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April 4, 2013 1:39 am

Presbyterian Church Publishing House Promotes Conspiracy Theories

avatar by Dexter Van Zile / JointMedia News Service

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he World Trade Center on the day of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. In his 2006 book produced by Westminster John Knox Press, author David Ray Griffin claimed the Bush Administration was complicit in those attacks. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The publishing house owned by the Presbyterian Church (USA), Westminster John Knox Press (WJK), is at it again. In 2006, WJK produced Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11 by David Ray Griffin. In this book, Griffin asserted that the Bush Administration was complicit in the attacks on September 11, 2001 that killed approximately 3,000 Americans.

The Bush Administration’s goal, Griffin reported, was to justify the expansion of an American empire. One of the arguments Griffin put forth was that the WTC buildings collapsed as the result of a “controlled demolition” caused by high explosives that were secretly planted prior to the attack.

These and other arguments were roundly and thoroughly discredited by another book published by Popular Mechanics in 2006, Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can’t Stand Up the Facts.

Griffin’s book was so ludicrous that officials from the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s publishing corporation stated that the conspiracy theory presented in the book “is spurious and based on questionable research.”

This repudiation hasn’t stopped Westminster John Knox Press from selling the book (which is still listed in the company’s online catalogue), nor has it stopped the publishing yet another irresponsible text, The Truth About Islam: A Christian Pastor Separates Fact from Fiction by Rev. Ben Daniel, a PC(USA) minister in California.

In this text released on March 25, 2013, Rev. Daniel makes his agenda clear. He wants to soothe American fears about Islam.

Promoting good interfaith relations is a laudable goal, but Daniel is so committed to his agenda that he willfully ignores some obvious facts that any responsible commentator would address.

For example, he offers no mention of the mistreatment Christians and other religious minorities endure in Muslim-majority countries throughout the world. Daniel’s abandonment of his fellow Christians who are suffering in Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan is inexcusable, but not at all a surprise given his denomination’s obsessive focus on Zionism and its silence about the impact of Islamism on human rights. The PC(USA)’s leaders and peace activists regularly condemn Israel while remaining largely silent about the oppression of Christians in the Middle East. It’s not their thing.

Daniel’s treatment of American-born Imam Zaid Shakir, co-founder of Zaytuna College in California is instructive. He writes that “Imam Zaid hopes the institution will help its students prepare for life in modern America by integrating a centuries-old faith into life in the twenty-first century… His articulation of the purpose of an Islamic education actually sounded quite a bit like what I used to hear as a student at Westmont, a Christian liberal arts college in Santa Barbara, California…” Daniel writes.

The way Daniel describes Imam Shakir, he seems like a good candidate for interfaith dialogue. There are a few problems, however. Shakir has, according to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, suggested that the attack on the WTC in 1993 was “undertaken by Zionist forces to give proof to their allegations concerning the magnitude of ‘Islamic fundamentalist’ terrorism, and as a pretext to intensify their anti-Islamic propaganda campaign in the U.S. media.” Shakir seems to think Israel and its supporters are responsible for the attack.

Shakir has also worked to undermine pluralism in the U.S., stating, “As Christians and Jews of this country have rejected the divine law and created their own secular system of a rule, the legal and political system of America is sinful and constitutes open rebellion against Allah. For a Muslim to join with the Jews and Christians in this system is to join them in their rebellion against Allah. Allah explicitly orders against this.” Is this the type of stuff Daniel heard at Westmont?

Despite Shakir’s obvious contempt for secular pluralism, Daniel writes that American Muslims who follow him are in “good hands” and are the “face of Muslim America’s future.” He closes the chapter that describes the imam as follows: “With the wisdom of people like Imam Zaid Shakir, both Islam and America will thrive.”

Why is a PC(USA) minister lionizing an imam who has promoted an irresponsible (and possibly anti-Semitic) conspiracy theory about the 1993 terrorist attack and who regards secular pluralism as an affront to God? And why is the PC(USA)’s publishing house helping him do this?

Dexter Van Zile is Christian Media Analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).

