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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 26, 2004 / 4 Nissan, 5764

Why are Jews lending legitimacy to dangerous Muslim groups?

By Joel Mowbray


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Will we never learn?


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | Sometimes, partnering with ostensibly moderate Muslim organizations in holding interfaith events can lead to a lot of trouble and controversy if proper homework isn't done in advance.


Just ask two Jewish groups in New Jersey.


The UJA Federation of Bergen County and North Hudson and the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of New Jersey had both signed on to co-sponsor an interfaith brunch scheduled for this Sunday, March 28th, which was organized by the various members of a longstanding interfaith coalition.


When a large number of members of the two Jewish groups complained, the interfaith coalition uninvited the American Muslim Union, which was one of two Muslim co-sponsors and jointly listed along with the Dar-ul-Islah Islamic Center as the event's only two hosts.


But appearances can be deceiving.


According to officials at both the mosque and AMU, AMU is very still very much a part of the interfaith brunch. Both organizations, in fact, maintain that their respective levels of participation remain exactly the same as before. And the featured speaker, who was selected by the two groups (and has her own set of problems relating to radicalism), has not changed either.


Given the histories of people involved with AMU and Dar-ul-Islah Islamic Center, it's not difficult to see why so many in the local Jewish community were concerned.


Though the American Muslim Union appears moderate in its official literature — saying it is "dedicated to serving the American Muslim community and its unique needs" — the organization has interlocking leadership with a group that has allegedly raised funds for Hamas and hosted as a guest speaker last year an alleged Hamas member.


Four current and former AMU directors and executives have held or currently hold leadership positions with the Islamic Center of Passaic County (ICPC), a mosque located in Paterson, New Jersey. ICPC was founded in 1989 by, among others, Mohamed el-Mezain, who was the Chairman of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLFRD), which the Treasury Department designated a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in December 2001.


According to a November 2001 FBI report that served as a basis for Treasury's decision to shut down HLFRD, a "reliable" FBI informant "reported that during a speech at the Islamic Center of Passaic County (ICPC) in November, 1994, Mohammad El-Mezain… admitted that some of the money collected by the ICPC and the HLFRD goes to HAMAS or HAMAS activities in Israel. El-Mezain also defended HAMAS and the activities carried out by HAMAS." Just last February, ICPC hosted a speech by Abdelhaleem Ashqar (http://www.icpc.com/icpcv2/lectures/lectures.icpc?directory=Friday_Lectures), who is identified by several FBI informants cited in the memo as a prominent Hamas member. Ashqar was jailed for two months last fall for his refusal to testify before a federal grand jury probing Hamas.


Although the ties to Hamas are allegations — El-Mezain nor anyone else affiliated with AMU or ICPC has been arrested — AMU has co-sponsored several rallies that any genuinely moderate groups would not associate themselves with. Chief among these rallies is one held in Times Square in April 2002, which called for, among other things, an end to the Israeli "massacres" of Palestinians.


(w)E-THE PEOPLE
Let your voice be heard!


Click HERE to contact the UJA Federation of Bergen County and North Hudson.


To judge for yourself, look at a flyer promoting the event by clicking here. The headline is "Stop Palestinian Genocide" and features an obviously forged photo of a baby lying in a pool of blood in a hospital bed. There may be many legitimate debates among reasonable, moderate people about Israel's treatment of Palestinians, but there are no widespread "massacres," nor is there any "genocide" of Palestinians. It is wildly false to claim either.


So when UJA issued a four-paragraph statement, which was read to this columnist over the phone by a UJA official, announcing that AMU was no longer a co-sponsor of the interfaith brunch, many members were relieved and considered the matter closed.


What Bergen County's interfaith coalition did, according to UJA's statement, was that it "determined that in the spirit of brotherhood, the faith communities rather than any organization will be the official sponsors of the Brunch." In other words, since AMU couldn't be called a co-sponsor, nobody else could either.


To put it another way: Nothing's changed, other than the elimination of the label "co-sponsor."


Although a UJA official angrily denied that AMU had ever been involved with the interfaith brunch — this person declared that an invitation listing AMU was a "mistake" — officials from both AMU and Dar-ul-Islah Islamic Center maintain that neither group's role in the event has changed.


