An Open Letter to the Muslim World

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What Would Your Grandfather Say?

— An informal entry in my personal blog today, in honor of the 15th anniversary of 9/11 

Dear cousin,

As relatives that go back thousands of years to our shared grandfather Abraham, let me get straight to the point.

You are all believers of Allah — a good G-d who created all human beings with the purpose of transforming this world with virtue and justice.

You proudly trace your lineage to Ishmael son of Abraham — the one and only Abraham who stood up to an entire pagan world and single-handedly pioneered the path of kindness and love, as documented in the Torah (what you call Tawrat).

So here is my question to you: With atrocities being perpetrated by Muslims in the name of Allah — mass beheadings, rapes and murders of women and children, the killings of thousands of innocent people — why do we not hear any voice of protest from any of you?

Some argue that you silently condone and agree with this behavior. Others say that you may not advocate this viloent approach of creating an Islamic Caliphate and would prefer that it be done peacefully, but you can understand and therefore tolerate your fellow Muslims who do embrace these militant methods.

We prefer to believe that 1.5 billion of you do not approve of these methods. But if that is the case, why are none of you — not individually and not collectively, not your laymen and not your leaders — crying out in outrage?! Why are your Imams silent about this in their weekly Kutbahs (sermons)?

How about your children: What are they being told about these brutal methods?

And finally, the biggest question of all: Did you ever think what your grandfather and ancestor — the founder of your faith — would say about this behavior?

When Abraham became aware of G-ds plan to destroy the infidel cities of Sodom and Gemorrah, what did he do? One would have perhaps thought that Abraham would have celebrated the annihilation of the non-believers, the apostates and the sinners. But no! We are told — and you can read it in your very own Quran — that Abraham prayed for them, beseeching G-d to spare the city in merit of the righteous people that may live there!

So please explain: How is it possible that instead of following Abraham’s path of compassion, instead of praying for (people you consider to be) infidels, you are murdering them in cold blood?!

How can anyone claiming to be Abraham’s child — the very Abraham who introduced love and kindness to the world; the very same Abraham who prayed for an infidel nation — behead another human being?!

The basis of Islam, built upon the Torah, states that every human being is created in the Divine Image. How then can someone claiming to be a believer gruesomely murder the… Divine Image, while crying out Allahu Akhbar, God is the greatest?!…

Is this what Abraham sacrificed his life for, so that his grandchildren would in his name and in the name of G-d terrorize the world?!

How would your grandfather Abraham react to your actions??…

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31 Comments
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Andy
4 years ago

My mothers family they look like the kin of Anne Frank. Although I wouldn’t identify as jewish, or any other formalised tradition of worship, it occurs to me that in the case of Gentiles, where Moses lead gods chosen people from Egypt, it appears to describe a people not out of favour, more so a people who do not require the counsel, or guidance that the Jewish nation does. Which says to me that this is a reason for a so called chosen people. You dont hear much about the Gentiles, you hear about gods people tearing each other up in one way or in another. All with logs in their eyes. Mossad. Isis. Lockheed. IBM. They’re businesses. We stop buying oil for one week and they would all crumble like dried bread.

Arnie Herz
4 years ago

Rabbi Jacobson, I am a big fan of yours and I am almost always inspired by your articles. I have your books and watch your lectures. This column disgusts and disappoints me for the same reasons well articulated by Alon in the comments section. Bashing the entire Muslim world seems like a cheap way to rile up your readers and fails to capture the complexity and nuance of the reality. It’s lazy and dangerous. You should retract what you wrote. It’s not Rebbe-like, it’s not constructive and it does not being is closer to Moschiach.

Barbara
4 years ago

I don’t know where you all have been. Maybe it’s because the news never covers events and statements and actions of Muslim in the prevention of violence or in the denouncing of criminal behavior in the name of G-d.

