Do People Get the Leadership They Deserve?
By Charles Jacobs
June 13, 2013
A few weeks ago President Obama unilaterally declared “peace” in the global war on terror because – as he explained – “history has taught us that all wars must end.” Well, no actually: History teaches that unilateral declarations ending wars are called “surrenders.” But not to worry — the President knows the war on terror is nowhere near an end: he’s come out forcefully defending the NSA’s anti-terror data-gathering programs.
If you think this is a contradiction, then you need to understand how “progressive” politics works: It is an article of faith among left-wing liberals (including Jewish “Tikkunistas”) that we actually can perfect the world through our thoughts — not just our actions – and that by speaking about the world as it should be, and not as it is, we inch ever closer to perfection. Indeed, acknowledging things as they actually exist only cements unpleasant realities in place. You might call this magical – or aspirational – thinking – from people who otherwise claim to be rational.
Example: President Obama wishes it were true that the assassination of Osama bin Laden defeated Al Qaeda. And he really, really wishes (as did President Bush) — along with many civic and political leaders — that Islamic doctrine was not a motivation or organizing principle for jihadist violence around the world. If all these aspirations were true, it would be reasonable to categorize people who claim to murder in the name of Islam as “lone wolves” who have misunderstood their religion. And that’s what Western elites tell us to think — because they so want it to be true.
But, as Mark Steyn quipped last week at Rabbi Hausman’s Stoughton lecture series, there seem to be an awful lot of these free-floating “lone wolf” misunderstanders out there. “The next time someone bellowing `Allah hu Akbar’ butchers a Westerner in broad daylight or blows up a sports event, you might think he’s a member of Local 436 of the Amalgamated Union of Unaffiliated Lone Wolves. Three tornadoes and you’ve got absolute proof of global warming, but thousands of jihad attacks – and still there is no “global wolfing.”
Western elites frown upon people stating certain observable yet unpleasant truths. “It’s not helpful,” they claim. Their policy seems based on Groucho Marx’s famous joke about the man whose wife finds him in bed with another woman: “It’s not true! Who you gonna believe? Me or your lying eyes?”
The President’s policy of “don’t believe your lying eyes” when it comes to jihad continuously produces outrages and absurdities. The 2009 murder of Private Andy Long in Little Rock by Carlos Bledsoe – a Christian college student who had converted to Islam — is designated by the government as a random “drive by shooting” — no matter that Carlos insisted that he killed Andy “for Allah.” Major Nidal Hassan screamed “Allah hu Akbar” while machine-gunning U.S. soldiers at Fort Hood and plans to claim at his trial that he murdered our soldiers to defend the Taliban. The Groucho-Marxist Obama spokesmen, however, still have his crime on the books as “workplace violence.” “America! — Don’t believe your lying eyes.”
Boston’s Jewish leadership seems to have adopted a similar approach, at least publicly, of willful blindness. The head of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), Jeremy Burton, revealed in The Advocate (DATE) a previously unannounced policy shift: Boston’s JCRC will now openly work with the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islamic Society of Boston (ISB).
The ISB and the Muslim American Society (MAS) — own and run both the Cambridge mosque (where the Tsarnaev bombers prayed), and the Saudi-funded mega mosque in Roxbury. The MAS is, according to federal authorities, “the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.” The Muslim Brotherhood, a major fount of radical Islam, is also a major source of global terror. It has many branches. The one in Israel is called Hamas.
Burton exquisitely demonstrates the painful conundrums Jewish leaders face when trying to reconcile their progressive values and utopian dreams with observable facts and actual Jewish interest when it comes to dealing with radical Islam. They have not figured out how to articulate the threat without offending liberal and Islamist sensibilities. They see the real prospect of rising Islamist influence, but given the constraints placed upon them by their progressive values (and/or donors), they simply don’t know what to do.
So they continue to express wishful sentiments devoid of unpleasant reality. And most troubling: Our leaders will not state in public what they know about the real threats to Jews posed by radical Islamists in the Hub. They kick the can down the road; they “dialogue” and seek to accommodate.
A little background: Years ago when it came to light that certain ISB leaders were linked to terror and hate speech, had lied to Jewish leaders about their anti-Semitic statements and affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood, CJP and JCRC leaders reacted by boycotting the grand opening of the ISB mega-mosque. Recently, Gov. Deval Patrick too seemed to have distanced himself from the Roxbury Mosque. So we thought and hoped that the matter of official Jewry working with ISB/MAS was finally settled.
Now comes the JCRC executive director and announces that even though he has “concerns,” he has re-established a working relationship with the ISB, “to focus on achieving our collective vision for Boston through our faith traditions.”
My hypothesis: Jeremy is a smart and decent man: he does not buy what ISB/MAS is telling him but feels he has no other option but to pretend, to be “politically savvy.” Jeremy knows that Imam Webb raised funds for a convicted cop-killer, makes outrageously homophobic remarks, and Burton may even know that Webb promotes a national MAS curriculum that radicalizes young American Muslims. Jeremy would like to believe that the Jews of Boston and the Muslim Brotherhood have a “collective vision.” Jews, he tells us, need to fight alongside Muslims for “health care, youth jobs, immigration and gun violence prevention.” Sounds more like Democratic Party talking points than Jewish community interests. Claiming that ISB/MAS are committed to preventing “Gun violence” is especially risible: Cambridge mosque leader Anwar Kazmi, who Burton would likely tell us is reasonable man, has been caught on videotape leading a rally on the Boston Common urging Muslims to support Tarek Mehanna — a man convicted of plotting tomachine-gun shoppers at an Attleboro mall. A Roxbury mosque spokesman, Abdullah Faaruuq, was caught on video tape telling local Muslims to “pick up the gun and the sword” and “do your job” in support of Mehanna’s fight against the U.S. government. Roxbury mosque Imam Webb has raised money to try and get a gun-wielding cop killer off the hook. Burton tells us that he has expressed his “concerns” about ISB/MAS leaders directly with ISBCC, and with Christian groups. He says Imam Webb hasn’t dispelled his concerns, yet the JCRC maintains the relationship.
If the JCRC were to value Jewish (and American) interests above its progressive philosophy, here’s what it would do:
Go public about what it knows about the ISB/MAS. 2. Meet with Christian and minority leaders, as well as with editors at the Globe, and show them the troubling evidence. 3. Demand that mosques not teach Islamic supremacism, anti-Christian, anti-Jewish, anti-women, and anti-gay lessons. 4. Focus on educating the black community about the threat to its children. There is a reason the Saudis chose to build their mosque in Roxbury: disaffected and alienated communities are vulnerable to Islamist proselytization. 5. Do all of the above while assuring moderate Muslims of the Jewish community’s support.
For too long, the JCRC has been silent – and in hiding — about this critical issue for the future well-being of the greater Boston community. This is dangerous, and it must come to an end.