The Future of Judaism and Islam on America’s Campuses?

After doing a program last Sunday with chaver Dr. Charles Jacobs of Americans for Peace and Tolerance on Lisa Benson’s National Security Matters program about Jewish Myopia towards Islam, I was forwarded this notification by a noted theologian, scholar, author, former university president and ordained Conservative rabbi, Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein. Dr. Rubenstein is the author of many important works, one among them is Jihad and Genocide.


Having written about the dangers of Jewish Muslim Dialogue and the banal cupidity of Jewish communal leadership and in this instance the faculty of the JTS regarding this and other similar events on college campus with Jewish students threatened by Muslim Student Associations, I find this program naive and dangerous. It is no wonder that most Jews are ill informed about the underlying Qur’anic doctrine of hatred towards Christians, Jews and other unbelievers. Why Chancellor Eisen, Professor Visotzky support such dialogues is appalling, as they neither educate or inform Jewish and non-Jewish audiences of the realities of why Islamic anti-Semitism exists on college campuses and in the West generally. As Dr. Jacobs cogently argued in response to a caller:

The “J” Streeters and the left again want us to think that we Jews have done it to ourselves. It is our behavior that has made the Muslims hate us. That is a very empowering thought because if it’s true, if you could make yourself believe it was true, then you could change the reality. You could just simply change your behavior and the hatred would go away. Unfortunately Islam is a religion, a political and an economic system. In it there is a demand for worldwide supremacy. When Islam conquers the land, the people on the land have a choice. If they are Jews or Christians, they can choose not to be killed if they accept the status of dhimmitude.

Being a dhimmi is lower than second class status where you may not have political independence. You may not have freedom. You are subjugated. However, if you allow yourself to be subjugated and you follow their rules you can still be a Jew or a Christian. Now if you don’t, however, if you rebel against that, then the entire theological house of Islam with sword behind it comes after you and that is what happened with Israel. Israel is a rebellious dhimmi state. The Jews were never supposed to have self-rule just like the Christians. South Sudan came about as a Christian state after having defeated a Jihad against it so too the Jews.

The Jews and the Christians in the Middle East are not allowed to have self-rule. A theological Israel is a theological catastrophe for Islam. It is not a border war. If it was that, then, if it were, you could make concessions and you could make compromises with two people living in peace.

Unfortunately that’s not the case.

The Future of Judaism and Islam on America’s Campuses
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 7:30 p.m.
Questions? Contact Burton L. Visotzky

The Jewish Theological Seminary’s Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue (JTS) and the Russell Berrie Foundation, are co-sponsoring the “Annual Pope John Paul II Lecture on Interreligious Understanding” at JTS this coming February 18, 2014. It will be a panel to address “The Future of Judaism and Islam on America’s Campuses.”

Two issues equally affect Jews and Muslims as they approach campus life. The first is retaining religious identity in the face of the assimilative forces on America’s university campuses. Jews and Muslims can learn from one another about how to form uniquely American religious identities that will serve them into adulthood and communal responsibility. The second issue is potentially more fractious, for it concerns the things that divide the two religious bodies, particularly over Israel and Palestine.

Join Imam Abdullah Antepli (Duke), Prof. Mehnaz Afridi (Manhattan College) and Rabbi Gail Swedroe (Univ. of Florida) as they engage one another in a lively dialogue on these timely topics. The evening will be moderated by JTS Chancellor Arnold Eisen, (former chair of Jewish Studies at Stanford University).

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.