Emgage, its Normalization with Zionists, and the American Muslim community in 16 questions.
Q 1: Brothers and sisters of the American Muslim community,
how important is the issue of Palestine and Jerusalem in our public discourse?
A 1: Very important.
Q 2: Can a Muslim leader or organization who claims to speak on behalf of, or represent, American Muslims compromise on this issue or undermine it and accommodate Zionist positions?
A 2: No.
Q 3: So if any organization or individual consistently does that, then they need to be called on it and must be removed from that position, otherwise we violate the first question. Do you agree?
A 3: Of course.
Q 4: Has Emgage been having Zionist connections that undermine the cause of Palestine and Jerusalem?
A 4: I do not know. It’s not clear to me. But they do a lot of good.
Q 5: If someone does a lot of good but associates with Zionists and enable their goals, should we sacrifice Palestine and undermine the rights of Palestinians and Arabs and Muslim and Christian holy places in exchange for the “lot of good” they might be doing?
A 5: I don’t think so. But it’s not clear to me that their relations with Zionist organizations are that deep or relevant.
Q 6: Fair enough. So the issue for you is then the evidence, since we’ve established the principle. Let’s examine the facts and not sweep them under the rug, because the consequences are enormous. If the Emgage leadership has been involved constantly and deliberately with Zionist organizations, they do not deserve to lead or be spokespersons for the American Muslim community. But if their involvement is in one or two incidents or as a result of a misunderstanding, they would simply apologize for such involvement and make their position clear, open, and unambiguous to all. Fair?
A 6: Yes.
Q 7: Before we talk about details. Do you know what Zionism is about and its history of ethnic cleansing in Palestine?
A 6: Why don’t you tell me?
Q 7: Zionism is a political movement that has existed for over a century. It’s a racist ideology since its goal is to bring as many Jews from around the world to replace the Palestinians, the indigenous people of Palestine. It’s a settler colonialist movement that uses exclusivity for one people (the Jews) and exclusion for another (Arabs, whether Muslims and Christians). Zionists and its construction, Israel, used ethnic cleansing, aggression, and brutal tactics to force the Palestinians from their land, exiled them under military force, occupied their land and colonized it. There are today over 7 million Palestinians living in exile and denied their right of return, while there are another 7 million who live under occupation in apartheid like system in the West Bank, or under siege like a big prison in Gaza, or as second class citizens inside their own country in the 1948 territories. They seized and annexed Jerusalem and want to share, and then replace al Aqsa Mosque with their temple. Do you know about this history and do you care?
A 7: Generally yes, and I do care.
Q 8: What do you know about these organizations:
– The Zionist movement
– Anti Defamation League (ADL)
– American Jewish Committee and its chairman David Harris (one of the most anti-Palestinian and Israeli apologist in the US)
– Muslim Leadership Initiative and its sponsor the Hartmann Institute
– Muslim Jewish Advisory Council (MJAC).
– Inter Jewish Muslim Alliance (IJMA).
– Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), the AIPAC spun entity.
– American – Israeal Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)
– Israeli channel i24
A 8: Some of them I recognize as part of the Israeli lobby in the US, while others I do not. BDS is the global movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel.
Q 9: So if an organization or its top leadership (founders, CEO, board chairman, vice chair, board members, chapter presidents) have extensive ties over many years with ALL these organizations serving in them or in committees associated with them (ADL, MJAC, IJMA), or appointed by AJC president David Harris, enabling their goals through trips to Israel that faithwash Palestinian suffering and cooperate with them (MLI), gaining their trust by writing for them (WINEP), appearing on their TV (i24) in violation of the BDS movement, etc. Aren’t these connections and associations serious enough to warrant your attention?
A 9: Yes of course.
Q 10: And if these connections and associations can be proven, don’t you think an action is warranted?
A 10: Yes but not now. There is an election in 6 weeks that we need to focus on.
Q11: First of all, principles cannot be overlooked because of elections. The American Muslim community is smart enough to know where their interest lay, and who to vote for. But no Zionist infested or associated organization should be allowed to lead them or speak on their behalf. If there was a moment to take a principled stand it’s now. Raising the election club over its head is a false flag. No one is going to vote for the most Zionist administration in history unless they are Zionists themselves. No one would support Trump because Emgage has been exposed as an organization associated with Zionist organizations. In fact it’s the opposite, American Muslims might actually stay home if Muslim leaders continue to enable this Zionist connected organization and make it a legitimate one. Have you seen the different articles published recently that expose all these connections and associations? Do they raise any concerns for you?
A 11: Yes. I’m concerned. But they issued a statement of clarification.
Q 12: Did you notice that the statement used strawman arguments by raising accusations that were never made in order to refute them and knock them down? No one accused Emgage of having joint programs with these associations. The charges were the deep connections and associations of its leaders with Zionist organizations. This point was totally ignored. They did not apologize for the connections or associations but for “causing pain because of their MLI” faithwashing as if this is a personal matter. Like liberal Zionists the statement called for the liberation of the Palestinian people but not for the liberation of Palestine. It never condemned Zionism as a settler colonial movement aiming to replace one people with another.
This feeble statement was not even widely distributed so as not to upset their Zionist allies. No one resigned from any position at Emgage and their officers still serve in the ADL, MJAC, and IJMA committees. It was a self serving statement aiming at preserving the associations while providing a fig leaf for their supporters to sweep the charges under the rug.
A 12: So what should we do?
Q 13: First, if there is an organization having connections to the KKK or white Supremacists against African Americans or minorities, would you stand idle and make excuses for them, or would you take action?
A 13: I would call for action of course.
Q14: Do you think if there is an organization having connections to neo Nazis or are anti-semites, would you stand idle and make excuses for them, or would you take action?
A 14: Of course I would demand action. But what should the action be in this case?
Q 15: Emgage has to comply with five conditions to address this problem. They need to:
1) Acknowledge the wrong doing of associating with a) ADL, b) AJC, c) AJAC, d) MLI, e) inter Jewish Muslim Alliance, f) WINEP, etc.
2) Denounce Zionism as a racist ideology and Israel as a colonial-settler state.
3) Apologize and show regret for their Zionist connections.
4) Resign from their current positions with the MJAC and IJMA (their CEO) and ADL (co-founder) and any other unknown Zionist connection.
5) Pledge not to ever work with any Zionist organization.
A 15: What if they refuse?
Q 16: Then they would have chosen their side and path, and exposed themselves. And our community, the national organizations, and USCMO must then make their decision and choice clear. No organization with Zionist connections should be part of our community. Hell no. Palestine is a Red Line.
A16: Let’s hope they make the right decision.