Eboo Patel, Da'wa's Newest Media Darling

By WILLIAM MAYER and BEILA RABINOWITZ

June 11, 2008 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Eboo Patel, most recently mentioned in a Time magazine piece on the "Tony Blair Faith Foundation" [see, http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1810020-2,00.html], is feverishly working his way toward center-stage in the Muslim interfaith dialogue phenomenon with his, "Interfaith Youth Core."

Though feted in many circles as one of the rising "moderate Muslim" voices, from his pulpit in the Washington Post's blog, "On Faith" [see, http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/eboo_patel] Patel routinely proves himself to be offering nothing of the sort, and examining his methodology and ideas reveals all of the undertones which taken together prove Muslim interfaith dialogue to be a fraudulent endeavor.

Patel's world view is familiar to anyone versed in this game. That flawed and disingenuous vision is unfortunately typical of those involved in promoting these Islamic faith propagation dog and pony shows.

  • It rests heavily on a thoroughly specious, Western friendly [couched in terms chosen to ingratiate itself into Judeo/Christian traditional thinking] presentation of Islam that is at odds with historical fact and reality.
  • It posits "Islamophobia" as a root cause of the rift between Islam and the rest of the world.
  • It attacks well-meaning critics of Islam - suggesting they are racists - merely because they raise troublesome issues.
  • This outlook is reflected by Patel's choice of allies, heroes and associates, many of whom are Islamists.
  • A few selected quotes from Patel

    "...First of all, articles or authors that use the Nazis as a historical analogy [Islamofascim] should set off conspiracy-theory alarms everywhere. Anytime someone wants to convince you that some new threat is the next Nazism, they’re not even pretending to make a reasoned argument. They are relying on your fear to blind you into buying what they are selling. And what they are selling is usually bigotry..."

    "...Daniel Pipes, who earns his living by making Americans scared of their Muslim neighbors, has no such decency…When Pipes puts someone on one of his lists, it isn't about what you did, however long ago. It is about who you are - especially if you are an Arab or a Muslim."

    Patel is fond of the term pluralism which he spins in a manner befitting a multiculturalist, however his misuse of the term indicates he doesn't really understand what it means. He also fails to grasp intellectually, the key point that in this country, pluralism exists within a grander American context or framework, one concerned not only with accommodating differences but with the maintenance of a distinct societal/cultural identity and cohesion. It stands to reason then that the emphasis that Patel and others of his ilk place, only leads to fractured societies and eventual Balkanization, which in many circumstances is exactly the intent of the multiculturalists.

    "Obama repeated the line he first stated in his great speech at Sojourners a couple of years ago - that America is a Christian nation, a Jewish nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, a Muslim nation, an atheist nation, etc. And out of all these types of religious experience, we have to somehow become one country...If we want to, once and for all, put the lie of the Clash of Civilizations framework to rest. If we want to honor the fact of religious diversity in America and the world. If we believe that all religions hold compassion in common and we want to channel that energy into concrete change, promoting cooperation along the way." [source, http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/eboo_patel/2008/06/the_faith_line.html]

    Despite Mr. Patel's assertions to the contrary, America is not and will never be a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation or an atheist nation. It was founded upon Judeo/Christian principles and suggesting that essential element of the American social contract can now be re-negotiated by Islamic meddlers four hundred years after the fact is absurd and is totally inconsistent with the Western tradition.

    Patel speaks of his "Muslim heroes" one of which is Imam Zaid Shakir, "I spoke about how Muslim history and theology support religious pluralism. I talked about many of my Muslim heroes, scholars and activists like Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and Imam Zaid Shakir who have articulated visions of a world where people from different backgrounds come together in positive ways."

    Shakir [a Muslim convert] also writes for the Washpost Faith blog within which he recently assailed the country's moral tone, even to the extent of denying that it is a Christian nation:

    "From a moral point of view, one could also argue against America being a Christian nation. The basis of such an argument would be a general lack of traditional Christian morality...At least three of the Ten Commandments are widely breeched in and by our society, namely, "Thou shall not kill; thou shall not commit adultery; thou shall not steal." Furthermore, our crass consumerism and materialism, and our selfish disregard for the interests of the weak and disenfranchised, including our very children, make it difficult for us to actualize the great moral virtues in our lives...it would be difficult, in my opinion, for us to describe America as a Christian country...." [source, http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/zaid_shakir/2006/12/a_nation_of_its_people.html]

    Shakir's extremist views represent U.S. foreign policy as one of mass murder and imperialism:

    We shamelessly killed a million Iraqi children, between 1992 and 2003, declaring it the price of containing Saddam, and then proceeded to invade and occupy the country, shamelessly alleging that Saddam had not been contained (in other words, all of those children were killed for absolutely nothing). Finally, we shamelessly justified that invasion on the basis of a pack of lies that fittingly destroyed Colin Powell's political career." [source, http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/zaid_shakir/2007/01/a_shameless_affair.html]

    These rants alongside Shakir's other petulant offerings such as an essay entitled, "Jesus is Not the Son of God," place the imam far outside the mainstream and serve as counterpoint to Patel's feigned moderation.

