A story from CNSNews reveals that the U.S. Department of State has once again undertaken the dubious task of trying to reform Islam to fit the department’s international agenda. According to an August 10 report released by the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), 450 imams were the target of the most recent effort, which aimed to combat “gender-based violence” which has been linked to Islam.
Word of the new State Department program came to light roughly two years after the department was engaged in a public controversy centered on the Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who was engaged in an effort to build an Islamic center near the site of the September 11, 2001, attack in New York City. On August 10, 2010, a story for FoxNews.com (“Group: State Department Is Wrong to Sponsor Imam Trip”), the State Department was busy paying for a junket which would take Rauf to several Middle Eastern countries:
The State Department confirmed Tuesday that the administration is sponsoring Feisal Abdul Rauf's trip to Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, which is described as part of a program to send Muslims abroad to educate other countries about the role of religion in the United States. Rauf made similar trips during the Bush administration.
Rauf and his partners are preparing to build a $100 million Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero, the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that left nearly 3,000 dead.
Plans for Rauf’s junket at the expense of American taxpayers led to protests from the American Center for Law and Justice; the organization’s chief counsel, Jay Sekulow, was quoted by FoxNews as noting the offensive character of the State Department’s action during the midst of the Ground Zero Mosque controversy: "This shows a tremendous lack of judgment on behalf of the State Department; and for the American taxpayers to be funding this global journey is not only wrong, but deeply offensive … It seems with each passing day we learn more disturbing information about this project and the people behind it. We demand that the State Department put a halt to the Imam's participation in this publicly funded trip."
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Photo of Muslim women: AP Images