Symbolic Terrorism Revisited: Hagee's CUFI 'Wipes' Islam's 3rd Holiest Site From Logo
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 11:41:50 AM EST
Since the founding of John Hagee's Christians United For Israel, Hagee has built up a major national profile and, at the AIPAC 2007 annual conference, addressed a significant fraction of both houses of the US Congress. Few observers paid attention to the political extremity of Hagee's new group but CUFI's original logo, featured at its events, on its printed material and on CUFI's website broadcast CUFI's apocalyptic aspirations with unmistakable symbolic force. The logo featured a picture from which the Dome of The Rock, considered the 3rd holiest site to Islam, had been airbrushed out. In symbolic terms, CUFI's logo depicted what Israel's internal security force Shin Bet views as a potentially catastrophic act of religious terrorism. [image, upper right: old "wiped" and new "unwiped" CUFI logo images]
One of the key events necessary to trigger the end-of-days scenario expected in the Christian end-time theology, known as apocalyptic premillennial dispensationalism, that is held by Pastor John Hagee, much of his CUFI membership and tens of millions of Americans, is the rebuilding of a third Jewish temple on Jerusalem's Temple Mount, a spot considered one of the most highly charged possible flash points of conflict on Earth. Thus, one of the central organizational responsibilities of Israel's domestic security force, Shin Bet, is to prevent possible attacks, on the Islamic structures on and around Jerusalem's Temple Mount, by Jewish or Christian, or even Islamic, terrorist groups.

In his 2002 book The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount Israeli Journalist Gershom Gorenberg analyzes the volatile religious significance of the Temple Mount. As the Oxford University Press summarizes, "Members of the world's three major monotheistic faiths--Judaism, Christianity, and Islam--hold this spot to be the key to salvation as they await the end of the world", and as a Publisher's Weekly review describes Gorenberg's work, "Jewish messianists and Christian millennialists insist that building the Third Temple on the site where both Solomon's and Herod's temples stood is essential for the advent of the Messiah, while Muslim apocalyptic believers fear that efforts to destroy Al-Aqsa mosque to make way for the Third Temple will prevent fulfillment of the prophecy about Islam's Meccan shrine migrating to Jerusalem at the end of time... Gorenberg's prescience is manifest by his calling Temple Mount "a sacred blasting cap" and by stating that "any incident at the site can spin out of control."

But maintaining the peace in the volatile Mideast region does not appear to be high on the agenda of pastor John Hagee and other evangelical leaders now under CUFI's aegis.



As I wrote in an April 14, 2007 Talk To Action story entitled Christians United For Israel "Wipes" Dome Of The Rock From Website Logo

CUFI logo detail shows missing Dome Of RockAs the JTA news service reports today, "Christians United For Israel, a pro-Israel evangelical group, features on its website a photo of Jerusalem with the city's holiest mosques wiped out."

The JTA story actually misses the nub of the controversy ; the Dome of The Rock, considered the 3rd holiest Islamic site in the world, has been removed from the image of the Wailing Wall and environs featured in CUFI's website logo. The symbolism inherent in the logo casts a disturbing light on the tactical alliance between American Jews and CUFI founder John Hagee's new political lobbying group. The possibly incendiary nature of such symbolism to the Islamic world raises the question of why American Jewish groups and leading American politicians have associated with a leader such as John Hagee whose political views would be considered within Israeli society to be out on the extremist or even violent political fringe.

CUFI's first response, to the charge that  the Dome of The Rock had been airbrushed from the image used in its logo was to deny it and claim the Dome was missing simply because of a question of perspective.

In my April 14 piece though, I provided a number of pictures, of the same site- the Wailing Wall and the Temple Mt.,  which showed that claim was highly unlikely and even impossible.

In a followup story, CUFI's Odd Case Of the Dome That Vanished In The Night, I discussed the outcome, as a New York Jewish Telegraph Agency news story stated, unequivocally, that the image had indeed been wiped.

CUFI then changed its story and stated that the image had indeed been altered but not under CUFI's direction - the image, the group said, had been airbrushed by the artist who took the photograph from which the image was derived. The suggestion was that CUFI's use of the wiped image was somehow "accidental" but in a Google image search of literally hundreds of different images, from a similar perspective, of the Temple Mount and the Wailing Wall, I was unable to fund even a single image from which the Dome of The Rock had been airbrushed. There were two likely conclusions: either CUFI had specifically searched for the airbrushed image or it had in fact commissioned the image in the first place.




Display:
Now, before you think I'm attacking, please let me preface with the fact that I agree with most of the stuff on this site. I think the Dominionists are a threat to civilized society, I think they have a twisted agenda filled with hate-mongering and false precepts, and I think they intentionally took a photo from an angle that made it look like the Dome was gone. However... The angle of that photo was taken such that they're looking straight at the Western Wall. The line of sight is perpendicular to the Wall face. If you look at an OVERHEAD map of the area, and extrapolate where the camera probably was, then it's easy to see that the area you circled isn't the area where the dome should have been. The Dome is located at almost a 40 degree angle behind and away from the left corner of the Wall, and a fair distance behind. The line-of-sight lines that you drew didn't quite account for the actual changes in perspective. The edge of the Dome might have been airbrushed out, but if any part of the Dome would have been visible from that angle, it would have been a small part of it, and only on the very edge of the picture. The area you circled... just to the left of the trees... not where the Dome is. Please... do take a good analytical look at an overhead map and double-check your work. Google maps has a good one. The angles are easy to see, and from overhead, you don't get the strange mind-games that happen with on-the-ground perspectives. The reason that almost every picture of the Western Wall you found has the Dome in it is because most people consider the combination to be beautiful, tourist-worthy, and highly recognizable as the Jerusalem "skyline". It's like taking a picture of the basilica at Pisa, but not the leaning bell tower. While the basilica is a lovely piece of architecture in its own right, people always photograph them together. Very VERY few photos are taken of the Western Wall from straight-on angles. The one used in this clearly inflammatory logo was done intentionally, and was probably slightly photoshopped, but the dome was definitely not where you suggest it should have been in the photo. Gaaah, does this make me a twisted rendition of the devil's advocate?

by Mijan on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:39:14 AM EST
...With pictures elaborating my perspective analysis. As you do, CUFI originally claimed this was an issue of "perspective".