    Another Muslim about which Patel has spoken approvingly is Amr Khaled whose televangelist tinged da'wa and speaking engagements have been massively promoted by the Wahhabists such as Saudi broadcasting billionaire/banker Sheikh Saleh Kamel.

    Note Khaled's tone in the below excerpted missive to the people of Denmark, regarding the Danish Muslim cartoon controversy and Khaled's obvious desire to impose a Shari'a compliant respect for Islam's prophet on the Danish nation.

    "...8. We are willing to come to Copenhagen, I do not speak for myself only, I speak on behalf of the delegation of Du'ah who signed the proclamation, representatives of our youth would accompany us and we would like to sit with the representatives of the youth and intellectuals of Denmark in order to come to an understanding with regards to five items:

    a. Who our Prophet is
    b. What our religion is
    c. The notion of freedom of speech.
    d. Respect for the sacrosanct.
    e. To agree on practical projects, that will firmly establish understanding, dialogue, and coexistence in the future.

    9. The successful outcome that we wish to achieve from this initiative, is major indications that the people of Denmark respect Islam and the Prophet of Islam and have positive and respectful feelings toward Muslims. [source, http://www.amrkhaled.net/articles/articles1299.html]

    Patel also appears to be on good terms with the Hamas friendly, Saudi funded, unindicted terror co-conspirator, the Council on American Islamic Relations, having served as the master of ceremonies at CAIR's 2007 "Annual Event," in Chicago.

    There is something different in Patel's approach that sets him apart from the garden variety da'wa practitioner. He has embraced a leftist educational pedagogy, which he feels might be employed to cultivate future Muslim social activists on the Saul Alinsky model, or at least a core of students, so deprived of traditional cultural norms that they are open to creeping Shari'a.

    Since Patel's organization the, "Interfaith Youth Core," is based in Chicago, Alinsky's methods would be not unfamiliar to an ambitious activist.

    Saul Alinsky was a legendary communist agitator and progressive "community organizer," who early in his career cleverly realized that working with and then through churches and faith communities provided him with a willing labor force whose rudimentary commitment to the principles of Christian social justice could be molded into his own brand of radical activism.

    "...I recognized that if I could win the support of the Church, we'd be off and running. Conversely, without the Church, or at least some elements of it, it was unlikely that we'd be able to make much of a dent in the community...Chicago in those days was a peculiar exception; under Cardinal Mundelein and Bishop Bernard Sheil, it was the most socially progressive archdiocese in the country..." [source 1972 Playboy magazine interview]

    The methodology of aligning with church groups provides radical organizations with much needed cover; a façade of respectability and legitimacy that would not ordinarily accrue to them. Additionally the use of churches to further socio-political activism meshes seamlessly with today's iteration of corporatized da'wa.

    Patel's desire to mass produce multicultural social activists has led him to endorsing an educational philosophy, that seems to have zero degrees of separation from political indoctrination. It all begins quite innocently which him observing:

    "I noticed that some of my friends with the highest commitment to international peacebuilding, and the most talent to bring to that challenge, have something profound in common: they attended a United World College for their last two years of high school."

    Unfortunately, however, what that United World College [UWC] seems to be mainly about is propaganda, stressing the supposed merits of extreme multiculturalism/diversity, world government through the United Nations and other NGOs, globalism [especially the left's anti-U.S. national sovereignty stance] and radical environmentalism.

