Walid Shoebat Wants Donations for “Safe Houses”

An announcement from Walid Shoebat:

The Walid Shoebat Foundation and Forum For Middle East Understanding launch new web site www.rescuechristians.org please visit this web site.

The purpose of this web site is to make more people aware of the plight of persecuted Christians worldwide as well as raise money to effect real rescue operations for persecuted victims with a primary focus initially in the Pakistan region.

Our work will involve providing safe houses, food and medical care for persecuted Christian families with direct one and one support, with no administrative costs or waste. Our work will also involve the gaining of visas for these families to restart their lives in Western countries so they can rebuild their lives. Full details of the program detailed on www.rescuechristians.org. We are already helping two families with many more on a waiting list for assistance…

Yours

Keith Davies
Executive Director Walid Shoebat Fdn

Confusingly, the website calls the organisation both “Rescue Christians” and “the Raoul Wallenberg Project”, depending on which page is clicked on (there is of course no association with the famous Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, which I doubt has given permission for the use of Wallenberg’s name). The website explains:

The Raoul Wallenberg Project is working with people on the ground who are well connected in the Christian community. They have reached out to us for our support to help alleviate their suffering, and in certain situations, help with their escape. For their protection we cannot expose their names publicly. In the future, large donors who are concerned about the transparency of funding, we can provide the names and details privately.

…Our financial goal is to raise one million dollars a month – solely for the Raoul Wallenberg Project – which will allow us to make a significant impact to alleviate much of the suffering of persecuted Christians and remove them from their circumstances. We are working behind the scenes with members of Congress, in particular the staff of Congressman Allen West, who has kindly offered his help on Capital Hill. Other members of Congress will be recruited as public opinion puts pressure on them for their support of this real, and dangerous threat to Christians worldwide.

…What you should know is that all of the people who are working with this project are doing so with no compensation for their time… We have experienced PR and business people with 40 years of business experience, as well as 14 years between working experience between Walid and Keith Davies (Directorof the Walid Shoebat Foundation). We’ve assembled a group who have been involved in running a charity, and are aware of working with activists.

…The cost of helping one family is approximately $1000 per month. That coupled with the initial set-up expenses of a safe house means we will need $10,000 the first month. After that, supporting six families will cost around $6000 a month. Legal costs will run about $7000 per family over an eighteen month period, plus the cost for airfare for each family will be $4000 – $8000. This just a drop in the bucket when we consider all of the hundreds, even thousands of cases of persecution.

This doesn’t seem to me to have been thought through very well at all. The names of the Christians they are supposedly helping are either confidential or they are not – leaking them to “large donors” is an amateurish way to demonstrate “transparency” and would anyway show very little about how efficiently or competently the organisation is being run. Why is there no formal board structure, or any trustees? Why haven’t Shoebat and Davies established a 501(c)(3), with all the checks and balances which would come with that? Further, “40 years of business experience” is so vague as to be meaningless. Shoebat was a computer programmer before he joined the right-wing pundit circuit; Davies used to sell greetings cards. What’s needed is expertise in arranging safe houses and in dealing with the various obstacles that are likely to emerge. Who is going to look after these “safe houses”? How will their safety be assessed? What protocols are in place should emergencies occur?

There are already well-established Christian organisations working in this area, such as  Open Doors and Release International. I’m sure there’s room for some more – but any new group surely needs to demonstrate a thorough understanding of what work in this area entails. Instead, the “Rescue Christians” website puts most of its emphasis on advertising Shoebat’s various books and videos on the evils of Islam.

There’s also the danger that Shoebat’s inflammatory approach to Islam will actually make life more difficult for Christians seeking refuge. As I’ve blogged previously, Shoebat’s utterances are so extravagant as to be absurd: he claims that he knows that Obama is a Muslim (“Islam could not defeat us by destroying the twin towers. But they are able to defeat us by sneaking in their man”), and he wishes that “nukes” would “take care” of the Muslim world. He also teaches that the Bible predicts the coming of a Muslim Anti-Christ.

Last July, Pam Geller and SIOA announced that they could provide “safe houses” for ex-Muslims in the USA. The announcement seemed to me to be a stunt rather than a serious project, and I note that there are no reports that any “safe houses” have been requested or provided since then.

3 Responses

  1. […] High-Profile Blasphemy Cases Posted on June 23, 2011 by Richard Bartholomew Last month, I wrote a blog entry about an organisation called “Rescue Christians”. According to the organisation’s […]

  2. […] to be helping Christians in Pakistan is a subject I’ve looked at a couple of times recently (here and here). He has created a separate organisation, called “Rescue Christians”, which […]

  3. […] is of course commendable insofar as it goes – but, as I wrote previously, why not approach  Open Doors or Release International, both of which are established Christian […]

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