Kamal Saleem is no apostle
I, for one, take great exception to Calvin College Republicans Vice President Paul Gehm’s characterization of the story of the so-called “ex-terrorist” Kamal Saleem as a “modern day version of a Saul-to-Paul conversion.” The implications tied to such rhetoric are far too large to warrant such praise.
Yes, according to Mr. Saleem’s story he went from a persecutor to a proponent, but that is where the similarities end.
To compare a man shrouded in doubt and suspicion wherever he goes to the apostle Paul is beyond simply wrong; it’s downright reprehensible.
The message of intolerance and distrust propagated by Saleem has no place next to the message of a loving God preached and taught by Paul. When coupled with his fiery rhetoric and sentiment-packed DVDs (conveniently for sale), Saleem’s avoidance of the question of whether he received money for his speech reeks of a money-grubbing fraud who is not fit to tie the sandals of an apostle.
Whether or not he is a fake, the skeptical responses that meet Saleem’s message of intolerance make for a man who is far from worthy of being compared to an apostle.
I urge Mr. Gehm to thoughtfully consider the connotations of his communications in the future.
Ben Cook, ’08
Doug Howard reviews Saleem’s book, The Blood of Lambs, and reaches this conclusion:
I first encountered Kamal Saleem when he appeared at Calvin College in November 2007. A look at his website told me immediately that he was not who he said he was.
An Arab American Christian, Ali Elhajj, says:
but steer clear of Kamal Saleem et al. They have nothing to offer but the promotion of a disengaged Christianity of fear and hate cowering behind military strength.
Reza Aslen of CNN notes:
Shoebat, Saleem, and Anani were asked to speak about their personal experiences as Islamic terrorists, to provide the next generation of US soldiers with an inside account of radical terrorism.
The selection by the Air Force Academy of these speakers was criticized by both the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Why? Because it turns out these guys are not ex-terrorists at all but—wait for it—fundamentalist Christians posing as ex-terrorists. Their fervently anti-Islamic message, in which all Muslims are labeled as radicals, is a prelude to a testimony about how accepting Jesus into their hearts and becoming born again saved them from a life of terrorism.