for priest

Imam, Priest, Rabbi Work Together to Educate in Q-C

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2012 by loonwatch

Imam, priest, rabbi work together to educate in Q-C

Being in a place such as the Quad-Cities, where most residents tend to be tolerant and some are interested in the world’s major religions, makes it possible to host joint classes on Islam, Judaism and Christianity in a special three-week series, a local religious leader said.

“I feel we have a unique situation here, among the United States,” the Rev. Mike Schaab from St. Pius X Catholic Church in Rock Island said. “People of different faiths in other parts of the country and the world would be loath to walk down the street with one another.”

The Inter-religious Dialogue sessions begin Thursday and will be led by Schaab, Imam Saad Baig from the Islamic Center of the Quad-Cities in Moline and Rabbi Tamar Grimm of the Tri-City Jewish Center in Rock Island.

“Seeing what is beautiful about another faith tradition is a life skill,” said Grimm, who also appreciates the fact that the Quad-City community is a place where such lessons can be held openly and celebrated.

This area is a very good location for interfaith dialogue, Baig agreed.

“We are blessed to have people from every walk of life here in the Quad-Cities,” he said. “We try to inform those individuals who come and who see value and potential in this kind of program.”

A rarity at first

Such cooperation between faiths was a novelty when it began many years ago. But it has evolved over time, Schaab said, including special commemorations of 9/11, and the recent 10th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks, an event that attracted an overflow crowd to Augustana College in Rock Island.

The interfaith sessions are designed with a tone free from politics.

“Our goal is to educate, to give people information,” Grimm said. For example, the first session will be on the separate calendars, holy days and celebrations of the three faiths. It will take place at the Islamic Center.

Grimm intends to talk about the cycle of the year in Judaism and how it begins in the autumn. She also will speak about symbolism in the Jewish holidays. Catholics are on the Gregorian calendar, Schaab said, while many Muslims follow a lunar calendar.

A tour that will wrap up the first event at the Islamic Center will include time to witness Muslims in prayer, Baig said. Visitors will see inside the building, its special setting, and then be invited to watch as evening prayers are conducted.

The classes should be appealing, Schaab said. During the Feb. 16 session, visitors will see an actual Torah scroll at the Tri-City Jewish Center, and they will be able to view a copy of the Koran, the Muslim holy book.

“Looking at sacred scriptures will be very interesting to many Christians,” Schaab predicted.

“Each one offers something unique,” Grimm said. “But at the same time, it amazes me how much we share, in every one of our traditions.”

Schaab, the Catholic priest, believes that knowledge gained from the Inter-religious Dialogues deepens faith. “We want to be supportive, appreciative and sensitive to one another,” he added.

Baig, a Muslim imam, said such education teaches respect for all faiths. There also is value in seeing leaders of these faiths together on one stage, he pointed out. Baig cited a phrase that he believes is central to the outreach effort: “The more you sweat in making peace, the less you will bleed in war.”

Grimm, who took over her part in the forum from her predecessor, Rabbi Michael Samuel, hopes to find continuing acceptance for the lessons.

“People are curious, people want to know and people want to understand,” she said.

Hate Crime Goes Unpunished

Posted in Loon Flashback with tags , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2010 by loonwatch
Greek Orthodox priest rushed to hospital; found guilty of "looking ArabGreek Orthodox priest rushed to hospital; found guilty of looking Arab

We reported this in November of last year; Jason D. Bruce, a Marine reservist, physically assaulted a Greek Orthodox priest, mistaking him for an Arab (and thus a terrorist, since we all know that Arab = terrorist).  Bruce hit the Muslim-looking man with a tire iron, chasing him for three blocks.  The Tampa Bay Times had  reported:

Tampa police: Marine reservist attacked Greek priest he mistook for terrorist

By Alexandra Zayas and Demorris A. Lee, Times Staff Writers
In Print: Wednesday, November 11, 2009

TAMPA — Marine reservist Jasen Bruce was getting clothes out of the trunk of his car Monday evening when a bearded man in a robe approached him.

That man, a Greek Orthodox priest named Father Alexios Marakis, speaks little English and was lost, police said. He wanted directions.

What the priest got instead, police say, was a tire iron to the head. Then he was chased for three blocks and pinned to the ground — as the Marine kept a 911 operator on the phone, saying he had captured a terrorist.

Can you imagine what would have happened if Bruce had done the same thing to a Jewish or black person?  The book would have been thrown at him.  Well, this was just a hate crime against a raghead. (Ok fine, he wasn’t really a raghead…but the point is that Bruce thought he was a raghead.)

Anyways, here’s an unfortunate update: James D. Bruce is getting off scot-free;  the Tampa Bay Times recently wrote:

Charges dropped against Marine reservist accused of attacking priest in Tampa
By Colleen JenkinsKameel Stanley and Alexandra Zayas, Times Staff Writers
In Print: Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bruce was arrested on a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. The case gained national attention and drew strong reactions from the public, most of it negative toward Bruce.

On Tuesday, the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office announced it will not pursue any criminal charges against him.

Maybe now Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller can honor James D. Bruce like they do other hate-mongers.

 

Peter Mullen: Church of England Priest Persists with anti-Muslim Bigotry

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Pastors with tags , , , , , , on January 8, 2010 by loonwatch
Peter MullenPeter Mullen

Rev. Mullen continues the anti-Muslim Islamophobia. (via Islamophobia-Watch)

C of E Priest, Peter Mullen continues to spout anti-Muslim bigotry

Revd. Peter Mullen (pictured), Rector of St Michael’s, Cornhill, and St Sepulchre-without-Newgate church in the City of London, offers a further sampling of his bigoted views on Muslims in a recent column in the Northern Echo.

