Christian Index editor says he’s willing to meet CAIR-Georgia members

J. Gerald Harris said Wednesday that he is willing to meet with members of the Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in the near future.

Harris, editor of the Christian Index, the official newspaper of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, was invited by the state chapter of CAIR to attend a Ramadan interfaith dinner on June 18 at the Islamic Community Center of Atlanta.

Harris said that he may not be able to attend that particular dinner but has agreed to meet with members of the organization, perhaps in July.

“I’m going to try to go to that meeting (June 18) or one of the other meetings offered to me,” he said.

He said a family commitment was already planned for that night.

“Sometime soon, I’m going to go,” said Harris. “I thought they were very gracious to extend that invitation to me. I would be interested in finding out more about the Council on American-Islamic Relations. I’ve read about it. It professes to be for religious liberty. I would like to know if they would be willing to have a Christian church built in Mecca. That would be a demonstration of religious liberty, I think.”

CAIR-Georgia Executive Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell looks forward to that meeting.

“Americans who meet and greet their Muslim neighbors tend to hold far more tolerant and positive opinions about Islam,” he said. “We look forward to a friendly discussion with Dr. Harris about the values that unite us as Americans, people of faith and human beings.”

Harris has questioned whether the “geo-politcal arm” of Islam should be protected under the First Amendment.

“Baptists live in a new era of the rising tide of Islam. With the growing influence of the Saudis and other political Islamists, we must first consider if a mosque that wants freedom of religion for themselves desire that same full freedom of religion for all others,” Harris writes.