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24 February 2008

What is wrong with today's Jews?

What is wrong with today's Jews?

A perspective of a moderate Muslim.

When Muslims criticize Jews chances are it's Islamists. You rarely see moderate (an I do mean real moderate, not Islamists like CAIR who claim to be moderate) Muslims saying unflattering things about the Jews. So, normally, when I see the Jews do dumb things i.e., supporting an Islamist congressional candidate because of partisanship (American Jewish World's support for Keith Ellison) or providing utilities to a terrorist enclave (Gaza), I try to keep my mouth shut. For obvious reasons. But not this time.I thought I've seen everything: Cuban missile crisis, fall of Berlin wall, 9/11. Until recently, I thought that the father of modern terrorism getting awarded a Nobel Peace Prize was the most peculiar event in my lifetime. But a recent, largely unnoticed event, could take the cake in peculiarity contest.On December 15, Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, the president of the Union of Reform Judaism (one of the largest Jewish organizations in America), gave a sermon in San Diego in front 5,000 Jews in which he announced URJ's alliance with Islamic Society of North America (ISNA - one of the largest Muslim organizations in America). As a part of the sermon, Rabbi Yoffie stated that "[ISNA] has issued a strong and unequivocal condemnation of terror, including a specific condemnation of Hizbollah and Hamas terror against Jews and Israelis. It has also recognized Israel as a Jewish state and supported a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." But has it really? The statement Rabbi Yoffie refers to reads: "ISNA rejects all acts of terrorism, including those perpetrated by Hamas, Hizbullah and any other group that claims Islam as their inspiration." While there appears to be forward progress in this statement, there are several problems with it:- ISNA does not say it condemns but says it "rejects" acts of terrorism. What does reject mean? Why not say "condemn"? Rejection is not synonymous with condemnation. - Yes, ISNA seems to be acknowledging that Hamas and Hizballah carry out acts of terrorism but nowhere do they say come out and say that Hamas and Hizballah are terrorist groups. Only the other day we saw witnesses on behalf of the Holy Land Foundation in Dallas claim that Hamas can be divisible by its "military (terrorist) wing" and its "social-humanitarian wing." The failure to unequivocally condemn Hamas or Hizballah as a terrorist group is like me saying that I reject the tactics used by anti-abortion doctors who "claim to be inspired by Christianity." The use of the term "claim Islam as their inspiration" is another attempt by ISNA to deny the unequivocal fundamental Islamic basis for groups that carry out acts of terrorism. This is in line with ISNA's statement which claims the use of the term "Islamic terrorist" is racist. Now, how can one be said to condemn Hamas or Hizballah while simultaneously denying the existence of "Islamic terrorism"? ISNA's statement "condemning terrorism" from http://balancedIslam.org quotes approvingly the European Council of Ifta and Research. This is a council that has justified suicide bombings by Hamas. One of its leaders is Yousef Al-Qardawi who has issued fatwas calling for the killing of Jews (not Israelis) and Americans in Iraq. We all remember bogus fatwa issued by Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA). The same FCNA whose chairman, Taha Jaber Al-Alwani, is an unindicted co-conspirator in the case against Sami al-Arian, the North American leader of Palestinian Islamic Gihad (PIG). Is ISNA's rejection of terrorism any different?Prior to his praise for ISNA, Rabbi Yoffie stated the following: "Islamic extremists constitute a profound threat. For some, this is a reason to flee from dialogue, but in fact the opposite is true." I am a bit confused. Does this mean that the Rabbi realizes that ISNA is an extremist organization? And if he does, why does he go on to praise it. And regardless whether or not he realizes that ISNA is an extremist organization, who in their right mind would propose to have a dialog with extremists while acknowledging that they constitute a profound threat? Why don't we sit down with bin Laden and see if we can make him stop murdering the sons of monkeys and pigs? Haven't we learned anything from recent history, i.e., providing a forum for Ahmadinejad? Doesn't the Rabbi understand that legitimizing extremists is the dumbest possible strategy (which also has a side effect of marginalizing moderates)?On January 2, 2008, several prominent moderate Muslims published a column in the Jewish Week titled "Attention Rabbi Yoffie: Please Speak To Moderate Muslims" in which they expressed their dismay with the URJ's decision. These moderate Muslims explained why ISNA is anything, but moderate, and appealed to Rabbi Yoffie to reconsider URJ's association with ISNA. On behalf of Muslims Against Sharia, I also wrote a letter to Rabbi Yoffie, which was ignored by the URJ. So, let's examine what ISNA really is. Is it really an extremist organization or is it just a delusional rant of crazy moderate Muslims?On its website ISNA claims that it "was founded by Muslims in North America for the purpose of establishing ... outreach programs and fostering good relations with other religious communities", but North American Muslim Brotherhood Memorandum states that its purpose is to wage Gihad until "God's religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions." It claims that "ISNA is not now nor has it ever been subject to the control of any other domestic or international organizations including the Muslim Brotherhood", yet the aforementioned Memorandum lists ISNA is #1 on the list of