Begin with this page – there are several others on this site full of links to that address Muslim statements, actions, and prevention efforts. http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/tam/categories/C56

Nick
4 years ago

I am not Jewish but , To the ones who said that the Jewish bible condones the extinction of the Amelek ? But to help the Torah and Judaism .. I do not see any Jews hurting people for no reason.. All i see is extremist of ‘others’ , other religions hurting people .. why is that ?
All i can say is i do not care which text is true or not.. I do not care which god told you to hurt someone.. I say tell that god to be quiet.. God has no right to tell someone to kill someone else, BUT he will give you the free will to do so. and to do is up to you.. and you should choose life..
I do care if someone wants to hurt someone else for no apparent reason only due to their beliefs…. i have lived abroad and domestic , and yes from what I have seen , most harm are done by other religions more than Judaism.. So again, to the ‘other’ religions why are you hurting people again ?

Nick
4 years ago

I am not Jewish but , To the ones who said that the Jewish bible condones the extinction of the Amelek ? But to help the Torah and Judaism .. I do not see any Jews hurting people for no reason.. All i see is extremist of ‘others’ , other religions hurting people .. why is that ?

All i can say is i do not care which text is true or not.. I do not care which god told you to hurt someone.. I say tell that god to be quiet.. God has no right to tell someone to kill someone else, BUT he will give you the free will to do so. and to do is up to you.. and you should choose life..
I do care if someone wants to hurt someone else for no apparent reason only due to their beliefs…. i have lived abroad and domestic , and yes from what I have seen , most harm are done by other religions more than Judaism.. So again, to the ‘other’ religions why are you hurting people again ?

RT
4 years ago

Rabbi,
While I agree that the Muslim world should decry the horrific unspeakable atrocities as mentioned, please correct me if I am not understanding but it appears that the Torah itself (including this week’s parsha, Shoftim) commands the Jews (despite being Avraham’s descendents) to destroy infidel nations unless they repent (eg, Hittites, Amorites, etc etc). If you can please explain the difference. Thank you.

richard
4 years ago

We are all family! Our behavior, starting with Adam and Eve and going forward has often been dysfunctional and destructive. We have the Noahide laws and the Torah to give us structure and guidance but look at the world around us! We have genetic defects which somehow enable us to behave the way we do. I see no end to it, regardless of what religion is involved, to change except, I hope, when Moshiach arrives.

Morris Abadi
4 years ago

Dear Rabbi, your open letter is moving, but not for muslims. Why? Because islamism is not about Allah or Avraham Avinu. It’s about Mohamed. And what they do, is exactly what their main prophet preached.

Miryam Swerdlov
4 years ago

Loved it. So good. Thanks. Can I ‘borrow’ it??

Lisa Fogel
4 years ago

I would wonder if they are afraid. Living among a group that support hate and killing, speaking up could be very fearful. I like that you put this out there. It is important to stand up for hate.

Yousef
4 years ago

Maybe explain why Judaism demands that Amalekites be murdered, men, women and children. That may help clarify the situation. In the Jewish Torah there also is plenty of reference to murder and extreme punishments to transgressors of the law. The fact that these things do not happen now is immaterial, factually in the perfect conditions this is what the Torah expects. Please clarify. Thanks a lot!

Rena Oppenheimer
4 years ago

Nice try — and laudable — but naive. You ignore Islamic history. You ignore the example set by their pedophile, slave driving, sexual deviant, war mongering, head chopping, genocidal megalomaniacal prophet. You ignore the multiple violent commands in the Koran to “kill the infidel wherever you find him.” You ignore the rampant anti-semitism and Christian hatred that underscores the core tenets of the religion. It was made up from whole cloth from some violent maniac who heard things about Judaism and Christianity. The sooner you understand this and speak the truth and pass it on, the sooner the rest of the world will cease to tolerate this “religion” that is nothing but Naziism with a made up god. Sorry, but that is the simple truth.

Sandy
6 years ago

As I understand it, Mahommad is the founder of [their] faith, not Avraham Aveinu. And Mahommad lived a life of murder, pillage and violence. Is not Bnei Ishmael simply following the teaching of this madman?

What would the world look like without their vicious ideology….

