By: Fern Sidman
An interview with Dr. Marvin Belsky of HRCARI
(Human Rights Coalition Against Radical Islam)
As the exponential growth of radical Islam continues to present an ever increasing danger to the future of Western civilization, there are those concerned individuals hailing from diverse backgrounds, nationalities and religions who are outraged by this pernicious threat and are determined to do something about it. The Human Rights Coalition Against Radical Islam is one such organization. Founded in May of 2009, the HRCARI has held numerous political demonstrations, rallies and seminars aimed at bringing about a collective awareness of the perils of Islamic extremism. I sat down with Dr. Marvin Belsky, one of the founders of HRCARI to hear more about the goals and objectives of this most important group.
FS: Can you tell us about the genesis of HRCARI?
MB: Basically, the HRCARI is a movement whose time has come. As radical Islam flourishes unabated, there are very few political organizations who are willing to take a pro-active stance in order to oppose it. Terrorism is on the rise and human rights abuses in Muslim countries are seldom featured in the news. The liberal establishment, the Western academy and the media seem to be controlled by multi-cultural relativists who have become apologists for Islamic radicalism. We found that many people from many different backgrounds are seething with indignation about the deafening silence on this subject and have personally been adversely affected by such extremism. They wanted to do something about and as such HRCARI was born. Our organization is a “rainbow coalition” comprising a number of different groups including Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, Jews, and even ex-Muslim dissidents. Our first official rally against radical Islam was held in May of 2009 in Times Square and featured members of families of 9/11 victims as well as those activists who have been speaking and writing about this threat for years.
FS: What is your background as it relates to activism and what inspired you to become involved?
MB: I am a retired medical doctor; an internist and a Jew. I grew up in a family that was very concerned about the rise of right wing fascism in Europe prior to World War II and the growth of the Nazi movement, so I learned from a young age that it is imperative to speak out against movements that can and will have catastrophic consequences.
FS: You mentioned human rights abuses that occur in Muslim countries. Can you expound upon the details of that?
MB: On January 19th, HRCARI participated in a large demonstration outside of the United Nations in New York protesting the murder of Coptic Christians in Egypt several weeks ago. The Christian population of Egypt in only 9% and for many years now, they have been relentlessly harassed and murdered by certain elements of the Muslim population. Over the years, more than 22 Coptic priests were murdered and it doesn’t stop there. Murders of Christians and other “infidels” are commonplace in Muslim countries and the world stands in abject silence.
Moreover, abuse of women is rampant in Islamic culture as is evidenced in the alarming escalation of “honor murders” of women who are accused of allegedly transgressing Sharia law. Any woman who wishes to become more “Westernized” or to divorce her husband, or who has been raped, or who wishes to marry someone of her choice rather than someone that her family selects is subjected to barbaric treatment, including murder. Not only does this take place in every Muslim country, but has taken place throughout Europe and in North America. Western feminists who choose a “politically correct” posture and don’t want to be viewed as racists remain silent while women’s lives are hanging in the balance.
Another group that has seen their share of human rights abuses are Hindus and Sikhs. For hundreds of years, Muslims have engaged in heinous murders of Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan, Bangladesh and India and those who are not murdered are subjected to forced conversions to Islam. Such atrocities against Hindus include targeted attacks against their temples, open theft of Hindu property, and rape of young Hindu women.
FS: What is HRCARI’s position on Israel and the murders of Jews by Muslims throughout time?
MB: We are strongly supportive of Israel and stand with her in battle against Muslim violence. Clearly, Jews have been subjected to the savagery of Islamic persecution since time immemorial. We have called upon the world to rise up in righteous indignation over the existential danger that the Iranian nuclear threat represents for Israel and we have vociferously condemned such heinous terrorist organizations such as Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, the Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade, the PFLP, and other movements of that ilk. At our rally in Times Square, we had a young Israeli man speak, who survived an Islamic suicide bombing in Jerusalem and he told of other such attacks and how they have wreaked havoc on Israeli society. When Jews are wantonly murdered in their own country by their avowed enemies, that does not bode well for Jews around the world. While the international community consistently condemns Israel as an “apartheid state”, no one ever raises their voices about how Jews are “persona non-grata” in Muslim countries.
On Tuesday evening, March 9th, the HRCARI staged a counter-protest in front of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan, when we learned that a plethora of anti-Israel organizations would be protesting against the The Friends of the Israel Defense Forces fundraising dinner that was held there. We assembled about 100 people who also represented such organizations as Z Street, Americans For a Safe Israel, Stand With Us and the Zionist Organization of America. We countered the bald faced lies and propaganda of Israel’s detractors who claimed that the IDF massacred civilians in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. They called for an end to US support for Israel and claimed that the Obama administration was pandering to the Israeli lobby. We know that the IDF is the most moral fighting force in the world and that the infamous Goldstone report is replete with lies and distortions and has been discredited by the United States. The events of the last weeks illuminate the fact that the US and the Israeli lobby do not always see eye to eye and the strain in relations between the two countries will most likely embolden the forces of Islamic extremism.
We are also one of the organizers of a pro-Israel rally that will take place on Sunday, April 25th outside of the Israeli consulate in New York City. We will be sending a clear message to the Obama administration that there are Jews who are outraged by the nefarious shift in US foreign policy as it pertains to Israel. Jerusalem is the eternal, undivided capitol of the Jewish state and as such the government of Israel has every right to build homes for its Jewish residents there.
The facts cannot be disputed. Israel is a vibrant democracy that protects the rights of their Muslim citizens, while Jews are afraid to walk in their own streets or ride their own buses. Such media outlets as The New York Times, which is the “bible” of liberal activists, does not report the truth about Israel and in effect, enables Islamists to be more effective, along with such groups as The Human Rights Watch. We work with an organization called “Get Out The Facts” which raises awareness amongst those who are apathetic or misinformed about Israel and they were instrumental in protesting the incessant propaganda against Israel.
FS: Who are some of the personalities and groups that are associated with HRCARI?
MB: Our board members include Dr. Charles Jacobs of Americans for Peace and Tolerance, Andrew Upham, a noted attorney and Satya Dosapati of the Hindu Human Rghts Watch. We also work with Simon Deng, a freed former slave, Mohamed Yahya, leader of the Muslim Darfur group Damanga, noted author and women’s rights advocate Dr. Phyllis Chesler, Rajinder Singh Khalsa and Bhupinder Singh Bhurji representing the Sikh community, Hindu human rights leader Arish Sahani, anti-slavery activist Pastor Gerald Bell, Beth Gilinsky, longtime activist in human rights, and head of the Alliance for Interfaith Resistance, and Narain Kataria, of the International Foundation of Bangladeshi Hindus.
We also work with many Christian Zionist organizations including the Christian Action Network who take an active role in spotlighting persecution of Christians throughout the world. Other groups that we align ourselves with are: 911 Families for a Secure America; ACT for America, Long Island/Manhattan; AIR — Alliance for Interfaith Resistance; the AISH Center; the American Coptic Union; Americans for a Safe Israel (AFSI); the Alliance of Iranian Women; AMCHA-Coalition for Jewish Concerns; the American Center for Democracy, Americans for Peace & Tolerance and the Zionist Organization of America.