In this issue
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 July 29, 2003 / 29 Tamuz, 5763

Improving Islam's Reputation

By Daniel Pipes

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Email this article | Americans are increasingly negative about Islam and Muslims — or so reports the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press in an important opinion survey published last week.

Perhaps the most dramatic change over time has been the jump in Americans who find that Islam, more than other religions, is likely ‘to encourage violence among its believers.’ In March 2002, 25 percent of the sample advocated this view. Now 44 percent do.

(Technical aside: Conducted during the period June 24-July 8, 2003, replies in the Pew study titled "Religion and Politics: Contention and Consensus" have a 95 percent confidence level and accuracies of +/- 2.5 percent or +/- 3.5 percent.)

Other trends concerning Islam are also negative.

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  • Muslim Americans In November 2001 59 percent registered positive views. That number declined to 54 percent in March 2002 and now stands at 51 percent.

  • Presidential candidate Americans are much more disinclined to vote for a Muslim for U.S. president than a candidate of another religion: 31 percent say no to a Muslim, versus 20 percent negative an evangelical Christian, 15 percent a Catholic, and 14 percent a Jew.

  • Shared values Asked if "the Muslim religion and your own religion have a lot in common," 31 percent answered affirmatively in November 2001, 27 percent in March 2002, and just 22 percent this year.

What explains this increasingly worried attitude? Clearly, much of it results from the on-going reality of terrorism, hate-filled statements, and other problems connected with militant Islam around the globe. But some of it also results from the problems concerning militant Islam's control of the institutions of American Muslim life.

Whether it be the imam at the local mosque, the principal of the Islamic school, the Muslim chaplain in a prison or the armed forces, the editor of an Islamic publishing house, or the spokesman for a national organization, the American scene presents an almost uniform picture of apologetics for terrorism, conspiracy theories about Jews, and demands for Muslim privilege.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, with seventeen offices across North America, has emerged as the powerhouse of Muslim organizations and best exemplifies this problem. Consider the sentiments of its leadership:

  • Omar M. Ahmad (chairman) says suicide bombers "kill themselves for Islam" and so are not terrorists.

  • Nihad Awad (executive director) proclaims his "support" for Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group.

  • Ibrahim Hooper (spokesman) declares "I wouldn't want to create the impression that I wouldn't like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future."

Not does CAIR just excuse violence. Two of its former employees, Bassem Khafagi and Ismail Royer, have recently been arrested on charges related to terrorism. And a member of CAIR's advisory board, Siraj Wahhaj, was named by the U.S. attorney as one of the "unindicted persons who may be alleged as co-conspirators" in an attempted terrorist assault.

Despite this ugly record, the U.S. government widely accepts CAIR as representing Islam. Nationally, the White House invites it to functions, the State Department links to its webpage, and Democratic senators rely on its research. In New York City, the mayor appoints its general counsel to the Human Rights Commission and the police department hosts its "sensitivity training" seminar. In Florida, public schools invite it to teach "diversity awareness."

The national media broadcasts its views. Which Muslim, for example, did the Los Angeles Times quote responding to the Pew report? Why, Ibrahim Hooper, of course.

CAIR, in brief, has established itself as the voice of American Islam, thereby battering Islam's noble reputation among Americans.

Moderate Muslims, of course, reject CAIR's representing them. The late Seifeldin Ashmawy, publisher of the New Jersey-based Voice of Peace, dismissed CAIR the champion of "extremists whose views do not represent Islam." Tashbih Sayyed of the Los Angeles-based Council for Democracy and Tolerance accuses CAIR of being a "fifth column" in the United States. Jamal Hasan of the same organization discerns CAIR's goal as spreading "Islamic hegemony the world over by hook or by crook."

Improving Islam's reputation will require two steps: that the great institutions of American life reject all contact with CAIR and like groups, while moderate Muslims build sound organizations, ones that neither apologize for terrorism nor seek "the government of the United States to be Islamic."

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JWR contributor Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and the author of several books, most recently Militant Islam Reaches America. Comment by clicking here.

© 2003, Daniel Pipes