their patent differences Thursday night to stage a major demonstration in
midtown Manhattan protesting a dinner banquet attended by Iranian President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that was hosted by various organizations, including Quaker
and Mennonite groups.
Ahmadinejad, especially dinner hosts who called themselves Christians.
Christian Embassy Jersualem (ICEJ), said Christians playing host and
“shamelessly” honoring Ahmadinejad will “forever be associated with the
appeasement of wickedness.”
create an atmosphere of tolerance and respect for our differences,” he said, “it
is outrageous that the main guest at this dinner is someone who so thoroughly
mocks and loathes these valued ideals.”
invited to the demonstration “all human rights activists and religious
organizations and leaders of all backgrounds, faiths, and political affiliation
who find the threats to innocent peoples an affront to morality and Western
slowing New York’s rush-hour traffic, to clearly articulate their opposition to
Iran’s stated plans for destroying Israel, proliferating nuclear weapons, and
brutally violating Iranians’ human rights.
told Charisma Friday that he was impressed by how well Christians were
Islamic Forum for Democracy, Jewish Action Alliance, Log Cabin Republicans of
New York City, Open Doors USA, Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and
Religious Liberty Commission and Women’s Freedom Movement of Pakistan.
natural affinity for one another, many did not. “It’s always tricky when you
have so many different organizations with a lot of different agendas,” Hines
said. “But we were all to put aside our differences. The main focus [of the
rally] was very clearly that this man is a threat to the world.”
Us? The Significance of Religious Contributions to Peace.” It was sponsored by
the Quaker-based American Friends Service Committee, the Mennonite Central
Committee, the Quaker United Nations Office, Religions for Peace and the World
Council of Churches.
“conversation” about the role of religion in the world and how to better achieve
world peace. Muslim paticipants were encouraged to use the evening to break
their Ramadan fast. “It is our hope,” they stated, “[that] this communal meal
and exchange of views will enable us to explore faith perspectives for dealing
with global issues…while deepening mutual understanding.”
American Muslim cleric known for long supporting the Iranian regime also
attended, according to The Jerusalem Post. The Anti-Defamation League
describes the ideologies of Imam Abdul Alim Musa as “radical and
legitimacy to one of the world’s greatest violators of human and religious
rights,” stated organizers of Thursday’s protest in Manhattan, in a statement on
their Web site, 925rally.org.
Mullahs back home in Iran, to our ally Israel, and to the American media and
public, that we protest anyone meeting with him, much less defacto honoring him,
and giving legitimacy to his nuclear ambitions and his dire threats against the
U.S., Israel and the rest of the world.”
Fakhravar, who was tortured in Iran but later escaped to the
West, addressed the crowd Thursday in Persian. “[Fakhravar] really condemned the
West’s kowtowing to an Iranian regime that tortures and abuses so many people,”
Hines said. “He made it very clear that the best thing the [U.S.] administration
can do is refuse to talk to the Iranian regime.”
Brockmann, president of the General Assembly of the United Nations, and Kjell
Bondevik, president of the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights.
his week in New York, Hines believes what some have called Israel’s best
friends—Christians—ably demonstrated their strong support and solidarity for the
tiny Jewish nation. “We really feel [Christians] made a stand,” he said. “It’s
not necessarily your job to project your own voice farther than you can project
it. You just have to speak up and make a stand.”