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  • Jay

    In the history of buildings colapsing from fire, only three steel structure builings have ever colapsed from fire. It happend that day on 9/11 wtc 1, wtc 2, and wtc 7. They all fell stright down into their foot print. What side of history do you want to be on (truth or lies)?

  • Frank Ho describes David Ray Griffin is not a “high profile scientist.” He is a theologian, or more specifically, a process theologian.

    • Frank Ho

      Dexter, is this all you’ve got after my previous response? Taking up against a minor detail and forget about what really matters in this major important issue?

      Fact is that David Ray Griffin was one of the first scientists that very openly criticized the official 9/11 account and took the high risk of being scorned and ridiculed. His appliance of the scientific method on the 9/11 mantra has been widely followed by many high profiled scientists ever since.

  • Frank Ho

    This article shouldn’t be written if the author should have done a better research.

    Presbyterian and professor, David Ray Griffin, wrote a book on 9/11 called “Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11.” This book is laid aside very easily just by suggesting that another book, published by Popular Mechanics in 2006, “Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can’t Stand Up the Facts,” told the more convenient ‘truth’.

    In fact, the people working for Popular Mechanics did a scandalous job by publishing their constructed facts as being scientifically proof. Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, founded in 2007 by Richard Gage (and nowadays supported by 1,835 architects and engineers worldwide who signed a petition), did a painstaking job by debunking Popular Mechanics completely, against the conventional wisdom so underhandedly defended by Popular Mechanics.

    Hopefully this work, done by the architects and engineers, who have the skills to know how a building should behave when it collapses, will gain full attention of your editorial staff. It will give you the chance to rehabilitate the work of the courageous professor David Ray Griffin, who was one of the first high profiled scientists who took the risk of telling the truth about 9/11.

    Part 1 – AE911Truth – Debunking the Real 9/11 Myths: Why Popular Mechanics Can’t Face Up To Reality – http://t.co/F9sRnokZ #science

    Part 2 – AE911Truth – Debunking the Real 9/11 Myths: Why Popular Mechanics Can’t Face up to Reality – Plane Impacts, Fire Damage & Melted Steel http://t.co/rOdKESsT

    Part 3 – AE911Truth – Debunking the Real 9/11 Myths: Why Popular Mechanics Can’t Face up to Reality – Collapse Times of the Twin Towers http://t.co/WNrvaGMg

    Part 4 – AE911Truth – Debunking the Real 9/11 Myths – Why Popular Mechanics Can’t Face Up To Reality – Puffs of Dust http://t.co/FxlETJUY

    Part 5 – AE911Truth – Debunking The Real 9/11 Myths: Why Popular Mechanics Can’t Face Up To Reality – Nanothermite in the Towers http://t.co/RleqsNpa

    Part 6 – AE911Truth – Why Popular Mechanics can’t face up to reality | Seismic Spikes http://t.co/BoxGyyLC

    Part 7 – AE911Truth – Why Popular Mechanics Can’t Face Up To Reality – WTC 7 Fire & Column Failure http://t.co/Z72gGBEG

    Part 8 – AE911Truth – Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Popular Mechanics Can’t Face Up To Reality – WTC7 Wreckage Pile http://t.co/VBZNhZww

    Part 9 – Debunking The Real 9/11 Myths: Why Popular Mechanics Can’t Face Up To Reality – Silverstein & Barry Jennings http://t.co/FrzAOzDBq4

    • Albury Smith

      Dropping empty cardboard boxes on each other isn’t research, but it’s apparently the best that Box Boy and his “experts” can do. If they ever decide to get serious about demonstrating their absurd theory, W14 X 730s were used as core columns in all 3 collapsed WTC hi-rises. They have 4.91″ flanges, 3.07″ webs, 215 sq in cross sections, and weigh 730# per lineal foot. Simply get some of these massive WFs, stand them up, and show us on video with audio how they’re secretly cut with explosives. If they ever HAD TO do it, we’d never hear another peep out of them.

  • joe

    Amen Mr. Van Zile, Thank you.