Mullen, commenting on the attempted Detroit airplane bombing, writes:

‘…we are not fighting the murderous Islamic fundamentalists where they are at their strongest – and that is in Britain. We have not followed up the promises we made after the July 2005 London tube bombings.

‘For instance, the authorities still tolerate the informal operation of sharia law in Muslim areas. We support the Muslim Council of Great Britain which gives aid and comfort to Islamic extremism. The Government has refused to outlaw the Hizb ut-Tahrir organisation which preaches jihad. We have not prosecuted the fanatics in mosques and madrassas who advocate terrorism.

‘Our junk universities have allowed freedom of speech to the promoters of terrorism and provided sanctuary for Islamist students who shout the hate-filled slogans of al Qaida.’

Does the good Reverend not realize that voluntary Shari’ah councils in the UK are not an ‘informal operation’ but are mandated by the Arbitration Act, as are orthodox Jewish Beth Din courts?

And on what grounds does Mullen defend his assertion that ‘We support the Muslim Council of Great Britain which gives aid and comfort to Islamic extremism’?

He doesn’t substantiate the claim with any evidence, largely because nothing from the MCB would lead one to believe that it ‘gives aid and comfort to Islamic extremism’.

And had Mullen read the TaxPayers Alliances’ extensive study on the distribution of Prevent funds, or read Hansard for ministerial statements on allocation of various funds to Muslim organisations, he’d have known that the MCB is not financially supported by any body other than itself.

Mullen continues:

‘Effectually, our intelligence services are fighting this war with one hand tied behind their back. What is the use of their identifying extremist agitators and terrorists in the making if legislators do not allow them to take vigorous action against these enemies?’

What ‘vigorous action’ is Mullen proposing that legislators stand in the way of? Banning HT even though the Justice Secretary has acknowledged that there are no legal grounds for doing so? Torture, detention without trial, or the imposition of control orders? Or rendition perhaps?

‘All this official talk of young Muslims being “radicalised” – as if taking up terrorism were something passive – is particularly irritating.

‘As if these incipient mass-murderers were victims. They are not victims, but perpetrators of evil acts committed according to the dictates of their own perverted ideology.

‘They should be weeded out by all rational means; imprisonment or deportation. The so called educational institutions operating as schools for terrorism should be closed down’, he says.

It’s not the first time Mullen has courted controversy. ENGAGE had cause to write to the Bishop of London for comments Mullen made last year about Muslims on Hajj, to which we, sadly, got no reply. He wrote:

“They usually manage to stampede and slaughter quite a few hundred of their coreligionists. Just imagine for a moment what a field day the BBC and the leftwing press in England would have if anything even remotely as bad as that happened in Vatican Square at Christmas or Easter.”

In a different blog on Muslim prayer, Mullen wrote:

“[Muslims] certainly lend themselves to ridicule: sticking their arses in the air five times a day. How about a few little choruses, ‘Randy Muslims when they die/Find 70 virgins in the sky’?”

Last year he was forced to apologise for making derogatory, offensive comments about gays on one of his blogs yet, somehow, he managed to keep his column at the Northern Echo.

You can write to the editor of the Northern Echo, Peter Barron, (email: peter.barron[at]nne.co.uk) and ask why, despite these persistent displays of despicable bigotry and anti-Muslim sentiment, the Revd. Mullen continues to be offered a column in the paper to spout his venom?

Judith Townend on Journalism.co.uk remarks‘if you now search priest + sodomy, on Google most the results return articles about Peter Mullen. Ironic, that.’

Perhaps searches for ‘priest + bigot’ will return the same results.

 

Backlash against Muslims on Schedule; Assault on Moozlem-looking Priest

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2009 by loonwatch

Backlash Against Moozlem on Schedule

Greek Orthodox priest guilty of "looking Arabic"
Greek Orthodox priest guilty of “looking Arabic”

The Islamophobes have been praying to cash in on the Ft. Hood Shootings, hoping that it will result in a backlash against Muslims.  It seems this backlash is right on schedule: Jason D. Bruce, a Marine reservist, physically assaulted a Greek Orthodox priest, mistaking him for an Arab (and thus a terrorist, since we all know that Arab = terrorist); the Tampa Bay Times reports:

Tampa police: Marine reservist attacked Greek priest he mistook for terrorist

By Alexandra Zayas and Demorris A. Lee, Times Staff Writers
In Print: Wednesday, November 11, 2009

TAMPA — Marine reservist Jasen Bruce was getting clothes out of the trunk of his car Monday evening when a bearded man in a robe approached him.

That man, a Greek Orthodox priest named Father Alexios Marakis, speaks little English and was lost, police said. He wanted directions.

What the priest got instead, police say, was a tire iron to the head. Then he was chased for three blocks and pinned to the ground — as the Marine kept a 911 operator on the phone, saying he had captured a terrorist.

The “Arabic [sic] looking” victim ended up in the hospital, and Jason D. Bruce “pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery.”  When he learned that the priest was a not an Arab infidel but a God-fearing “Greek Orthodox priest,” Bruce “teared up.” Oopsie doopsie.

Hat tip: ThinkProgress.org