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March 8, 2019

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PAGE 10A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MARCH 8, 2019 By Christine DeSouza Tuesday evening, Feb. 26, ACT for America, a national security grassroots organiza- tion, hosted a panel discussion about political Islam and Western culture. Although ACT is also recognized as the largest anti-Muslim group in the U.S. and takes a hardline stance on Islam and immigra- tion, this meeting's panel- ists--Dr. Jonathan Matusitz, an associate professor at the Nicholson School of Commu- nication at UCF who teaches a class on terrorism; Rev. Bruce Lieske, former chair- man of the Florida-Georgia District Muslim Evangelism Task Force and a retired Lutheran pastor; and Pas- tor Roger Diaz of Fellowship Church in Casselberry, who experienced physical abuse by Muslims as a young man in Trinidad--presented facts about and personal experi- ences with Islam. The discussion encom- passed the rise of Islam throughout history and its expansion through the Middle East to Persia (now Iraq and Iran) and North Africa. The areas were conquered by military force. "Islam has never spread by persuasion," stated Lieske, "but by military force and intimidation." Unlike Judaism and Chris- tianity, Islam is a political, militant religion. Today, Trinidad has the highest rate of Islamic State recruitment in the Western hemisphere. According to Diaz, it is the No. 1 exporter of ISIS fighters. From the age of 12 to 19 Diaz faced personal attacks from Muslims, who though lowest in percentage of the population, dominated the community. "I was beaten, spat upon by Muslims. They were hostile," said Diaz. "In Israel," he con- tinued, "Islam is a different caliber. They are more single- minded, hostile and believe the deception that the land belongs to them." Matusitz shared that there are 1.8 billion Muslims in the world. Today in Europe, Muslims comprise about 4.9 percent of Europe's population. A Pew Research study revealed that approximately 3.45 million Muslims of all ages were living in the United States in 2017. This means that Muslims made up about 1.1 percent of the total U.S. population. It is estimated that this percentage will double by 2050. The definition of Islam, Lieske stated, is submission. It does not mean peace. As long as a country submits to the conquering Muslims' authority, there is peace. A prime example is the Ottoman Empire which was one of the mightiest and longest-lasting dynasties in world history. This Islamic-run superpower ruled large areas of the Middle East, Eastern Europe and North Africa for more than 600 years. In 1453 the Ot- tomans captured the city of Constantinople and renamed it Islamboi,"the city of Islam." Its modern name is Istanbul. The Ottomans ruled until 1923. In 1915, the Ottoman government began to sys- tematically kill non-Muslims Armenians.About 1.5 million Armenians were killed within a two-year period. With this violent history, why would anyone think that Islam has changed to a peaceful religion in less than 100 years? Matusitz explained that there are different types of Muslims, using six concentric circles: The core are the jihad- ists, those who are willing to die instantly for Allah. They make up only 10 percent or 1.8 million people. He noted that every single terrorist group today is Muslim. The second circle is fun- damentalist. The fundraisers and converters. They com- prise 10 percent. The third circle are the conservatives. These Muslims do not support ISIS, but do believe in Sharia Law. "These are thewolves in sheep's cloth- ing," Matusitz said. The fourth circle are the human rights activists, and they accuse America and Israel of all the evils in the world. ("the big Satan" and "the little Satan") The fifth circled are the reformers. They would like to make Islam a peaceful religion. The sixth circle are the cultural Muslims. There are about one billion cultural Muslims, representing 60 per- cent of Islam. They are Muslim in name only. However, they will not speak against Islam. Is there a real threat that Islam will take over America? We have only to look at Eu- rope. Today, Islam is spreading through immigration. Matusitz shared that in the book "The Strange Death of Europe," written by Douglas Murray, two factors explain why European civilization will not survive. The first is the combination of mass migration of new peoples into the continent together with Europe's negative birth rates. The second is what Murray describes as "the fact that at the same time Europe lost faith in its beliefs, traditions, and legitimacy." In his review of the book, Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks stated, "Murray weaves a tale of uncontrolled immigra- tion, failed multicuituralism, systemic self-doubt, cultural