TMay
6 years ago

Rather than rewrite what others write, I thought I would send this article, below.
The hateful parts of Islam are contained in the Hadith which has been translated into English. and is available in The Al Qaeda Reader by Raymond Ibrahim on Amazon. Mohammad had 2 parts to his life. In the beginning he was hopeful and he thought he would be accepted as a prophet by Jews. He admired Jews for their literacy. They rejected him. Then he was disillusioned and hated the Jews. Therefore the Muslim religion has 2 things to say on most subjects. The problem is that whatever Mohammad said when older takes precedence over what he said as a younger man, therefore the hateful passages are more important than the earlier passages. The Sura in the Koran need to be read. The Jews had their reasons for rejecting Mohammad. Jews had rules that in order to be accepted as a holy man, one had to lead a holy life. Mohammad didnt. Mohammad spread Islam by the sword. In Khaybar, a Jewish farming village in the Arabian peninsula, he waited with his men to see if the men would come out to pray in the morning before working in the fields as a Muslim would do. When they didnt, he thought that was sufficient reason to destroy the village. He invaded and tortured the men to try to find out where they hid their wealth or so he thought and then he executed them. He married the rabbis wife by force. It is thought that she later poisoned him to death, so she was tortured to death. They are so proud of this that today they name their missiles the Khaybar missile to remember their victory. Islam spread by promising to share the booty of the stealing. When Islam went into India, all the untouchables immediately converted which made sense. It is thought that 85 million people were killed when Islam arrived in India. It is the reason that Indian widows chose to be burned alive with the corpse of their husband rather than live. The British put an end to that custom. Everything that ISIS does is done exactly by the playbook of Mohammad, including marrying girls of 9, and raping women after the conquest of a village, and after executing the men. It is the reason that the Arabs became so adept at being slave traders, and being located next to Africa, they geographically were in a position to sell Africans into slavery. However they did not limit themselves to selling Blacks. They also sold whites. Trading came naturally, carpets, people. Petro dollars are spent on people constantly cleaning up information on the internet about Mohammad and history. I literally see history disappear before my eyes. The Arabs have their interpretation of the story of Khaybar which was that the men were plotting against Mohammad so he acted against them. Islam has blasphemy laws punishable by death which includes : To use sarcasm and belittling words in respect of the moral character or the way of life (religion) of the Prophet Muhammad or other prophets. This is very useful in terms of preventing open discussions on the life of Mohammad. They also apply the blasphemy laws to non-Muslims. Also the fact that so many Muslims are illiterate also helps. Islam has not had a reformation. It also does not have a central authority who can announce what is Islam and what isnt. This means that people can call themselves Imams and then lead people astray for their own enrichment, for example inciting mobs to violence against Christians and then seizing their property when the Christians flee. There is a high unemployment rate and poverty and anger. Some people say that it is in the Koran that Jews would return to their land, and it has been a political decision to not inform the mobs.

Yes cutting people at their throats is part of Islam. Yes there are paragraphs that are taught to children and to Palestinian children who memorize them that Jews will hide behind trees and the trees will say to the Muslim that a Jew is hiding behind the tree and come and kill him. Yes the hatred of dogs is because of the belief that Jews are shape shifters and can hide within a dog. Yes in Islam, one can take a non-Muslim and demand that they either pay a tax and keep paying the tax, or convert, or become a slave, or die, and the Muslim gets to set the tax, and to decide. Yes the ultimate goal of Islam is a worldwide caliphate where everyone is Muslim, and Shariah law that orders amputations and flogging and beheadings, and Shariah finance law. Shariah is incompatible with the west, with the constitution, with the Bill of Rights, with God -given human rights. Yes In Islam one can lie to the Infidel, us. Yes they can show us pretty phrases from the beginning of the Koran all of which is overridden by later phrases. Allah Akbar means Allah is greatest and they will not let you use the word God nor Christ to replace the name Allah. Islam means submission. The word greatest is a word used to show a comparison. The nearest approximation that I can give to the Fundamentalist Muslim movement it that it is a combination of Nazism with its supremacist approach to the world with the Japanese idea of the kamikaze pilot.

