The Mosque’s Imam Is a “Moderate” But Abe Foxman Is A Bigot?
By Jonathan Mark
“To make this a test of whether one supports religious freedom or is stereotyping Muslims is to engage in demagoguery. Good people can differ as to what should happen, without falsely being accused of abandoning their principles. “ -Abraham H. Foxman, chairman of the Anti-Defamation League
I trust the Imam and the Muslims at the new Ground Zero “Cordoba” mosque to tell me the truth of what they think about Israel and the United States. After 9/11, the Imam said America shared responsibility for the destruction of the World Trade Center. Now, the same imam refuses to condemn Hamas. And he supported the anti-Israel flotilla that led the international political ambush of Israel. This imam is honest. He’s just anything but “moderate.”
How about all the Jewish leaders and rabbis who call this imam “moderate” and support his proposed mosque? How honest are they?
How many of these rabbis, these professional dialoguers, ever can be counted on to speak up about the state of Islam in the United States – other than to constantly trot out the so-called moderates? Remember, when these rabbis say “moderate” they mean the masquerade of an imam who supports the flotilla and who refuses to condemn Hamas. That’s their idea of “moderate.” Would these rabbis say the imam is more “moderate” than, say, Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s foreign minister?
How many of these rabbis – how many Jewish newspapers and organizations supporting the Ground Zero mosque – had anything to say when Obama’s counter-terrorism advisor, John Bennan started calling Jerusalem by its Islamic name, “Al-Quds?”
How many of these rabbis, Jewish newspapers and columnists, or Jewish organizations, had anything to say when Obama’s director of NASA, Charles Bolden, told Al-Jazeera that as director of the National Aeronautic Space Administration a big part of his job is “outreach to the Islamic world,” as if that has anything to do with the space program. Surely, Jewish experts in dialogue and Islam think this is perfectly normal, placing outreach to Islam – a religion of moderates and peace – at the top of the space program. Have any Jewish leaders spoken up?
How many of these Jewish leaders, experts in moderate Islam, who nevertheless claim they know Islamic terror when they see it, spoke out when Attorney General Holder refused to say that there was any Islamic terror at all, other than a fluke, a coincidence that means nothing? Holder only sees peaceful, moderate Islam. Is there any other? How many of these rabbis or Jewish newspapers, or Jewish organizations, spoke out against Holder? Or do the professional dialoguers essentially agree – that all of Islam is moderate except when it’s not and when it’s not it’s not really Islam?
After the attempted bombing of Riverdale synagogues in 2009 – when some Jewish newspapers didn’t even refer to the suspects as Islamic – there was a response from the Jewish community. Jewish leaders held a limited-seating interfaith dialogue that featured a monologue by an imam who was scathing about the very idea that the FBI should dare to even look for possible terrorists in mosques. The rabbis response? They applauded the imam. He was moderate.
It’s a perverse world, it is a sign of the darkening sky, where an imam – who assigns blame to the United States for 9/11, who supports the flotilla, who is coy about Hamas – is the “moderate” but Abe Foxman is the bigot.
Jonathan Mark is an editor for The Jewish Week. This is an abridged version of a column that appeared on his blog at www.Route17.com