Editorial: the Muslim and Jewish Experience

July 9, 2003

Source: The Christian Science Monitor


On July 9, 2003 The Christian Science Monitor printed an editorial by Ahmed Nassef stating that "Muslim-Americans, especially, face a critical challenge that demands an unequivocal stand against the trap of ignorance and bigotry. In the current chilling political climate of racial profiling, secret detentions, and the mainstream acceptance of anti-Muslim bigotry, we have much to learn from the Jewish experience in Europe and North America. The Jewish stories of tragic pain, oppression, resistance, and renewal are especially relevant to us today... Earlier this year, when I cofounded MuslimWakeUp.com, a progressive online Muslim-American magazine, my project partner and I began a feature called 'Hug-a-Jew' where we interview Jewish Americans about their work in support of civil liberties and social justice, and then we proceed to give them great big bear hugs. We then display the hug photos prominently within the articles. We use this feature to show, in a lighthearted way, that standing for justice for the Palestinian people and showing a loving spirit toward Jews are not mutually exclusive... Muslim-Americans need to take practical steps to make this Islamic ideal a reality in their daily lives. Confronting the contradictions within our own communities is never easy, but it is necessary. Muslims must speak out forcefully against anti-Jewish hate speech in our institutions and mosques. Only when we are true to our stated beliefs will we be able to speak with moral authority on the issues that we hold dear."