Some Arab countries sided with the Germans in WW I, especially the Ottoman Empire (Turkey). They are taught that Hitler was a light to the world and they are honest when they regret that Hitler did not finish the job. You will see signs with these words in English at protests in America and worldwide. The Mufti in Jerusalem gave Hitler some of his ideas. When Israel discusses peace with the Palestinians they do not bring up the hateful content in the school curriculum, nor on the TV and in theaters and summer camps that Israel should ask be changed if they are talking peace terms. Our leaders are weak. They sense that. They see it as a green light. It is difficult considering that a religion which is granted all the rights and freedoms of religion is harboring this supremacist movement. It is difficult that we have weak leaders who have opened up our borders in the south. The Radical Left has made some unwritten pact with Radical Islam because they both want to overthrow the west. Judaism and the Judeo -Christian values in the west are the enemy of both. The Radical Left is Nihilistic and Anarchistic. Radical Islam has a plan. The Radical Left is presently in control of the nation. Obama, Kerry, Hagel, Holder, Hillary, Pelosi, Reid, etc are Radical Leftists. It is in the halls of power, in the bureaucracy, in the courts, in the churches, in the synagogues. It is in the schools and in the universities. They are attempting to get it in the military. The media has helped foist this off on us. It started in the universities. You can read Saul Alinskys book Rules for Radicals online. Alinsky a community organizer dedicated his book to Lucifer. That book is the book that Pres Obama lives by.

There are over 2 billion Muslims in the world. Leaders have a thousand year plan. Even small percentages of Muslims who are Fundamentalist and Radical equal the population of the US. Yes such men think they will get to heaven by killing Jews. It is one of the only ways to get to heaven for them. Our secular leaders are very worried about angering the entire Muslim population in the world, hence their tepid language.

Yes Muslims kill each other because ever since Mohammed died there has been a power struggle about who should have inherited the torch to carry on from Mohammad. The big split is Sunni and Shia. There are other groups. Iran follows the religion of the occult Shia concept of the 12th imam, the Mahdi, the hidden imam, which is a religious belief that a person they are waiting for will return if only they create enough terror, violence, blood in the street, misery, crying, wailing, and death. Ahmadinejad referred to the hidden imam when talking to the UN. Such people are referred to as twelvers. Twelvers are in control in Iran. There is another group called the Ahmadiyya which is a Muslim group that believes in love of God and love of man, and they are persecuted.

The Islamic Ghost That Haunts Obama
By David Rubin
9/15/2014,
Arutz Sheva
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Blogs/Message.aspx/6254#.VBcudWK9KK0
We are all influenced by our backgrounds. With the 2008 election of Barack Obama, who has fundamentally attempted to change America’s orientation in the world, thereby impacting Israel in very negative ways, I began to explore my relationship with the USA as one who was born and raised there. I fully identify as an Israeli – I married in Israel, my children were all born in Israel, my message is fundamentally a message of Israel’s mission, and my work is totally focused on building Israel’s biblical heartland through the children of Israel. Furthermore, when I travel and speak to groups across the United States, Canada, and elsewhere, I am doing so as an Israeli, even though I may have insights into American realities that most Israeli natives probably don’t possess.

Nonetheless, I still identify as an American as well, a fact of which I am proud and which I have integrated into my worldview as an Israeli. We are a product of where we come from, in addition to our essence, and in addition to the many influences that we absorb along the way. I am sure that on that sociological point President Obama and I would agree, based as well on his experience living briefly in Hawaii and/or Kenya, and Indonesia and growing up as a (possibly non-practicing) Muslim – or at least being registered as a Muslim attending school in Indonesia before moving to America and later undergoing an interesting religious transformation in a particularly controversial church.

Whether Barack Hussein Obama identifies as a Muslim or as a Christian (which he claims to), the fact is that he had a Muslim father (which according to Islam makes one a Muslim) and then a Muslim step-father. Obama idolized his father, as we saw in his autobiographical book, “Dreams From My Father” and perhaps for that reason, he has seemed to be in perpetual awe of Islam, as we have seen in his public references to “the holy Koran”, as opposed to his almost mocking references to the Torah, or the Bible of Israel.

Having said all that, the key problem with the influence of Obama’s background is that he is the POTUS, the leader of a free world that is being assaulted by an Islamic monster that has been seriously threatening Israel, America, and Western Civilization for years. Those threats have been noticeably heightened with the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL or IS) terrorist organization that has been terrorizing minorities in the Middle East and has been beheading American and British citizens.

