Robert Wiener reports on Rabbi Marc Schneier reaching out to the Muslim community in solidarity at a recent function (“Rabbi, in Newark event, reaches out to Muslims, Feb. 24). I think that is lovely. It is another example of someone invested in our shared mission of tikun olam, healing the world.
As wonderful as this gesture was, I can’t help feel that it was ultimately meaningless to the Jewish community. His remark of “I am a Muslim too” was particularly galling. It made me think of John Kennedy’s Berlin speech in June of 1963 where he said “Ich bin ein Berliner,” (I am a Berliner). The difference between Kennedy’s remarks and what Rabbi Schneier said is that Kennedy was appealing to Germans who were America’s partners in the quest for freedom. I wonder how genuine the Muslim community is in their alliance with the Jews? Not until a large segment of the mainstream Muslim community comes out and challenges the validity of the hate speech generated by those associated with militant and extremist forms of that religion will a true partnership be formed.
If the excuse is that moderate and friendly Muslims are afraid to do it because they fear for their safety, then they might as well close up shop because the extremists have already won.