Seventh grade students and faculty from Sinai Akiba School in Westwood filed into the Islamic Center in Los Angeles at noon on Friday May 7 for a lecture on Muslim culture and to observe an afternoon prayer session.
Even a resolutely mediocre chess player like me knows it's not enough to have some good opening moves. To win, you need an end game. That's why this month's protest by some Jewish groups against the selection of a Muslim spokesman for a county human relations prize baffled me -- what possible end game could they have in mind?
At a meeting that featured catcalls, standing ovations and the ejection of a disruptive audience member, Los Angeles' County Human Relations Commission voted again Monday to give an award to Dr. Maher Hathout, a local Muslim leader whose harsh rhetoric on Israel generated accusations of anti-Semitism and extremism.
Dr. Maher Hathout, like no other local Muslim leader in recent memory, has divided the Jewish community, exposing fissures between Jews who fervently believe in reviving the frayed Jewish-Muslim dialogue and those who have lost faith.