Despite his awesome responsibility as president, and despite the demands of the moment, Obama seems unable to transcend his background in the religion of “Jihad”, or holy war against the unbelievers. He continues his ongoing nonsensical mantra that Islam is not dangerous, that Islam is not a basis for terrorism, that Islam is a progressive religion.

According to Obama:

“Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not ‘Islamic.’ No religion condones the killing of innocents.”

Sadly, that could not be farther from the truth. The classic Islamic sources have revealed to us that Muhammad, the founder of Islam, who all Muslim revere and follow, beheaded between 600-900 Jews in one day. Would Obama dare say that those many hundreds of Jewish victims of Muhammads wrath weren’t innocent?

Furthermore, Islamic sources reveal that the beatings and rapes of young women and the sexual abuse of children that are now being widely carried out, not just by, but especially by ISIS, are simply an extreme manifestation of the teachings and actions of Muhammad, who tolerated, advocated, and/or carried out sexual abuse and beatings of women.

The bottom line? There is nothing more Islamic than ISIS, which carries out the Jihadist, abusive ideology that is at the core of Islam. What is truly absurd is that an apologist for Islam is the ostensible leader of the free world’s struggle against Islam’s most assertive manifestation. Sadly, Obama’s Islamic biases will continue to get in the way.

Avi
6 years ago

Christians and Jews trace back their spiritual DNA to Abraham through Isaac and Jacob. Muslims trace back their spiritual DNA through Ishmael.

Thats where it all gets twisted. The Torah teaches us that Ishmael’s mother was Hagar, who was Pharoah’s daughter, so Ishmael is an offspring of Klipas Mitzrayim, the high magic of Egyptian depravity. The Torah calls him an “ohdom pereh”, which Rashi says is a lover of deserts, trapping living things, and “his hand is on everyone”. King David (Psalm 83)tells us that the Ishmaelites, Moab, and the Hagrites made a pact against the Jewish G-d and that there should be no memory of the name Israel.

Ishmael holds the answers to all of Rabbi Jacobson’s questions. Muslims are only following the original twist,which needs to be straightened out at the source.

E. M.
6 years ago

How would this apply to an individual struggle?

Step brothers grow up one good and one labeled bad.

This is like myself only growing in to maturity having been effected by my brothers bad behavior and loving him simultaneously. Can I forgive my imperfect self judging him by my parents ways or do I have to be perfect the good one?

Is all of this real fighting and warring playing out really an illusion until we get our own step brother inside of us under one mind?

My step brother, Ishmael, was fun and naughty and saw life grotesquely and he was critical of every detail. Is this Ishmael that I have inside me too as Isaac even though it was not my natural tendency. I got led astray in my youth. I knew he behaved wrongly in every detail and I followed Ishmael in our friendship in my young age and in order to get him accepted too by our family. And it was fun to take our grandmothers things and steal her sweet food and eat it out back secretly. I learned detail from his bad ways of detail. It is easier to learn detail with criticisms and complaining. so I learned from Ishmael even though I ignored the object of his criticisms.

It makes me sad that my mother judged Ishmael so poorly. And I was confused by her harsh treatment. It also made Hagar stand up for her ways even more. The ways of our parents caused divisiveness.

Why do I think I am better than myself, my brother who effected me in childhood days? And who am I to judge G-ds creation even Ishmael, the bad behavior? My mother raised me the human way, bless her for this as it is the best way to get along together and with myself to lean toward good ways. But G-d created both of us so in G-ds eyes we are equally good and bad. If I judge Ishmael poorly then I am bad. And this hurts myself as I need to recognize my own evil inclination and stop blaming Ishmael.

My mother, Sarai saw it differently from all G-ds creation and it tour me apart as I did not understand why my mother separated us. We were having fun.

Now in adulthood I see that it was right but her treatment left this scar to heal and it caused me pain.

What scar to heal? The scar is a misunderstanding of how to raise step brothers to love each other and not be swayed by parent favoritism even though she was right I had good way but I am not better than my step brother look at what I have done sometime warring or greed etc. My parents had to follow their determination of good behavior and bad behavior in two separate human beings. Ishmael and Isaac. They were right.