But, CUFI has since admitted its logo picture was airbrushed.

by Bruce Wilson on Wed Jun 24, 2009 at 10:11:03 PM EST
Parent




WWW Talk To Action


The Secret Antigay U.S. Money Behind The WCF and the Global Evangelical War on LGBT Rights
[note to readers: this is an excerpt from my first installment in a Twocare.org/Center Against Religious Extremism series that will examine extensive ties -......
By Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Race as Religion
Reading Edith Beer's book, The Nazi Officer's Wife, I ran across an interesting account of her fake marriage license.  She married a Nazi officer......
By wilkyjr (0 comments)
Dark Discussions on the Christian Right
The Neo-Confederate movement has been trying to jump start itself of late.  It has been an especially heady few months for the League of......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Oath Oaf: Religious Right Columnist Calls For Religious Tests In Military
Bryan Fischer, the director of issues analysis for the American Family Association (AFA) is like a demented, right-wing geyser: You can count on him......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Deeper Background on Dominionism -- Revisisted
In the Fall of 2011, there was an extraordinary -- and extraordinarily scurrilous -- wave of criticism aimed at those of us who had......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Fall From Grace: What The Religious Right Should Learn From The McDonnell Scandal
Leaders of Religious Right groups are fond of telling us that if we elect more fundamentalist Christians to office, we'll have less corruption. Biblical......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
A Visit To The Reality Community: Americans Have Sex. Americans Use Birth Control. Let's Move On.
Over the weekend, Americans United Senior Litigation Counsel Greg Lipper took part in a panel discussion about the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision at......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
Thomas DiLorenzo's Rebel Yelling
I have written a great deal in the past few years about the odd phenomenon of Catholic Neo-Confederatism.  Let's add one more name to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
Censorship Challenge: Texas Pastor Seeks Restrictions On `Dangerous' Library Books
Back in the 1990s, some Religious Right activists in Virginia got the bright idea to begin attacking America's public libraries. The idea was to......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Suspended St. Louis County Officer Dan Page Made Rounds on Rightwing Radio Shows
St. Louis Police Officer Dan Page drew national attention when he shoved CNN's Don Lemon during a broadcast of the protests in Ferguson, and......
By Rachel Tabachnick (1 comment)
Cop Who Shoved CNN Host Don Lemon Lassoed in Another Conspiracy Rodeo
Rachel Tabachnick broke an important story this evening showing that the rant by Officer Dan Page that got him suspended from the St.Louis County......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Exile Excitement: Some Fundamentalists Seek Escape From Decadent Society
OK, now we've done it. Those of us who advocate things like separation of church and state, secular government, LGBT rights and self-determination when......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Controversy Over White Nationalist GOP Candidate Still White Hot
The 2004 Constitution Party candidate for president Michael Peroutka's current race for County Council in Maryland -- as a Republican -- it is still......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Race, Republicans and the Religious Right
The Republicans have a race problem, and by this I don't just mean that racial minorities don't much vote for them, particularly in the......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Rev. William Barber on Religious/Political Inclusiveness
A few weeks ago, I posted about the extraordinary oration of Rev. William Barber at Netroots Nation. (A transcript of the speech is now......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)

Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (2 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (3 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (1 comment)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (1 comment)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (0 comments)
Robert Knight: Running against evolution could potentially be a winner for the GOP
In one of the starkest instances yet of how far gone the religious right is, one of its leading activists thinks that he's found another potential wedge issue that could drive more people into......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
First Catholic official convicted in child sex abuse scandal has conviction overturned
Last year, Monsignor William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's secretary for clergy, was convicted of reassigning a priest whom he knew had molested a young boy to a parish that had a school attached......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Quotes From Sarah Palin 'War on Christmas" Book v. Quotes From 1920s Anti-Jewish Propaganda
The point of this comparison is not to cast Sarah Palin as a Nazi. Rather, my intent is to underline uncomfortable similarities between contemporary "war on Christmas" talking points propagated by elements of the......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Francis sets up commission on how to deal with pedophile priests
Late yesterday Pope Francis announced--apparently after some prodding--that he will set up a panel to advise him on how to deal with child abuse by priests. The announcement was a forthright acknowledgment by the......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
John Hagee: Jews will make deal with Antichrist before End Times
When John Hagee opens his mouth, you expect to hear lunacy.  An appearance earlier this month on TBN was no different.  On Friday, People for the American Way stumbled on a special prophecy-focused edition......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Doug Phillips Resigns From Vision Forum over "Inappropriate Relationship"
Doug Phillips resigned as president of Vision Forum earlier this week, citing an "inappropriate relationship."   Phillips posted an announcement on the Vision Forum website, stating, There has been serious sin in my life......
Rachel Tabachnick (2 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.