Dear blessed community members,
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Karim Khairy Khoury Sharif Sulaiyman Saddam Zaafar Usman and I’m the President of the Muslim Council for Victims of Bus Violence. I’m writing to respond to the current controversy surround a major Muslim organization disinviting a Muslim journalist to their upcoming conference. In my post next week, I will spell out some guidelines on how to make these decisions, but this week, I wanted to start by answering some of the questions that the disinvited speaker posed:
1. Is Palestine a religious issue or is it a secular issue?
There is no point in answering this question since you will exploit the issue regardless.
2. Is Palestine tantamount to being a creedal issue? If so, why Palestine and not other issues like Rohingya, Syria, BLM, Kashmir, etc?
Answering this question will not bring us any closer to resolving your deep commitment to being a sell-out.
3. Since there is a dogmatic line we have to adhere to on Palestine, what is it? 1 state? 2 state? BDS? What’s their position on Israel itself – do they recognize it as a state? If you do recognize Israel, what’s wrong with reporting on it and showing the brutality of the occupation and settler movement? What happens if people disagree on some or all of the above? What then? If you don’t recognize Israel, why not be open about it and own it proudly?
I don’t know about you, but if I was hanging out with settlers, I’m not sure the first thing on my mind, would be one state/two state. Re: not recognizing Israel, good suggestion that will obviously lead to ZERO consequences especially since one of our OWN, wrote TWO Articles in the ATLANTIC trashing us. Keep the great suggestions coming.
4. How did I violate their positions based on my work? What work? It couldn’t be MLI, because ISNA invited me to give 3 talks in the past year knowing my work with Shalom Hartman Institute. Is it the Atlantic article? Is ISNA against engaging with Zionist Jews? If so, how do they do interfaith work and civic engagement with Jewish allies?
People make mistakes. You’re one of them. Keep asking these questions and we’ll invoice you to get your honorariums back.
5. If I did blasphemy based on a “dump” tweet and using metaphors, how do they reconcile working with speakers who have used religion and God to attack women, minorities, Shia, Ahamaddiya and LGBTQ communities?
No one said blasphemy, BUT I hope you get to write another article in the Atlantic about this. Also, just as a matter of etiquette, it’s good to keep your crap (literal) to yourself.
6. If we are to stand for justice, how do you reconcile working with Turkey and inviting President Erdogan’s representatives to ISNA? Turkey has jailed more journalists than any other country.
Well good thing they wouldn’t jail you since you’re a quasi journalist.
7. How do you reconcile working with speakers and leaders who take funds from and work with foreign countries, such as Saudi Arabia, which is bombarding Yemen, and countries like UAE and Qatar with atrocious human rights records?
The same way that we take funds from the US government that is giving Saudi arms and money to fund the proxy war in Yemen and well all the other human rights abuses the US supports in the Middle East. Thanks for you tax dollars for this by the way.