Pastor Pursues Potential Partnership with Moderate Muslims
- 2006 20 Oct
A Florida pastor who was dropped from political appointments by Governor Jeb Bush and Attorney General Charlie Crist for statements against Islam now says he wants to work together with peace-loving Muslims to oppose Islamic extremism. Dr. O'Neal Dozier says clarifying his beliefs about Muslims is an important step in the proposed alliance.
Dozier, pastor of Worldwide Christian Center in Pompano Beach, says he did not mean to include moderate, peace-loving Muslims in his criticism of Islamic extremists who promote violence. Islamics whom Dozier says also believe in freedom, tolerance, and human rights are who he wishes to work with at the grassroots level to name and renounce terrorism. (See earlier article)
"It was never my intention to include [moderate Muslims] as being a part of the problem regarding radical Islam," the pastor says. He says he has made the offer of working together to the Council on American Islamic Relations and anyone who will publicly make a written condemnation of the known terrorist groups.
Dozier still considers the radical theology of Islam as cultic -- but despite his theological disagreements with much of the basic Islamic faith, he now says his approach has been modified to one that is more useful for helping find a solution for Americans and Muslims to live in peace together.
"This is why I am reaching out to the moderate Muslims to come up with a strategy -- a strategy that would work; a strategy that would eradicate radical Islamic extremism," he states.
The Florida pastor continues to oppose the building of a mosque on land in a neighborhood in which he says his city previously promised low-income housing. But he says he believes the most practical way for Americans to live in peace with those of the Islamic faith is to join together with those who are moderate and help them promote elimination of violent applications of their religion.
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