Why Many American Muslims Are Afraid to Stand Up to the Anti-Semites in Their Midst

Aug. 14 2017

A few weeks ago, near-simultaneous sermons by two California imams included anti-Semitic rhetoric of the most murderous kind, some of which constituted direct calls to violence. Shireen Qudosi examines the response of Muslim Americans:

The war-mongering rhetoric of [these] imams was not a matter of slips of the tongue or offhand comments. Their rhetoric is the same packaged radical ideology churned out in madrassas, terror camps, and online extremist publications. These are calculated and crafted messages that appear to convey the assumption that [these imams’] religious authority will not be challenged. Their words were not indicative of American Islam or [Muslim Americans as a whole]. Within days of the sermons, [a group of liberal Muslim organizations] launched a petition against Imams Ammar Shahin and Mahmoud Harmoush, calling for their immediate termination. . . .

This silent refusal of many [other] Muslims to condemn [physical or rhetorical] attacks that are openly inspired by Islam does not come from [actual sympathy with these attacks], but from a fear of challenging religious authority or . . . of holding our own community accountable. [The truth is, most] Muslims are not worried about what Jews, Americans, or a new presidential administration will do. Many [instead] fear first and foremost . . . the ostracism and harassment they risk from within their own community if they express dissent. . . .

Within days, the petition received literally thousands of signatures. All it demanded was that those imams be fired. The truth is that the entire mosque board that defended and allowed these imams to speak at length, without interruption, should step down. Members of the so-called “interfaith community” also need to take a hard look at their own complicity. Partnering with Jew-haters is of no service to anyone—not Jews, not Christians, and not the Muslim community. There is also the larger issue of the ineffectiveness of many interfaith groups and their tendency to be used as props during public-relations disasters such as this one.

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: Anti-Semitism, Interfaith dialogue, Islam, Moderate Islam, Muslim-Jewish relations, Radical Islam, Religion & Holidays

UN Peacekeepers in Lebanon Risk Their Lives, but Still May Do More Harm Than Good

Jan. 27 2023

Last month an Irish member of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was killed by Hizballah guerrillas who opened fire on his vehicle. To David Schenker, it is likely the peacekeeper was “assassinated” to send “a clear message of Hizballah’s growing hostility toward UNIFIL.” The peacekeeping force has had a presence in south Lebanon since 1978, serving first to maintain calm between Israel and the PLO, and later between Israel and Hizballah. But, Schenker explains, it seems to be accomplishing little in that regard:

In its biannual reports to the Security Council, UNIFIL openly concedes its failure to interdict weapons destined for Hizballah. While the contingent acknowledges allegations of “arms transfers to non-state actors” in Lebanon, i.e., Hizballah, UNIFIL says it’s “not in a position to substantiate” them. Given how ubiquitous UN peacekeepers are in the Hizballah heartland, this perennial failure to observe—let alone appropriate—even a single weapons delivery is a fair measure of the utter failure of UNIFIL’s mission. Regardless, Washington continues to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into this failed enterprise, and its local partner, the Lebanese Armed Forces.

Since 2006, UNIFIL patrols have periodically been subjected to Hizballah roadside bombs in what quickly proved to be a successful effort to discourage the organization proactively from executing its charge. In recent years, though, UN peacekeepers have increasingly been targeted by the terror organization that runs Lebanon, and which tightly controls the region that UNIFIL was set up to secure. The latest UN reports tell a harrowing story of a spike in the pattern of harassment and assaults on the force. . . .

Four decades on, UNIFIL’s mission has clearly become untenable. Not only is the organization ineffective, its deployment serves as a key driver of the economy in south Lebanon, employing and sustaining Hizballah’s supporters and constituents. At $500 million a year—$125 million of which is paid by Washington—the deployment is also expensive. Already, the force is in harm’s way, and during the inevitable next war between Israel and Hizballah, this 10,000-strong contingent will provide the militia with an impressive human shield.

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Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Lebanon, Peacekeepers, U.S. Foreign policy