Many of you will have heard of a popular program on the cable channel Comedy Central, known as “The Daily Show.” While it has gone through a series of host changes, it remains very popular among a surprisingly wide number of demographics and provides a useful glimpse into the pop culture world, and how those steeped in said culture view their relationship to the rest of us.
In other words, it is often quite irreverent and generally entertaining, as long as you don’t take yourself too seriously, or are overly sensitive to a little humor at your expense.
The producer of the Daily Show came to town to do a piece on Omaha’s Tri-Faith Initiative, interviewing those who support it as well as those who have valid concerns about the project.
Presenter Ronny Chieng, sat down with Rabbi Aryeh Azriel, Dr. Syed Mohuidden and Pastor Eric Elnes – the leaders of the Jewish, Muslim and Christian elements of the Tri-Faith – and asked some rather surprisingly cogent questions. You know, things that only the most intelligent among us would think to ask, like “What were you thinking??”
Pastor Elnes, head of Countryside Community Church, attempted to describe the Tri-Faith project using a bizarre, ill-advised metaphor about a woman who is in love with three men, and because she has so much love, she is able to maintain deeply intimate relationships with all of them at the same time.
Yes, he said that. The representative of the Christian faith on the Tri-Faith campus, on national television, described God’s relationship to the Tri-Faith as a gang-bang. Disgraceful? Clearly. An ugly glimpse into the mind of Eric Elnes? Apparently. Embarrassing and regrettable? Unarguably.
THE TRI-FAITH INITIATIVE: PEACE IN AMERICA’S MIDDLE EAST
MARCH 10, 2016 – PADMA LAKSHMI 03/10/2016
Ronny Chieng investigates the Tri-Faith Initiative in Omaha, NE, which aims to create a peaceful religious space for Christian, Islamic and Jewish worshippers. (5:19)
Pastor Elnes’ prurient foray into polyamorous relationships with the Creator of Heaven and Earth aside, there is more to be concerned about with the Tri-Faith Initiative than the buffoonery of one of its leaders. There is the matter of their denied – then admitted – then hidden – then admitted again – now hidden again association with known front groups for the Muslim Brotherhood in America; the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).
The Tri-Faith Initiative grew out of ISNA’s interfaith programs which have a multi-pronged purpose. First and foremost, these partnerships between Mosques and Churches or Synagogues are intended to lend a mainstream legitimacy to thoroughly radical Islamic Sharia thoughts and practices.
Secondly, these relationships serve to shield Islamist apologists from scrutiny as their non-Muslim partners run interference for them in the name of “tolerance.” This phenomenon results in the third purpose; weakening the faith of non-Muslims to better prepare them for eventual Muslim dominance, as ordered by Mohammed and Allah.
The inaugural speaker at the outset of the Tri-Faith initiative was none other than the then-President of ISNA, Ingrid Mattson, a woman who has gone on to become perhaps the most prolific producer of Islamist propaganda in the nation, through her academic positions and through interfaith projects.
The Global Faith Institute has exposed these connections time and again, yet the local newspaper and television stations have turned a blind eye, preferring to bask in the reflected light of worldwide attention focused on this one-of-a-kind project in our little city of Omaha. That, and the fact that nearly all of this project is being funded by Warren Buffett’s daughter Susie and Daddy Warren owns the only newspaper in town.
That hasn’t stopped a few national media outlets from taking a gander at this religiously polygamous orgy, (using Pastor Elnes’ description) and discovering that the Muslim leg of the stool is surprisingly hollow. Billing itself as a “non-denominational” Mosque, open to both Sunni and Shiite, the board and membership of this Mosque boast no Shiites whatsoever. In fact, they boast hardly any membership at all.
Local Muslims (outside of the five families that comprise nearly the entirety of membership in the Tri-Faith Mosque) want nothing to do with the project, fearing that it will become a target for lone-wolf attackers who aren’t affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood brand of civilizational jihad. There are already two Sunni Mosques and one Shia Mosque in Omaha, and none of them plan to attend or become involved in the Tri-Faith Initiative.
With virtually no connections to the local Muslim community in Nebraska and Western Iowa, one might be forgiven for wondering why tens of millions of dollars are being pumped into this project to serve a group of families numbering less than fifty people.
The Muslim Brotherhood is an organization that technically no longer exists. Banned in 1949 for their involvement in political assassinations, they have since chosen to operate through front groups, usually modeled on their original structure of a mainstream wing and a secret wing (al Genah el sirry). The mainstream wing puts on the happy face for popular consumption while the secret wing pulls the strings and does the dirty work.
There aren’t any road signs to “Muslim Brotherhood HQ” or membership cards that say “Member in Good Standing in al Genah el sirry,” but these organizations are well known around the world as the foremost purveyors of Islamic subversion and violence.
Al Qaeda, HAMAS, ISIS are all part of al Genah el sirry, just as CAIR, ISNA and the Muslim Students Association (MSA) are integral operations in the mainstream wing that makes the secret wing work.
