Last week, Rabia Chaudry – a National Security fellow at the Truman National Security Project and New America Foundation – published a piece on TIME magazine’s website, entitled “What an American Muslim Learned From Zionists“.
In the article, Rabia reveals that two cohorts of young American Muslim leaders -their identities kept hidden because of the “risk” – over the past year have gone to Israel as part of an ‘interfaith’ program, called the Muslim Leadership Initiative (MLI), organized by Duke Muslim Chaplain Imam Abdullah Antepli and Trinity College Assistant Professor of Religion Homayra Ziad; it was funded by the Jerusalem-based Shalom Hartman Institute (SHI).
The TIME article reduces the occupation to the displacement of “dialogue” and “both sides” (unsure if Chaudry means Palestinians and Israelis or Muslims and Jews) being unwilling to speak outside ”their own bubbles”. Muslims, it essentially argues, misunderstand Zionism and thus misunderstand Jews and Israel. Therefore, to have healthy and holistic interfaith dialogue back in the United States, American Muslims must understand what Zionism means to Jews and what Israel means to Jews…
Criticisms of the articles themselves aside, the majority of the social media criticism was directed towards the existence of the program itself; the fact that Muslim American leaders would consider breaking, in effect, BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) by being sponsored, supported and funded by a Zionist institution seemed to knock the wind out of many. The inclusion of participants such as Wajahat Ali and Haroon Moghul – two well-respected and prolific Muslim names in US media – as opposed to the usual fringe-esque names we may be used to, set off a scurry of alarms and a tide of confusion.
What’s going on? (continues)
Who also request…
— CAIR National (@CAIRNational) July 1, 2014