Two weeks ago, Manhattan’s Temple Emanu-El had scheduled Albert Fox Cahn, a congregant who works as a lawyer for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), to speak at its Friday-night services, but rescinded the invitation abruptly after considering his links to this dangerous organization, which has longstanding ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Cahn has predictably labeled the disinvitation a failure of tolerance. The Muslim activist Shireen Qudosi, however, applauds the synagogue’s decision:
Synagogues should never be bullied into hosting organizations that promote divisiveness and demonization—especially groups like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which slurs [Muslim] reformists as “Uncle Toms” and seeks to impose its intolerant views on the American Muslim community. That intolerance often takes the form of harassing reformers who advocate for liberalism within Islam, while only recognizing as legitimate representatives of Islam those Muslims who represent Islamic orthodoxy. . . .
[Furthermore], CAIR has contributed dangerously to the politicization of Islam. . . . It doesn’t hide its behavior, either, often [working] as a self-appointed heresy hunter against Muslims who want to have an open conversation on Islamic extremism.
The Islamic faith has no organized leadership, and the caliphate of Islamic empires died long ago. Muslim organizations . . . such as CAIR, [trying to fill this vacuum], have positioned themselves as representatives of Muslims in America. . . .
Cahn [wrote in response the Emanu-El’s decision to disinvite him] that it “is up to this generation . . . to show that we have learned the lessons of history and the teachings of the Torah [and] to show that we are not doomed to wander the desert of intolerance.”. . . I don’t believe the Jewish tradition teaches its followers to submit [to bigots] and call it “tolerance.” In fact, I have heard of a Jewish saying that “if you are kind to the cruel, you will end by being cruel to the kind.” And we see that playing out here. Champions of indiscriminate interfaith dialogue such as Cahn are harming moderate Muslim communities by empowering CAIR’s bigotry.