How do we each bring it to be individual Isaac and individual Ishmael?

I try to understand following through on my desire to have my own way like Ishmael. He is oblivious to the other. Am I oblivious to my bad self? Ishmael needs to think of the other brother me Isaac and embrace my ways.. but in his label of bad he struggles to say I am not bad and does not seem to break his ego of bad being worthy to change. Under the darkness of his bad behavior, he cannot see he needs to learn a new way to think and have compassion.

But the good side of me will stay with Torah study to discipline and to guard my behavior and pray that Ishmael will also embrace me, Isaac and my ways as he has that opportunity to bring himself to the Torah as the bad one come to learn in humility and to call his step brother a blessing among the nations and see his own role to bring bad to good as worthy of G-ds plan.

shimon kroll
6 years ago

You may have left a very significant piece out as to why the Muslims are not responding in protest. Its very simple. They dont want these mass murderers to turn on them

Fay
6 years ago

If you start with Google you can actually find many instances of Muslims publicly protesting against terrorism. I hope you wish to recognize the diversity of the Muslim world, and that not all are the same. Please also remember those Muslims who saved Jews during the Holocaust, precisely because of their faith.

Editors note:

Yes, we acknowledge that there are some Muslims protesting todays atrocities. Here is more documentation of that: Muslims Condemning Terrorism

But, lets be honest — the protests are far too few, with nothing being heard from the leadership of the major Muslim countries. And definitely no sound from the UN…

sjm30741
6 years ago

I completely agree with what is written here, I only say it is incomplete. Asking the children of Ishmael what their grandfather Abraham would say demands that we likewise ask the question of the children of Isaac. Yes, the beheadings and other atrocities are ghastly – so are the bombings of apartment buildings, hospitals and schools. It is time for ALL of Abrahams children to embrace teshuvah.

David Presler
6 years ago

Dearest Rabbi Jacobson,

I would add to this a background in perspective, that the war we are facing is a battle of principalities, a war of good against evil. In this case, there is no logic, true those masses are silent, and the passion of the Muslim world could be easily turned to one which would defeat these perpetrators of bringing the world to its knees.

But there must be something larger going on, behind the scenes, so to speak. I dont know what it is, end of times, some master plan, but its not fun.

I dont think we have seen the end of our struggles – there are too many against us, all over the world. We just want to be a light, plain and simple, but the dark forces dont like the light. Its too much for their retinas.

So, what can we do? Reason with the dark. I dont think so. They are so caught of in the fury of it all, there is no talking to them. We are at war with a powerful force, and we should not engage in any conversation with them until they are defeated, completely.

As far as our military tactics, we could have been stronger, but this coup was as miraculous as the 6 day war. We didnt care what the world thought. In my opinion, we did very well here – though the pain of losses are deep even for our dozens that gave their lives.

I like Moshe Feiglins perspective on how to deal with our enemy. But all in all, most Jewish Commentators do not address what I believe is the LARGER picture.

Its a war of principalities. I say we need to go back to our lives and do the best we can to keep our sanity and light alive.

Best Regards,

Cantor David Presler

Rephael Mendel Perkel
6 years ago

Thank you for this. Let all Muslims answer this challenge. Let all nations and cultures demand an answer. Would you rather submit in cowardice to lies and violence or be a hero for Truth and Compassion?

Kenneth Cohen
6 years ago

Abraham sacrificed his life?

Thank you for your letter! Hopefully this is just the beginning of a reeducation of the Muslim community, to empower themselves to speak truth to power

Leybl Botwinik
6 years ago

Very well stated.
Only … Allah — a good G-d
(are there also bad Gods?)
sounds like there is more than one God.

It should be underscored, that the God of Mohammed is also the God of Moses. There is no other God. Just different names, and different ways to serve him.

Yona
6 years ago

THANK YOU 🙂 Toda Raba !

