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US church criticized for planning to host Muslim convention

Published: Updated:
A U.S. church planning to hold an annual convention for the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) has received hate emails from radical Christian groups, according to media reports.

Salam al-Marayati, president of MPAC, told the Huffington Post that he chose All Saint’s as a venue “to provide an alternative model of positive Muslim-Christian relations … in light of all the negativity surrounding Christians making nasty films about The Prophet and Egyptian courts threatening Christians.”

The annual convention, the first to be held in a Christian house of worship, is set to take place on Dec. 15 with 1,000 attendees.

The church’s Rev. Ed Bacon said his congregation was “called” to work with MPAC, according to a report by NBC4.

Bacon told the news channel that most of the hate mail came from Fox News National Security analyst Ryan Mauro, founder of the website www.radicalislam.org.

NBC4 reported that Mauro has accused the Muslim organization of “taking advantage of naïve Christians.” He added that “this is not the type of group that we want to represent the Muslim-American community.” He said, however, that he is not anti-Muslims but and that he doesn’t believe certain groups can undermine America.

All Saints have received hate emails since Friday, Rev. Susan Russell told the Huffington Post.

The Huffington Post released several of those emails.

“You are consorting with the Enemy that is Killing Christians Worldwide,” an email stated, calling Muslims “Body Snatchers.”

Another indicated that All Saints will continue to hold the event “to expose the ugly underbelly of Islamophobia in this country,” and show “the ugliness of the ignorance and the demonization of Islam is exactly what we are trying to combat precisely by having that convention here.”

In the same vein, the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD), a conservative Christian group, released a statement on their website, saying, “Yet again, the Islamists are taking advantage of naïve Christians with a desire to show off their tolerance.”

MPAC’s president said he is working with the FBI and local police to ensure the venue is secure and safe.
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