The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is one of the largest and most respected Muslim organizations on the continent. Politicians routinely fawn all over it. But it is also easily one of the most sinister Islamic organizations in the West ISNA manifested its truly evil agenda once again recently, when it issued a statement denouncing “Israeli violence against Palestinian worshipers” without, not surprisingly, bothering to notice that those “worshipers” were actually Islamic jihadis who were stockpiling stones and other material to use as weapons in attacks against Israeli civilians.
On May 5, one group finally called out ISNA, which continues to enjoy mainstream acceptance and wield considerable influence in the corridors of power in Washington. The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), which represents “over 2000 traditional, Orthodox rabbis in matters of American public policy,” called on ISNA to “retract its statement issued April 16 entitled, ‘ISNA Condemns Israeli Violence Against Palestinian Worshipers.’ CJV pointed to numerous factual errors in the statement which, taken together, could easily be characterized as promoting a false narrative, encouraging antisemitism and even fomenting violence.”
ISNA’s encouragement of antisemitism and fomenting of violence was no surprise. According to
Discover the Networks, “ISNA leaders view Islam as being superior to all other faiths and destined to replace them. Taha J. Alwani, a leading official of the Fiqh Council of North America, which is run under ISNA, writes: ‘In considering the earth as an arena for Islam, Allah has promised its inheritance to His righteous people, and He has promised that Islam will prevail over other religions.’…In July 2008, ISNA’s lawyers conceded that their organization, through its affiliate NAIT, had given financial support to Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook. Their defense was that documentary evidence of those ties dated back to the late 1980s and early 1990s, before the U.S. government had officially designated Hamas as a terrorist organization.”
CJV President Rabbi Pesach Lerner declared that ISNA’s statement makes outlandish claims that invert those who came to cause violence with those who responded to quell it. As written, it appears to demonize Israeli police for stopping a violent riot. The police foiled attempts to murder Jewish worshipers at the Western Wall, and restored calm so that peaceful Islamic prayers could occur at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Both Muslims and Jews should commend Israeli police for preventing an intended massacre and permitting the faithful of both religions to worship safely.
CJV added in a press release that “the ISNA statement erroneously claims that ‘Israeli forces stormed the Al-Aqsa mosque,’ with ‘unprovoked and violent Israeli attacks’ on ‘Palestinian worshippers.’ In reality, both Arab scholars and Israeli commentators have pointed to the desecration of the mosque by rioters that occurred in the morning, prior to prayers, as was documented on camera. The Israeli police enabled prayers to take place by stopping the riot.”
ISNA, however, is never going to admit that the Israeli police acted properly; to do so would be tantamount to rejecting the words of the Qur’an itself. The Jews in the Qur’an are called the strongest of all people in enmity toward the Muslims (5:82); they fabricate things and falsely ascribe them to Allah (2:79; 3:75, 3:181); they claim that Allah’s power is limited (5:64); they love to listen to lies (5:41); they disobey Allah and never observe his commands (5:13). They are disputing and quarreling (2:247); hiding the truth and misleading people (3:78); staging rebellion against the prophets and rejecting their guidance (2:55); being hypocritical (2:14, 2:44); giving preference to their own interests over the teachings of Muhammad (2:87); wishing evil for people and trying to mislead them (2:109); feeling pain when others are happy or fortunate (3:120); being arrogant about their being Allah’s beloved people (5:18); devouring people’s wealth by subterfuge (4:161); slandering the true religion and being cursed by Allah (4:46); killing the prophets (2:61); being merciless and heartless (2:74); never keeping their promises or fulfilling their words (2:100); being unrestrained in committing sins (5:79); being cowardly (59:13-14); being miserly (4:53); being transformed into apes and pigs for breaking the Sabbath (2:63-65; 5:59-60; 7:166); and more. They are under Allah’s curse (9:30), and Muslims should wage war against them and subjugate them under Islamic hegemony (9:29).
This situates antisemitism as a divine imperative, a matter of being faithful to the core teachings of the Qur’an. CJV Southern Regional Vice President Rabbi Moshe B. Parnes was likely unaware of these passages of the Qur’an when he stated: Islam is an Abrahamic faith with hundreds of millions of peaceful adherents. Few things could sully the reputation of Islam in America more than a statement condemning efforts to prevent bloodshed, under the imprimatur of an American organization with Islam in its name. It is for this reason that we urge ISNA to repudiate this statement before it can do further damage.
It’s a revealing contrast: Rabbi Parnes is worried about the reputation of Islam in America, while ISNA is intent on sullying the reputation of Israel worldwide, on false pretenses. That sums up the two sides of the conflict in a nutshell.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 23 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.