WorldNetDaily Sees Muslim Conspiracy against Churches

WorldNetDaily gathers together some disparate bits and pieces to present its fearful readers with evidence that

Christian churches fed ‘Islam lite’: Experts say Muslim Brotherhood carrying out domination strategy in U.S.

The “experts” are Steve Emerson and some unnamed sources. We learn of a church “where an Islamic speaker was a guest”, and that “Hartford Seminary’s website displays photos of smiling, hijab-wearing young women standing arm-in-arm with clergy women in clerical collars”. Among other bits and pieces, we read that

Even high-profile leaders such as megachurch pastor Rick Warren of Saddelback Community Church in Lake Forest, Calif., have spoken to organizations such as the Islamic Society of North America, a Muslim Brotherhood group.

WND editor Joseph Farah hates his fellow-Christian Rick Warren, so it’s easy to see why that’s there.

But these are the silliest bits:

The effort to co-opt Christian churches includes an attempt to water down Christian theology.

Islamization Watch published a photo on its website of a British Muslim banner on a railing in the Wood Green section of London. The banner, which read “Jesus was a Muslim,” stalled traffic and created near-riot conditions so that police had to be called.

P. David Gaubatz and Paul Sperry write in their WND book, “Muslim Mafia” that Muslims want to Islamize Jesus.

The banner was in fact part of an “roadshow” under the control of the British Islamist Anjem Choudary. Choudary is deservedly one of the most unpopular persons in the UK, and he regularly performs publicity stunts calculated to cause outrage. But a banner reading “Jesus was a Muslim” is hardly in itself going to “stall traffic” and create “near-riot conditions” in a largely secularised country like the UK – the public disturbance in Wood Green that his antics provoked had other causes. And the idea that this was an attempt to “co-opt Christian churches” is just laughable.

As for “Muslims want to Islamize Jesus”, that’s not news: Muslims have always regarded Jesus as a prophet, and rejected the Christian idea of the incarnation as a blunder. Given all the characters from the Hebrew Bible who have been “Christianized”  – indeed, the text itself has been appropriated by Christians as the “Old Testament” – this is hardly an isolated phenomenon.


One Islamic expert who formerly worked with the U.S. government on terror said Muslims even use the writings of disaffected Christian.

“Muslims are making use of Bart Ehrman’s commentaries on the New Testament, books that now deny the authority of the New Testament and portray Jesus as simply a man,” he said. “You will never hear a Muslim say that Jesus is the Son of God.”

But Ehrman is hardly writing for Muslims, however they may be using his writings for their own purposes; the Christian website Answering Islam acknowledges that, and suggests Ehrman can be used to counter Muslim beliefs about Jesus. However, WND hates real Biblical scholarship as much as it detests scientists – and just as it likes to promote the idea that “Darwinists” are Nazis and Communists, it’s useful to create an impression that Bible scholars are somehow in league with Muslims.

Of course New Testament scholars are primarily concerned with the historical human Jesus. Some of these scholars are Christians who also have theological views about Jesus as God, others are secular, some – like Geza Vermes – practice Judaism, and doubtless others follow other religions. All of them, though, apply a scholarly method which requires assessing the New Testament as a historical text like any other. “Authority” as a theological concept is neither here nor there – although Biblical fundamentalism inspires numerous cranks who are regularly showcased by WND. To include Ehrman in an article about the “Muslim Brotherhood’s domination strategy” is simply bad faith.

There have been cases where Muslims have downplayed extreme views and connections for PR reasons, and have as a result enjoyed access to institutions and individuals who should have shown more discernment. I blogged on one such example just yesterday. But WND‘s foolish and dishonest posturing is of no help in identifying situations where this occured.