creators of North American Muslim Brotherhood.According to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, the world's foremost anti-terrorism NGO, The Islamic Society of North America was founded in 1981 and is the largest Muslim organization in the U.S. Incidentally, Sami al-Arian of the PIG helped established ISNA. "ISNA serves as an umbrella group for hundreds of Islamic organizations in North America, some of which promote the Islamic fundamentalist doctrines of Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and the Palestinian Islamic Gihad. ISNA publishes a bi-monthly magazine, Islamic Horizons, which often champions militant Islamist doctrine, and it convenes annual conferences where Islamic militants have been given platform to incite violence and promote hatred. ... The president of Board of Directors of ISNA until 200 was Muzammil Siddiqui. ... He remains on the ISNA board of directors in addition to serving as chairman of he ISNA affiliated North American Islamic Trust (NAIT). ... In his public role, Siddiqi has built a colorful history of doublespeak - expressing seemingly welcome statements about terrorism yet praising the violent jihad waged in Israel and elsewhere. ... Siddiqui has made statements supporting the violent ideology of radical Islam and shunning the West. In glorifying the jihad in Afghanistan and its spread to other places in the world, Siddiqui wrote, "I can see there is already some impact of jihad in Afghanistan, in the intifadah movement in Palestine ... insha'allah, you will see, in a few years, we will be celebrating, insha'allah, the coming victory of Islam in Palestine. ... We will be celebrating, insha'allah, the coming of Jerusalem and whole land of Palestine, insha'allah, and the establishment of the Islamic state throughout that area. (Muzammil Siddiqui, "The establishment of the Islamic Government in Afghanistan") ISNA has assisted in the formation of a number of troubling organizations within the United States. One such was the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. Before it was incorporated under the name "The Occupied Land Fund" in 1989, HLF had been a subsidiary of ISNA, using the same mailing address in Plainfield, Indiana. ISNA's Islamic Horizons, which often contains anti-Israel, anti-American, and anti-Semitic sentiments; in has voiced support for fundamentalism in Sudan, Turkey, and Algeria. The editor is Omer bin Abdullah. ISNA and Islamic Horizons have been outspoken in their support for the fundamentalist Islamic regime in Sudan. ... ISNA's annual conferences are usually held in the Midwest. According to figures reported by ISNA, about 10,000 people participated in its September 1997 conference in Chicago, Illinois. These conferences provide fund-raising platform for radical Islamic groups. The Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), and the Marzook Legal Defense Fund all have substantial ties to Hamas and have been among the groups allowed to participate in an active capacity in ISNA conferences. These conferences feature speakers ranging from moderate to radical. ISNA has brought in speakers such as Murad Hofmann, a convert to Islam and a former ambassador from Germany to Algeria and Morocco. In the September/October 1997 edition of Islamic Horizons, Hofmann denied that both Hamas and the Lebanese Hizballah are terrorist organizations: "Perceptions of 'terrorism' are just as warped when countries consider responsible for harboring, training, and financing 'terrorists' are listed, always several supposedly 'antiwestern' Muslim countries are on the list, as are such movements as Hamas or Hizballah. (Now synonyms for 'terrorism'). ... [I]n the letter published in 1997 by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzook thanked ISNA for supporting him while he was in prison in the United States awaiting extradition to Israel. ISNA has defended an array of terrorists and terrorist charities. When HLF was shut down in December 2001, ISNA issued a joint statement with seven other Islamic groups: "American Muslims support President Bush's effort to cut off funding for terrorism and we call for a peaceful resolution to the Middle East conflict. These goals will not be achieved by taking food out of the mouths of Palestinian orphans or by succumbing to politically-motivated smear campaigns by those who would perpetuate Israel's brutal occupation. ... We ask that President Bush reconsidered what we believe is unjust and counterproductive move that can only damage America's credibility with Muslims in this country and around the world and could create the impression that there has been a shift from a war on terrorism to an attack on Islam. ... Confounded by Sami al-Arian, ISNA has employed an array of individuals who have been indicted on terrorism-related charges, such as former HLF head Shukri Abu Bakr, and even a terrorist operative - Abdulrahman Alamoudi. ISNA's funding is highly suspect. ISNA provided $170,000 in start-up capital to the Islamic African Relief Agency (IARA), which the US government shut down in October 2004 for funding Hamas and al Qaeda."