Colorado College's invitation to Palestinian Hanan Ashrawi to speak at a three-day symposium called "September 11: One Year Later, Responding to Global Challenges," brought criticism from several Coloradoans, including Focus on the Family President James Dobson. He issued a press release against the event, which prompted a reply from Bethlehem Bible College President Bishara Awad, one of the leading evangelicals in the Mideast. Awad's open letter, in turn, prompted a reply from Dobson. Below is the full text of all three documents. For more commentary, see Christianity Today's Weblog coverage here and here.
Colorado Springs—The Jewish community of Colorado Springs has expressed concern over the timing of a conference to be held at Colorado College and the decision by the college to invite Palestinian sympathizer Dr. Hanan Ashrawi as a keynote speaker. Dr. James Dobson, a member of the National American Alliance of Jews and Christians and the Center for Christian Jewish Dialogue, has said that he is sympathetic to the concerns of the Jewish people in the Colorado Springs area.
"There is certainly a place for academic freedom, but contracting a controversial figure at such a painful time for America is insensitive and lacks appropriate judgment," says Dr. James Dobson, president of Focus on the Family. "Have we already forgotten the news footage of Palestinians dancing in the streets on September 11 celebrating bin Laden's attack on the United States? Have we forgotten Israel's response to the catastrophe? Israel lowered its flags to half-staff, and Benjamin Netanyahu said, 'Today, we are all Americans.'"
Dear Dr. James Dobson.
I pray that you ...