On September 25, U.S. religious leaders will host a dinner reception for one of the worlds most renowned terrorist supporters, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This man has repeatedly called for the annihilation of the Jewish state of Israel, rejects religious freedom and embraces terrorism. At a time when so many Jews and Christians around the world face persecution for their faith, this celebration with a man who leads the charge against religious freedom is outrageous, unacceptable and should not be tolerated.
I have deployed our global resources at the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) and our European affiliates to address this issue. First, we are lodging a formal letter of protest with the religious leadership who has agreed to meet with Ahmadinejad. That letter will go to the American Friends Service Committee, the Mennonite Central Committee, the World Council of Churches, and others. We are also going to petition the United Nations regarding this outrageous act. It is important for all of us to communicate that these religious leaders do not speak for us or, for that matter, for the majority of Christian citizens.
This meeting with religious leaders comes less than ten days after the Iranian Parliament voted in favor of a bill stipulating the death penalty for apostasy. The bill was approved by 196 votes for, 7 against, and 2 abstentions. This new law comes into effect despite the fact that Iran voted in favor of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I am opposed to this meeting and certainly would implore these religious leaders to demand that this new law of apostasy be rescinded if they insist on a meeting with Ahmadinejad. Appeasement did not work in the lead up to World War II, and appeasing Ahmadinejad will not work here either.
As concerned members of the ACLJ, I am urging you to stand with us and let your voice be heard in opposition to this meeting. I am sure that you, like me, find this meeting reprehensible! The idea that these religious leaders are sitting down at the table for a dinner with the Iranian leader while, just in the last two weeks, two Christians have been sentenced to death because of their faith, is unacceptable. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly and vocally incited genocide against the state of Israel and against some of his own citizens. He has threatened the Jewish people and he has threatened Christians in his own land. He is a threat to peace and security of the religious community worldwide. I am outraged by these religious leaders providing legitimacy to a leader who is bent on the destruction of innocent people!
If you would like to join me in this protest, click here.