On the dais, in fact, will be the chairman of AMU's Bergen County chapter, Waheed Khalid, who was the co-founder of Dar-ul-Islah and was, until recently, its president. A UJA official brusquely dismissed this as inconsequential, but it appears that Khalid will be the only Muslim on the dais and will be the one introducing the featured speaker, Dr. Ingrid Mattson, the vice-president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Several people at the mosque labeled Khalid — it seems correctly — as the event's emcee.


UJA's four-paragraph statement noted that it "will not participate in any organization whose members advocate… anti-Semitism in any form" or express a "reluctance to condemn terrorism without qualification," yet Khalid himself has defended Hamas and has called a miniseries based on the virulently anti-Semitic "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" both "interesting" and "news."


When asked by the Bergen County Record in May 1998 about Hamas' terrorist attacks, Khalid responded, "They are trying to get the occupiers out of their home."


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And in November 2002, Khalid made a startling comment to the New Jersey Jewish Standard about Egyptian television's 40-part miniseries based on the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," a book first published by Russia in 1897 that purports to show a Jewish conspiracy for world domination. Apparently without a hint of irony, Khalid told the paper, "I think it is news and it is quite interesting to know what it says."


Several officials at UJA acknowledge that they know about Khalid's comments. Yet he remains the sole Muslim on the dais, making him the de facto representative of the Muslim community at the event.


But even if neither AMU nor Dar-ul-Islah were participants in the interfaith brunch, the event would still be problematic because of the featured speaker, who was selected by the two Muslim groups.


Though Dr. Ingrid Mattson appears moderate, she is insidious precisely because she maintains that façade while steadfastly refusing to criticize radical Islamists, claiming that there is no such thing as Wahhabism and that the term "Islamic terrorism" should not be used in the media. Most shocking of all, though, is how little concern she expressed about suicide bombings in an essay she wrote shortly after 9/11.


At a CNN-sponsored "town hall" forum in October 2001, Mattson — with a straight face — claimed that the radical, Saudi-sponsored form of Islam known as Wahhabism was akin to the Protestant movement in Christianity. Wahhabism "really was analogous to the European protestant reformation," she explained.


This wasn't an isolated use of the analogy. At a November 2003 roundtable sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies Conference, Mattson said the Wahhabist movement in Islam is "a very old struggle …between the more theologically austere Muslims who like Protestant Christianity believe that there should be no saints there should be no intervention between you and G-d."


Mattson takes a similar "see no evil" approach to the idea of Islamic terrorism. Mattson was one of several Muslim "scholars" quoted in a Washington Times article shortly after 9/11 who claimed that the media should not use the term "Islamic terrorism." Mattson took this stance despite the fact, as the Times paraphrased her, that "Islamic terrorists themselves use this term."


The reason Mattson is able to pass herself off as a moderate is probably because she clears the low bar set for most Muslims: the ability to explicitly condemn suicide bombings. But she hasn't done so for very long. In a remarkably revealing essay Mattson penned for Beliefnet.com in October 2001, she wrote that, until then, Palestinian suicide bombings "simply did not cross my mind as a priority among the many issues I felt needed to be addressed." She stated it as matter-of-factly and inconsequentially as someone who apologizes for forgetting to pick up the dry cleaning because it "simply did not cross my mind as a priority."


There seems little doubt that Mattson's statements would violate UJA's own standard of refusing to participate in an event with someone who expresses a "reluctance to condemn terrorism without qualification." But still she remains the featured speaker of this weekend's interfaith brunch.


It's true that no one connected with either the American Muslim Union or the Dar-ul-Islah Islamic Center has been arrested, let alone convicted. And in America, everyone is — and should be — free to hold any belief, no matter how repugnant.


But have we set the standard for "moderate" Islam so low that organizations like AMU and Dar-ul-Islah can gain much-needed legitimacy by hosting interfaith events endorsed by Jewish groups? Because whenever AMU or Dar-ul-Islah is attacked in the future for espousing unseemly propaganda — and given their histories, it will happen — they can point to events like this Sunday's interfaith brunch and say, "If Jewish groups are able to accepts us, why can't you?"


It's understandable that the two Jewish groups in Bergen County don't want to disrupt an interfaith coalition that's been around since the 1980's, but shouldn't they be more concerned about the cover they're providing to groups that clearly don't deserve it?

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Joel Mowbray is the author of "Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Endangers America's Security". Comment by clicking here.

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© 2004, Joel Mowbray