Turns out, my IFPS colleagues noticed Omer Bajwa at Kurt Westergaard's Yale talk. I previously mentioned Bajwa, billed as the Muslim chaplain of the Yale Muslim Student Association, for having told an Islamabad audience that "Muslims will win the final victory in the West if they conform to their beliefs and disseminate the message of Islam with wisdom and politeness." No doubt Bajwa was conforming to and disseminating Islam's message during his display at the Westergaard talk, but he did so with neither wisdom nor politeness.
First, Bajwa, whose official title is Yale's "coordinator of Muslim life for the University," made the baseless announcement that the “well-known Islamophobes Daniel Pipes and Geert Wilders" were behind Westergaard's Yale appearance.
Well-known "Islamopobes"? Remember, this is a man of the (some) cloth speaking -- the one who co-signed a letter in that same day's Yale Daily News with Yale University Chaplain Sharon Kugler going on about achieving a community of "true religious understanding." As Rabbi Housman would later note, "Lars Hedegaard, President of the IFPS, corrected this gentleman and remarked that neither Wilders nor Pipes were involved in any of the arrangements for Westergaard’s appearance and probably did not even know of his presence in the US."
Bajwa also made another baseless declaration: namely, that he had read "in the New York Times" that the son of Kurt Westergaard had converted to islam, and what did the son think of the father's cartoon? Answer: Westergaard's son has not converted to Islam and there was no such story in the New York Times.
What is the point of such malevolent fantasy? Nothing good at all.
Bajwa, of course, is no stranger to fantasy. Here is an excerpt from an account of a 2006 Bajwa talk about Islam during "Cornell Islam Awareness Week." It begins with a little background, and even includes the Danish Motoons:
According to Islamic beliefs, it was through Muhammad -- who lived from 570 to 632 -- that God chose to reveal the Quran, or Islamic scriptures, to humanity. For this reason, Muslims regard Muhammad as "the perfect exemplar and the best of creation," Bajwa said. "He is considered to be the epitome of creation." Since Islam prohibits any visual representation of either God or Muhammad, many Muslims viewed as a double insult the Danish newspaper cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet.
The violent clash of opinions about the cartoons, however, represented just one of many misunderstandings between Muslims and non-Muslims. According to Bajwa, the two most misunderstood elements of Islam are jihad and hijab, which he claimed are "sensationalized by the media in the non-Muslim world."
"I can say definitively for you today that jihad does not mean holy war," Bajwa said. Literally translated, it means "exertion" or "struggle," and, according to Bajwa, could just as easily be used to describe studying for a difficult exam or an inner spiritual struggle as struggling for justice.
Or spreading slander about a brave Danish cartoonist who dared to satirize Mohammed by drawing a bomb in his turban. And of course jihad means holy war. And I quote from the Al Azhar-approved guide to sharia, Reliance of the Traveller, p. 599, to prove it:
Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion.
War on non-Muslims is not the only jihad -- there is also the so-called "greater jihad," or "spritual warfare" within -- but war on non-Muslims is the only jihad that counts, if, that is, you are a non-Muslim. It is pure deception to say otherwise, just as it was pure deception to say the things Bajwa said about Kurt. And this person's on Yale's payroll?
One more thing. As we leave the Westergaard trip behind, it's important to understand that the Westergaard cartoon image of Mohammed is a perfect illustration of Mohammed as described by none other than Sheikh Yussef al-Qaradawi. the internationally acclaimed Islamic authority (and sanctioner of suicide bombing). Explaining, like Basja, that "Allah wanted Muhammed's life to be a model," Qaradawi specifically notes: "Allah has also made the prophet Muhammad into an epitome for religious warriors [Mujahideen] since he ordered Muhammed to fight for religion …"
The turban fits.