Jewish leader tells US Muslims that Islam is being demonized

The president of the Union for Reform Judaism accused American media, politicians and religious groups on Friday of demonizing Islam. Addressing the annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America, Rabbi Eric Yoffie said Muslims have been turned into “satanic figures.”

“There exists in this country among all Americans, whether Jews, Christians, or non-believers, a huge and profound ignorance about Islam … there is no shortage of voices prepared to tell us that fanaticism and intolerance are fundamental to Islamic religion, and that violence and even suicide bombing have deep Koranic roots,” he said.

Yoffie said his organization is discussing with Muslim leaders a dialogue and education program in the near future to increase understanding between the two faiths. He said Americans need to know “how far removed Islam is from the perverse distortions of the terrorists who too often dominate the media, subverting Islam’s image by professing to speak in its name.”

Ha’aretz, 1 September 2007