The Words of the Burton Family
A day after Sept. 11, 2010, Mr. Jon Halsey, a local leader of the Universal Peace Federation in Dallas, organized a publicized visit of prominent Muslim leaders to the First Baptist Church of Dallas in order to confront the intemperate language of their pastor, Rev. Robert Jeffress. The visit was covered by Fox Channel 4 News in Dallas and there were several follow-up segments. See story here: www.myfoxdfw.com/dpp/news/christians-and-muslims-meet
Mr. Halsey was accompanied by two Muslim friends: Michael Ghouse, head of the Dallas-based Foundation for Pluralism, and Mr. Marzuk Jaami, Founder of an educational monthly seminar titled "Connecting the Faiths."
Mr. Halsey tells Familyfed.org that he got incensed reading about Pastor Robert Jeffress' condemnation of Islam as an "evil, evil religion," and "a false religion, based on a false revelation by a false prophet." He says: "I decided I was going to attend his service and confront him face-to-face in a nice way."
On the news segment cited above, Mr. Halsey, identified as a member of the Universal Peace Federation, says: "I wanted him [Jeffress] to meet these people, to know that there are good Muslims out there, and it's not fair to make over-generalizations." Mr. Halsey says he invited numerous Muslim friends, and Mr. Ghouse and Mr. Jaami were the two who answered his call.
Mr. Ghouse and the other visitors were welcomed from the pulpit by Rev. Jeffress who also met with Mr. Ghouse afterward to discuss the Quran.
"He asked us to stand up and there was a good welcome. It was beautiful. I really liked that," Ghouse told Fox News, adding that he is convinced that Jeffress and most Americans have only read mistranslations of the Quran, where ugly language about Christians and Jews has been incorrectly inserted.
"What he said about the Quran and Islam, I agree with him. He has read the wrong translation. To find the truth, to be peacemakers, we have to find the truth for the sake of a secure America. His statements are divisive and offensive," Mr. Ghouse told Fox Reporter Richard Ray.
Rev. Jeffress said he enjoyed his meeting with Mr. Ghouse and the others, but still believes he has read an accurate translation [of the Quran]. He expresses no regret for what he's said about the religion, and further remarked: "I have no regrets at all. I think some of my statements have been mischaracterized simply because the whole statement wasn't given. I don't believe most Muslims are terrorists. I don't think most Muslims oppress women. But there is something within the religion of Islam itself that I believe incites violence."
Mr. Halsey spent the afternoon of September 12 at the Unity Day event organized by the Foundation for Pluralism. At this event, in which representatives of more than a dozen religions celebrated common values, Mr. Halsey was invited to distribute excerpts from the speeches of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, the founder of the Universal Peace Federation.
Mr. Ghouse expressed his appreciation to Mr. Halsey in an email to Familyfed.org: "Thanks for taking the lead and standing up for others. I am glad Channel 4 acknowledged your leadership and I'm getting calls from those opposed to divisiveness and admiring you."