How Radical Islam Drives Anti-Semitism in the U.S.

Going back as early as the 1960s, seemingly mainstream Islamic groups in the U.S.—e.g., the Muslim Students Association (MSA) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)—were established in close coordination with the Muslim Brotherhood, and with backing from such figures as the notorious Qatar-based anti-American and anti-Semitic cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi. As Yehudit Barsky and Ehud Rosen show in a meticulous study, these groups, along with a host of other jihadist organizations and ideological tendencies—some of which are sponsored by Iran—have played a crucial role in rising anti-Semitism. Barsky and Rosen write:

In recent years, U.S. Islamist groups and leaders have increasingly sought common cause with progressive left-wing groups that promote minority rights and intersectionality among racial, ethnic, and religious minorities in their efforts to build coalitions around common interests. In doing so, the Islamist groups and the progressive left-wing organizations have formed a red-green alliance, a coalition that crosses ideological lines between the far left (red) and the Islamists (green). Such coalitions are built both by forming a narrative of  the victimhood of U.S. Muslims, and by utilizing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, portraying it as an anti-colonial struggle. This has already brought about the formation of a new type of hybrid group that brings together under one roof activists of various fringe backgrounds.

While the FBI hate-crime statistics showed that the number of anti-Islamic incidents in 2020 and 2021 were among the lowest in a decade (110 and 152 incidents, respectively), U.S. Islamists have been labelling any criticism of Islam and Muslims as well as of themselves and their ideologies as “Islamophobia.” For example, the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations, [which praised Qaradawi after his death], has attempted to utilize public discourse at a time when anti-Semitic attacks on American Jews have been at their highest in four decades to suggest that anti-Semitism is minimal in comparison to Islamophobia. . . .

The use of anti-Semitism to undermine [Jews’] political and societal standing is often not considered a calculated threat. Viewed over time, however, it can be understood as part of a larger process of societal erosion in which extremist and anti-Semitic beliefs previously thought to exist on the fringes of society become legitimized as part of the mainstream and normative public discourse. . . . These developments should not be ignored. . . . To this end, the process of choosing allies from the Muslim community should be made much more carefully, and proper due diligence is required.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: American Jewry, American Muslims, Anti-Semitism, Islamism


How to Save the Universities

To Peter Berkowitz, the rot in American institutions of higher learning exposed by Tuesday’s hearings resembles a disease that in its early stages was easy to cure but difficult to diagnose, and now is so advanced that it is easy to diagnose but difficult to cure. Recent analyses of these problems have now at last made it to the pages of the New York Times but are, he writes, “tardy by several decades,” and their suggested remedies woefully inadequate:

They fail to identify the chief problem. They ignore the principal obstacles to reform. They propose reforms that provide the equivalent of band-aids for gaping wounds and shattered limbs. And they overlook the mainstream media’s complicity in largely ignoring, downplaying, or dismissing repeated warnings extending back a quarter century and more—largely, but not exclusively, from conservatives—that our universities undermine the public interest by attacking free speech, eviscerating due process, and hollowing out and politicizing the curriculum.

The remedy, Berkowitz argues, would be turning universities into places that cultivate, encourage, and teach freedom of thought and speech. But doing so seems unlikely:

Having undermined respect for others and the art of listening by presiding over—or silently acquiescing in—the curtailment of dissenting speech for more than a generation, the current crop of administrators and professors seems ill-suited to fashion and implement free-speech training. Moreover, free speech is best learned not by didactic lectures and seminars but by practicing it in the reasoned consideration of competing ideas with those capable of challenging one’s assumptions and arguments. But where are the professors who can lead such conversations? Which faculty members remain capable of understanding their side of the argument because they understand the other side?

Read more at RealClearPolitics

More about: Academia, Anti-Semitism, Freedom of Speech, Israel on campus