Panelists decry Muslim anti-semitism | The Canadian Jewish News

Panel discussion organized by the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies’ (FSWC) at the inaugural Leadership Policy Conference on Anti-Semitism., with Raheel Raza, Tarek Fatah and Tahir Gora:

The three Muslim panelists spoke out vehemently against what they characterized as a pervasive anti-Semitism found in Canada and across the Muslim world and which, stoked by Islamic extremism, often forms the underpinning of anti-Israel rhetoric, Israeli Apartheid Week and the boycott, divestment and sanctions BDS movement.

Raza, who is also president of the Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow, a group working to “reclaim Islam” and oppose extremism and violence in the name of religion, said it’s important for the Jewish community to ask itself, “Who are our real friends?”

She warned against “seemingly innocuous” displays of anti-Semitism, such as those that she said sometimes emerge under the pretext of interfaith dialogue.

“Some aspects of anti-Semitism you see flat out, like Israeli Apartheid Week. But then there are those subtle forms that come under the umbrella of interfaith dialogue – the whole term interfaith dialogue has been hijacked by [extremist] Islamists.

”She said hatred of Jews is often embedded in early Islamic education, and that Jews cannot afford to “stand by silently anymore” regarding things like anti-Israel activities on university campuses.

“If anti-Jewish sentiment is taught early in mosques, then is there any wonder you have Israeli Apartheid Week and BDS campaigns in places of education?”

Having been involved in more than a few discussions on antisemitism, and having my own take (see Is criticism of Israel anti-Semitic?), these sessions could be strengthened by a broader cross-section of  panelists, not just three who agree with each other.

Pardon the phrase, but it is preaching to the converted; the challenge is to engage with those with whom one disagrees with.

Suspect the organizers were less pleased with Tarek’s other remark:

Fatah also asserted that without a two-state solution and the creation of a Palestinian state, Israel’s and the Jewish Diaspora’s problems won’t cease.

“Palestine has to be a state and Israel has to get out of the West Bank… there is no choice. And this is the Israeli consensus. It’s only in North America where Jewish organizations question the two-state solution… A lot of time in the Jewish Diaspora is being wasted on unnecessary arguments that have no outcomes.”

Panelists decry Muslim anti-semitism | The Canadian Jewish News.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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