Global media is reporting on what is described as the world’s largest gathering of Muslims and Jews and organized by the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU) in cooperation with the World Jewish Congress and the Islamic Society of North America. According to one report:
The third annual Twinningsm weekend kicked off this weekend as Jews and Muslims, as well as representatives of Mosques and Synagogues from across the globe cross came together to take part in the world’s largest gathering encouraging ethnic tolerance. Organized annually by The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU) in cooperation with the World Jewish Congress and the Islamic Society of North America, the Twinningsm weekend joins Muslim and Jewish students and young leadership groups to form partnerships and joint programs together, with the goal of building communication ties, reconciliation and cooperation between the two religions. This year’s Twinningsm seminar is being held after a tumultuous summer that resulted in an increase in anti-Muslim sentiments across the U.S. and Europe relating to the plans to build an Islamic community center near the former site of the World Trade Center in N.Y. In California and Tennessee, the Muslim communities also faced opposition to their plans to build or expand mosques in their communities, while a pastor in Florida threatened, but eventually relented in the face of an international outcry, to burn Korans on the anniversary of the September 11th attacks. “The targeting this summer of Muslim communities in New York, Tennessee and elsewhere demonstrate that we as a country have a long way to go until all men and women are accepted as equals,” said Rabbi Marc Schneier, president of The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and lead organizer of the Weekend of Twinningsm. “I am proud to see so many join in on the Weekend of Twinningsm rather than joining in the chorus of unacceptance choosing instead to confront Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and bigotry head-on.” “The Weekend of Twinningsm has time and time again shown us that Jews and Muslims can not only live together peacefully as neighbors, but also partner together to build a better community at-large,” said Rabbi Schneier. In total, more than 100 mosques, Muslim students and community groups, as well as 100 synagogues, Jewish students and community groups are participating in this year’s mobilization.
As documented in a Hudson Institute report, ISNA grew directly out of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. Contrary to its claim that ISNA has a “long record of fighting hate, extremism, and bigotry, including anti-Semitism”, the organization actually has a long history of fundamentalism, anti-semitism, and support for terrorism and during the recent Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial, ISNA was named as an unindicted co-conspirator as a result of what the government called “ISNA’s and NAIT’s intimate relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestine Committee, and the defendants in this case.” Although it is true that recently ISNA has issued condemnations of terrorism which for the first time identify Hamas and Hezbollah by name, there is no indication that the organization has ever addressed or acknowledged its history of support for terrorism. Also, as the Hudson Institute report observes, almost all of the ISNA founders remain active in the organization and ISNA maintains close relations with all other components of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. A previous post discussed the ties between the ISNA Secretary-General, a former leader of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) Chicago chapter, and an Illinois school with close links to the Mosque Foundation, itself tied to fundraising for Hamas. Despite it’s long history of association with fundamentalism, terrorism, and anti-Semitism, ISNA has been successful of late in building alliances with Jewish leaders and organizations.