The recent visit of some American Muslim leaders to Jerusalem to engage in interfaith dialogue with the Jewish leaders has yet again opened deep wounds for the American Muslim community. It is Ramadan, and it is Gaza. It is a sacred time, and it is a time of profound sorrow and outrage as we see Baraka and pain mingling. Let us hope that these words may help usher some healing for our community.
Are we clinging today to metaphors and allegories of our ancestors as they clung to their idols? What are some of the metaphors from scriptures that no longer serve us, no longer bring us closer to God, yet we insist on clinging to them?
By accurately labeling the terrorism associated with 9/11 as “Al-Qaeda terrorism”, we avoid the dangers of legitimizing the terrorist organizations or demonizing an entire religious or ethnic block of humanity.
Call the Kansas City Jewish Community Center attack what it is. This is a hate crime. This is politically motivated, domestic terrorism. If this is not terrorism, then indeed the term terrorism has no meaning.
In rescinding the honorary award for Hirsi Ali, Brandeis did the right thing. Eventually. But perhaps we should be asking another question: how could Brandeis have chosen such a hateful person whose views are easily exposed through a simple Google search in the first place? And would such views be tolerated, and rewarded, had they been made about other ethnic and religious communities?
Whether we are alone in this universe, or whether there are billions of other beings on gazillions of other planets,
we are not alone. We have each other, and one way or another, we gotta learn to live with one another. May it start in Jerusalem.
Richard N. Frye’s final request has been to be buried to his beloved city of Isfahan. Even the noted conservative president Ahmadinejad agreed to this honor. Frye’s hope has been that his burial in Isfahan would help unite the two countries he loved so.
I am not questioning the Mayor’s solidarity with children of Israel. We as human beings are called to identify with the pain and suffering of fellow human beings. What I wonder is the selectivity: why visit only children of Israel, and not the children of Palestine?
Occupying people, destroying homes, participating in massacres in Shatila and Sabra (Sharon, 1982) are not the sign of “strength.” These are the marks of brutality. Brutality and strength must never be confused.