Rabbi Allen Maller
02 February 2017
President Donald Trump’s executive order banning
refugees from entering the USA left much of the American Jewish community
horrified — particularly as the announcement came on International Holocaust
Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the head of the Union of
Reform Jewry, compared the order to the Dred Scott court decision upholding
slavery in the pre civil war South; and the immoral internment of Japanese
Americans during World War II.
two large American Orthodox Jewish groups responded to President Trump’s
executive order barring migrants from seven mostly Muslim countries, and
refugees from around the world; by warning against policies that would place
any limits on immigration based on religion.
the combined statement by the Orthodox Union and Rabbinical Council of America,
all four major American Jewish denominations have now criticized the executive
order in some form. The Reconstructionist movement condemned the statement
ahead of its signing Friday, while the Reform and Conservative movements
condemned it on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
It is extremely rare for all four Jewish
movements, which have split on everything from LGBT rights to Israel policy, to
unite in opposing a presidential action.
The Anti-Defamation League’s CEO Jonathan
Greenblatt vowed in a statement Thursday to “relentlessly fight this policy,”
noting “our Jewish history and heritage compel us to take a stand.” On
Saturday, he noted that the presidential executive order was signed on
International Holocaust Remembrance Day, likening it to passengers of the MS
St. Louis, a German ship filled with 937 Jewish refugees, who were denied entry
into the United States, as well as Cuba and Canada, in 1939. They were forced
to return to Europe where most of them were killed during WW2.
Greenblatt has already vowed to register as
a Muslim if the USA creates a database of Muslim Americans. The idea of a
Muslim database arose in November 2015, when Mr Trump told a reporter he would
“certainly implement that. Absolutely.” Jonathan Greenblatt said: “If one day
Muslim Americans will be forced to register their identities, then that is the
day that this proud Jew will register as a Muslim”.
predict that hundreds of American Rabbis and tens of thousands of proud
American Jews will sign up as Muslims if American Muslim are forced to
register. After all, everyone who believes in the One God of Abraham; and
faithfully follows the religion of God’s prophets; actually is a ‘Muslim’ in
us all reject “the virus of polarization and animosity” and the growing
temptation to “demonize” those who are different.
Finally I have the endorsement of an American Jewish Leader that “everyone
who believes in the One God of Abraham; and faithfully follows the religion of
God’s prophets; actually is a ‘Muslim’ in faith.
This is what the Qur’an says:
“When his Lord said to him (Abraham),
‘Submit (aslim)’, he
said, ‘I submit (aslamtu)
to the Lord of the worlds’ (2:131). Abraham enjoined his sons to do so,
as did Jacob: ‘O my sons, God has chosen the religion for you; so you should
not die unless you have submitted (muslimun)’ (132). Were you
witnesses when death came to Jacob? He said to his sons, ‘What will you serve
after I am gone?’ They said, ‘We will serve your God; the God of your fathers,
Abraham, Ishmael, and Isaac - the One God; and to Him we have truly submitted (muslimun)’” (2:133).
“And who can be better in faith than the
one who surrenders (aslama) his whole being to
God (divine imperatives), and does good deeds, and follows the way of Abraham,
the pure in faith (hanif), and God took Abraham as a friend” (4:125).