U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom: Cancel The Meeting with Ahmadinejad!

From the Baptist Press, 9-22:

WASHINGTON (BP)–The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom is urging five religious organizations to cancel a Sept. 25 dinner with Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in conjunction with his visit to the United Nations….

Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and a USCIRF commissioner, is among those scheduled to speak at a rally against the dinner Sept. 25 outside the Grand Hyatt on East 42nd Street starting at 5:30 p.m. The rally, which is to include a number of organizations such as the Jewish Action Alliance and the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, also is meant to protest Ahmadinejad’s presence at the United Nations and to oppose Iran’s nuclear weapons program and threats against Israel.

USCIRF, which recently warned of Iran’s plans to impose the death penalty for people convicted of so-called apostasy, wrote a letter to each of the organizations, stating that the invitation and the platform for Ahmadinejad would be counterproductive to the groups’ peace goals.

“President Ahmadinejad has manipulated such dialogues repeatedly into a platform for spreading hatred,” Felice D. Gaer, USCIRF’s chair, wrote. “He hosted some of the world’s most notorious deniers of the Holocaust, racists and anti-Semites at a 2006 conference questioning the well-established facts of the Holocaust and calling for the destruction of a member-state of the United Nations.

“The only accomplishment of such an invitation would be to burnish the Iranian leader’s legitimacy and cleanse his reputation as a purveyor of hate,” she added in the letters dated Sept. 19…. more

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