A Jewish leader quoted below ably articulates the reason for reservations about the “twinning” project, explaining that “he and other Jews struggle over what extent they can discuss interfaith values with people who ‘are on one side promoting peace and on the other side participating in virulently anti-Israel rallies’.”
There is ample reason for alarm well beyond the participation by affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood-linked ISNA in one rally or another. The fundamental causes for concern are the imperative in Islamic law to subjugate unbelievers under its sway, and the fevered pitch of antisemitism found in the Qur’an itself. And the Qur’an’s grievance is with the Jews for being Jews, and not, of course, over the Jewish state founded almost one and a half millennia later.
The Muslim Brotherhood itself describes its agenda in America as “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 Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
That is the Brotherhood’s ultimate “interfaith initiative.” This sort of thing tends to cast suspicion on other, ostensibly friendlier projects. “Muslim-Jewish outreach effort contracts following allegations,” by Jay Tokasz for the Buffalo News, November 11 (thanks to Mark):
A national effort to forge better ties between Jews and Muslims has run into opposition from some Jewish community members who view the interfaith partnerships as a ruse perpetrated by radical Muslims.
An undercurrent to the “twinning” events in mosques and synagogues has had a significant impact in Western New York, where two rabbis who participated in last year’s local twinning weekend have since distanced themselves from the effort.
But organizers here said the local tensions stemmed from entrenched disagreement over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and were symptomatic of the need for greater dialogue between Muslims and Jews.
Organizers put together more events for this year, including an interfaith scripture study session on Tuesday evening and a planned visit Friday to the Sufi World Foundation mosque in Orleans County.
“Good will and positive things will win out, and people will see what we’re doing and become more comfortable with it,” said Rabbi Drorah Setel of Temple Beth El in Niagara Falls, the lone local rabbi onboard with this year’s twinning effort.
Rabbi Irwin A. Tanenbaum of Temple Beth Am and Rabbi Alex Lazarus-Klein of Temple Sinai, both in Amherst, had participated with Setel in the twinning last November but withdrew their support this year.
“I’m only saddened that it’s become impossible to be involved,” Tanenbaum said, declining further comment on the matter.
While it is “in the best interests of the Muslim and Jewish communities to work together,” the twinning program was no long-er the appropriate vehicle for it, said Lazarus-Klein, citing concerns about the national organization of the effort.
Twinning was started in 2008 by a group called the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, in cooperation with the Islamic Society of North America, a controversial national organization that, over its objections, has been linked by federal prosecutors to an international Muslim organization accused of promoting Islamic fundamentalism.
In its court case against the Holy Land Foundation, an Islamic charity accused of funneling funds to terrorist groups, federal prosecutors linked ISNA with the Muslim Brotherhood, a worldwide network considered by many Jewish groups to be stridently anti-Israel.
ISNA leaders have vehemently denied any connection to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Lazarus-Klein said he believes the local twinning organizers are well-intentioned.
But he and other Jews struggle over what extent they can discuss interfaith values with people who “are on one side promoting peace and on the other side participating in virulently anti-Israel rallies.”…