NASHVILLE, TN — The poison spread by militant Islam must be halted to protect free speech and bring peace in the Middle East, Christian leaders were told Tuesday evening during Proclaim 16, the National Religious Broadcasters’ International Christian Media Convention.
Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer and Fox News legal analyst Jeanine Pirro offered those warnings during the Convention’s invitation-only Media Leadership Dinner at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center.
Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the United States since 2013, said “the biggest mistake people make in dealing with terrorism” is to “think terrorism is a product of poverty or despair. It is a lie.”
“Terrorism is driven not by poverty or hopelessness,” he said. “Terrorism is actually driven by a fervent sense of hope, a hope that these fanatics will be able to achieve their fanatical goal, and what creates that fanaticism is a totalitarian mind-set.
The glorification of killers in some societies produces more terrorist candidates in younger generations, Dermer told the audience, which consisted of “principals” of NRB’s member organizations and specially-invited VIP guests.
“Until we deal with the poison that you see throughout the Middle East that is poisoning the minds and hearts of a generation of young people, you’re not going to have peace,” he said.
Pirro, Host of Justice With Judge Jeanine, told the broadcasters NRB’s mission to “defend free speech” makes them allies.
“[T]hat is where you and I are in the same business,” she said.
The advance of militant Islam is a threat to the United States and its freedoms, she added.
“Everyone agrees that this is a poison that has to be stopped,” Pirro told the NRB leaders. “[T]he genocide that is going on in the Middle East is not that far away. Your job is to make sure that on radio you talk about what is happening.”
If the broadcasters don’t, she said, “you’re going to get slapped in the face, and you’re not going to be able to talk about whatever it is you want to talk about.
“What we are confronting today is something that is urgent, imminent and real.”
Dermer told the Christian leaders his country “needs your support today more than ever, because the Middle East is collapsing. It’s collapsing everywhere. Militant Islam is rushing into a void.”
Many people “cannot fathom a religious war,” he said. “It’s hard for them to imagine that people are willing to kill and be killed for their religious beliefs.”
Yet, he said, there is a “religious war going on in the Middle East,” a war in which “the greatest victims in terms of numbers are Muslims who do not accept” the fanatics’ views. In addition, Christians “are being wiped out” in that region, he said.
The world’s “most important challenge” in addressing militant Islam is “to prevent these fanatics from having nuclear weapons,” Dermer said. “Everything must be done to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of these fanatics.”
Israel opposed the nuclear deal negotiated by America and other major powers with Iran, a committed foe of Israel, because it “didn’t think [the agreement] blocked a path to the bomb. We thought it paved it,” he said. “And our main concern was, and still is, not that Iran is going to violate the deal to get the bomb, but it can get the bomb by keeping the deal.”
Pirro told the crowd the U.S. Constitution is being “chipped away” by creeping Sharia-ism. The all-encompassing nature of Sharia law means it “cannot coexist with the Constitution,” she said.
“And the irony of today’s liberalism -- that is considered accepting of everything and anything -- is that it is sanctioning discrimination against Christians,” Pirro said.
The First Amendment is “the cornerstone of this nation,” she said. “Free speech in America is not negotiable, no matter what the threats are, no matter who’s making those threats, no matter what the consequences that we might fear are, and no matter what someone else’s feelings are.”
The sponsors of the dinner were the Center for Security Policy, which promotes national security; Heart to Heart, which provides support for Israel’s blood supply and ambulance service; Salem Media Group, a leading radio, Internet and publishing company; and Trinet, a web strategy and Internet consulting firm.
By Tom Strode
Published: February 25, 2016