suicide and disingenuous political leadership. Accurate, insightful and devastating, with applicable lessons for countries on both sides of the Atlantic." Today, America is divided. There is uncontrolled immi- gration, multiculturalism, a departure from our tradi- tions and values. Many young peopleare lookingatsocialism as an alternative. Already in Congress, one Muslim representative bla- tantly covered Israel on a map in her office with a post- it saying "Palestine." Others stand behind the Constitu- tion's freedom of speech and freedom of religion to further the cause of Islam. Can a Muslim be faithful to the U.S. Constitution and the Koran? Having this information, what can we Americans, Jews and Christians, do? "People are in denial," stated Lieske. Matusitz raised the ques- tion, "Are people in denial or do they just not know?" There were some in the audience who until a few years ago didn't know about the Muslim migration. There are those who want to avoid discussion or thinking about it, and there are those who deny there is any problem. Many keep silent because they fear being labeled "racist." "Nobody says anything. It's 1938 again," said Lieske. "Pastors and rabbis need to wake up," he continued. "They are silent. They need to talk about the contrast between Christianity and Islam and Islam and Judaism. But they don't want to lose [church or synagogue] members." One attendee encouraged everyone to talk openly with their children and grandchil- dren about being aware of dif- ferent beliefs--bewelcoming, but wise about what people tell you. Finally, pay attention to what is going on in Congress, know the causes people on the ballots are standing for, and vote. Perhaps there is nothing to worry about. Perhaps America will continue on as she has for almost 300 years. Perhaps America is unconquerable, and all the people who are pointing out the (possible) coming storm are only cry- ing wolf. TO UOur family has been focused on world-class steak for over 100 years View of the University of Montana campus Djembayz/Wikimedia Commons in Missoula. The Happy Family Feast 2 (5 oz.) Filet Mignons 2 (5 oz.) Top Sirloins 2 (4 oz.) Boneless Pork Chops 4 (3 oz.) Kielbasa Sausages 4 (4 oz.) Omaha Steaks Burgers 4 (3.5 oz.) Chicken Fried Steaks All-Beef Meatballs (12 oz. pkg.) 4 (2.8 oz.) Potatoes au Gratin 4 (4 oz.) Caramel Apple Tartlets Signature Seasoning Packet 48269VDB I ~ :~epalately 99 COMBO PRICE SAVE 77% ii~i~ i!ii:i~i~i~ !~!~ ~ i GET 28 ITEMS + 4 FREE BURGERS (JNS)--For the sixth time since November, anti-Semitic fliers appeared around the University of Montana campus in Missoula, including four times in February. Discovered on Monday, the latest fliers included an image of a disfigured mili- tary member with a quota- tion from the late former Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel Ovida Yosef that said, "Goyim were born only to serve us." "There is a line that can be crossed, but as for putting out literature that is hateful or untrue, people get to do that because of the free speech amendment," David Cox, the president of the board of directors at Missoula's Har Shalom synagogue, told NBC Montana. On Feb. 8, anti-Semitic fliers were seen on car wind- shields around campus, ac- cusing Jews of weakening both the First and Second Amendments of the U.S. Bill of Rights. On Feb. 12, fliers promot- ing Jew hated were discovered around town, depicting a man on a cross, calling him enslaved because of a Jewish tradition. "This doesn't just affect the Jewish community; it affects the entire community," Rabbi Chezy Vogel of the Chabad Jewish Center of Missoula told NBC Montana. "This is one person trying to poison the atmosphere and environ- ment here. I would say don't let them win. Don't hide your religion, hide your beliefs now in the wake of this." "On the contrary, respond with pride in your religion," he continued. "Stand up for what you believe in." The same day, a Missou- l ian reporter tweeted a picture of a swastika and the words "white power" being spray- painted on a building in the area. On Friday, anti-Semitic fliers were found also on the doorsteps of Missoula residents, featuring a disfig- ured picture of U.S. President Donald Trump with spiked hair with the Israeli flag next to his head, apparently implying a demonization of those support the Jewish state. "I didn't know if it was going after specific people in the community," Crystal Koosman, who is Jewish and a member of Har Shalom, told NBC Montana. "I went out- side, and some of my neigh- bors were outside chatting, and found out that they were all up and down the block." No suspects have been found in any of the cases. It is currently unknown if any of the incidents are connected. Finally, in November, re- cruitment fliers from the white-nationalist group Iden- tify Evropawere found around campus.