US rabbis take part in anti-Islamophobia event

Jewish rabbis took part in an anti-Islamaphobia in Washington on Thursday, days before the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 Twin Towers attack in New York, JTA reported.

“Ten years after 9/11, it has somehow become respectable to verbally attack Muslims and Islam in America,” Rabbi Eric Yoffie, the president of the Union of Reform Judaism, reportedly said at an event organized by Shoulder to Shoulder, a group founded a year ago to combat anti-Muslim rhetoric.

“There are very real consequences when entire populations are represented in the public imagination by their worst elements, when the sins of the few are applied to the group as a whole. I have watched in astonishment as prominent politicians, including candidates for president of the United States, have found it politically opportune to peddle divisive anti-Muslim bigotry,” Yoffie added.

Rabbi Burton Visotzky from the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary said Muslims “have always been part of the fabric of America,” the JTA report said.

Steve Gutow, a Reconstructionist rabbi and the president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the public policy umbrella group reportedly spoke at the event as well, saying “a great people and a great nation do not let their brothers and sisters suffer from bigotry and persecution.”

He condemned those who discriminate against Muslims throughout the United States, saying “our Muslim brothers and sisters suffer exactly that in all corners of this great country of ours. Today is a day to stand up and say we have had enough,” the report said.

Rabbi Marc Schneier, co-founder of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, Rabbi Jack Moline, representing the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, Rabbi Sidney Schwarz, representing the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association and the Faith and the Common Good project, and Rabbi Dr. Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer, representing the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, were also in attendance, the JTA report said.

Haaretz, 11 September 2011