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Progressive Evangelicals Romance with Islamists Has Bred a Love Child

Rev. Bob Robert’s speaks at The Christ at the Checkpoint Conference in Oklahoma City in 2018 (Photo by Dexter Van Zile – Used with permission).

Some progressive Evangelicals cannot quench the urge of getting into the proverbial bed with radical Islamists. A sad example of this infatuation was evident at a conference sponsored by the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and the Muslim American Society (MAS) over Memorial Day weekend last month. One of the speakers was Pastor Bob Roberts, an Evangelical pastor, founder of a megachurch in Keller, Texas. Roberts, who has been fawning over Islamists for years, spoke at length about his relationship with a Muslim imam during his talk at the event:

“I love him,” Roberts said. “We hang out together. We laugh and we travel the world together and I remember a few years ago we were in the Middle East and he took me into this perfume place, and he said, ‘Bob, have you ever smelled our perfume?’ And I said, ‘No Majid.” He said, “I want you to go into this place and he put this little stuff on me, and it was very stout.’”

Pastor Roberts then described how he was overcome with the aroma of the imam’s perfume. He then proclaimed how he himself is a sweet-smelling fragrance to the Muslim world, affirming his desire to counter the “Islamophobia” of his fellow Evangelicals.

Roberts’s heartfelt story encourages his listeners to think he is just spreading Christian love – an affection so compelling it leaves one smitten with its virtue. But exactly who was Roberts talking to?

The sponsors of the convention Bob Roberts legitimized with his presence have deep ties to Islamist groups in the West with a long history of promoting Islamism, a political ideology that seeks to impose Islamic law on public life in Western democracies.

The Muslim American Society was founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organization that has wreaked havoc on life in the Middle East. In his 2010 book The New Muslim Brotherhood in the West, Lorenzo Vidino reports that the MAS is part of a network of organizations that promote political Islam in Western democracies and that a prominent MAS official, “admits that roughly 45 percent of MAS activists are members of the Brotherhood.”

The other sponsor of the event was the Islamic Circle of North America – a group that has persistent ties to Jamaat-e-Islam (JI) an Islamist organization headquartered in Pakistan. As Dexter Van Zile reports in the newly established news outlet, Focus on Western Islamism (FWI), one of JI’s prominent leaders, Motiur Rahman Nizami, in 2016 “was convicted and executed for his role in the mass murder of civilians during Bangladesh’s 1971 war for independence.” The charges also included rape and torture.

The Islamist ties of MAS and the ICNA are just the tip of the iceberg. The speakers who shared the platform with Pastor Roberts are also troubling. Conference attendee U.S. Rep Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) was awarded the Antisemite of the year in 2019 by the organization Stop Antisemitism. Zahra Billoo, executive director of the San Francisco office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations has warned Muslims against the Jewish Federation and “Zionist Synagogues” for supporting the Jewish state and has also declared “polite Zionists…are not your friends.” And Hatem Bazian, a Berkley professor who the Wall Street Journal quotes as saying the sacred texts of Islam require Muslims to “fight the Jews.”

By affiliating with Islamists, progressive Evangelicals like Bob Roberts create a persona around themselves that they are “not angry” (Bob’s own words) with political Islamists, and are opposed to all that even hints of white patriarchy, white supremacy, colonialism, and bigotry – accusations Islamists impose on those who challenge their anti-Israel and anti-Western political agenda (a strategy exposed by Markos Zografos in an ISGAP Oxford paper entitled, Genocidal Antisemitism – A Core Ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood). By embracing the agenda of radical Islam, progressive Evangelicals like Bob Roberts receive accolades from the progressive culture around them – praise more seducing than the sirens’ song in Homer’s Odyssey. They just need to be loved. To fulfill that longing they are more than willing to delegitimize Jews.

For example, When Roberts appeared at the anti-Israel Christ at the Checkpoint conference that took place in Oklahoma City in 2018, he told the story of how his love affair with political Islam got started:

“I got to be friends with a lot of Imams…and became friends with all these Muslims…it started pushing my thoughts and my ideas.” Roberts then asked himself, “why is this whole Israeli thing such a big deal to them (Islamists)? So, as I began to study Islam and some of their positions and some of their views…it made me ask questions, do I believe this – why do I believe this?” He then goes on in his speech to delegitimize Jews, Judaism, and the Torah. Finally, in full-blown Replacement Theology-Supersessionist arrogance he rejects God’s choice of Israel and the Abrahamic land covenant. At the end of his speech he admitted that it is not his role to challenge political Islamists but insisted that if Evangelicals “keep hugging them” it will eventually bring peace. That logic is so willfully naïve and presumptuous it needs no commentary.

When the United States recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Bob Roberts tweeted his displeasure by declaring, “Colonial Christianity still lives.” With this rhetoric, Roberts is portraying Jewish self-determination as an act of oppression as part of an attempt to curry favor with his Islamists friends.

Roberts bizarre infatuation with radicals has not gone unnoticed. A 2014 Jerusalem Post article written by Jim Fletcher entitled, Evangelicalism’s Useful Idiots, calls out Pastor Bob Roberts and other progressive Evangelical leaders who regularly endorse radical Islamists: “…all this pillow talk between American Evangelical leaders and Muslim propogandists and sponsors of state terrorism is not only deeply troubling – it is an outrage. ‘Leaders’ who give cover to radicals sworn to Israel’s destruction are irresponsible in the extreme. These leaders are dupes and useful idiots for the worlds most murderous regimes and organizations.”

There is a transactional element to progressive Evangelicalism’s romance with Islamists who are more than happy to court leaders like Bob Roberts by giving them prominent platforms in their events in exchange for their endorsement and complicit silence regarding radical Islam’s murderous agenda. Out of this unholy attachment a love child of sorts is bred: a rejection of Jews and Israel is required for desperately insecure progressive Evangelicals to continue their affinity with radicals.

As more and more progressive Evangelical “leaders” sell their souls to radical Islamists and incite contempt toward the Jewish people while remaining silently compliant and submitted to Islamism’s militant agenda, let’s hope others won’t be deceived by the Islamists perfumer’s aroma.

About the Author
Aaron David Fruh is the President of Israel Team Advocates, whose mission it is to change the growing anti-Israel narrative on college campuses. Aaron is the author of five books including The Casualty of Contempt: the alarming rise of Antisemitism and what can be done to stop it (editor), and Two Minute Warning: why it’s time to honor the Jewish people before the clock runs out. Aaron has written for The Jerusalem Post and The Algemeiner.
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