The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage presented an interfaith dialogue, “Do Not hate Your Brother In Your Heart, How Interfaith Cooperation Builds Compassion, Respect and Understanding.” Participants were Rabbi Robert Nosanchuk of Beachwood’s Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple and Imam Mohammed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), who have been leading initiatives for interfaith dialogue for a decade. The evening seemed a lesson in duplicity.
Rabbi Nosanchuk spoke first. His leadership of the Greater Cleveland Congregations, a coalition of diverse religious groups, seemed inclusive and therapeutic, but out of focus with the needs of Jews worldwide and Israel. He feigned ignorance about the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS) that is perilous for Jewish university students across the US, most egregiously on the University of California campuses, where forty protesters bullied, harassed and blocked Jewish students from entering a university administrative building; where the president of the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS) hosted an event that spoke of killing Israeli “colonizers,” and where Jewish students have been physically attacked.
Palestinian students at Boston’s Northeastern University defaced a campus menorah, disrupted Jewish events, and frightened students for a year before they were finally suspended. Thirty-nine Vassar faculty members, administration and detached citizens, signed a letter supporting an academic boycott of Israel. Threats, harassment, intimidation and assaults on Jewish students are now a California tradition that is spreading across the country, yet this rabbi is not aware.
Fairmount Temple’s website reveals Nosanchuk’s concern is with social issues, meaning joining Olivet Baptist Church’s Rev. Colvin’s fight against voter ID laws, thereby squandering voter integrity. He is also against our Second Amendment, which will ensure that Jewish citizens remain unarmed and unprotected from those who would be armed to harass and kill Jews and Christians. His interests in social justice and interfaith relations do not encompass rampant Islamic campus violence.
Further, if the rabbi is affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), one might assume he supports the anti-Zionist J Street and New Israel Fund, both of which work diligently against the true interests of Jewish survival.
Imam Mohammad Magid spoke of his family, his long friendship with the rabbi, and his leadership in ISNA, the largest Muslim organization in America. ISNA traces its 1963 origin to several US and Canadian organizations, including the Muslim Student Association (MSA), whose attacks against Jewish students are infamous. In the Holy Land Foundation terrorist-financing case, ISNA, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and the North American Islamic Trust, were named unindicted co-conspirators and one of a number of “members of the US Muslim Brotherhood” with ties to the Islamic Association for Palestine and Hamas, extremists and terrorists.
Since October 2003, Magid and ISNA have been providing US Bureau of Prisons with extreme orthodox Wahhabi Muslim clerics who promote their radical political, ideological and theological foundation, and connecting them to 50 to 79 percent of mosques in North America. Three-quarters of “charitable” funding to ISNA supports warriors (irregular combatants – terrorists) who volunteer to fight for the Cause of Allah.
Magid assured us that we believe in the same God, but the Judeo-Christian faiths differ greatly from Islam as do the Gods. The Qur’an consists primarily of Allah’s admonishments to Muslims, with eighty percent being commands to kill the infidel (Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, all non-believers). Islamic law, Sharia, is a strict legal system that controls every aspect of one’s life, including the demands, torture, dismemberment, and slaughter of humans for their God. Islam celebrates violence, with jihad as its driving force in an endless expansion and enforcement of Islam worldwide.
He also compared Sharia to Judaism and Jewish dietary laws (Kashrut – Kosher), and Christian laws. The Torah, Hebrew law, and the Ten Commandments, are the ideological basis for the 613 commandments (mitzvoth) in the bible – a God-given moral code. The first five prescribe man’s relationship with God (belief, worship, respect); the last five concern man’s relationship with people (honor, respect; prohibitions against murder, adultery, stealing, bearing false witness, and coveting.) The dietary laws concern foods that are permissible and forbidden, cleanliness, preparation, and the humane slaughter of animals for food.