Congressman Ashford, speaking about the bloody terrorist blasts in Brussels, pointed to Omaha’s Tri-Faith Initiative as a solution to such violence. As ridiculous as his statement sounds, he unwittingly tapped into the truth…
The only ones who can call a halt to terrorist violence are those who fund them, organize them and give them orders – the mainstream wing of the Muslim Brotherhood. Isn’t is handy that we have a significant HQ for that wing going in right here in Omaha. Congressman Ashford won’t have far to drive.
No need for ‘violent jihad’ with this in their arsenal
If Islam were just another religion, the rise in Muslim immigration might not pose a problem.
But many conservative scholars who have studied Islam for years say there is more to Islam than its daily call to prayer and its dietary rules against pork and alcohol.
Dr. Mark Christian told WND that the Muslim Brotherhood strategy from 1966 forward has been to avoid confrontations with American power. Instead, he says, the Brotherhood attempts to coax the U.S. into using its power for the Brotherhood’s own benefit.
The Brotherhood’s strategy is three-pronged, he said. It uses its front group CAIR to influence the government and military life, while ISNA works to foster “interfaith” dialogue with major Christian denominations and Jewish organizations. A third front group, the Muslim Student Association, or MSA, focuses on influencing K-12 and university education.
It is through these three groups that the Brotherhood wages “cultural jihad,” or what Christian calls “stealth jihad.”
“They want to influence the whole United States,” Christian said. “They see the U.S. as three things – it’s a government, it’s a religious institution and it is colleges and education; so we have three organizations and all are designated to each one of those things.”
ISNA concentrates mostly on outreach to Christian and Jewish religious groups.
“They say they are building bridges, but in reality they are building death tracks for these churches, watering down their theology, trying to influence the Christian teachings of the Bible and find common ground with Islamic teachings,” Christian said. “Basically they are trying to find common ground so they can kill it.”
“The largest threat to the world’s safety and security at present and throughout the 21st Century is Christian, Jewish, and Islamic fundamentalism.”
These are the words of Pastor Eric Elnes, Senior Minister at Countryside Community Church in Omaha. It is part of his exhortation to his congregation to join the Tri-Faith Initiative. The laughable conflation of Christian and Jewish “fundamentalism” with the horrors of Islamic jihad serves no one but his own apparently limitless sense of self. The good pastor continues:
“Each subscribes to an entirely “worldly” form of faith in which the God of their understanding (and they understand God perfectly in their estimation) loves the very people they love and hates the people they hate.”
Aside from the very unappealing snarkiness of his condescending characterization of other faiths, one can’t help but notice that his own characterizations apply more appropriately to himself as he projects his own self-righteousness onto those with whom he disagrees. Rev. Elnes finishes:
“And guess who each of these groups hates? Anyone who is not a fundamentalist of their particular tribe.”
What a neatly tied parcel your prejudice makes Reverend Elnes. It must be very easy for you to carry it with you, leaking it’s poison with your every step. Do you honestly believe that you’ve figured it all out and the only possible reason why some may oppose you must be rooted in hatred?
Hate never enters into the equation Pastor. The fundamentalism you so blithely decry on the part of Christians and Jews, and so naively excuse in Islam (by assigning it moral equivalence in your above statement) finds expression in such different ways among those three faiths as to be utterly unconnected.
Please show me the Christian church that is calling for the murder of those who believe differently. Is it the Lutherans? The Catholics? Evangelicals? I must’ve missed that memo.
Likewise Reverend, would you deign to reveal the Jewish synagogues that support the subjugation of other peoples simply for not worshipping in the same manner as they?
I imagine it is the Amish we must fear? Such fundamentalism is surely a threat to national security in the same way as civilizational jihad.
Hate is a strong word Reverend, and ascribing it as a motivation to those who simply ask questions about the wisdom of partnering with a Mosque that refuses to renounce clear associations with groups that support the very radicalism presently convulsing the Middle East, is not a hallmark of a man of God, but rather the pathetic bleating of a bigot.
In Iraq today, ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) brutally executed hundreds of unarmed soldiers and civilians – not because they posed any threat to ISIS or its aims (they had already surrendered) – but because they were from a different sect of Islam.
Please illustrate for me Reverend Elnes, the contemporary examples of Jewish and Christian fundamentalism that would place those religions on a par with the sickness illustrated in this photo.
Your moral equivalence argument is barely concealed religious bigotry. Your church heralds the idea that “there are many paths to God,” yet you are personally treating those who disagree with your views as some sort of spiritual Neanderthals…unenlightened hate-mongers, who now having been effectively dehumanized by your characterizations, can have their beliefs dismissed just as casually.
Ironically, this is precisely the method by which Islamists silence their critics and racists marginalize those of a different color. Great company you’re in with, Pastor. You might want to reconsider the attitude that brought you there.
Tell your congregants the truth Reverend. Quit concealing the associations of the Tri-Faith and the AIISC with CAIR and ISNA. Cease whitewashing the well-known and equally well-documented status of these groups as fronts for radical Islamism. But above all, find some humility. Your naked ambition is showing.