“What can Muslims do to reclaim their ‘Beautiful Religion’?” asks the headline for a full-page advertisement in yesterday’s (11 January 2015) New York Times.

The ad, from the Gatestone Institute, points to “behadings and savagery by ISIS, female genital mutilations and honor killings, the abduction of girls by Boko Haram, the execution of innocents in Iran, the slaughtering and enslaving of Christians in Egypt and Africa and Yazidis and Kurds in Iraq and Syria, rampant anti-Semitism and other crimes against humanity committed by those who claim to represent Islam”.

It is an eloquent plea for denial and “relative silence” among Western Muslims to stop.

But this observer wonders about the source. A check of the website for the Gatestone Institute turns up no copy of the declaration published in the ad (although the ad itself says it can be found there) and does not mention the list of signers (from across the United States and Canada plus the United Kingdom). You can see it on Tarek Fatah’s website.

Gatestone bills itself as “a non-partisan, not-for-profit international policy council and think tank”, but it’s chaired by John R. Bolton, former United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations who’s also a Fox News contributor. Gatestone itself was founded in 2011 by Nina Rosenwald (an heiress of Sears Roebuck), who has been a key philanthropic backer of anti-Muslim groups and individuals in the U.S. Bolton is often described as a neo-conservative.

What’s your take on what’s bound to be a controversial full-page statement?

More from Beliefnet and our partners
previous posts

The Qu’ran doesn’t label dogs as untouchable (in fact, there’s quite a nice vignette of the Prophet Muhammad setting a guard for a dog with a litter of puppies). According to Mohammed Hanif, writing in The New York Times, “[m]ost of Muslims’ dog hate comes to us via the Hadith.” Which makes one wonder (yet […]

There’s a nuanced discussion of one of our favorite topics: Islamophobia, by Massimo Pigliucci on the website Scientia Salon. One snippet: “While the statistics on international terrorism are complex and can be read in a number of ways, there is little doubt even in the mind of sympathetic commentators like CNN’s Fared Zakaria that contemporary […]

As the 21st Century rolls along, American Muslims are dealing with ever more complicated questions regarding religious observance and personal behavior. Here’s what one Muslima has to say: “Yes, it’s possible to be queer and Muslim” “I don’t need to defend why I keep going back to my mosque, don’t need to name the spiritual […]

Yet another gunman with an Arabic name has opened fire in an American city. This time the gunman was born in Kuwait and the city was Chattanooga, Tennessee. Those killed: four United States Marines. According to the New York Times: “The Federal Bureau of Investigation identified the gunman, who also died Thursday, as Mohammod Youssuf […]