Letter by ZOA Michigan Leader in Detroit News
Blogs Op-Ed
July 13, 2016

Dr. Michael Koplow in his commentary in the Jewish News (“Nothing is Black and White,” June 30, page 5) compares the actions of the Orlando terrorist Omar Mateen to those of Baruch Goldstein, who killed 29 Muslim worshipers in a Hebron mosque in 1994. To Dr. Koplow there is a moral equivalency as religion was the basis for both tragedies in his view.

Omar Mateen’s brutal mass murder at a gay nightclub was typical of ISIS’ Islam to which he preached loyalty. ISIS attacks and murders Christians, Jews, and other minorities and gays because of who they are. There have been no condemnations of the Orlando massacre from the Muslim world.

President Abdel Fattah al Sisi of Eqypt, a devout Muslim, a year and a half ago, spoke to the need for a reformation in Islam when he addressed Islamic shcolars at AL-Azhar University on Dec. 28, 2014, www.memritv.org/clip/en/4704.htm): “I am addressing the religious scholars and clerics… It is inconceivable that the ideology we sanctify should make our entire nation a source of concern, danger, killing, and destruction all over the world. It is inconceivable that this ideology… I am referring not to ‘religion,’ but to ‘ideology’ – the body of ideas and texts that we have sanctified in the course of centuries, to the point that challenging them has become very difficult.”

“It has reached the point that [this ideology] is hostile to the entire world. Is it conceivable that 1.6 billion [Muslims] would kill the world’s population of 7 billion, so that they could live [on their own]? This is inconceivable.” 

Baruch Goldstein’s act was an isolated anomaly and was condemned by Jews everywhere. It was an act nowhere authorized nor inspired by Judaism. Judaism does not have a murderous ideology.

I wonder how a scholar such as Dr. Koplow, who is policy director of the Israel Policy Forum, can claim moral equivalence between Islam and Judaism in regards to killing innocents. Where in Jewish texts is this idea espoused? Nowhere! President Al Sisi recognizes the problem is the need for Islam to excise the cancer of the Islamist ideology.

There are some in the community who espouse that the Orlando massacre was a “gun control or gay” issue. Unfortunately, they don’t get it – nor does Mchael Koplow. The issue is a dangerous and vicious ideology that is at war with the West. 

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