M
6 years ago

I grew up in the Caucasian Mountains. There were 120 nationalities (better to call them “different nations tribes”, because of their small population, but with distinct backgrounds and languages) in that small location and most of them were Muslims.
Muslims, as I know, were pretty like Jews: all of them accepted the code of Mountain laws. The laws mostly were the same as Jewish laws; without constitution, court and government the code of laws itself ruled life of that colorful society. They did not mix with one another and strongly linked to their roots and borders but at the same time lived peacefully with each other and united only against invaders, who attempted to subdue them.
It’s well known fact that during the Holocaust local Muslims stood for local Jews. Hitler knew about dangerous unity of local tribes and ordered not to be very aggressive and cruel there. During Nazi occupation it as Kabardinians , from Muslim nations, that came out to talk to the commanders. They gave them gifts, sent their best pedigree horse as a gift to Hitler and asked not to touch local Jews. They said: “These Jews are like us of dark skin and have the same customs and traditions. We are like family members with them.”
It’s because of their straight initiative, Mountain Jews were speared. The commander didn’t know what to do and had to send a request to Hitler what should be done with those Jews. Hitler’s respond was: “White dog or black dog is a dog.” It took a few months for that letter to reach the commander, and by the time it had been received Soviet Amy prevailed and expelled Nazi from that area. That episode made friendship between Jews and Muslims even stronger than before the WW II.
There was no anti-Semitism on government level as it was in other parts of former USSR. Jews were considered to be natives and had their share in all fields of local structure.
Russian history of that time is full of heroes, but from my personal experience, I would rather deal with Kabardinians who were proud of their noble roots and were honesty in business than Russians“IVAN DOBRA NE POMNYACHEY” who served to Nazi.
Unfortunately,” Arab Spring” came to our place much earlier than to Arab world, and many of different branches of Muslims, who claimed to be the members of our family turned into separatists and terrorists..
Right after we moved to US events of 9/11 took place that made me feel insecure. There are no more boarders that can protect from adversary…

Alon
6 years ago

You are addressing the Muslim world as a whole, and rightly ask about standing by and not speaking out. Firstly, you forget one option is a fear of speaking out in the face of extremists willing to use violence. Secondly, towards the end of the piece you turn the tone in a mean way to ask why they (you) are murdering people, certainly an unfair indictment of all practitioners of a religion. I thought this change in address undermined the whole piece by suddenly addressing the Muslim world as though they are all murderers, which is patently untrue. Finally, maybe you do not seek out the Muslim voices condemning the violence: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/isis-betraying-muslims-says-calgary-imam-before-hunger-strike-1.2744182 or http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/calgary-imam-staging-hunger-strike-to-draw-attention-to-home-grown-terrorism-1.1971163 and also http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/tam/categories/C167

Thus the whole piece becomes an unfair paintbrush of an entire religion, continuing to ignore the excesses and violence perpetrated by most religious affiliates, including extremists in the West Bank thinking G!d promised them the entire land, excesses that have been well documented. Not to mention the kidnapping and burning of a Palestinian by Jews, another brutality, or the killing of 500 children in Gaza, even though its Hamass fault, as though that could ever recover the lives lost…b

Shmuel Goldsmith
6 years ago

Some argue that you silently condone and agree with this behavior. Others say that you may not advocate this violent approach of creating an Islamic Caliphate and would prefer that it be done peacefully, but you can understand and therefore tolerate your fellow Muslims who do embrace these militant methods.

These arent the only possible reasons. A third one is fear for the well-being of themselves and their families should they openly oppose the violent elements in Islamic society. This is not an idle concern, as Im sure you know.

Robert M. Adler
6 years ago

Rabbi, with all due respect
You are trying to use logic to convince fanatics about the errors of their ways; it wont work. Someone once told me that the only way to steer a jackass, the animal used for plowing a field and comparable to a religious fanatic, is with a 2 X 4 behind its ear.

Jamie
6 years ago

Thank you for voicing what Ive been wondering for a while now. Where is this being sent to beyond your readership?

Arnie Ross
6 years ago

Your article really expresses the dilemma that the Muslims must have in looking at the killings and atrocities we see committed. You have summarized it well and it calls for a good answer.

Melinda Ribner
6 years ago

Thank you for this letter. Please consider sending it to various mosques with an invitation to privately or publicly dialogue with you. You might make a significant difference here. Thank you for all that you do to raise peoples awareness.