A Letter to the Editor of the Jewish Transcript (JT) News

Editor:

On May 11 I was escorted out of Temple de Hirsch where I had signed up to attend a lecture by Prof. John Esposito of Georgetown U., who characterizes fears of radical Islam as “Islamophobia.”

I had prepared information challenging his views and pointing out some gross omissions of fact in his previous writings. I was asked not to put these on the seats and was passing them out in the lobby when I was ordered to leave. They explained that they have a standing policy of not allowing literature critical of a speaker. I admit that I violated that policy, and am writing to ask them to change it.

I was told I should have attended the lecture and raised my concerns at the end. My friend Jack Greenberg did just that, asking; “Can you name a Muslim country where Jews and Christians lived with the same rights as the Muslims?” His reply; “I’m not going to answer that question because it is front loaded!”

Others who had attended told me he had ducked every pertinent question, and this expert on Islam provided no quotes from Muslim sources to back up his thesis. My paper cited both the Koran and contemporary leaders using these texts to justify hatred and violence against Jews. The issue of our relationship with Muslims is controversial, and people of good will can disagree, but they need access to information from all sides.

I believe the rise of radical Islam is a threat to Israel, America and Christians in the Middle East. At a time when we are in need of a wake-up call our academics and media pundits are singing us a sweet lullaby. There is no excuse for a major synagogue to assist them in their deception.

Robert Kaufman
Seattle

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