Previously I wrote about how to beat Islamism. This subject should be of interest to everyone, and most of all to Muslims. As a topic for Israel Advocacy, it is only of peripheral interest. Yet Islam and Islamism seem to get a great deal of attention from Jewish and pro-Israel groups and authors.
Jews must never join in religious and ethnic bigotry of which we have usually and tragically been the usual victims. Arab and Muslim opposition to a Jewish state existed before the rise of radical Islamism, in the heyday of Pan-Arabism and under the leadership of Abdul Nasser. Anti-Semitism and imperialism have always been endemic to the Arab world. When Islamism goes the way of Nasserism, Arab and Muslim leaders and demagogues will not stop trying to destroy Israel or exploit the Israel issue.
If I were living in the United States, especially if I had a relative who died in the attacks of 9-11, I would not want a mosque or Islamic study center built near the site of the former World Trade Center. If I were a Muslim, I would not want a mosque built there. It is in poor taste and is bound to increase animosity. If the building is meant as an act of contrition, the money could better be spent on a scholarship fund for orphaned children of 9-11 first responders and 9-11 victims. If I were Mayor Bloomberg, I would probably be more sensitive to the feelings of the surviving relatives and friends of victims, many of whom were city employees. The “Ground Zero Mosque” or park51 or Cordoba house will be anything but a monument to Muslim tolerance as it is advertised. It will be a monument to intolerance and a memorial to people who committed violence, and to the greed and insensitivity that allowed it to be built. Having said all that, I am not living in the USA. I am not Mayor Bloomberg, either. I am sorry for all the American terror victims, but Israel also has terror victims. I do not think my top priority is fighting radical Islamism in the USA, nor is it the most important issue for Israel advocates.
Not long ago Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to New York and spoke at the U.N. Whereas Sheikh Rauf of the Ground Zero mosque might spread radical Islamism or may not, there is not the slightest doubt that Ahmadinejad is a radical apostle of terror, genocide, intolerance, violence and fanaticism. He has “prophesied” a world without America and Zionism, and he is working day and night to fulfill his prophecy. At the U.N. Ahmadinejad is a dangerous and obnoxious racist and Holocaust denier. Under his leadership, Iran is very probably developing an atomic bomb. Yet his appearance at the U.N. was not greeted by any sort of protest at all. Nearly 40% of American voters don’t even know who Ahmadinejad is.
Surely, some of the vast energies and resources that went into protesting the hypothetical threat of the Ground Zero mosque could have been diverted into protesting the real threat posed by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Islamism is a threat to everyone, and everyone should fight it. Islamists would love to show that only Jews are fighting Islamism, as that would discredit the fight against Islamism as a “Zionist plot.”
If we brand all Muslims as religious fanatics and advocates of violence, then we have needlessly turned all Muslims against Jews and a Zionism. Some people will be surprised to learn that the cause of moderation and reform has many advocates in the Muslim world such as Bassam Tibi, and Salman Rushdie, and the cause of peace and dialogue with Israel has outspoken advocates such as Sheikh Palazzi, Salahuddin Choudhoury and Tarek Heggy. Their extremist Islamist opponents accuse them of being traitors and infidels, and insist that Jews and Zionism are conducting a war against Islam.
Jews and Zionists who insist on joining the war against Islam are playing into the hands of the radical Islamist enemy and betraying the cause of moderate Islam. Leave it to the radical Islamists to insist that theirs in the only true Islam and that Zionism is the enemy of Islam. They do not need our help.
Nobody, Jews included, should join organizations like the British EDL, which has a Jewish division. Some Jews may not realize how bad EDL really is. At the same time, there is no reason either to reject the support of anyone, not even extremists such as the EDL or Geert Wilders, as long as we do not adopt their agenda. They can join us. We do not join them. The anti-Israel crowd does not recoil from accepting the support of the Neturei Karteh, but they are unlikely to become ultraorthodox Jews.
Groups like EDL pose a dillema. Surely we have to fight them, but why isn’t the vigorous Jewish campaign against EDL balanced by an equally vigorous or more vigorous campaign against radical Islamism? The EDL may be despicable, but they are not targeting Jews.
Not all Jews are busy fighting Islamism. Sometimes it seems that Jews will support any cause except their own. Bigotry against Muslims is certainly wrong, but do Jews have to lead that fight too? Recently Abe Foxman of the ADL urged Jews to speak out against anti-Muslim bigotry. The ADL is devoting considerable resources to the fight against Islamophobia. No good deed should go unpunished. These headlines tell us how much the efforts of Foxman and the ADL are appreciated by Israel bashers: The ADL’s Abe Foxman: “a one-man, hot-air propaganda machine”, Zionist Genocide supporting Foxman sees “pandemic of anti-Semitism”. Who could resist the obligation imposed by such gratitude??
British Jews sent a “humanitarian” aid ship to Gaza, Jewish charity money was used to subsidize a showing of an anti-Israel film about Rachel Corrie, and the NIF funds anti-Israel NGOs in Israel. What Jews will speak out for Israel??
Charity begins at home, doesn’t it?