Muslim Congressmen Should Be Held Accountable for Their Anti-Semitism

The current House of Representatives includes two female Muslim members—a first, and a cause for much celebration in the press. As of this week, both have made their anti-Semitism public. Ilhan Omar, in 2012, wrote that “Israel has hypnotized the world,” while Rashida Tlaib on Sunday declared that supporters of legislation before the Senate that would curb boycotts of Israel “forgot which country they represent.” Siraj Hashmi comments:

During the 2018 campaign, Omar was not supportive of the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (BDS). But as soon as the election ended, she announced her support to the publication MuslimGirl. BDS has long been accused of promoting an anti-Semitic agenda that would bring an end to the Jewish state. . . .

To her credit, Tlaib, [for her part], later clarified her statement by saying she was accusing senators, not Jews, of having dual loyalties. However, Tlaib’s clarification can [nevertheless] be considered anti-Semitic, since it again suggests that the state of Israel—and, by extension, Jews—is conspiring to control the world and, in particular, sitting U.S. senators. . . . .

Omar and Tlaib weren’t the only ones [whose conduct] crossed well into the territory of anti-Semitism. Keith Ellison, who was the first Muslim elected to Congress and is now Minnesota’s attorney general, was repeatedly denounced by Jewish groups, particularly in the past year, for his ties to the raging anti-Semite and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

[W]e shouldn’t allow their ideas to give the impression to other Americans that [these individuals represent] monolithic thinking among Muslims both in the United States and around the world. It shouldn’t be difficult to be critical of the policies and actions of a government and not make sweeping generalizations that devolve into hatred for an entire group of people. The biggest challenge will be how long [these congresswomen’s] supporters let this conduct continue before they call them out on it. If the current state of politics has taught us anything, it’s that we shouldn’t hold our breath.

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More about: American Muslims, Anti-Semitism, BDS, Congress, Louis Farrakhan, Politics & Current Affairs, Rashida Tlaib

The Syrian Civil War May Be Coming to an End, but Three New Wars Are Rising There

March 26 2019

With both Islamic State and the major insurgent forces largely defeated, Syria now stands divided into three parts. Some 60 percent of the country, in the west and south, is in the hands of Bashar al-Assad and his allies. Another 30 percent, in the northeast, is in the hands of the mostly Kurdish, and American-backed, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The final 10 percent, in the northwest, is held by Sunni jihadists, some affiliated with al-Qaeda, under Turkish protection. But, writes Jonathan Spyer, the situation is far from stable. Kurds, likely linked to the SDF, have been waging an insurgency in the Turkish areas, and that’s only one of the problems:

The U.S.- and SDF-controlled area east of the Euphrates is also witnessing the stirrings of internal insurgency directed from outside. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, “236 [SDF] fighters, civilians, oil workers, and officials” have been killed since August 2018 in incidents unrelated to the frontline conflict against Islamic State. . . . The SDF blames Turkey for these actions, and for earlier killings such as that of a prominent local Kurdish official. . . . There are other plausible suspects within Syria, however, including the Assad regime (or its Iranian allies) or Islamic State, all of which are enemies of the U.S.-supported Kurds.

The area controlled by the regime is by far the most secure of Syria’s three separate regions. [But, for instance, in] the restive Daraa province in the southwest, [there has been] a renewed small-scale insurgency against the Assad regime. . . .

As Islamic State’s caliphate disappears from Syria’s map, the country is settling into a twilight reality of de-facto division, in which a variety of low-burning insurgencies continue to claim lives. Open warfare in Syria is largely over. Peace, however, will remain a distant hope.

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More about: ISIS, Kurds, Politics & Current Affairs, Syrian civil war, Turkey