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Arabic in U.S. Public Schools…

May 24, 2012

Many may read the byline of this article and think nothing of it.  I am not one of those people.  I am always interested in the genesis of such seemingly unique programs.  So, I thought I would do some digging.  I like to follow the money.  First, though, a quote from the article gives some insight into the true intention:

Mohamed Mamdouh, who teaches the pilot program, said, “Soon, Arabic will be a global language like French and Spanish. These kids are like sponges. It’s amazing to see their progress.’’

Read more: NY Post Article
Historically, languages have risen to global use and prominence due to cultural influence or, more so, by economic or trade dominance.  In the 80’s, many international business students were taking Japanese.  Now, I daresay, many are taking Chinese.  In other industries, Spanish is an asset either due to markets or labor pools.  With no significant market dominance, how will Arabic become a global language?  Cultural invasion influence.
Okay, back to the driving force behind this program.  The Global Language Project, who developed the program, had received a grant from the Qatar Foundation International (www.qfi.org) for just that end.  Okay, my next question was, “who is the Qatar Foundation International?”  QFI is the U.S. face of the Qatar Foundation, chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, with the goal of “connecting cultures and advancing global citizenship through education.”
Sounds like it’s full of sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns, right?  Hmmm…Next step in my mind is to look at who people associate with so, I did a little searching over at the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report (www.globalmbreport.org) and found a few interesting things.  The QF has rubbed elbows with MB apologists and activists:
The Qatar Foundation has identified Georgetown academic John Esposito among the list of speakers at recent the launch for the new Islamic center in Qatar to be headed by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Tariq Ramadan.
Here’s a little more on Mssrs. Esposito and Ramadan:

Dr. Esposito, a former U.S. State Department advisor,  has espoused views consistent with Brotherhood doctrine and during the 1990′s was known for his claims that Islamic fundamentalism was, in fact, democratic and posed no threat to the U.S. Dr. Esposito has at least a dozen past or present affiliations with global Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas organizations including having served on the advisory board of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in the U.K. headed by Azzam Tamimi, a leader in the U.K. Muslim Brotherhood and often described as a Hamas spokesman. Dr. Esposito has also served with global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi on the Steering Committee of the Circle of Tradition and Progress and enjoyed a close relationship with the United Association For Studies and Research (USAR), part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee and part of the Hamas support infrastructure. In 2005, Saudi prince Alaweed bin Talal, a financial supporter of the global Muslim Brotherhood, donated $20 million to the Center for Muslim Christian Understanding at Georgetown, headed by Dr. Esposito.

An earlier post reported on the formation of the Research Center for Islamic Legislation and   Ethics (CLIE) which appears to be a highly significant coming together of Global Muslim Brotherhood leaders Tariq Ramadan and Youssef Qaradawi, noting that the Deputy Director is a close associate of Qaradawi’s at the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS).
From the article: Article
Here are a few more articles connecting QFI to the Brotherhood:
Article #1
Article #2

Passover (Pesach)

April 11, 2012

I had the great joy of attending my first Passover seder, last night, with the congregation of Biet Messiah (www.beitmessiah.com).  It was very educational and a wonderful experience. Rabbi Matt Rosenberg explained all of the elements, their history and their meaning, as well as the four cups and what they represent, both in the past and for the future.

Beit Messiah is a Messianic Jewish Synagogue, which made it an even greater event.  As a Christian, living under the New Covenant, it was great to spend an uplifting evening with fellow believers.  As a gentile who, according to Romans 11:17, has been “grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree…”, it was wonderful to share in this decidedly Jewish tradition as a celebration of God’s faithfulness to his people.

With greater enrichment, my wife and I feel so blessed to have found friends and believers of like mind and heart.  We are joining in the Counting of the Omer, as we look to Pentacost (Shavuot) with our Jewish brothers and sisters.

Tunisia May Follow Egypt

March 26, 2012

Tunisia May Follow Egypt

Note that “While Islamists did not play a prominent role in the 2011 uprising, a struggle over the role of religion in government has since polarized politics in Tunisia,” according to the article.

The same thing is playing out in Tunisia as has played out in Egypt: hardline Salafists and Muslim Brotherhood groups have worked their way in to positions of power due to their better organization.

Supporting Terrorism from the White House

March 23, 2012

Obama gives $1.5B to Muslim Brotherhood

Not that this will surprise many, as those who follow know that Obama has never really displayed anything resembling wisdom on the international front.  However, this really raises my blood pressure.  The article does not say from where the money comes, whether it be USAID money which the State Department can distribute as it sees fit, based on certain criteria.  Regardless, experts on the region, and experts to whom Obama has access, will state with conviction that the Muslim Brotherhood is an organ of terror and mainstream Islamist militancy.

Fears Surrounding the Arab Spring Come to Fruition

February 9, 2012

Salafists move against Copts

 

Three “reconciliation meetings” were held at the El-Ameriya village police headquarters. They were attended by Salafi and Muslim Brotherhood representatives from neighboring villages, as well as church representative. Muslims demanded the eviction of all Coptic inhabitants from the village because “Muslim honour had been damaged.”

 

Unrest in Saudi Arabia…

October 5, 2011

It would appear that “someone” (read: Iran) is fomenting unrest in a predominately Shia area of Saudi Arabia, in and around the town of al-Qatif.

Read the full story here.

Is Al-Azhar Setting up to Wage War on Shiism?

September 30, 2011

Much of what we hear in the West, regarding Islam, appears to display a unified body of believers. Very similar to Christianity, Islam is rife with different sects and belief systems. The largest two, Shi’a and Sunni, are nominally represented by Iran and everybody else, respectively.

Al-Azhar, the most prominent Sunni religious authority in the world, has come out with recent statements pushing back against what they see as “growing attempts to spread Shiism.”

Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb said on Thursday that he rejects all attempts at spreading Shiism in Egypt and the Islamic countries, as well as Shia “insults” against Prophet Mohamed’s companions and Sunni figures.

This seems fairly innocuous, on the surface.  However, in Islam, all it takes is a fatwa to give people a reason to act. 

Tayyeb went on to say that “Al-Azhar has so far controlled itself in order to preserve the unity of Muslims, but if this situation is left unchecked, Al-Azhar has ideological options.”

Is this a pre-cursor to a call to action?  Is this a statement to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, who has been touring the Middle East fishing for influence?  Only time will tell.