Reza Aslan, an author and scholar of religion, has established himself as a familiar face and voice on American television, the go-to guy for commentary on the Islamic world, and he embodies all the right stuff: youthful good looks, depth of knowledge and the kind of media savvy that enables him to answer even the most nuanced questions in measured sound bites.
Criticism is the oxygen of journalism. Here at the Jewish Journal, we will criticize anything that we believe deserves criticism, including religion.
Which is the more serious problem today: Islamic extremism or anti-Islamic bigotry? The latest contribution to this debate comes from The Nation, the leading magazine of America’s left, in its current special edition on “Islamophobia: Anatomy of an American Panic.” Its articles address a real and serious issue — but they also illustrate the pitfalls of ignoring its other side.
Leaders of Muslim student groups at the University of California, San Diego, are upset after a photo of a student senator dressed in Muslim garb circulated on the Internet.
Top Jewish clergy joined a religious gathering to combat Islamaphobia as the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks nears.
On Nov. 17, some 20 devout Muslims from the King Fahad Mosque bowed and prostrated themselves as they recited the Isha, or night prayer, at Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, with about 80 Jews watching the unfamiliar ritual. At the same time, in another room of the Reform temple, Jewish congregants participated in the Ma'ariv evening prayer, watched respectfully by a group of Muslims.
" . . .We had a visit from a high-ranking West Point officer, who said that his cadets were not only great fans of our show but were actually taking their cues from Jack Bauer. That was very disconcerting . . ."
Overall, though, Jewish-Muslim relations are strained, and tensions will likely worsen before getting better, predicts Rabbi John Rosove, senior rabbi at Temple Israel of Hollywood.
Jewish leaders have vowed they will work to combat any rise in racial tensions following the London bombings, amid fears that the attacks may lead to increased anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.