(Steven Emerson, American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us, 2002; Steven Emerson, Jihad Incorporated: A Guide to Militant Islam in the US, 2006; IPT Profile: Muzammil Siddiqi.On August 28, 2007, just a few months prior to Rabbi Yoffie's announcement, members of Congress Pete Hoekstra, a former chairman of House Intelligence Committee and Sue Myrick, a founder of Anti-Terrorism/Jihad Caucus sent a letter to DOJ about ISNA. They wrote: "[W]e believe it is a grave mistake to provide legitimacy to an organization with extremist origins, leadership and a radical agenda. Establishing a partnership with ISNA is exactly the wrong approach at this critical juncture in history, setting a precedent that radical Jihadists should be the conduit between the U.S. government and the American Muslim population". Justice Department officially labeled ISNA "as a branch of Muslim Brotherhood in the United States ... Almost every single Sunni terrorist organization, including Al Qaeda and Hamas, is derived from the Muslim Brotherhood. The evidence naming ISNA as a leading branch of the American Muslim Brotherhood is overwhelming and its links to U.S. fundraising efforts on behalf of Hamas are equally strong." According to Stephen Coughlin (the Pentagon specialist on Islamic law and Islamist extremism, who was recently fired for refusing to succumb to pressure from Hasham Islam, a Pentagon official who demanded that Mr. Coughlin softened his position on Islamist extremism), Muslim Brotherhood has a plan to subvert the United States using front groups. One of the identified front groups is ISNA, the same ISNA which URJ is so eager to embrace.Evidence submitted in HLF trial shows the connection between ISNA and American branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. "An Explanatory Memorandum On the General Strategic Goal for the Group (that includes ISNA, ISNA Fiqh Committee, ISNA Political Awareness Committee, and 26 other Islamist groups, some of them shout down on terrorism charges) In North America" reads: "Establishment of Islam in North America, meaning: establishing an effective and a stable Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood which adopts Muslims' causes domestically and globally, and which works to expand the observant Muslim base, aims at unifying and directing Muslims' efforts, presents Islam as civilization alternative, and supports the global Islamic state [caliphate] wherever it is." Paragraph 4 of the Strategic Goal is the most revealing: "Understanding the role of the Muslim Brother in North America: The Process of settlement is a "Civilization-Jihadist Process" with all the word means. The Ikhwan [Muslim Brothers] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and "sabotaging" its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions."If this is not the plan for Islamic takeover, than I don't know what is."Mary Jacoby and Graham Brink, writing in the St. Petersburg Times, describe ISNA as "subsidized by the Saudi government" and the "main clearinghouse for Wahhabism in the U.S." ... ISNA previously invited Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi to speak at its conferences, even though he is well-known for having created the "theological" justification for suicide bombing that appears on the Hamas website. That justification is titled "Hamas Operations Are Jihad and Those Who [Carry it Out and] Are Killed are Considered Martyrs." Al-Qaradawi has issued numerous justifications of suicide bombings as well as a fatwa directing the "faithful" to kill American soldiers and civilians in Iraq (except for the very few who may have lived there before the war.) ISNA has also sponsored Rashid Ghanushi, the exiled leader of the Islamic Tendency Movement in Tunisia, as a speaker. Ghanushi has referred to Jews as a "cancer" and "Satans." ISNA sells his books on their "ISNA Media Store page." On this web page, al-Qaradawi is described as an "outstanding scholar." Al-Qaradawi-penned books for sale by ISNA are:-Fiqh az-Zakat: A Comparative Study, a 600-page book -Priorities of Islamic Movement -Islamic Awakening Between Rejection and Extremism, published by the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) described as "extraordinary work of analysis and advice is highly recommended for students of Islam and activists." -The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam which "presents the wisdom of Islamic rulings behind everyday issues faced by the contemporary Muslim" -The Scholar and the Tyrant." (Sherrie Gosstett, American Daily)I could go on for another twenty pages providing evidence of ISNA's ties to terrorism and extremism or describing ISNA's plans for Islamic takeover. The Investigative Project's website, among other places, contains tons of it, but I don't want to bore the reader.So, the aforementioned column written to URJ's president doesn't look like a delusional rant of paranoid moderate Muslims, does it? Then I want to repeat my initial question; "What's wrong with today's Jews?" How is it even possible that a major Jewish organization would support Islamic extremists?Does this mean that every single Muslims who belongs to the ISNA mosque supports terrorism or rejects it because the use of Taqiyya is more effective than the use of violence? No. Just as not every single Jew who belongs to the URJ synagogue supports alliance with ISNA. Muslims Against Sharia urge every Reform Jew to contact Rabbi Yoffie (Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, Union for Reform Judaism, 633 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017-6778, P. 212.650.4150, F. 212.650.4159, PresURJ@urj.org, http://urj.org/) and to ask him to sever all ties with Islamic radicals of ISNA. And if Rabbi Yoffie wants to have a dialogue with Muslims, there are moderate Muslim organizations to choose from. And if Rabbi Yoffie has difficulties determining which organizations are moderate, we compiled a handy guide that would make his task a lot easier.(See link to original story for graph.)

Now I would like to personally thank Steven Emerson and the Investigative Project on Terrorism staff who gathered majority of the evidence used in this article.K.M.
Rabbi Eric Yoffie & the Union for Reform JudaismLatest recipients of The Dhimmi AwardUpdate:
'Kill the Jews' statements from ISNA website. H/T: Americans Against HateMore on the subject: Sleepwalking into enslavement (Spectator, January 7, 2008)
Posted by Muslims Against Sharia at
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