    Patel's shares this pedagogy of indoctrination disguised as education with another Chicagoan - the domestic terrorist, now turned "educational expert" - William Ayers. Ayers knows of Patel and had nice things to say about him in a recent book, starting with favorably comparing him to Langston Hughes, an American communist poet and activist:

    "...Langston Hughes knew that America was both reality and idea, and he challenged himself as he challenges us to unite the two. He imagined himself beyond confinement. The young spiritual activist Eboo Patel has called America a “trauma of contradictions," a story still not fully written. When I was nineteen I joined a student organization whose founding document began, “We are people of this generation, bred in at least modest comfort…looking uneasily at the world we inherit." The challenge for today, then, is not unfamiliar, but it is unique in time and place – the American story must be rewritten again, right now, by this generation. It is the challenge to claim a tradition by adding your voice and experience to it. James Baldwin said, “I’m not a ward of America. I’m one of the first Americans. I’ve earned a place at the table." So have we. So have the young. There are choices to be made, choices that will shape the lives we live, will make us worthy of the tradition or not. America is far from paradise, but here in American we can create spaces for a new world to be imagined and fought for. [source, William Ayers, Teaching Toward Freedom: Moral Commitment and Ethical Action in the Classroom, pg 135-136, http://books.google.com/books?id=-0yz4tfrfyYC&pg=PA135&lpg=PA135&dq=%22The+young+spiritual+activist+Eboo+Patel+has+called+%22&source=web&ots=Y6Pb9W8H6X&sig=LkS0ds3Oorkf1hWRaQ7Qlrwz3NI&hl=en]

    Of further note, this educational model has not gone unendorsed by other radicals. The now deceased American businessman Armand Hammer - a long-time Soviet agent and art smuggler - obviously saw promise in the method. This caused him to found [1982] America's only United World College campus, the Armand Hammer United World College of the American West which is located in Montezuma, New Mexico. To accomplish this, Hammer used money from a controversial trust that he controlled under murky circumstances.

    The question remains, who is Eboo Patel?

    The short answer is that he's simply another huckster doing da'wa.

    The longer answer is more troubling, because what Patel is doing does not occur in a vacuum. As we detailed in previous pieces [see, "Islamic Marketing 101 - Maha ElGenaidi Takes Da'Wa Act On The Road," https://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=ing4.21.08%2Ehtm and "Islamic Networks Group - Dialogue As Da'wa," https://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=ing4.10.08%2Ehtm] we noted that these Islamic interfaith organizations are really engaged in a stealth jihad dictated by the reversal of fortunes being experienced on the field of battle by the violent jihadists, the mujahideen.

    As these writers have observed, especially in ["Muslim World League Behind Saudi "Interfaith" Da'wa Conference," https://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=mwlarticleid=060808%2Ehtm and "The Saudis Deceptive Religious Reform Proposal," https://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=imam3.26.08%2Ehtm] there is a general recognition among Islamists that given that the military power of the United States is so overwhelming, compounded by the fact that President Bush has shown the will to use it to combat terrorism, that a stealth jihad, incorporating interfaith dialogue is the best method currently feasible to advance Shari'a into the West.

    Those who have taken it upon themselves to spread Wahhabism, the Saudis, have spent untold billions of dollars toward that end and will spend billions more in making the transition to this new, low-intensity form of conflict.

    It follows then that con-men like Patel are marching in a much larger army than it appears, their true loyalty is to Islamic supremacy and, not pluralism - which only serves as a convenient point of entry.

    One of Mr. Patel's readers, who attended an Interfaith Youth Core conference provides additional clarification regarding the character of his agenda:

    "I attended the Interfaith Youth Core conference in October of 2007. This conference was lead by Eboo Patel, and I was very excited about it. That is, until the political agenda became very clear. The conference centered on the superiority of Islam.

    Every "interfaith" group or event carried this message. The keynote speaker was an Islamic convert, the interfaith prayer room was covered with Islamic prayer rugs, the keynote professors, one a Muslim convert, from the University of Chicago, claimed that there was no such thing or threat of "Islamofascism."

    Eboo's opening address talked about the faith line. He created this idea that there were 2 types of people, interfaith and fundamentalists. The implied message was that anyone who disagreed with Eboo and the conference agenda was a fundamentalist.

    I found the entire event very disturbing. The next month, I received Eboo's journal, "The Review of Faith and International Politics." Same agenda. The topics included the weakness of Zionism, convincing Evangelicals not to support Israel, and extremism in Judaism..." [source, http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/eboo_patel/2008/05/smearing_muslims/all_comments.html]

    It is for this reason that Muslim interfaith dialogue organizations represent a dangerous and potent weapon in the stealth jihad because they are not what they claim to be. Consequently, these groups require constant vigilance and should be denied access to the educational system and all public and civic institutions.

    ©1999-2008 PipeLineNews.org LLC, William Mayer and Beila Rabinowitz, all rights reserved.